Jacob Stokes

Got my first Xbox 360 aged 10, and have stayed with Microsoft ever since. Not even an encounter with the dreaded Red Ring of Death (remember that?) could deter me. Nowadays, earning achievements is my jam. I’ll play anything for that sweet Gamerscore, even if it’s rubbish!

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Curse of the Sea Rats Review

At present, Curse of the Sea Rats simply feels unremarkable.

Hyper Shapes Review

Hyper Shapes is a great little game, wrapped up in a sleek presentation.

Terror of Hemasaurus Review

Terror of Hemasaurus is a brilliant effort from a one-man studio. It takes that familiar Rampage formula, gives it a fresh coat of pain and whacks a strong story on top. The result is something that is a joy to play.

Blow & Fly Review

Blow & Fly is a bog-standard precision platformer that does nothing to distinguish itself from the hundreds of others on the market.

Slap the Rocks Review

Slap the Rocks feels like a case of squandered potential.

Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril Review

Battle Kid looks, sounds and plays like something straight out of the 1980s, and I’d encourage anyone to check it out. The Fortress of Peril is waiting...

Taqoban Review

Taqoban is certainly one of Ratalaika Games’ stronger releases. It’s a great little puzzler, with the simple, easy-to-grasp mechanics allowing for levels that offer a challenge to even the most adept box pusher.

Explosive Candy World Review

If you’re looking for easy Gamerscore, it may be worth looking into this one. But for those looking for a great precision platformer, Explosive Candy World is just okay. There are much better options on the market. 

Aztech Forgotten Gods Review

Aztech Forgotten Gods is not a perfect game. There’s a lack of entertaining side-content. There’s no voice talent. It’s relatively short. But does that mean you should avoid it? No. Because it largely delivers with its story and its core gameplay - the two most important elements of any good video game. 

Despotism 3k Review

There’s nothing inherently wrong with being a punishing game. In fact, there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had in failing and then trying something new and seeing yourself improve. But Despotism 3k feels like one without the other. It’s punishing, but comes without the chance to improve. It feels like a game entirely at the mercy of RNG. 

Before We Leave Review

It’s fair to say that Before We Leave is perhaps more suited to a beginner than a true veteran of the genre, but there’s still more than enough here for everyone to find hours of entertainment.

Mastho is Together Review

Mastho is Together has all the hallmarks of a great precision platformer. Consistently challenging gameplay, solid level design and tight controls make for a game where your reactions and patience will be thoroughly tested from start to finish. Ultimately though, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before, and it does absolutely nothing to stand out from the crowd.

Inspector Waffles Review

What do we have with Inspector Waffles? An absolutely brilliant point-and-click adventure. The story, characters and overall dialogue are all brilliantly written, and the puzzles encourage exploration and experimentation.

Looking Back to 2011 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Upon release, Modern Warfare 3 was hailed by the critics. They raved that it exceeded the hype, met all expectations and was one of the best first-person shooters going. It appeared Call of Duty was still king of the castle and it had the sales to back the claim up too. And yet, player reception was remarkably muted. On Metacritic, the game sits at a paltry 2.9 user rating. Not exactly the 9s and 10s that were thrown at it by the professionals...

Looking Back to 2001 and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex

Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex deserves a re-appraisal.  It’s a game that seems to be only viewed in comparison to the original trilogy. If you were to judge it on its individual merits, you’d find a game that whilst not great, is not completely irredeemable like some seem to imply. In fact, you’d find a game that actually really excels in some areas.

Virtuous Western Review

So what do we have with Virtuous Western? Well, it's nothing more than a nice idea, with average execution. It has some brilliant ways of dispatching enemies and solving puzzles, and the easy achievements are a nice addition. But  plonking a puzzle game in the Wild West ultimately falls short here, because the game simply lacks any sense of challenge.

Whiskey Mafia: Frank’s Story Review

If you’re not on the lookout for a quick top-up to your Gamerscore, I’d recommend giving Whiskey Mafia: Frank's Story a miss. It gets points for its unique setting and interesting premise, but not much else. The fact is, with Whiskey Mafia you’ll be getting a game that consists of a story with clear room for improvement, and a few repetitive minigames. 

The Big Con Review

The Big Con offers something for everyone. It’s a tale that is both remarkably sentimental and utterly bizarre, and it’s one backed by a rich cast of characters and a world infused with nineties nostalgia. You’re not going to be conned out of your money with this one. The Big Con is well worth your time. 

Arietta of Spirits Review

If you’re looking for a Zelda-lite experience, Arietta of Spirits doesn’t really put a foot wrong. But to be a truly great game, it needs more content. It needs more exploration options, more side quests, more upgrades. You’ll only be getting three or four game hours with this one, and there’s nothing to really bring you back.

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Forza Horizon 5 Festival Playlist Weekly Challenges Guide Series 21 – Autumn

Time waits for no man, as the saying goes, and so it proves as Autumn rolls into Mexico in Forza Horizon 5 and with the Festival Playlist Weekly Challenges. We've got some flamingos to catch!

PGA Tour 2K23 vs EA SPORTS PGA TOUR: Which is the hole-in-one and which is out of bounds?

Which is the best golf game on Xbox? Is it PGA Tour 2K23 or EA SPORTS PGA TOUR?

5 of the best fishing games on Xbox One

As I've played almost every fishing experience that you can find on the big black box, I thought I'd attempt to rank them, nailing a list consisting of 5 of the best fishing games on Xbox One, if you will.

Forza Horizon 5 Festival Playlist Weekly Challenges Guide Series 21 – Summer

It is that time of the month again, when a whole new Series rolls around to the sun drenched shores of Mexico in Forza Horizon 5… Series 21 - Summer

All-new Cities: Skylines – Remastered DLC packs arrive in town

Should you have upgraded your Cities: Skylines experience with the Remastered version of the game, making the most of the power of Xbox Series X|S, building out your city creations with additional tiles, UI improvements and graphical enhancements, then you will probably have interest in the latest DLC packs to hit the game.

Latest Reviews

Undergrave Review

Undergrave is so elegant and minimalist that jumping into another run felt low effort.

Puzzle by Nikoli W Yajilin Review

Puzzle by Nikoli W Yajilin finds itself near the front of the puzzling peloton. It’s not unique enough to be sprinting out front, but it’s so polished and friction-free that it’s the best of the following rest.

Minecraft Legends Review

Minecraft Legends is a proper strategy game, despite the friendly look. Scratching the surface will show a surprising amount of depth and whilst hardcore RTS players may sneer, it brings a ton of fun to the table.

Ghostlore Review

If you have an interest in an ARPG, and are looking for something outside of Diablo, Ghostlore is well worth your time. 

World Championship Boxing Manager 2 Review

Ultimately, World Championship Boxing Manager 2 swings and misses with its simple, yet repetitive, boxing management sim.