Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is a quiet achievement in Nintendo's library: an overlooked mystery game for the DS that felt like it belonged on the system, but still only "quiet" for being relatively unknown to most. Following the format of a visual novel, Hotel Dusk was heavy on dialogue with a story laden with secrets, but its gameplay was in line with a point-and-click with elements of risk similar to Broken Sword, as well as the occasional puzzle treatment. This blend made for a compelling and suspenseful detective story, one that nailed a 70s-themed noir art style.
The first two chapters of The Walking Dead: Michonne took some time getting to the core of what made this mini-series special. Both "In Too Deep" and "No Shelter" had some great introspective moments for Michonne, but the story points driving them along weren't nearly as compelling as what was unfolding in Michonne's head. With the final episode, all of the elements finally pull together to deliver a haunting, gut-wrenching conclusion that gives Michonne more depth, and will have you wondering if we get what we deserve or we deserve what we get.
When we talk about video games, there is and perhaps always will be a debate going on about the fun factor of a game and how that dictates the game’s worth. iNK Stories & N-Fusion Interactive’s 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is the kind of game that is likely to add fuel to that debate. In a world where racial, religious and political tensions are still unfortunately in the spotlight, 1979 chooses to observe the revolution that took place in Iran against the monarchy led by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The game has some slight technical flaws and pacing issues that work against its goal, but it is nonetheless a gripping snapshot of human hope, passion and cruelty from a personal perspective.
Exploring the tragic and mysterious history of The Walking Dead's Michonne sounded like a great idea when Telltale Games announced its mini-series. Finally, we'd get to see things from the perspective of one of the comics' most intriguing and deadly characters. However, the first episode of The Walking Dead: Michonne was fairly rudimentary and didn't quite break narrative ground in the way we'd hoped it would. Still, with two episodes remaining, there was hope Telltale had something new to say in this world and about this character. The Walking Dead: Michonne's second episode, "Give No Shelter," manages to give a bit more insight into our protagonist's past and motivations, even if it still feels like we've been down this road before.
Hearing that Telltale Games would be exploring Michonne's past in depth for the first time was exciting. Hints and small bits of her history have been dribbled out slowly in The Walking Dead comics, but the driving forces of Michonne's life have never really been dealt with the way they have with other characters. Though some new ground is tread, the first episode of The Walking Dead: Michonne doesn't bring much we didn't already know to the front. What's more, it spends so much time introducing new characters, there's hardly any time for Michonne to show off.
Every school had its weird class traditions or secret spots where teens gathered to socialize away from the rest of the world. Doing something dumb, like sneaking onto a closed beach, with your friends before you graduated is a time-honored tradition. Every school also had its weird myths and rumors about the local area, too. Maybe you had that house that was haunted, or a place in the woods where you could hear strange sounds under the perfect conditions. Oxenfree takes those elements and mixes them together to create a wild, dangerous night for a small group of friends. With a mystery that grows stranger and stronger the deeper you dive and characters that are instantly relatable, Night School Studio delivers a first effort that's spooky, sincere and enthralling.
The finale to Telltale's Game of Thrones first season has been a long time coming. For months, we've been lying in wait for the moment when the Forresters would be able to exact their revenge, and stake the true claim to Ironrath. It's been an tumultuous journey to get to this point, to be sure, but no one person's story in Game of Thrones ever goes quite the way it was envisioned. In the past year, we've done everything we could to try and make sure the Forresters didn't meet a horrible fate, and to ensure things worked out for the family struck with incredible tragedies. But we forgot one crucial thing--there are no happy endings in Westeros.
The movies of the 1980s taught us many things, but in particular there were two key takeaways. One is that montages are awesome and make even the most mundane things cool when set to the right music. The other is that there is no greater adventure than the one you embark upon with your closest friends. Taking inspiration from the golden age of teen cinema, where movies like The Goonies, Explorers and Stand By Me ruled, Minecraft Story Mode sends you on a grand adventure through the voxel-based world. While putting a story to Minecraft might seem counterintuitive to the core game's design, the team at Telltale has proven they can make a great story out of anything. And yes, that now includes Minecraft.
When you look at point-and-click adventure games today, it’s hard to think of a time when these games did a heck of a lot with so much less. They’ve become lavish in their scope and it’s a definite part of the charm bringing point-and-clicks back into prominence. Pencil Test Studios hit opposite of that method with their new point-and-click, Armikrog. It’s got charm – oodles in fact – but the game harkens to a bygone era of point-and-clicks that tasked players with making the most of what’s there and dealing with it. Unfortunately, Armikrog brings back many old problems and mixes them with new ones as well, occasionally distracting from what is otherwise a funny and beautiful game.
Xbox has announced yet another Xbox One bundle to help usher in holiday jumps to current-gen. This time, the COGs, Ori and Rare are joining the fight.