Reviews

Reviews of the games we play, aiming to quickly encapsulate the game’s essence and quirks. Most games have an audience; our goal is for the review to make it clear to you whether you are part of a game’s audience - even if we aren’t.

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Capsule Review: Detective Grimoire

A short mystery game that has you investigating clues and interviewing suspects in a remote swamp to solve a murder. Its small scale, low complexity, and forgiving mechanics make it a solid intro to detective games. Gameplay consists mainly of visiting the various locations of the swamp, clicking on objects in the environment to inspect them for clues, and clicking on people present in each location to talk to them.

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Capsule Review: Forager

Forager borrows mechanics from a number of genres including idle games, building games, and action RPGs to create a unique mix that emphasizes resource gathering and progression based on upgrades and crafting. Chop down trees, mine metals and gems, defeat enemies, pick flowers, and so on, by clicking on the relevant nodes that spawn randomly on the map.

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Capsule Review: Squidlit

A short and simple 2D platformer that adheres to the technical limitations of the Nintendo Game Boy. Play as a squid who can walk, jump, and “ink” - hitting the jump button again in midair will shoot some ink downward, giving you a bit more air time and attacking enemies. Explore a few levels punctuated by boss fights, defeat enemies, solve a couple of puzzles, and find a couple of secrets.

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Capsule Review: ALTER EGO: Self-Discovery Clicker Game

An idle/clicker game with visual novel elements and a handful of personality tests. Its theming and atmosphere are compelling and I can see the personality tests being interesting to many players, but the story doesn’t really go anywhere and the clicker gameplay just slows things. The idle/clicker mechanics are fairly standard.

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Capsule Review: Reverie

A top-down 2D action adventure game in the Legend of Zelda mold, set in New Zealand and revolving around an invented legend based on actual Māori mythology. Play as vacationing boy Tai exploring the fictional Toromi Island, gaining new items and abilities as you explore dungeons, solve puzzles, and defeat bosses.

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Capsule Review: Effie

A 3D platformer that takes clear inspiration from classics in the genre. Its core is solid and satisfying but it’s held back by underdeveloped elements like tedious combat and a bolted-on open world area. The visual design may be the game’s best feature. It’s consistently strong, with a warm and inviting aesthetic.

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Capsule Review: Space Pioneer

A level-based isometric twin-stick shooter. Each level is an alien planet on which you must defeat alien attackers while completing a series of objectives that are mostly variations on defending an area for a set amount of time. These objectives generally last a couple of minutes in total; each mission also has two optional objectives for extra rewards.

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Capsule Review: Word Laces

A casual puzzle game in which you string together word fragments in the right order to spell words related to an image. There’s not a lot of depth and once you’ve seen a few puzzles you’ve basically seen it all, but it works well as a way to relax for a few minutes here and there.

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Capsule Review: The Touryst

A brief but charming action adventure that casts you as a tourist vacationing on a series of small islands. Explore peaceful environments, perform odd jobs, and investigate an ancient mystery. The relaxed atmosphere and varied gameplay are enjoyable but a few difficulty spikes damage this effect. Gameplay consists mostly of walking around islands talking to people and seeing what there is to do.

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Capsule Review: New Super Lucky's Tale

A simple and cartoony 3D collectathon platformer. Play as Lucky Swiftail, anthropomorphic fox seeking the missing pages of the Book of Ages to reunite with his family after an attack from the evil sorcerer Jinx. These pages are the game’s main collectible gating progress through the game and are earned by exploring colorful and inviting levels and completing a variety of challenges.

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