GOTY 2017 | Number 10 — Outlast 2

Shift­ing per­spec­tives from a cramped insane asy­lum to the wide open spaces of a rural cult, Out­last 2 did not dis­ap­point in the scare depart­ment. Despite the envi­ron­ments being a lot more open, Out­last 2 leaves you feel­ing even more vul­ner­a­ble than the first game by often obscur­ing your view, as with the corn field, and forc­ing you to hide in water while hold­ing your breath. The scenes where you are trans­ported back to a trau­matic event from your past added some inter­est­ing back story to the main char­ac­ter where there was lit­tle in the orig­i­nal game. In a year full of amaz­ing games, it says a lot about Out­last 2 that I con­sider it to be num­ber 10 on my list of the best games from 2017.

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ESH | Ultimate Chicken Horse Review

Grow­ing up in a highly com­pet­i­tive house, I’ve grown into a fair bit of anx­i­ety when it comes to com­pet­i­tive games. Find­ing one that man­ages to feel just as fun whether you win or lose is rare, but Ulti­mate Chicken Horse nails it. I can’t tell you the num­ber of times play ses­sions devolved into the entire room laugh­ing as the ridicu­lous­ness of the stages grow each round. Com­ing newly to the PS4, Ulti­mate Chicken Horse is one of the best couch com­pet­i­tive expe­ri­ences avail­able on the con­sole which can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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ESH | Hand of Fate 2 Review

Table­top gam­ing has been some­thing I’ve only got­ten deeper into with the last few years, while my video game hobby has been around since I could hold a con­troller. Since I started get­ting more into play­ing board games, I’ve been excited to see the two types of games blend together. There has been no bet­ter exam­ple of this con­cept than Hand of Fate. Tak­ing some core con­cepts of table­top gam­ing, like draw­ing cards for ran­dom chance encoun­ters, and mix­ing them with video game con­cepts like real-time com­bat encoun­ters, it worked sur­pris­ingly well. Hand of Fate 2 takes all of this and expands upon every­thing adding more ele­ments and improv­ing the over­all struc­ture of how the game is played to make for an even bet­ter blend.

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ESH | RiME Review

Atmos­pheric explo­ration puz­zle games have long been per­fected by the likes of Team Ico with titles like Ico and The Last Guardian pro­vid­ing stel­lar exam­ples of how the genre is done right. Show­ing clear inspi­ra­tion from the afore­men­tioned games, Tequila Works has crafted a beau­ti­ful game in RiME, trans­port­ing the player to a sea­side tem­ple with a bevy of secrets to unfold. Tech­ni­cal glitches occa­sion­ally mar the Nin­tendo Switch ver­sion of Rime, but the over­all expe­ri­ence is a gor­geous and sat­is­fy­ing puz­zle adventure.

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Wednesday Night Stream | Hand of Fate 2

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Join me for some digital-tabletop action at 10pm EST! Feel free to com­ment on this post directly or head off to my Twitch Page to chat with me as I play! Review code pro­vided by Stride PR.

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ESH | The Jackbox Party Pack 4 Review

When The Jack­box Party Pack first came out, it rev­o­lu­tion­ized how mul­ti­player video games could work at par­ties. So long as every­one had some kind of smart device, any­one could pick up and play the sim­ple and addic­tively fun games. As new entries have arrived, there has been a mixed bag of as Jack­box Games has exper­i­mented with the for­mula. Com­ing off of what was, in my opin­ion, the best suite of games thus far with The Jack­box Party Pack 3, there was a lot to live up to for The Jack­box Party Pack 4. Some games suf­fer from over­com­pli­cated rules, but largely this is another fun pack of games that any group can enjoy.

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