Tinykin from tinyBuild


Humanity has spread to the stars and in Tinykin, from tinyBuild, they make their way back to Earth but humanity has changed drastically.

Tinykin is here with a unique take on what happens after humanity spreads out to the stars. Most games see this expansion as bleak and dangerous but in this game from tinyBuild and Splashteam we get a much more friendly and upbeat title. Curious about humanity’s origins you travel by soap bubble back to earth. This travel method reminds me very much about the bubble travel from Disney’s Meet the Robinsons. Upon your arrival you learn that humanity is much smaller than it once was and team up with little creatures called the Tinykin.

You befriend and work with various creatures, most of them are friendly or just less than friendly insects. I have the suspicion that I am just barely scratching the surface of this world and that something sinister is lurking somewhere but every level I’ve played continues to prove me wrong. Where’s the big, bad, monster to fight to give some sense of fear or suspense? Even if I’m wrong and there isn’t one, the game continues to prove that it is a lot of fun.

Visually the game is stunning. You have a beautifully rendered 3d world where 2d cartoon characters interact. On the surface it is a family friendly title that is absolutely adorable. I hope I’m proven right. If not I won’t be sulking though, I’ll still be having fun and it will further solidify my suggestion for the younger children at home to play the game.

Yars: Recharged


Another classic Atari 2600 hit has returned with the Recharged treatment with Yars: Recharged!

Originally published in 1982 on the Atari 2600, Yars has returned with Yars: Recharged from SneakyBox and Adamvision Studios. The game features an alien bug that resembles a dragonfly that is sent to destroy the alien ships that have come to subjugate the planet. Do you have what it takes to survive this remastered bullet hell? As more bullets fly it is natural to panic and I am prone to panic in these situations.

I had only ever heard of the original game but never played. It was one of those that my friends steered my away from due to its difficulty in grade school. It’s THAT old! Playing this one is a ton of fun. If I had known this is what the game was like I would have likely played it when I was much younger. Graphically it reminds me of the Dead Space arcade game that was on the 360 but it is pure chaos. Some levels require pure luck to survive. If you like a game that is sleek and an absolute challenge you will love this game.

Destroy All Humans 2 Reprobed

Destroy All Humans

Crypto is back and this time he vows to Destroy All Humans, again!

Crypto is back and this time he vows to Destroy All Humans, again, in this remastered sequel to the remastered cult classic from THQ Nordic. The first game I had heard of but had no idea this sequel was released prior to being remastered, or reprobed as the name of the title suggests. I did some research on it while trying to recall the name of our grey alien bringer of chaos and came across the original release photos. Continuing off the story of the original game the mothership has crashed and it is up to Crypto to kill everyone and save the day. The story centers around tracking down the KGB as they further infiltrate the city and are responsible for shooting down the mothership.

Gameplay is just as chaotic and hilarious as the original. Hijacking the bodies of citizens is just as hilarious as before and the ragdoll physics makes for a great time with the levitation ability. The dancing mode makes for a great escape that is hilarious to watch- you force enemies, civilians and even cars to dance under the dance lights that appear on the ground around them. Watching the cars dance along with them is hilarious. If you played the original or are looking for a game where mayhem and abductions are the frequent play type then this is a must purchase for you. We had a ton of fun on this title in both single player and co-op modes- fyi it’s even better if you make a drinking game out of it.

Elex has returned with the aptly named Elex II

Elex II

Jax returns to protect Magalan from a new threat in THQ Nordic’s Elex II.

In Elex II you play as Jax, the hero of the first Elex title and the savior of Magalan. A new threat has fallen to the planet and it will take all of the factions working together to survive. Obviously Jax is needed to unite them all but doing so is easier said than done.

Visually the game looks like it is on par with the previous generation of consoles for the gameplay, however the trailer and some of the cinematics have some stunning effects. Controls felt rather intuitive, even when adding jump jets that allow you to reach greater heights when jumping. The game’s story felt slow and failed to engage me early on, even when forcing myself to push further I couldn’t find a reason to get interested in it. The early foes are more or less feral creatures you will have to face but don’t get cocky. That’s what I did and found myself surrounded by them and killed easily.

Overall gameplay felt uninspired and failed to keep my interest beyond the minimum time I had allotted to play the game prior to writing my review. A big reason for that is behind the stamina mechanics, simply they are broken. Recharging the stamina is slow to the point of frustration and your attacks simply use too much of it. This leads to a combat system that makes you want to shut the game off early into your journey.

Lacuna – A detective story set in the far future


Who doesn’t love a good “who done it” story? Lacuna brings that to a retro 2D platform and is the first release from DigiTales Interactive.

DigiTales Interactive is an indie developer that first released Lacuna directly to Steam and later to consoles and we had a chance to try it out. A few acts of terror threaten this dystopian world where things aren’t as perfect as they first appear. These acts sow the seeds of chaos and risk setting the universe in flames. This slippery slope begins with the death of a diplomat who was actively working to broker peace with your own nation and it is YOUR job to investigate the who, what, where, when (not so much this one) and why.

The game itself feels similar to those “Choose your own adventure” books where your actions and choices determine the outcome of the story. Graphically it looks and feels like some of the old 16 bit games from my youth and the gameplay very much solidifies this feeling. This was one of those titles that checks a lot of the boxes I look for in an entirely new experience but failed to hold my attention even with the promise of more action to come, many of the puzzles and investigation elements just felt tedious.

Transient Extended Edition makes it’s way to Xbox One


Our friends at Iceberg Interactive shared their remastered Eldritch horror title Transient for the Xbox One.

