Microsoft

Prison Architect (Xbox One)

Prison Architect’s first mission concerns building an execution chamber, the centerpiece an electric chair. Calls from a nameless CEO tell you to build walls, flooring, underground electrical lines, etc. All the while, the condemned sits in a cell waiting for the power switch to be installed on the death machine. Played out in comic-like chunks,… Continue reading Prison Architect (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Ghostbusters (Xbox One, 2016)

Ghostbusters is a specifically calibrated, imaginative property – yet this Ghostbusters game (listlessly named too) is hardly recognizable. Hastily written to connect with the new movie; starring a (nicely inclusive) roster of no ones; mirroring the titanic 2011 flop Sanctum of Slime; copping IDW’s comic aesthetic; spewing dismal dad jokes, this Ghostbusters tanks despite having… Continue reading Ghostbusters (Xbox One, 2016)

Sony

Octodad: Dadliest Catch (PS4)

Quirky, weird, and utterly charming, Octodad’s total commitment to its idea is immediately warming. Wrapped in a kindly ’50s sitcom-esque world, the satirical take on suburban naivete blends well within the context of that era’s television. So cautious, Octodad teases – quaintly – the social blindness of a period usually depicted with warmth and joy… Continue reading Octodad: Dadliest Catch (PS4)

Sony

Battle World: Kronos (PS4)

Thick-as-a-novel storytelling tries to build an elegant sci-fi storyscape, but instead slows this already plodding turn-based strategy outing. Kronos describes everything in its text, an admirable attention to detail if dully written and fattened up to excess. Opening menus read passive aggressive concerning the harsh difficulty, a quick turn off in a rote DOS-like throwback.… Continue reading Battle World: Kronos (PS4)

Microsoft

RBI Baseball 2016 (Xbox One)

This series is maturing as fast as its plays. While still addicted to pushing nine innings in record time, a slew of post-play animations are giving this series a personality spark. With that lively aesthetic (but it IS time to update that post-inning jingle) comes a limiting feature set, but that’s not the identity RBI… Continue reading RBI Baseball 2016 (Xbox One)

Nintendo

Kirby: Planet Robobot Review (3DS)

The joy of playing with Kirby comes from the inhumane violence contained in his world. In Robobot, adorable puffball Kirby hops into mechanical killing machines – equipped with saw blades – to slice his equally adorable opposition into pieces. This is a world where enormous ice cream cones tip over due to an excess of… Continue reading Kirby: Planet Robobot Review (3DS)

Sony

Samurai Warriors 4: Empires (PS4)

Tecmo/Koei’s Warriors series has blossomed into a strategic juggernaut. Mostly, it’s the Empires spin-off, in this case producing an attractive and enthralling peak at politics in 1500s Japan. The core remains a bastion of button mashing combat – still sensational some 40 games in – while the diplomatic shell carries weight. Think Risk, if bolder.… Continue reading Samurai Warriors 4: Empires (PS4)

Sony

Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo (PS4)

A B-level diversion compared to the sharper Dirt Rally. American players are unlikely to recognize the cover star and he plays limited role within the game itself. Rally Evo is afflicted with a case of lethargy, dryly working through menus without any pizazz, leading into races with a tepid realism. Physics lean toward inauthentic and… Continue reading Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo (PS4)