June 2012

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Sony’s new PlayStation Vita is going through a rough patch as of now. Low sales and waning interest in the handheld make it a tough sell for the time being. Sony intends to ease this software dry spell with its own Gravity Rush, a sandbox game meant to demonstrate the Vita’s graphical capabilities and input options. Is Gravity Rush enough of a winner to carry the new system into prosperity, or does it fall flat on its face? READ MORE

It’s no secret that I have a serious distaste for dice getting in the way of my strategic decisions. Whenever the success or failure of my plans is reduced to the outcome of a roll, some part of me just turns away. I’m also not wild about my actions in a given turn being dictated by what numbers have been randomly produced. On the surface, Stefan Feld’s The Castles of Burgundy would appear to fall into the latter category, as the roll of a pair of dice has great sway over every turn. READ MORE

I like dungeon crawlers quite a bit. Torchlight was one of my favorite games of 2009, and as soon as I get my new PC assembled I’ll be rolling my pennies for Diablo III. I also like controlling multiple characters, and RPGs tend to satisfy that need. Krater combines these two concepts and is a lot of fun all the while. You’ve accepted quests, found new weapons, and leveled characters before. And you’ll keep doing it here because it’s still satisfying to earn another skill or find a new and better weapon. READ MORE

Cipher Prime specializes in games with an unparalleled audiovisual flair. If you’ve played Auditorium, Pulse or Fractal, you’re familiar with the ambience that comes with one of the team’s titles. Splice, Cipher Prime’s new release, has that same sheen, and after some genre experimentation, sees a return to Auditorium‘s heavy-thinking puzzle formula.  READ MORE

For many, the takeaway from this year’s E3 regarding the Wii U was that this asymmetric multiplayer would be confined to Pac-Man Vs.-like, shallow concepts. (As a side note, I actually loved Pac-Man Vs., but that’s a column for another day.) While the actual games shown didn’t veer far from the “tap things to help!” path, the system still got my mind racing about deeper, more engrossing multiplayer experiences we could have on the system. Today, I’m sharing three I think could be most promising. READ MORE