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: Bubsy: Paws on Fire!

A collaboration between Bubsy franchise publisher Accolade and BIT.TRIP Runner developer Choice Provisions, Bubsy: Paws on Fire! features Runner-like gameplay starring Bubsy and friends. The result is a highly readable rhythm platformer with varied gameplay and a wide competence zone where the player has a good amount of freedom in their approach and a lot of opportunity for flow.

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Capsule Review: Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition

A Musou game set in a crossover Legend of Zelda world, featuring a few original characters and many from previous games. As is standard for Musou crossover games, elements from the franchise have been incorporated into the large-scale hack-and-slash gameplay, though they vary considerably in how well they suit the experience.

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Capsule Review: Golf Peaks

A golf-themed puzzle game. The ball starts in one square of a grid and elsewhere is the hole. You’re provided with a handful of one-use cards that will move the ball specified distances - use them in the right order and pointed in the right directions to get the ball into the hole.

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Capsule Review: Glass Masquerade

A puzzle game in which you reassemble stained glass images from separated pieces, jigsaw-puzzle-style. Each image is themed after a particular country and presented as a clock face as part of the fictional “International Times Exhibition.” The game is beautiful and relaxing, though a few design decisions mar the experience slightly and the overall package is a little thin.

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Capsule Review: Hook

A short and simple puzzle game with a minimalist aesthetic. Buttons are connected to lines and pressing the button retracts the line and removes it from the screen - but the lines often overlap or otherwise prevent each other from retracting. They must be retracted in the correct order to clear the puzzle, roughly analogous to pick-up sticks.

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Capsule Review: Smashing the Battle

A simple 3D brawler starring a few busty women and an army of robots. In each mostly-linear level, you must smash up all the robots and reach the exit. A few variations exist including time limits, hazards to avoid that can turn crowded battles into bullet hells, and some survivors to find off the main path.

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Capsule Review: Pixel Puzzle Collection

A free Picross game featuring images from Konami’s extensive history of games. There are five hundred puzzles of varying sizes accompanied by music from classic Konami games. Most of the puzzles are standard 5x5, 10x10, or 15x15 puzzles. However, there are also a significant number of Micross-like “Mid-Boss” and “Boss” puzzles - the Mid-Boss puzzles being made of four 15x15 puzzles arranged in a 2x2 grid, while the Boss puzzles are sixteen 15x15 puzzles in a 4x4 grid.

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Capsule Review: ISLANDERS

A deceptively simple city-building puzzle game. Place a series of buildings on a procedurally-generated island. Each building earns points based on what’s nearby - lumberjacks get points for nearby trees, sawmills gain points for nearby lumberjacks, and so on. Earning points gets you more buildings and periodically new islands; the game ends when you finally run out of buildings and islands without enough points to get any more.

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Capsule Review: Aaero

A rhythm game combining tube racer and rail shooter gameplay. Use the left stick to maneuver an auto-flying ship - often to follow a rail that represents a song’s vocal track or equivalent, sometimes to avoid hazards. Use the right stick to aim a lock-on reticle and fire with the right trigger - usually at enemies, sometimes at bonus targets within the environment.

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Capsule Review: Sprout: Idle Garden

An idle game in which you grow flowers. Flowers earn you money, and with more money you can buy better flowers. The twist is that it’s also sort of a city-builder - you buy and place flowerpots, but also grass, paths, trees, houses, and more. The game is wholly free and has no in-app purchases, but there are a few optional boosts you can get by watching ads.

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