Limited options and connectivity issues sour the online cooperative and DM experiences, despite a well-crafted single-player campaign.
Despite Dungeons and Dragons‘ recent renaissance, we’ve yet to receive a proper, officially licensed D&D video game since Neverwinter Nights 2 in 2006. The ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s were replete with fantastic D&D-style role-playing games that helped define the genre in video games. So, developer N-Space had a lot to live up to with Sword Coast Legends. Though it had high potential, the current offering is a disappointing example of oversimplification.
Sword Coast Legends’ main selling point is the ability for one player to act as a live Dungeon Master. The Dungeon Master runs randomized dungeon modules or a custom-created campaign for up to four players. It’s an intriguing concept. It’s frankly astonishing that we haven’t seen a D&D game attempt before.
A unique, fun, and very challenging puzzle-platformer in which you guide your amorphous blob through a gauntlet of hazards.
Walt Disney once said “Get a good idea and stay with it.” Many modern puzzle games have utilized a single brilliant concept to fuel the entire experience. Mushroom 11 is the latest of these innovative puzzlers with a unique and challenging growth mechanic.
In Mushroom 11 you play as a self-replicating amorphous green blob. A fungus, if you will. The blob constantly tries to stay the same size. It also needs to touch the ground or a suitable object in order to grow. Left click erases large chunks for rapid movement. Right click allows for smaller shape-building. Using these simple mechanics you guide your fungus through a gauntlet of platformer-style traps and hazards.
Charming, but also incredibly fun with brilliant level designs and a wealth of content, Yoshi’s Woolly World is my new favorite Wii U platformer.
Yoshi has been destined for stardom since his first appearance in Super Mario World. He started his video game career as a power-up for Mario, but soon the lovable dinosaur starred in his own spinoff series of 2D platformers. These focused on his unique ability to eat foes and lay eggs, which can be used as weapons. Yoshi’s Woolly World combines this simple but effective mechanic with a beautifully realized art style and clever level design to create not only the best Yoshi game, but one of Nintendo’s best platformers in years.
The concept of a magic-filled world of complex animal societies that sprung from a dystopian sci-fi world of humans is absolutely fascinating.
My experience with anthropomorphic animal-creatures is mostly positive, but also rather childish. I loved Saturday Morning Cartoons like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ducktales. Creating humanoid animals and assigning them familiar human traits and livelihoods is a classic story-telling device that speaks especially well to children and young adults.
The Autumnlands: Tooth and Claw eschews most of the familiar trappings by throwing its huge variety of creatures into a far-flung future of magic spells, floating cities, and racial divides. The new series from Image Comics also contains a decidedly mature tone with language and violence akin to your favorite swords and sorcery HBO show. While the story-telling feels more suited to a traditional novel format (complete with mini-short stories accompanying each issue), the incredible artwork and intriguing world-building create a visual feast and a fun introduction to this strange new world.
The 2004 3D entry in the series is effectively ported to mobile devices with new touch screen controls and same great gameplay.
The RollerCoaster Tycoon series was one of the most beloved simulation games on PC. It gave players control of an entire theme park, tasking you with the simple but fun jobs of building rides, keeping your visitors happy, and making enough money to build more rides.
Originally released in 2004, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 was the first to take the series 3D. Its big new feature was letting you ride your own custom-built coasters from a thrilling first-person perspective.
In a growing trend, the original developers have now created an iPad version of RCT3. The intuitive design meshes well with the new touch screen controls. However newcomers may be put off by the low-resolution graphics and somewhat slower pace.
I’ve always hated MOBAs but leave it to Blizzard to craft the most enjoyable team hero brawler I’ve ever played.
I hated MOBAs. These weird games that called themselves Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas have all but supplanted my beloved Real Time Strategy genre. Requiring minute micromanagement, synchronized teamwork, and a critical familiarity with dozens of heroes and hundreds of abilities, MOBAs are not exactly known for their accessibility.
Leave it to Blizzard, the masters of gameplay iteration, to create by far the most accessible and enjoyable “Online Hero Brawler”. By leveraging their famous stable of larger-than-life characters and streamlining every single aspect of the genre, Blizzard have crafted one of the most enjoyable team multiplayer games I’ve played in years.
By combining some pretty tense PG-13 movies into the humorous slapstick LEGO style, LEGO Jurassic World creates a fun if occasionally awkward experience.
Platforms: PC, Mac, 3DS, PS3, PS4, PSVita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
We played on: Wii U
LEGO Jurassic World is the latest in a long line of franchise-ready tie-ins crafted in LEGO form. LEGO Jurassic World continues the trend of breaking and building objects, unlocking and using a wide variety of characters, and offering a large amount of replay value through hidden items and puzzles. By combining some pretty tense PG-13 movies into the humorous slapstick LEGO style, LEGO Jurassic World creates a fun if occasionally awkward experience.