Brotato review

There’s no skirting around it: Brotato is clearly inspired by the hit auto-shooter Vampire Survivors, tasking you to survive 20 waves of enemies while shrewdly investing in perks and upgrades. There’s no need to decree blatant plagiarism here though, as Brotato is so refined and well balanced – as well as being rich with content …

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Go Mecha Ball review

Have you ever stepped into an arcade and become instantly overwhelmed by flashing lights, bright colours, and loud noises? CRT screens flicker, speakers warble and neon signs pulsate. I’m not sure if it was intentional but Go Mecha Ball taps into the same energy. It’s set in a world with walls formed from TV screens, …

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Food Truck Simulator review

After inheriting a rundown truck from their late father, a mild-mannered foodie sets about restoring it to its former glory. Refreshingly, this tale isn’t motivated by a desire to create a business empire, but rather the dream of making their old man proud by following in their footsteps. It’s an endearing premise, helping to carry …

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Gray Dawn review

It’s the end of January and the dust has settled on last Christmas, with UK supermarkets currently clearing out leftover stock at rock bottom prices. If you’re eager to extend the yuletide season a little longer, Gray Drawn presents a unique proposition – it’s a horror adventure with a prominent biblical theme, taking place during …

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Turnip Boy Robs a Bank review

Much to developer Snoozy Kazoo’s credit, it takes a while to work out the combination of genres this sequel to the Zelda alike Turnip Box Commits Tax Evasion skilfully blends. After taking in the daft premise, learning its mechanics via the amusing tutorial, and being introduced to its oddball cast of sentient foodstuffs, it reveals …

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Hidden Through Time 2: Myths and Magic review

Publisher Artifex Mundi regularly releases hidden object mystery games on Xbox One. As most have a free trial, I’ve played the vast majority – somewhere in the region of fifty(!) to date. These are, understandably, very samey, combining light puzzle solving with single-screen hidden object mini-games. I’ve never reviewed one, but I’ve always felt that …

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Nephenthesys review

Play through the tutorial for this vertically scrolling shooter and you’ll be duly informed how to move, shoot, and unleash a smart bomb. Then, mere seconds later, you’re abruptly thrown back to the main menu. This sets the tone for Nephenthesys perfectly, with this being an incredibly straightforward entry in the genre that has little in …

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SHINORUBI review

This vertically scrolling shooter makes itself known by its stylish presentation that packs more shades of pink than the recent Barbie movie. It also quickly becomes evident that developer Last Boss 88 knows what makes for a rich experience, with around a dozen modes available from the outset ranging from Caravan Modes to a Super …

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Prison City review

By 1993, developers had long maxed out what was possible on the humble NES. Prison City resembles a game from this era – something that would have dazzled late NES owners alongside such gems as Kirby’s Adventure, Batman: Return of the Joker, and Mighty Final Fight. Although, it would have definitely required a few additional …

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Arcade Tycoon (Switch) review

Around ten years ago, arcade management sim ArcadeCraft arrived on the Xbox 360’s unregulated XBLIG store. A shining beacon in a sea of trash, it was more than worthy of a full release on XBLA. Arcade Tycoon falls into the same genre, favouring tidy pixel art over ArcadeCraft’s 3D visuals, and just like ArcadeCraft it …

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8-Colors Star Guardians + (Switch) review

It’s funny how certain colour palettes recall individual formats. The unmistakable combo of pink and cyan for CGA, for instance. As the name suggests, 8-Colors Star Guardians + opts for a limited colour palette, recalling the humble ZX Spectrum. Whereas the Speccy was known for its hard as concrete platformers and mixed bag of arcade conversions, …

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Rough Justice ’84 (Switch) review

I love board games. There’s nothing better than getting friends together, rolling dice, and dealing cards. In the last decade, there’s been an influx of interesting board games, powered by interesting decisions and video game inspired mechanics. Now board games are feeding back into video games in interesting ways, influencing people like Gamma Minus – …

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Dungeons of Sundaria review

Sniff around the internet for a while, and you’ll find Dungeons of Sundaria described as “World of Warcraft without the world.” It’s an apt description as this hack ‘n slash role-player doesn’t have an overworld to connect its dungeon-like locations. Instead of rolling fields and such to freely explore, the game’s frontend comprises of dull, …

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Metal Mind (Xbox One) review

This top-down, twin-stick, Roguelike shooter stars a small robot with swappable body parts. It’s an idea that ties into the upgrade system perfectly, with each body part giving new abilities and having its own stats. Not only this, but they vary radically in size and colour too. Something is endearing about seeing the initially cute, boxy …

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HARDCORE MECHA (Xbox One) review

Influenced by Evangelion, Gundam, and other mech-filled anime, HARDCORE MECHA – originally released on Switch, and now available on Xbox One – takes the form of a side-scrolling shooter with platforming elements. The SNES classic Cybernator (also known as Assault Suits Valken) is a reasonable comparison, only this is far more contemporary. Even the humble SEGA …

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