I don't really need 600+ words to explain why you need to play Octodad: Dadliest Catch, as this single paragraph will be more than enough: You play as an octopus dressed in a suit, who has a human wife and two human kids, and must complete everyday tasks without letting on that he's an octopus. Oh, and you control each of his legs and arms separately, meaning that his cephalopod tentacles sprawl all over the place and make simple movements rather difficult.If that description doesn't already have you reaching for your wallet, then let me use my additional 550 words to tempt you even further. Octodad: Dadliest Catch isn't just a one-trick pony, serving up a silly salad of jokes and nothing more - the way it couples the hilarity with the sorts of banal activities that may usually be seen as dull is sheer genius, and when you break into the second half of the game and experience some of Octodad's more touching moments, it's impossible not to fall in love with his big slimy face.We join Octodad on his wedding day, and no one appears to realize that he is, well, an octopus in a suit. This is a running joke throughout the game - only one person, a dastardly chef, knows Octodad's true identity, and goes to great lengths to attempt to unmask our tentacled hero.The jokes continue when it comes to the game's controls, too. You move Octodad's legs separately, and his other tentacles fling around in the meantime, causing carnage and mayhem wherever he goes. He can also grab items with his "hands," but it's all purposely difficult to maneuver around, and highly hilarious throughout.
- The movement of a ninja needs to be tight, swift, and precise with each delivery. There's no use in sticking to the shadows and sneaking up on your enemies if they're going to be able to disarm you and discard you without a second thought. That's why any ninja-based game on a mobile touchscreen device is a gamble - it's tricky enough as it is to make a platforming game feel right on a touchscreen, so to recreate the feel of stalking your prey as a ninja is really rather difficult.Remarkably, new ninja-based platformer Shadow Blade manages it with grace. While the controls feel a little unorthodox to begin with, they quickly prove ambitious and well considered, with flicks and gestures becoming your window into a world of great set-pieces, wall-jumping, blood-spewing, and rushes to the finish.You play as a ninja student who is attempting to return to his master with important information. Unfortunately there are numerous obstacles and enemies standing between points A and B, and he's going to need to hack and slash his way through the lot of them. Of course, that can only be good news for us - I mean, we need some baddies to make this fun, right?Shadow Blade wants you to feel slick. To this end, the game comes with a control scheme that's a little bit different - you can opt for the regular d-pad style controls, but you'll want to go with the gesture and swiping control set, because it feels really damn good once you properly get into it.
- As a tech demo for what can be possible with a slight tilt or two of your iPhone, simian.interfacepushes all the right buttons. It's unique, stylish, and provides numerous wonderfully satisfying moments that jumble together into a compelling side-order of entrancement.Now what we could really do with is the full game! See, the problem is that, as hinted at, simian.interface feels like someone started making a massively interesting game, and then sort of got bored of the concept partway through and moved onto something else. Still, simian.interface works great as a mere taster.This is a game all about technical whimsy and alignment. You're presented with squares, lines, and other shapes, and you must line them up to either fit inside one another, to overlap perfectly, or to slot into a pretty pattern, all by tilting your iOS device. The controls feel spot-on, and allow you to really focus on the task at hand and immerse yourself in the concept.And it's a really neat idea, as it turns out. Although it's fairly simple 90 percent of the time, there's still plenty of room for clever rotating, sliding, flipping, color blending, and all other sorts of literal twists on the base concept. There's no filler here whatsoever - from start to finish I had a smile on my face.
- One of my favorite Nintendo 3DS games of the year has made the surprise transition over to PC, meaning that those people who don't own the latest Nintendo handheld can finally see what all the fuss is about. SteamWorld Dig really is as fantastic as you've heard, and it is very much in your best interest to grab a copy as soon as possible.Imagine the world of Terraria, crossed with the ability-collecting nature of the Super Metroid series, and then coated in the most gorgeous HD visuals for good measure. SteamWorld Dig will engross you from start to finish, and most likely you'll need to dedicate an entire evening to the experience, since it's rather difficult to pull yourself away until the credits have rolled.You are an old mining steambot called Rusty, and you've been left at an old mine out in the middle of nowhere by your late uncle. Upon arriving, you discover that the town of Tumbleton, where your mine can be found, is rather empty and desolate. You also discover, however, that your mine contains oodles of wonderful secrets and treasures - and you begin to use these treasures to help Tumbleton grow into a town to be proud of.When you start out, all you have is a rusty old pickaxe that can barely smash through rock. However, as you dig deep into the randomly-generated underground caverns, you begin to dig up treasures and resources which can be sold in town - the money can then be used to buy upgrades and powers for Rusty, such that you can dig even deeper and find even more exciting bits and bobs.
