It takes a lot for a game to stand out as truly memorable in this day and age so here are a handful of adventures worth experiencing.
The King's Bird Review Switch ★★★★☆
Challenging 2D platformers usually fall into the Super Meat Boy clone subgenre but The King's Bird definitely elevates the formula.
The King's Bird has you play as a girl who acquires the power of flight after coming into contact with a strange artifact. I'm not fully sure about its story details because there are no actual words in the game but this stylistic choice actually works to its benefit. Anyway, you play by progressing through stages that are full of checkpoints in order to advance in the campaign. You do so by running, dashing, jumping, and gliding past tricky hazard-filled situations. It becomes brutally difficult so thankfully, there is a well-implemented Assist Mode complete with plenty of options that will make the gameplay much more of a breeze both literally and figuratively. Once you get accustomed to the controls, The King's Bird becomes a wholly rewarding adventure and it feels awesome to gracefully glide past challenging situations with precision.
Hardcore platformer fans will love the challenges that The King's Bird presents while less skilled gamers can still appreciate the gorgeous game world via the incredibly helpful Assist Mode. Talk about going above and beyond!The King's Bird gameplay video →
Tangledeep Review Switch ★★★★☆
You don't see many RPGs that play like Mystery Dungeon games anymore yet Tangledeep is one of the best examples of the genre.
I absolutely love Mystery Dungeon games and Tangledeep is an exceptional take on the classic formula. For the unfamiliar, these games involve moving your character within a grid-based dungeon and every step you take allows the enemies to move. It's a turn-based dynamic that you don't see much of anymore and it creates a constant sense of strategic fun through careful planning. What I enjoy most about Tangledeep is its complexity. It took me a long time to learn each mechanic and I'm sure I still have much more to master but doing so is super-satisfying. There are so many pieces of equipment, items, and abilities to learn and acquire that it can be overwhelming but getting to grips with everything is part of the fun. I especially appreciate the abilities system where you exchange job points for skills that can enhance your capabilities a great deal. That being said, Tangledeep is hard to recommend for impatient gamers.
If you're looking for the next great Mystery Dungeon game then Tangledeep will definitely fill the void. However, those unfamiliar with the genre may become easily overwhelmed with its complexity and steep learning curve.Tangledeep gameplay video → More Mystery Dungeon games
Legrand Legacy Review Switch ★★★☆☆
The original PlayStation was home to many awesome RPGs and Legrand Legacy is here to revive that era so let's see if it succeeds.
Legrand Legacy is a legitimately solid attempt at bringing back 32-bit JRPGs. Right off the bat, it reminded me of classic RPGs such as Final Fantasy VII and The Legend of Dragoon although admittedly, it's not as good as those near-perfect examples of the genre. The beautiful area maps, simple yet challenging command-based battle system, and stereotypical characters will make anyone feel nostalgic for the good old days of RPGs. The thing is; Legrand Legacy doesn't really do anything that hasn't been done before. It's all very well done from the authentic visuals to its spot-on orchestral soundtrack yet it simply doesn't live up to the RPGs of yesteryear. I enjoyed small touches such as the quick time events that dictate the power of each attack and its clever stat-based skill (AKA Grimoire) learning mechanic but after playing it, I couldn't help but want to play the many superior RPGs that I own for PS1.
If Legrand Legacy was on the original PlayStation, it would have a small cult following but in this day and age, you'd expect much more originality from a retro-style RPG. It does a lot well but it also doesn't go above and beyond to provide a must-play experience.Legrand Legacy gameplay video →
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy Review Switch ★★☆☆☆
Those who were gaming during the sixth generation of consoles may remember this 3D platforming adventure gem from Eurocom.
I used to own Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy for PlayStation 2 and remember playing it a lot. That is, until I got stuck and sold it in frustration. Years later, it's now available for Switch so I figured I'd give it another go. Unfortunately, the frustration reared its ugly head yet again as I played through it. For starters, Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy has you take turns controlling two characters: Sphinx and a mummified Tutankhamen. The former has the ability to attack while the latter can solve puzzles by crushing his body into a flat pancake, catching himself on fire, and electrocuting himself. This may sound awesome but the puzzles can be rather abstruse thus require a ton of patience to overcome. Although the puzzles can be rewarding to master, I personally found many situations to be simply exhausting due to their tedious nature. All of that being said, I still appreciate the cartoon-style animation and quirky cutscenes.
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy was a somewhat enjoyable adventure when it released for consoles back in 2003 but it's definitely a frustrating experience and modern gamers will likely get fed up with its tedious puzzles well before reaching its conclusion.Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy gameplay video →
Necrosphere Deluxe Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆
Developers constantly try to create worthwhile games with simplistic control schemes so let's see how this 2 button platformer holds up.
Necrosphere Deluxe has you play as Agent Terry Cooper who dies on the job and it's now his goal to escape the afterlife known as the Necrosphere. In order to do so, you must guide him through a rather large labyrinth using only 2 buttons. At the start, you can only move him left and right. Also, he can only jump by coming into contact with bubbles that propel him upward. As a result, navigating through the hazard-filled maze while collecting DVDs can be quite challenging. However, the entire game is fairly short and there's even a trophy for completing it in less than 30 minutes. That being said, there are a few permanent power-ups that allow you to dash forward as a ballerina, break rocks, and fly with a jetpack. There's also a side-story known as Terry's Dream which adds some replay value.
Although Necrosphere Deluxe features simplified yet challenging 2D platforming gameplay, it's a very short game that can be a bit too frustrating at times. On the plus side, the '80s synth soundtrack is absolutely fantastic.Necrosphere Deluxe gameplay video →