Taking on challenges through grueling campaigns or gameplay that makes you think can be quite fun so here are 8 nifty solo games.
Paradise Killer Review Switch ★★★★☆
In Paradise Killer, you play as freak investigator Lady Love Dies while looking for clues around Paradise Island to solve the Council's murder.
Paradise Killer has one of the strangest settings out there as Paradise Island has been regenerated 23 times with each past incarnation eventually falling into corruption from demons. It's on the eve of the 24th reincarnation that the murder occurred causing exiled Lady Love Dies to be called to solve the mystery before the reincarnation completes. The cast is strange to say the least such as Crimson Acid, a well-endowed woman with a goat head and pink suit and Sam Day Break, a red skeleton in cool shades and pants below his hips.
The gameplay has you walk around the impressively large island while uncovering clues and piecing together the mystery before the trial. Paradise Killer is unique compared to similar games in that you actually feel like you're investigating. You have to listen to what people are saying then follow-up on clues and solve puzzles to unlock more information and this is done extremely well. However, given the subject matter, a lot of the banter and context around the puzzles was lost on me and it was so off-the-wall that I couldn't follow it at times.
Paradise Killer is a rarity amongst detective games as it accomplishes the feeling of being an actual investigator within its unique setting.Paradise Killer gameplay video → More detective video games
Party Hard 2 Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆
Everyone's favourite murder-your-neighbours game is back in a psychotic sequel but is it better than its underwhelming predecessor?
Although I enjoyed its dark and overly violent premise, the original Party Hard simply didn't appeal to me due to its awful AI and tedious gameplay. However, to my surprise, this sequel is actually a much better game. It definitely doesn't reach the heights of something like Hotline Miami but it's certainly a capable game. For the unfamiliar, you play as a serial killer who hates noise so you crash parties and systematically murder people by doing things like stabbing them and storing their bodies in waste bins, throwing grenades into crowded rooms, and tampering with electronic devices. Despite its dark nature, it's quite fun but again, the AI is incredibly stupid because it takes a lot for the authorities to be alerted and even when they are, it's pretty easy to wait it out. On the plus side, the unique lists of challenges for each stage offer rewarding replay incentives and there are some truly clever scenarios throughout.
Party Hard 2 is definitely a step up from the original but it's still plagued with dumb AI and gameplay that can be rather tedious at times.Party Hard 2 gameplay video → Party Hard Review
Atom RPG Review Switch ★★★☆☆
Here we have an old-school RPG set in a post-apocalyptic Soviet Union where you play as a lone survivor but does it play well on console?
As I played Atom RPG, I was taken back to the time when the original Fallout released. In fact, it's clear that Atom RPG was heavily inspired by Fallout in almost every conceivable way; from its combat to its atmosphere. That's not necessarily a bad thing although I do wish that more went into making Atom RPG stand out as unique. Anyway, I enjoyed the branching dialogue and in-depth character growth complete with an inventory management system that'll make you constantly swap what you're lugging around. However, it isn't really adapted well for playing on a console as I found myself regularly struggling with the controls. Thankfully, you can play it on PC if you're interested and I highly recommend doing so. Overall, it's well done yet it doesn't quite outdo RPGs from 20 years ago.
Fans of old-school RPGs will get a kick out of Atom RPG and its Fallout-inspired campaign but it's best to stick with the PC version.Atom RPG gameplay video →
Warsaw Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
World War II games are commendable when they capture that important period in a meaningful way and Warsaw does just that.
Right off the bat, let me just say that Warsaw can be quite a grueling game to play. Not only is it challenging, it also punishes failure in devastating ways as losing squad mates is permanent. The game is played by traversing an overhead map of the city then partaking in turn-based battles against nazi troops whenever you run into them be it accidently or because they're in your way and you have no way around. Gradually having your numbers thinned out as the campaign progresses is a real bummer but that makes playing Warsaw all the more meaningful as it's less of a game and more of a reflection of how devastating the Warsaw Uprising was. Because of this, I highly recommend it to those who are curious about World War II and would like to experience a small taste of how tough it was.
