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Profoundly spooky locations and dark foreboding design are often the landmark for an effective horror game. What could be more terrifying than running for your life in a dark forest or an abandoned insane asylum? Bendy and the Ink Machine takes this idea and flips it on its head by providing an incredibly scary experience, while using graphics straight out of a cartoon from the 1930s. The first two episodes, that have been released thus far, are very short, but they manage to instill a sense of dread even while invoking those classic cartoons and they look damn good while doing it.
Rubbing your stomach and patting your head has always been one of the greatest exercises in multitasking. Getting your brain to process two separate tasks simultaneously is surprisingly difficult. Creative Bytes Studios is looking to put you to the ultimate test with the new platforming adventure Embers of Mirrim. Jumping through the world as two creatures that have been combined into one, you must use the powers of each simultaneously to traverse the dangers as you cure the corruption plaguing the land. Embers of Mirrim is not only a competent and beautiful game, it is challenging and fun in a way that I haven’t seen in quite some time.
Mindlessly blasting baddies is always a good way to wind down when you’re not in the mood for something a little heavier. Demon’s Crystals is a twin stick shooter that’s not looking to break any new ground, but the mechanics are just good enough that it’s suitable for some short bursts of fun. Boasting a simple main campaign and six multiplayer types, Demon’s Crystals doesn’t have a lot of depth, but for the five dollar price tag, you’ll get enough silly fun to last you and your friends a few nights.
Pressure can mean a few different things; It’s either force physically being exerted upon an object or a situation imparting emotional force to a person. Honor Code has expertly combined these two definitions into one game in Narcosis, a new horror game set deep beneath the sea. Not all of the gameplay hooks are executed as well as I’d like, but the care put into the atmosphere and overall sense of dread as you attempt to escape from the ocean floor very successfully makes Narcosis a narrative experience worth trying out.
One of the best things about Telltale’s take on The Walking Dead has always been making difficult decisions. I’ll often find myself struggling with deciding what might be the best choice in these games, even with this third season. Episode 4, titled Thicker Than Water, definitely asks you to make some decisions, but very few of them hold the same weight as earlier ones. The main plot is definitely building to an epic conclusion, but there wasn’t a whole lot of narrative progress across this fourth episode.