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Maquette review - ingenious but unfocused recursive puzzling

There's an acute kind of horror to being very, very small. A lot of it's in the timing, I think: the time it takes just to get anywhere is so long, so monotonous and lonely, that you feel oddly trapped. All that infinite expanse around you and at the same time, nowhere you can really go. Shudder. Maquette, a debut effort from San Francisco-based studio...

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 review: Ampere goes mainstream

The RTX 3060 has big shoes to fill. The last-gen RTX 2060 brought Nvidia's crown jewel features like real-time ray tracing and DLSS to a broadly affordable price point, while the value of the Pascal-era GTX 1060 means that it's still the most popular graphics card in the world, according to the Steam Hardware Survey. What's more, the RTX 3060 also has...

Bravely Default 2 review - a heady serving of nostalgia, and a theorycrafter's dream

Sometimes, there's nothing quite so reassuring as a good old JRPG. This is a comfort blanket of a genre for players of a certain age, games that happily consume entire lazy afternoons curled up on a sofa as you slowly push numbers ever upwards. They don't come much more comforting than those producer Tomoya Asano and his team have made an art of in...

Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection review - hard as ever, but clever with it

This game casts a spell. A very particular spell. It is hard as they come, punishing, brutal, unforgiving in its challenge. And yet I love it still. It's not just difficult. It has a perspective on difficulty. It makes its sheer level of horribleness first endearing and then thrilling. You know Ghosts 'n Goblins by now. 2D action-platformers with a...

Astrologaster review - an Elizabethan comedy for the ages

I've been shouting about Astrologaster since 2019, when a build appeared in my inbox one day, and yet I still don't know exactly how to classify it. I'm loathe to call it a visual novel even if, mechanically speaking, the shoe fits - you mostly listen to conversations between two people, and make a few decisions to move the story forward. But we often...

Olija review - a brisk adventure with a harpoon

There is something great about a really good cinematic fall. Have you seen Welcome to the Jungle? I'm pretty sure this film, starring The Rock, Rosario Dawson and Seann William Scott, is largely forgettable. In truth, outside of a fondness for the leads, I have largely forgotten it myself. But man, it has a really brilliant fall in it - downhill, the...

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury review - Mario at its most madcap and inventive

Mario has been many things over the years, but this, I'm sure, is a first. Bowser's Fury, the generously sized standalone expansion included in the Switch re-release of Super Mario 3D World, is Mario as a very modern open world game; a sandbox with the edges slowly being pushed back to reveal the map in its entirety, where there are towers to climb,...

Little Nightmares 2 review - a brilliantly horrifying, often infuriating return

This place is too big for us. Everything is oversized, as though we've stepped through the glass at the carnival's hall of mirrors. Doors aren't entryways, but mouths of caves. Each step on the staircase is a mini-mountain to scale. Later, when plastic aberrations shuffle in the darkness and you shatter the empty skulls of malevolent puppets with a...

Persona 5 Strikers review - an impressive sequel that inherits some of the original's flaws

Persona 5 Strikers was born in a fit of consternation. Back when the spin-off was announced, with many fans holding out hope for a Switch port of P-Studio's excellent 2016 JRPG, the news that this would be another of Omega Force's seemingly endless musou reskins was met with a slightly disappointed shrug. It felt like an odd fit - these are games that,...

Destruction AllStars review - PS5's PS Plus freebie offers slick but shallow arcade racing carnage

Destruction AllStars is saved, really, by PlayStation Plus. Launching as a game all subscribers can play, Lucid's PlayStation 5-exclusive arcade racer crash 'em-up feels like a fun but throwaway download that benefits from weighing in at just 28GB - a smaller size than your average Call of Duty patch. In this context, it's easy to give Destruction AllStars...

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