ESH | Bendy and the Ink Machine: Chapter 1 & 2 Review

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.

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ESH | Three is the Jackbox Charm

Rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing local mul­ti­player by allow­ing smart­phones to be used as con­trollers, The Jack­box Party Pack has been a sta­ple for nearly every party I’ve thrown since it came out. None of the col­lec­tions had been per­fect yet though, as there were always a few duds in each pack. Sport­ing the best selec­tion of games yet, The Jack­box Party Pack 3 is now avail­able and might just be the selec­tion I boot up here on out when­ever I have folks over. Sport­ing four brand new games along­side my per­sonal favorite return­ing game, let’s break each of them down one by one in no par­tic­u­lar order.

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ESH | King’s Quest Ep. 5 ‘The Good Knight’

Wrap­ping up an episodic nar­ra­tive game game be tricky, as we have seen from many Tell­tale sea­sons. King’s Quest has been both a tri­umphant trib­ute to the series of the past and an incred­i­ble story in its own right. Suc­cess­fully tow­ing the line between fan­ci­ful humor and gen­uinely emo­tional moments, King’s Quest has been one of my favorite games of the year thus far. Episode 5, titled “The Good Knight” wraps up the series by tying up any of the loose ends left and recount­ing many moments of your jour­ney. The end result is a final episode that pro­vided some of the best nos­tal­gia, not just for the older games, but even for moments from ear­lier episodes.

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ESH | ‘SEUM’ Takes You to Hell and Back

Never in my life have I been more con­cerned with the latency on my wire­less key­board since I started play­ing SEUM: Speedrun­ners from Hell. Tak­ing first-person puz­zle solv­ing and ramp­ing up the speed to the max, this speedrun­ning game imme­di­ately drew me in with its sense of humor and fun design. Span­ning around one hun­dred lev­els, the game gets pro­gres­sively harder as you descend deeper into its depths. Come on a jour­ney to hell with me and help me fig­ure out if the insane tough­ness of those later lev­els crushes the game’s pac­ing or sim­ply changes its nature.

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Smashed Rook Live | SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell

Come join me for the open­ing lev­els of this fast, fran­tic, funny and speed run­ning game where you need to find por­tals and beers. I’m lov­ing the rock­ing sound­track and very ran­dom humor so far! Check it out and let me know what you think!

ESH | ‘Shadows of Kurgansk’ Mixes Sanity with Survival

Sur­vival games are amongst the most dense gam­ing expe­ri­ences that are out there right now. Com­monly just plop­ping you into the world and let­ting you fig­ure things out all by your lone­some, it can be dif­fi­cult to really get into one of these games. It is because of this fact, that I haven’t man­aged to truly get into any sur­vival games as of yet. Shad­ows of Kur­gansk, cur­rently in early access on Steam, fea­tures a story mode which may just be what I need to get my foot in the door of this genre that has eluded me thus far.

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ESH | ‘Heart&Slash’ is Retro-Inspired Goodness

Start­ing from the begin­ning in any rogue­like game can make it hard to feel like any real progress is being made. Most of these end up fill­ing that gap by either hav­ing a set of per­ma­nent unlock­ables or rely­ing on the player to get bet­ter at the game. What sur­prised me about Heart&Slash was that they actu­ally snuck a per­sis­tent story in there as well. Tight and fast-paced com­bat, an excel­lent score and pleas­ing visu­als lead this game to being a sur­pris­ingly good rogue­like brawl­ing experience.

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ESH | Drawful 2 Review

Ever since rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing local mul­ti­player games with The Jack­box Party Pack, Jack­box Games has been releas­ing a fairly steady stream of new titles in the series. If you own that first game, you’re prob­a­bly famil­iar with the draw­ing game included in the pack­age enti­tled Draw­ful. To stave off the hun­gry fans this sum­mer, before they release The Jack­box Party Pack 3 this fall, Jack­box Games has released a sequel to one of the bet­ter games from that orig­i­nal pack­age. Draw­ful 2 takes some of the con­cepts from the orig­i­nal and expands upon them smartly, adding not only new prompts, but a slew of new fea­tures to enter­tain guests at your next big party.

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ESH | Crossroads Converge in Michonne Episode 3

The illu­sion of choice is some­thing all of the recent Tell­tale games have been play­ing with for quite some time now. Guid­ing these char­ac­ters through har­row­ing events, it often feels as though they’ve made it through only by your wise decision-making skills. The third and final episode of the Michonne mini-series, enti­tled What We Deserve, is the first time the veil has been lifted for me and I real­ized just how lit­tle con­trol over these cir­cum­stances the player has in the game.

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