Citizen Sleeper blends wonderful art, narrative storytelling and meaningfully thematic gameplay in a way that is so confidently designed it’s hard not to be impressed.
Sifu is every Martial Arts film you’ve ever watched, but now in playable form. Unfortunately actually playing Sifu isn’t quite as pleasant as that might sound.
Kena: The Bridge of Spirits is a beautiful debut indie title unfortunately frustrated by flat design decisions and storytelling.
Battlefield 2042 takes all the series components to date and slots them back together in new, bigger, different ways that won’t quite work for every fan of the series.
Unpacking combines artfully simplistic puzzle gameplay with a narrative so confidently delivered that it accomplishes in four hours what some games can’t do with dozens.
It would be easy to dismiss Lake as another example of the “Pastoral Saviour” genre, akin to Animal Crossing/Stardew Valley. A stressed city slicker takes a break and goes out to the country to find themselves, their love and reset their life. They fix their life, and bring a little modern culture back to the boonies. You know this plot, because it’s also every other Hallmark movie. But that would be doing Lake a disservice. Because it is sort of that, but presented so beautifully and interrogated in such a meaningful way that it’s hard not to fall for the quiet pines and placid Lake.
Twelve Minutes is a time loop thriller that doesn’t hold together as a mystery, a narrative or in some ways as a game.
Road 96 is a structurally interesting road trip indie game, with a deeply political narrative, slightly muddied by trying to do too much.
Last Stop is almost everything I want from narrative games. An anthology of well presented short stories, each with a solid thematic throughline. It falters slightly with the wrapper story that the whole game comes in, but the experience is a delight for the most part.
A Trufflepig is a type of pig that sniffs through mud and find truffles. The Magnificent Trufflepigs is a grandiose name for a very sedate interactive drama that doesn’t quite reach truffle levels of richness.