Puzzle Games

Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma Review (Nintendo 3DS)

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by T.J. Denzer June 28, 2016 @ 1:49 PM
Spike Chunsoft
Narrative-heavy games always have a particular set of challenges to overcome to bridge a gap that makes them worth a player’s time. The story has to be good enough to carry a lack of actual gameplay elements without overdoing it and collapsing upon itself. Furthermore, the gameplay elements that are present have to be meaningful and interesting enough to maintain engagement without weighing down the story in something too meddlesome or extraneous. For Zero Escape, a series that has previously seemed to delight in the convoluted, balancing story and gameplay has been hit or miss. Thankfully, the third game in the series, Zero Time Dilemma, is adventure full of disturbing and compelling twists and turns with gameplay make it interesting and inviting, even if you haven’t followed the series from the very beginning.

E3 2016: Tripping Through the Manifold Garden

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by Luke Brown June 22, 2016 @ 3:30 PM
William Chyr Studio
This year's Electronic Entertainment Expo was full of amazing visuals. It makes sense given that most games shown off this year are developed on the cutting edge of console power, pushing the systems to their limits for robust, eye-catching graphics. It takes a special kind of game to stand out from the cluttered crowd, particularly at Sony's PlayStation booth, which was brimming with some of the most talked about games this year. Whether it's the amazing architecture or incredible detail on the repeating structures, there's just something special about Manifold Garden that makes it pop.

E3 2016: Settling in for Some Net-fish and Chill With Abzu

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by Luke Brown June 21, 2016 @ 3:00 PM
Giant Squid
There's something dreamy about the world under the sea. While it is a very real place, the ocean is a relative unknown to many. Unless you're a diver or a marine scientist of some sort, there's a good chance you haven't seen much of what's lurking and living beneath the waves. We don't always need to travel to another planet to experience an alien world; we have one right here on Earth that's dying to be explored. That's just part of what makes Abzu such a wondrous experience. Living under the sea --- without the restrictions of actual scuba diving --- swimming with the fish and observing all the ocean's wide expanse has to offer is coupled with a great mystery of a lost civilization only you can solve.

The Underbelly of Aperture Revisited: Celebrating Portal 2

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by T.J. Denzer April 19, 2016 @ 1:00 PM
Valve Corporation
Imagine having to follow up a legendary piece of media with something better. Can you put yourself in a place where fans ask you to take the thing you made that revolutionized a genre and make a follow-up that’s not only on par, but continues to push the envelope? That’s where Portal 2 was as it entered the gaming community’s collective radar. The game had an enormously high bar to clear with the original Portal, which was renowned for its excellent design, ingenious mechanics, and bizarre and somber, yet cynically humorous themes. Fortunately for all of Valve and Portal’s many fans, Gabe Newell’s team was well up to the task and years later, we celebrate the amazing sequel that was Portal 2.

Stay in Line: Lemmings Turns 25

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by Jon Ledford February 15, 2016 @ 4:35 PM
DMA Design
Those adorable, anthropomorphic followers started walking in line and onto computer screens two and a half decades ago. It's time we celebrate an often overlooked classic in the puzzle-platformer hybrid genre. Lemmings has hit its big 25 year anniversary, so let's look back at the origins and impact these little guys had in video game history. AMA Design, previously known for their work on the '80s MS-DOS, Amiga, Atari, and Commodore 64 titles of Menace and Blood Money were starting to work on their next game, Walker. It was basically a big video game ripoff of Star Wars' AT-ST, but inadvertently spawned the development of a small character sprite.

Unravel Review (Xbox One)

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by Jason Fanelli February 8, 2016 @ 8:54 AM
Coldwood Interactive
From that love comes a touching story packed into a beautiful setting with a delightful main character in Yarny. The care and devotion of the team at Coldwood to the craft of game development is more than evident at every turn. This game is not without its frustrations, particularly in puzzles toward the end of the game, but the brief fleeting moments of anxiety are easily countered by the overall warmth that Unravel exudes. This is a game I'll play when I'm having a bad day and want to turn it around.