Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure on Xbox One takes the rotten core of a blockbreaker game and straps on a cracking story, great music, boss battles and some new approaches. But that rotten core still stinks, and you’ll get a whiff every now and again, as the infuriation and the tedium seep through. If you’re a Sacred Symbols fan, or you’ve still got love for games like Arkanoid, it may be just enough to warrant a purchase.
I’m of the opinion that you should score a game for the audience it’s made for, and Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia on Xbox One is a pre-teen game that delivers on what its audience wants. It’s a brisk romp through all of the best characters and locations in the game, with barely a hiccup along the way. What it sacrifices in complexity or any kind of innovation, it gains in player-friendliness and an adventure that - for the kids in this house, anyway - will make them want to hack, slash and jump all the way to the end.
There’s a rule written somewhere that you should watch whatever Guillermo Del Toro produces, because it’s going to be solid gold. Any doubts that wouldn’t translate to an animated kids series were punted somewhere into Pan’s Labyrinth, as Trollhunters has been a huge success for Dreamworks, Netflix and the many people who have watched all three Chapters (read: seasons) of it. Now comes the inevitable, and the game tie-in with Dreamworks Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia arriving on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC via Steam and PlayStation 4 today.
Don’t take it personally, Sentinels of Freedom, but I am getting HEAVY Freedom Force vibes from you. It’s a good thing! Many of us would be behind a return to Patriot City. And if Sentinels of Freedom is anywhere near the madcap joys of that game, then we’re ready to pull on the lycra and hit the streets. Sentinels of Freedom is out now, and is performing a superhero landing onto Xbox One, PS4, Switch and PC via Steam.
Xbox One isn’t exactly overrun with Pokemon games or substitutes - thanks for that, Nintendo - so we’re going to grab at any that come our way. Nexomon: Extinction, after all, could be a mainline Pokemon game, if you squint a bit and turn your head.
The Secret Order: Return to the Buried Kingdom on Xbox One acts like a strong trailer for hidden object gaming: it’s easy to pick up, the puzzles are a pleasure to interact with, and Artifex Mundi have mastered the systems that surround it. But it’s only a trailer: too short, too unsatisfying and narratively incoherent to get your teeth into.
Who would have thought that cooking and house removals would make killer party games? Team17 clearly did, as they made hits in the form of Overcooked! and Moving Out. Now their sights are set on what it’s like to take on an internship with Going Under.
Man, did I wish this was a Jet Set Radio spin-off. Alas it is not, and instead we get the retro platforming joys of Jet Set Knights, a Ratalaika and FobTi Interactive joint project launching today on Xbox One, with a staggered launch on PS4 and Switch.
Calling the main character’s company ‘Fizzle’ is appropriate. Going Under on Xbox One burns brightly at first, witty and wonderful in its design, and with a lot of joy in its dungeon crawling. But then the fizzle comes, with the lack of depth and vacuum of progression soon burning your interest out.
If you’re a fan of walking simulators, then the name probably sticks in the throat, but let’s ‘own it’ and chuck the best and mightiest of the genre into a bear pit and let them have at it! Hoo-rah! As with most genre lists, there’s some controversy about what does or doesn’t constitute a walking simulator. Dialogue and navigation is preferred over puzzles and more intensive interaction like combat or QTEs. Jumping/crouching is positively frowned upon. Strap on your hiking boots and let’s ramble!
You may not be aware that there are eight (go on, count ‘em) Secret Order games, with this - The Secret Order: Return to the Buried Kingdom - the eighth, launching on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Switch today.
You just know that Tamiku’s developer Josyan has a crate of NES and Commodore 64 games tucked under his CRT. Tamiku doesn’t just look like a game from that era: it’s got to be a lost NES cartridge that’s only just been restored.
If you’ve fallen out with your partner during lockdown, why not bring them back on side with a co-op game of Biped? It’s collaborative, it’s family friendly, it’s got funny walks. It’s everything you need in two colourful, robotic packages.
Not to be mistaken as a puzzle expansion for the 2017 slasher game (although, that would be fabulous), Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle is it’s own standalone killer. Fusing sliding puzzle shenanigans with the mother-loving movie monster, it’s probably not the mix of games you were expecting this Halloween. Disappointingly NOT dropping on a Friday the 13th, Killer Puzzle instead launches on Xbox One and Switch, with a PS4 release down the line.
Currently in Early Access on PC, Merge Games have announced the full release date for their teeny tiny open-world multiplayer survival game - Smalland: Survive the Wilds. And as they do so, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions are confirmed.