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Games of the Week

By Margaret Chrystall

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Arise: A Simple Story – Definitive Edition.
Arise: A Simple Story – Definitive Edition.

Reviews of this week's top gaming releases.

Arise: A Simple Story – Definitive Edition

Arise: A Simple Story – Definitive Edition.
Arise: A Simple Story – Definitive Edition.

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Genre: Adventure, puzzle

Price: From £8.99

Age rating: PEGI 7

A game of life

Review by: Louise Irwin

From the outset, this game draws you into its world. In the opening scenes, you witness your funeral and then find yourself in a snowy purgatory, from which you visit a series of gorgeously rendered worlds that take you through your life via a series of memories. Although there is a real story to unlock, this isn’t a walking sim, but a full-on platformer with an interesting time manipulation mechanic and inventive gameplay. A moment which requires the sun to bend flowers to places you can reach them is a particular highlight.

Skip to the end: Beautiful visuals and sound with satisfying gameplay and a genuinely moving story – an absolute joy.

Score: 9/10

Trek To Yomi

Trek to Yomi.
Trek to Yomi.

Platform: PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X|S

Genre: Action

Price: £15.99

Age rating: PEGI 18

Visceral action, samurai style

Review by: Jonny McDowell

Heavily inspired by samurai films of the Fifties and Sixties, Trek To Yomi follows the warrior Hiroki as he sets out on a quest for revenge. The action takes place in a black-and-white feudal Japan, complete with a retro-style film grain filter – and like those old films, combat is visceral and bloody. Each attack drains your stamina, leaving you vulnerable if you over-commit. Rank-and-file enemies die easily, but they pose as much of a threat to your own health as you do to theirs. The action doesn’t evolve much beyond simple combos and counter-attacks, but it’s challenging enough that it never becomes a chore. Outside of combat, levels are mostly linear affairs, with some branching paths for those who can sniff them out, as well as collectibles with some interesting tidbits about Japanese folklore.

Skip to the end: It’s a stylish action game, but some will find the combat doesn’t excite.

Score: 7/10

Kapital: Sparks Of Revolution

Kapital: Sparks of Revolution
Kapital: Sparks of Revolution

Platform: PC

Genre: City builder, survival

Price: £19.99

Age rating: N/A

Balance and rebuild a society in crisis

Review by: Adam Smith

Developer Lapovich Team invites the player to step into the shoes of a town mayor, who must rebuild and reshape society, in the wake of a catastrophic early 20th century war. The limited resources available must be used to rebuild vital civic buildings, housing, and services. Society is divided into the noble, bourgeois and working classes – each play a vital role in making the town function, and have their own complicated set of demands. The distinctive art-style aids the feeling of a complex post-industrial society wracked with internal struggles, as it forges forward into a new age. But the game balance and feedback needed to identify why social order in the town suddenly collapsed is sometimes lacking.

Skip to the end: An intriguing and well thought out resource-driven city builder that currently lacks the polish to meet the level of other titles in the genre.

Score: 7/10

Best Month Ever!

Best Month Ever!
Best Month Ever!

Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X|S

Genre: Narrative adventure

Price: TBC

Age rating: PEGI 18

What choices will you make?

Review by: Louise Irwin

Best Month Ever! is a narrative adventure game, set in 1960s America, about Louise – a mother on a road trip with her young son Mitch. It tackles some tough subjects – including racism, child abuse, violence, death and terminal illness – but so superficially that it comes off as crass. Ostensibly, your choices influence the man that Mitch will become, but the metrics for this seem questionable – for example, there are a number of places where choosing to be polite knocks points off the confidence meter. Playing through twice and choosing different options yielded only a superficially changed outcome. It’s a shame, because the idea is interesting but, ultimately, it lacks the depth to pull it off.

Skip to the end: Well-meant narrative adventure that fails to hit the spot, either as a story or a game.

Score: 4/10

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