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.

Mind Maze Review

For the concept, Mind Maze is probably the best game on the market. Unfortunately, dots-and-boxes isn’t particularly entertaining. It doesn’t do much wrong, but Mind Maze needs more game modes and variety to really excel. Unless you’ve got a friend to play with, expect only a few games of entertainment out of this one.

Dwarrows Review

The fact that a basic cycle of solving puzzles, collecting resources and building stuff is so captivating is a testament to how beautifully immersive the world of Dwarrows and its inhabitants are. With so much to do, so many areas to explore and an entire town to build, it’s remarkably easy to get sucked in. Expect plenty of hours of enjoyment from this one.

Castle of Pixel Skulls Review

Castle of Pixel Skulls is a game that is lacking in almost every department - originality, controls and gameplay. It fails to deliver on its promise of challenging platforming. In fact, the only real battle is dealing with the inconsistent jumping mechanics.

inbento Review – The Flavour of the Month

Just like actual Japanese food, inbento goes down an absolute treat. With its beautiful aesthetic, touching story and deviously challenging puzzles, there’s something for everyone to appreciate. The game is perfect in both bite-sized chunks and extended sessions, and the gameplay is designed to be challenging but not overwhelming.

Ice Cream Surfer Review

With Ice Cream Surfer, we have a case of great concept, poor execution. Taking on Hitler-Broccoli whilst riding a flying ice cream is a plot that is both barmy and strangely intriguing. And it deserves to be backed up by much better gameplay than what is currently on offer. Its issues with the controls and the characters, as well as a general lack of content, quickly sour things and throw almost any element of replayability out of the window.

Escape Sequence Review

Escape Sequence should possibly keep you going for longer than it does, even when the asking price is relatively low. Instead it feels like £4.19 is a steep price tag for just fifteen levels of gameplay, and that’ll possibly end up putting a lot of people off. Even so, if you’re in the market for a new puzzle game, I’d recommend giving Escape Sequence a try.

Bitmaster Review

An uninspired wave-survival shooter with bland enemy and level design, significant balancing issues and a real lack of replayability - you’ll only need to play through it about four times and you’ll have seen just about everything Bitmaster really has to offer. It’s a shame because Bitmaster actually controls really well and the RNG gameplay could have been the foundation for something fun and replayable.

Donuts’n’Justice Review

Ultimately, the lack of replayability doesn’t take too much away from the main experience. Donuts'n'Justice is still a great game. It’s wacky, it’s simplistic, and it’s good fun. It also pulls off the 1980s setting brilliantly. It’s certainly a very short game, but I don’t think that hinders it too much. If anything, it ensures that Donuts'n'Justice remains enjoyable from start to finish and doesn’t outstay its welcome.

REKT! High Octane Stunts Review

You’ll have a great time with REKT!... for about an hour or so. After that, it quickly becomes obvious that you would have seen everything the game has to offer. It’s clear that this is a brilliant casual experience, with its strong fundamentals, easy-to-pick-up gameplay and truckload of customisation. It’s simply that with nothing added on top of it, REKT! ends up rather stale.

Mystic Fate Review

The combat system and its associated mechanics are woefully under-developed, and the game’s tendency to use those very same mechanics in the platforming sections only emphasise the problems. Look for your high fantasy elsewhere. Mystic Fate is far too frustrating to be truly enjoyable.

Dead Dust Review

There is nothing inherently bad about making a game really difficult. In fact, some of the best games are defined by their difficulty. With Dead Dust, it doesn’t really work. This is a game that could have benefited from some balancing, allowing the players to work their way up with a few less punishing levels. Instead, you’re dropped straight into it, armed only with a gun and a moveset that is woefully inadequate for the kind of enemies you’ll be facing.

Squad Killer Review

Make no mistake, this is a hard game - overwhelmingly so at times. It’s fair to say that Squad Killer on Xbox isn’t a game for everyone and a lot of people will be discouraged by its difficulty. But for those who decide to stick with it, they’ll find a game that is both dangerously addictive and intensely rewarding.

Boom Blaster Review

Boom Blaster on Xbox left a bad taste in the mouth. In fact, the only blasting I wanted to do by the end of it, was blasting this game off my hard-drive. Don’t bother picking this one up, because it’s frankly unplayable. There are far too many issues to overlook and it’s an all-round horrible experience.

Horned Knight Review

Horned Knight is a strange one. It’s a game that suffers from an extreme lack of variety, story and replayability. It’s a game that becomes repetitive rather quickly. It’s a game that does nothing to set itself apart from the hundreds of games of a similar nature that already exist on the market. And yet at the same time, it’s fundamentally solid from a pure gameplay perspective, with smooth, responsive controls and naturally difficult platforming sections that really test a player’s skill.

Glittering Sword Review

Glittering Sword on Xbox is disappointing. It shouldn’t be expected to offer anything revolutionary to the genre, given its status as a homage to The Legend of Zelda. It should be expected to nail the fundamentals though. It doesn’t. The game never advances beyond the same simplistic puzzles and stale combat, and the only answer to scaling difficulty is throwing more projectiles and enemies at you in an attempt to slow you down.

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