I thought I didn't like platformers, but turns out I just hadn't played Celeste yet. Out of all the game's features its basic gameplay is probably the least talked about but it's by far the biggest reason Celeste clicked with me like no other 2D platformer. From the start you are given a mid-air dash which forms the basis of most of the challenges and, compared to a regular platformer's double jump, gives a huge amount of mobility and freedom of movement by letting you completely change direction in mid-air. This difference is amplified even further by the level hazards which, by a huge majority, give you EXTRA mobility instead of taking it away. Where a typical platformer might ramp up difficulty by taking away your abilities or slowing you down with things like icy/sticky floors Celeste instead challenges you to develop the reflexes and precision to deal with objects that boost your jumps or let you shoot across the screen. Without fail they're exceptionally fun.
Coupled with the speed of respawning after death (just a simple black transition and you're back in position to try again) that quick pace of gameplay means I never felt the frustration that normally accompanies a platformer because I was just enjoying the moment-to-moment gameplay (the music definitely helped too) even when certain sections took upwards of 50 attempts. It helps of course that the game is structured in a very smart way: playing through it normally lets you get the full story but, if you can find them, there are optional B-Sides and C-Sides - infinitely harder levels which follow the same theme but for those that enjoy challenge over story. The game wins big points for that in my book because it means I could happily put it down when I DID start getting that platformer frustration (at the exceptionally bullshit B-Side below) without having to slog through something I wasn't enjoying any more to see the end of the story, tarnishing my opinion of the game. The story is, itself, something to commend; it never takes away the spotlight from the gameplay but manages to make the few characters intensely likeable in the short time you spend with them. One of them even has their own real-life Instagram that serves as prologue and an epilogue, all at once. Each character has a defined personality that serves to drive both Madeline and the player in their goal of climbing Celeste Mountain and any themes that are brought up are tackled in such a way that they affect both story and gameplay equally. I'm a huge fan of how Madeline's mental state is depicted throughout - it leads to some beautiful sprite-work as well as all my favourite setpiece moments in a game punctuated by great setpiece moments.
The biggest complaint I had playing Celeste was not even really the fault of the game itself. I played on the Switch version and the Joy-Con's analogue stick caused much exasperation when it came to the mid-air dashing I was singing the praises of earlier. Madeline's dash has 8 directions (up, down, left, right, and the diagonals) and I found that, even after completing the game, getting the right one still wasn't COMPLETELY reliable, with about a 1 in 10 chance I'd shoot off in a different direction to an almost guaranteed death. This is a game that would be intrinsically better with a D-pad over an analogue stick and that's just unfortunately not an option on most modern platforms. Surprisingly though one of the options that would alleviate the problem - control customisation - is completely absent. If I could've rebound diagonal boosts to the shoulder buttons it would've completely fixed my complaint, but the option is conspicuously absent in a game that is heralded for it's accessibility.
Accessibility is something the game does fairly well, with a suite of options from adjusting the game speed for slower reflexes to straight up invincibility, but despite the actual options being good it's an area I don't think lives up to the praise it's been given. That's because to use any of these options you have to know you'll want to use them before starting the game, you can't turn them on in an already started save file, so if you managed to finish the main game without problem but then need a bit of help to clear the B-sides your only option is to turn them on in a different save file and replay back to where you were. It's a baffling decision in a game that is, in almost every other way, impeccably designed.
One of those ways is level design. which was the biggest surprise I had coming out of Celeste. I've played games with good level design before, even great level design, but Celeste nails the ramping-up of difficulty, escalation of tension, and reward for exploring in a way that's truly rare. Level structure is much less linear than you'd expect from a game with the goal of going straight up a mountain - landing about a third of the way towards Castlevania on the Mario-Castlevania scale - but it uses that mantra of "just gotta reach the summit" to ground you, making sure you never lose your bearings no matter how branching the path gets because, if in doubt, you only need to head upwards. One thoughtful touch I really appreciated was that in the most convolutedly intricate level of the game there are little lanterns that light up when you get close. They serve no gameplay purpose other than to show you where you've already been, helping to stop you getting disoriented.
It's all those small touches of considerate game design and heart that come together to make it very hard to NOT recommend Celeste to anyone looking for at least 10 hours or so of tight and rewarding platforming. Even those like me who thought that was exactly what they didn't want.
Fantastic art and a dynamic soundtrack are just the backdrop to my favorite game in the RTS genre. Stripped down to the most basic elements of building and leading armies, Tooth & Tail strips away the gating micro-managing aspects typical of the genre. This also prevents matches from dragging on for too long: with three unit tiers, it's not often you get to meet tier 3 units in a match. More's the shame that the playerbase is as thin as it is. Fingers crossed time will redeem this masterful gem.
Don't play it right now
New Dawn is weird. I started playing this game not really knowing what to expect, but definitelly is not what I felt playing it. This game was released in less than a year since FC5 and I felt kinda saturated by it. Maybe it's because of the time lapse between the two releases, but I really feel that this game could have been more of a FC5 expansion than a whole separated game.
Many of the mechanics from the original game are present here, like taking outposts, gathering resources and collectables, rescue people, etc. I really enjoyed the wild life here. It felt in a way more vivid and savage, I got a lot of jumpscares from those bears and boars. The main campaing have around 12h hours and although it does not appear to have such duration, nothing sticks out as remarcable or surprisingly good.
There is a big range of weapons and upgrades and the way to upgrade your stuff and base it's reasonable, even though you can't change a particular piece of the weapon (Metro Exodus got me acommodate on this). But once again after sometime it really felt like a repetitive process. Those special powers added in late game were just stupid, they felt like a reason to insert elements from battle royale games and Dishonoured, which I huge dislike, but hey it's just me.
TL;DR: Play it, but not right now. FC5 was so devilish good and rewarding and playing this felt like more of the same, but not as good as.
One of the most famous indie computer game at all times to likely see the DemonStar, An 2D space shooter game style like Raiden, Tyrian, Other Space Shooter Genre. It is originally back in 1996, ionos brought to DemonStar provided to made their beta version launching up to Indie PC Windows Games, Instead are looks 2D / 3D space shooter through theme in air and ground. After next year, They setting on the 1997 version of DemonStar by changing into the 2D sprites within used this engine (modified custom game engine), I took about played this game and through with feeling Mountain King Studios, Inc. is the great game studios in history. I was production contribution with Mountain King Studios, Inc. got about 10 / 10 feel is very enjoyable.