Warsaw does what few World War II games do by crafting an oppressive campaign that can feel unfair yet manages to remain hopeful.Warsaw gameplay video →
Tin & Kuna Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
If you enjoy challenging stage-based 3D platformers that test your abilities to explore and solve puzzles then here's a game for you.
Tin & Kuna has you play as Kuna who's on a mission to rescue Tin. You do so by traversing stages that consist of floating islands and the goal is to place a sphere into a hole. Along the way, you can discover collectibles and try to beat the level in under its par time although I found actually accomplishing that to be maddeningly difficult. What I love about Tin & Kuna is that each level essentially tasks you with figuring out the correct sequence of events to trigger. For example, you'll have to toggle platforms, enable some to move along a path, carefully push spheres into their respective goals, and explore to find obscured paths. Doing all of this is very rewarding and coming across new hazards, enemies, and abilities makes for one varied and challenging campaign. I wasn't expecting to love this as much as I did.
With many 3D platformers out there, I'm glad that Tin & Kuna offers a challenge-based setup as it makes mastering levels enjoyable.Tin & Kuna gameplay video → More 3D platformers
Tamarin Review PlayStation 4 ★★☆☆☆
Playing as a little monkey man with a gun sounds weird and Tamarin is here to prove without a shadow of a doubt that it is indeed.
Speaking of 3D platformers, here's the very cute Tamarin. I've been looking forward to playing Tamarin for a very long time as it crossed my radar last year. Since then, I've seen many trailers and screenshots which depict a cute critter who runs and jumps around lovely environments. So, it made me incredibly surprised that shortly into Tamarin's campaign, that cute little fellow is given a gun in order to seek revenge on the insects that destroyed his home. What is this; a thinly veiled attempt from the NRA at telling kids to get a gun in order to protect their family? Probably not; perhaps it was merely a poor decision on the developer's behalf. Anyway, the gameplay is extremely basic and very clunky at times but once I got over the gun-wielding component, I actually had some sporadic bursts of fun yet that fun turned to frustration whenever I encountered open areas where I had no idea what to do next. It's simply not good.
Tamarin may be an adorable game but it's also one that'll make you wonder if it's sponsored by the NRA with its odd use of guns.Tamarin gameplay video →
Kingdom Rush Origins Review Switch ★★★★☆
Switch owners finally have access to the third Kingdom Rush game which features refined and fantastic tower defence gameplay.
That's right; Kingdom Rush Origins is available for Switch so you can now enjoy the original trilogy on the console. Let's hope Kingdom Rush Vengeance releases soon as well. Anyway, it's no secret that I'm a big fan of the franchise and the fact that Kingdom Rush Origins is a wonderfully refined follow-up made me very happy to play it. For the unfamiliar, Kingdom Rush is a tower defence game where you construct and upgrade various towers on single-screen stages in order to thwart invading monsters. Its difficulty is brilliantly executed as more monster types and abilities gradually get introduced throughout its campaign and Kingdom Rush Origins includes some additions and refinements such as cool hero abilities and spending points to upgrade your defences between battles is rewarding stuff indeed.
Kingdom Rush Origins continues the tradition of supremely rewarding tower defence gameplay and it plays wonderfully on Switch.Kingdom Rush Origins gameplay video → Kingdom Rush Review Kingdom Rush Frontiers Review
Caveman Tales Review Switch ★★☆☆☆
Cavemen were entrepreneurs, too, so get ready to build lovely little settlements in a goofy brand new prehistoric simulation game.
Last month, I played and reviewed a little indie called Country Tales and Caveman Tales is essentially a reskin of that game which is needless to say, very disappointing. I mean, Country Tales is far from a worthwhile real-time simulation game so why on earth would they repackage the same game but with a caveman theme? Anyway, you perform the exact same tasks in both games as you clear obstructions from paths, build and upgrade various buildings, manage your resources, and collect rent. It all adds up to a repetitive albeit relaxing experience that can be fun to wind down with when you want to get sleepy but other than that, it's a mostly unsatisfying endeavour. Either way, I'm looking forward to playing Spaceman Tales or whatever they decide to release next month.
Just like its country bumpkin counterpart, Caveman Tales is a barebones simulation game that can be good to wind down with.Caveman Tales gameplay video → Country Tales Review