- Icycle leaves so many questions floating around in my head. Why is the protagonist naked, especially in such harsh, freezing conditions? Why is he riding on such a tiny, ridiculous bike? Why is he so desperate to kiss a fish on the lips? I'm totally OK with having these questions left unanswered, though, given just how entertaining this entire, messed-up experience is.This is a journey which is part-gorgeous, part-hilarious, with a side-order of panic. As you make your way through the world of On Thin Ice, you'll regularly be left speechless thanks to a combination of slick visuals and fast-paced level design. The controls can be a little troublesome in later levels, but in general this is a fantastic experience for your iThing.Dennis is a strange man riding on a rather small bicycle, looking for love in the most peculiar of places. Over a series of 20 levels, you need to dodge around obstacles and traps, keeping Dennis alive as levels tumble down around you, and generally try to kill you in some of the most ludicrous ways possible.
- When it comes to skating video games, I've pretty much played them all. From the earliest Tony Hawk titles that probably gave the genre a name for itself, to the more hardcore games like Skate, there's oodles of creativity that has come from allowing players the opportunity to ride on a plank of wood, and launch said plank of wood along grinding bars, up halfpipes, and down into bowls that look like they were swimming pools in a past life.The Touchgrind series takes this concept and throws away the controller. Instead of flicking an analogue stick left and right, your fingers become your legs, and the touch-screen of your iOS device is the board. As per usual, Touchgrind Skate 2 is a novel idea that can provide hours of great skating gameplay, but the learning curve is steep, and some players - like myself - may never fully click with the concept.Touchgrind Skate 2 begins with a set of tutorials that teach you each of the basics. Everything is essentially done in the same way that you might control a skateboard is real life - so for example, an ollie (aka making the board jump) is done by lifting your front finger and then quickly lifting the back one, to flick the board into the air.Other moves work in the same way, such as flicking the back of the board to kickflip, and holding the back of the board to spin around on the spot. For the most part, it's all very intuitive, and works exactly as you would expect it to.
- When you think back to the greatest theme park simulation video games ever made, there's always been something to fit each style of play. Bullfrog's original Theme Park, for example, allowed more casual players to build a simple park, clack together some neat roller coasters, and pull in the punters. Meanwhile RollerCoaster Tycoon was a more complex beast, giving the hardcore players something to drool over.Adventure Park attempts to straddle that line between hardcore and casual, offering up theme park building gameplay that is easy to get into, yet providing tools that can be used to potentially get really deep into the action. Unfortunately the game doesn't manage this all too well, leaving an unfocused experience that feels poorly structured at times."You are the proud owner of a massive chunk of land, where an old theme park used to reside. Utilizing the existing paths and track pieces that have been left behind, you're tasked with building a great, bustling park full of attractions, hot dog stands, and worlds to discover - while taking in plenty of cash, of course.It's fairly easy to get started with Adventure Park. A tutorial teaches you how to place shops, rides, bins, staff et al, and you'll jump straight in pretty quickly. A mission system guides you through the game, giving you tasks to complete and generally pointing you towards the oodles of content that you'll find lurking in the menus.
- There can often be a fine line between inspiration and cloning. Inspiration is when you take an idea that inspires you, and either build on the base concept, or branch off with your own take on the concept. Cloning, on the other hand, is when you take an idea that inspires you, and completely rip it off such that there's little to separate your own creation from the original.Despite featuring a disclaimer that it is inspired by Terry Cavanagh's wonderful Super Hexagon, Groove Vortex definitely falls into the latter category, and essentially clones the original without putting barely any of its own spin on the concept. What we're left with is Super Hexagon, but not as good - or to put it another way, a rather pointless experience."Groove Vortex, like Super Hexagon, is all about dodging around walls that are closing in on you. You control an arrow as it moves around in a circle, and you're required to constantly move into position such that you don't go crash. The game will keep going and going until you hit a wall, and your final time is your score.If you want more information on how the game plays, simply go and read our Super Hexagon review, as it's the very same game - well, not quite. In fact, Groove Vortex has plenty of negative quirks compared to its "inspiration," which make buying this version of Super Hexagon rather silly.