I’m Kinglink And it’s time for the Game Pass July 2022 Review.
There are 19 titles this month to talk about, and I’ll cover most of them, you’ll understand when we get there. However, this is a month that has some titles in unique categories, and some titles for the younger gamers. Yeah, there’s Peppa Pig that the internet is making jokes about.
At the same time, I actually found some unique games, including the one on the screen, and this is absolutely a month for people who want something different than the typical big-budget shooter that is laden with microtransactions, though don’t worry though, we have one of those as well.
Like always, I played each game for a night and now I’m here to tell you what worked, and what you can skip. Let’s get started with…
I’m Kinglink and today I’d like to review a website called UHS-Hints and I will, but I don’t think we’re ready for the actual site just yet.
To fully appreciate what UHS-Hints is, I feel like we have to start with what makes a great puzzle in a game, especially an adventure game or a puzzle game, and then what came before.
You see today we have a lot of games that have “puzzles” with quotation marks which amount to either figure out where to go next or click the right button the right number of times. Those are puzzles but not what we’ll be talking about today.
Gris is a game primarily defined by its style and beauty. The game starts with a woman who appears to have lost her voice sitting on a stone statue’s hand and then falling as the statue collapses. It’s a strange opening that defies explanation at first, but it exhibits so much of what Gris is about. Gris is a game designed to be more about the visual environment connecting with the player rather than a deep gameplay system.
Gris’ world is beautiful and delivers on this promise. While the opening starts with a simplistic black and white world with some greyscale, the player is soon given their first color, red, which begins to add more color to the world and from there Gris slowly evolves the world from the dull opening to a beautiful experience that adds more color and variety each time the player completes a section of the game.
Superliminal is a fresh game from Pillow Castle Games that focuses on perspective puzzles. It’s an interesting concept that has made the jump into an exceptional game over its five years in development.
Superliminal starts with the player focused on exploring a dream-like space. It’s a common theme for puzzle games with the player being put in some nebulous danger by the story and then asked to pass through numerous levels to get free or safe. As a concept on paper, it might seem thin, however, Superliminal also has a great design and interesting levels that elevate the simplistic design.
Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise is a “puzzle adventure” game which means that it combines a typical puzzle game with a stronger focus on the story. The player takes on the role of the silent “Agent A”, a secret agent on the trail of a nefarious villain, Ruby La Rouge.
Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise is split up into five chapters, each focused on a different section of the story, but the entire game revolves around infiltrating and capturing Ruby La Rouge. To do this, players will have to solve a variety of puzzles and find several secrets in La Rouge’s private getaway.
Lightmatter sounds and feels like many games. No, not Portal, but games trying to be Portal. You know the spiel, a humorous antagonist, puzzle rooms, and a pitch that probably can be summed up with “It’s like Portal but …” In this case, It’s like Portal but focused on Light instead of Portals.
Now many of these “portal clones” are of mixed quality. Most of them just seem to miss the whole point of what Portal does, such as Magrunner, a game I recently looked at didn’t like. Some games actually are quite enjoyable though still lacking that special spark, such as The Turning Test, and some games are just exceptional puzzle games, such as The Talos Principle.
Magrunner: Dark Pulse is a first-person puzzle game that has a gun that has two fire modes. If it sounds like I am trying to make Magrunner: Dark Pulse sound like Portal, that’s because I am. If you think that comparison is unfair, give me another paragraph.
Similar to Portal, the main player is placed in a number of tests where they have to solve the puzzle to exit the room. The game starts to move away from the test chamber progression in the second Act and ultimately has the player fighting… well in this case it appears to be Cthulhu.
So not everything is Portal here, and it is lacking some of the best parts of that comparison, having neither a charismatic villain such as Glados or a focused and humorous story, but Magrunner has clearly learned about game design from Portal as it tries very hard to imitate that formula that still remains one of the strongest puzzle games ever made.
I’m Kinglink and this week we’re doing a design review of SUPERHOT Mind Control Delete, with the bonus of being able to talk about the entire family of games here.
If you already own SUPERHOT before the release of SUPERHOT Mind Control Delete, on July 16, 2020, you already own a copy of Mind Control Delete, and you should check it out after this video.
SUPERHOT was a pretty good game from 2016. I enjoyed it quite a bit but if I had to give one complaint, it’s that it was a bit short. I liked it but I wanted more at the end of SUPERHOT. and yet at 25 dollars for the entire experience, I have to admit I felt it probably should have been longer. The good news was that a promise of free DLC, Mind Control Delete was made. This would be a rogue-lite mode with the same gameplay of the original. I was interested but it slipped off my radar.
Played on Windows
Disclosure (Review copy) at the end of the review.
Druidstone is the first game from the Ctrl Alt Ninja, the new company formed from Almost Human. While the company’s name change, they say it’s mostly the same group of developers, but the result is a very interesting game. Almost Human was the company that produced the Legends of Grimrock series, an interesting call back to Might and Magic style RPGs. This time around Ctrl Alt Ninja looks back to D&D inspired strategy RPGs, does it hit the mark a second time?
Played on Windows.
Also Available on macOS, Linux, and Switch.
Baba is You has gotten a lot of attention recently. It’s a new game from Arvi “Hempuli” Teikari. It’s also is a game that scratches that particular itch of mine when I look for puzzle games. It’s not just about the rules the game makes, but rather how you deal with them, change them, and make your own rules. This is Baba is You.