Retaliate review

Tap the fire button in this vertical shooter, and you’ll hear a familiar sound – the distinct click of a firearm with an empty ammo clip. That’s because every shot fired in Retaliate must be absorbed by activating a shield first. This fills a gauge not just with bullets, but also later missiles and mines …

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Over Horizon X Steel Empire review

Even within the pages of charmingly garish ‘90s video game mags, HOT-B’s Steel Empire stood out. Shoot’em ups set in space were par for the course for the Mega Drive, yet here was something daring to be different, featuring a bi-plane and a zeppelin battling steam-powered contraptions using bullets and lightning-based bombs. Not even the …

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RPM – Road Punk Mayhem review

Like many examples of the genre, this vertical bullet hell shoot’em up has a tutorial. Nothing usual there, apart from the fact that it explicitly tells you to figure out a crucial mechanic for yourself. This results in a turbulent introduction phrase, not helped by the fact that RPM plays differently from many shooters out …

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Satryn DX review

On first glance, Satryn DX doesn’t appear to offer anything resoundingly new. It’s a twin-stick shooter in which you manoeuvre a teal-coloured warrior around single screen arenas, blasting tiny pixel art enemies and saving blob-like creatures. When all enemies are defeated, you’re transported to the next area – with a flashy blink-and-you’ll-miss-it primary-coloured transition screen. …

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Princess Maker 2 Regeneration review

If you’re wondering why we’re reviewing something called ‘Princess Maker’ the chances are you’re unfamiliar with the game’s history. This life simulation was a hit on Japanese computers in 1993 before gaining a release on the 3DO, Saturn and Dreamcast exclusively in that region. When the import scene for the Saturn and Dreamcast took off …

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Cyber Citizen Shockman Zero review

Something is intriguing about late generation Mega Drive and SNES titles. 1997 was the final year at retail for both systems, with barely a dozen games released for each. The PSone, Saturn and even N64 were available, and so these late arrivals were mostly licensed games, tired annual sporting updates, or aimed at younger gamers …

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Parkitect: Deluxe Edition review

If you’re glancing over Parkitect’s screenshots and wondering why it looks a few generations behind the times, then allow us to fill you in. The development of this theme park management sim began in 2014, ergo the start of the PS4/Xbox One era. After a successful Kickstarter and a spell in early access, the full …

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Wild Seas review

In a short space of time, publisher Afil Games has carved out an identity by releasing inexpensive auto-shooters and tower defence games. It isn’t clear if they’re actively seeking these kinds of games to publish, hoping to stumble on the next Vampire Survivors, or if it’s simply a case of indie developers currently favouring these …

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Primal Survivors review

Indie publisher Afil Games are keen to ride the ‘auto shooter’ bandwagon, with a chunk of their back catalogue being Vampire Survivors imitators.  We couldn’t find much enjoyment in their coliseum set Gladiator’s Arena, with it feeling more like a proof of concept than a fully-fledged game. The good news is that the tribal warrior …

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Go Go Jump!! review

Have you ever experienced a boss battle involving staying alive for a few minutes while being pelted with projectiles and other attacks? Go Go Jump takes that concept and expands it. Our canine star Dylan wants to follow in the footsteps (well, pawprints) of their late father, known to the world as a Jump Master. …

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Frogun ENCORE review

More developers should be allowed to refine and experiment with spin-offs before committing to full-blown sequels or new projects. There’s often scope to implement ideas leftover from a predecessor and make tweaks based on feedback, while adding a new gimmick or two. That’s the deal here, with ENCORE being an extra helping of 2022’s well …

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Times & Galaxy review

One thing Times & Galaxy isn’t short on is imagination. You play as a robotic news reporter fresh off the production line, out to make a name for themselves at the titular holo-paper. Times & Galaxy is well regarded, but readership is on the wane. As an intern, you’re tasked with covering mundane events and …

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Rider’s Spirits review

When browsing the Japanese libraries for consoles such as the Mega Drive and SNES, it’s clear why countless games remained in SEGA and Nintendo’s home turf. Things like romantic visual novels, horse racing-based gambling games, and sumo wrestling sims would have performed poorly commercially in Europe and the US. Then there are games that would …

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Roxy Raccoon’s Pinball Panic review

One trend that has fallen out of fashion is the concept of mascot-driven pinball spin-offs. SEGA kickstarted things with Sonic Spinball in 1993 – a stand in for the lack of a mainline entry that year, ideally needing more development time. Nevertheless, Nintendo saw potential here, creating pinball games starring Kirby, Pokémon, Samus, and even …

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Downward: Enhanced Edition review

Prince of Persia meets Mirror’s Edge in this first-person parkour platformer. Taking place in a ruined world with fantasy elements, you’re guided by a mysterious voice and encouraged to seek three relics that hold memories of the past. It’s a journey that’ll take you across ice, lava, and sand. Lots and lots of sand – …

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