Iceberg Interactive updated their classic title, Transient, for the current generation of consoles with the Extended Edition. The game begins in the distant future, the world was nearly ended and a scientific effort strives to carry the world through the fallout. You wake up in a facility with a weird skull mask on your head and start on your adventure. With the music and the overall ambiance the game is very much meant to be a horror title but as you explore the world this adventure honestly feels mores like the game was more of a game of exploration.

The game is extremely linear but is full of puzzles to keep things interesting. Best part of these puzzles is that they feel organic, none that I have experienced so far felt forced. Any game that brings in inspiration from HP Lovecraft is worth a try in my book but when you add in a gorgeous world and engaging story and you have a game that is worth playing until the end.

Undungeon game review


TinyBuild brings another unique title to the gaming community, this time with Undungeon styled like RPGs from the 90’s.

In Undungeon you play as a Herald, a keeper of an artifact called the core. There are multiple Heralds, each with their own unique core. These cores keep you from dying. Any time your Herald dies the core activates and transports you to a specific location. This world you Heralds find themselves in is the result of a cataclysmic event that brought several unique versions of the world into one amalgamation of them all. There are seven Heralds and presumably seven unique worlds that were combined.

The game looks and feels like the one of the classic roleplaying games I would have played in the 90’s on either the Sega Genesis or the Super Nintendo. Beyond the nostalgic art style the controls are fluid and the combat is dynamic. The game looks simple at first but there is a large amount of options to fine tune your experience and a well fleshed out story makes this a must for old school roleplaying games.

Happy’s Humble Burger Farm

Happy's Humble Burger Farm

Happy’s Humble Burger Farm is a restaurant management simulator with a horrific twist. Will you survive?

Going into the new year TinyBuild brought us several new games and now that the new year is here we should see a few more based on their announcements in 2021. Happy’s Humble Burger Farm is one such game. Throughout the game you play a fast food worker that spends every day going to the Burger Farm, punching the clock, making and serving food. Once finished you return home to sleep and go to bed. Pretty straight, right? Not even close. In the real world the longer you take to make an order the more upset your customers will get. At the Farm it’s not clear if it’s the customers or something much more sinister. As you bumble your way through filling orders the longer you take first the lights start malfunctioning. This is the first sign to pick up the pace. Take even longer then you may see neon messages warning you to save yourself on the floor, a charred man will try to grab you or even one of the mascots will come and try to kill you. Sounds like any other day at a fast food establishment.

Graphically the game is subpar with today’s gaming standards as are the effects. Controls are overly simplistic and yet if your pointer is even slightly off target they won’t work. Spending a couple hours in this game I firmly believe this is intentional. It’s meant to be cheesy and the controls seem to give you a false sense of security because of how simple they are. Having completed several shifts making meals I noticed the game wants you to make mistakes, it even gives you achievements to entice you to screw up on purpose. I found the game to be oddly compelling despite it’s low budget, simplistic and cheesy feel. I was surprised at how much I wanted to keep going to see if I could learn more about the world and why these creatures keep appearing and trying to kill me.

Faraday Protocol – a game of aliens and exploration

Faraday Protocol

Faraday Protocol is a puzzle-centric first person shooter and platformer by Red Koi Box and available on Xbox One and Steam.

In Faraday Protocol you play as Raug Zeekon, an explorer/adventurer, landing your spaceship on Opis. As you leave your ship you are greet by a voice that puts you through a series of trials to test your mettle. Do you have what it takes? The AI is going to find out. Each chamber in the Ziggurats pose puzzles and challenges that increase in difficulty as you progress. Some allow you convert energy types, while others transport it from one chamber to another. Some will even power elevators.

The puzzles themselves, for the most part, are quite easy, they just require some out of the box thinking at times. There are a couple that seem much more difficult. These rare puzzles, at least to the point I’ve completed so far, offer easy solutions that require a bit of creativity. The story is a bit lackluster but the ingenuity of the puzzles more than makes up for it. If you enjoy creative puzzles that require some critical thinking to solve the $25 price tag may be appropriate but I feel it is just too high for what you get out of the game.

Cardaclysm – a card battle RPG


Cardaclysm is linear RPG full of random maps, encounters and a specific order of bosses you will face. Can you make it to the realm of death?

Cardaclysm from Headup Games is an dungeon crawling roleplaying game where every map is randomly generated, enemies are pulled from a limited pool based on which boss tier you are facing and a book magic made to fit any play style. Players take on the role of a wizard where every fight adds a new card to your deck of monsters and spells. You also collect gold and orbs to determine how many and which of your cards you can play in a fight. As each card is played you will either summon a creature, monster or warrior to fight on your behalf or unleash an ability like poison arrows or fireballs. At most you can hold onto only four cards in your hand but with a properly assembled deck that won’t matter.

The game lets you know when it sees you are strong enough to face one of the bosses but does not force you to face them until you decide to, or if you aren’t paying attention. When the last foe is defeated in a map the boss is summoned and will chase you until you get to the exit or if you take a wrong turn and it catches up with you. Because of the way you build your deck, one card earned per battle, the game can be a bit grindy.

Playing the game I have now spent close to fifteen hours grinding and building my deck and points, now I learned from one costly mistake in that process. If you close the game and shut down your system for the night immediately you risk corrupting your save file, which happened to me about twelve hours into my journey. I learned (this was confirmed with my contact at Headup Games) that the game after being closed saves and updates where you were at in the game while on the Xbox home screen. You must wait at least 5 minutes before shutting the system down to avoid this happening to you. Despite this minor setup I have found the game quite enjoyable and am left with only one complaint- the gamer score choices. Nearly every game that has achievements uses a score that is divisible by five. With Cardaclysm there are a few that have odd scores, ending in two, seven, and and four. I know for some it’s just a number but for me I need my final score to still be divisible by five which means even if I didn’t enjoy this game I would need to play it to completion. Thankfully the game is quite a bit of fun and continuing this grind is not a negative thing.