Dead Cells feels like a suitable example for a game that comes toward the end of a genre's popularity to display quality over innovation. In this case, however, roguish games don't seem to be fading which likely just makes this one a great experience.

Everything about it feels polished; combat is fluid, the art is fantastic and progression is a well-made balance of exposure to new mechanics and player skill growth. While it's not likely this game will inspire a generation of copycats, I will continue to return to the game probably for the rest of my life.

I recommend Dead Cells to anyone who has ever played and enjoyed a roguish game.

Space Funeral is short, but extremely cool. This game might be my prime example for a piece of media that grants a narrow porthole of a perspective into a greater, storied world. Otherwise, though it is abrupt and awkward in places, the soundtrack is incredible and the game holds a sweet, thought-provoking surprise at its end.

I recommend Space Funeral to everyone. The game packs a huge punch for its size.

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Into the Breach reminds me significantly of FTL, one of my favorite games of all time. Every battle is crafted in a way that seems unwinnable until the player forms a better understanding of the basic mechanics and the cost/benefit for their actions.

On top of this, everything about the game is attractive. The art and sound design are amazing for the scope of the experience and the depth of the run customization options provided make it easy to start over and over again. I found myself learning something new about an interaction between my mechs, the environment and/or a certain enemy type and wanting to immediately restart to exploit that idea.

I would recommend Into the Breach to those who love to solve small positional puzzles (i.e. chess puzzles and rubik's cubes), fans of FTL and those who are willing to try a short rogue-lite with a unique primary mechanic.

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This game relies heavily on surprising the player and breaking traditional expectations. For someone coming from a more traditional background of game experience I can imagine this game being wickedly enchanting in its innovation. However, even as a player who has seen a fair amount of genre parody and art-focused games this game allowed me to experience a style of game I don't normally enjoy.

I would recommend NieR: Automata to fans of real-time combat JRPGs and experienced gamers who are willing to spend some time with monotonous gameplay for sparse, but incredible moments.

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Factorio is fun enough as a game to explore and tinker with until the player hits a wall or becomes completely hooked. I felt the draw to this game and even started watching some tutorials online to help me optimize my progression. However, I ultimately gave up on the game after playing multiplayer through a mod with some friends.

My issue with this game is that, unlike other crafting-progression style games that I've played, there never came a point where I felt I could just sit back and admire the progress I'd made so far. In other games, some items feel like milestones, allowing the player to make visible, important cosmetic changes or feel a significant growth in combat prowess. While I understand that some would find the same satisfaction in a well-working factory line, this simply isn't gratifying enough for me.

I would recommend this game to those who want to solve the challenge of logical puzzles and efficiency with minimal risk.

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Deadbolt is a game with a unique hook and a great sense of style. Although the combat puzzles are pretty straightforward, I was still pretty satisfied after completing each level. The variety of weapon and enemy types kept me playing the game through the end.

My experience with the game was most likely unique due to the fact that I saved up money to buy the scythe as a starting weapon as early as possible. Although I felt this was not the intended way to play the game, I appreciate the fact that the game remained sufficiently challenging, clearly indicating competency of balance.

I would recommend this game to those who enjoy 2D platformers with AI-centric puzzles, or those who like undead characters (the character and environment design is pretty incredible).

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Fallout 4 made me regret the time I spent playing it as well as retroactively dimming my opinion toward all other Fallout games I'd previously played.

This game left an impact on me because it marked the first time I ever really felt burned by the triple A games industry and the preorder system.

Ultimately my disdain for the game comes from the lack of anything interesting within. While playing the game I constantly felt like I would eventually run into something engaging enough to warrant the excitement generated by its marketing run, but I never did. Every story is boring, every character is flat and overall the tone drifts farther away from the dreary and mean atmosphere that originally drew me to the series as a kid.

I would not recommend this game to anyone under any circumstance.

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I played this game some time in 2018, so my information may be pretty dated by the time of this review.

Absolver is an interesting game. I found the combat style customization pretty rewarding and the environment, art and sound to be all satisfying enough. The game really felt best when playing a PVP duel; circling, countering and the pace of these fights helps the experience to feel more like a real street brawl than a fighting game.

My main complaint with the game was the lack of depth. I felt myself approaching the end of content trees in the short time I played it, though that may be different now.

I would recommend this game to people who appreciate unique PVP combat found in games like the Souls series and For Honor.

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Armello is the type of game that is rooted, intentionally or otherwise, too heavily in the style of a board game. For a game like this to see play in my library it has to perform the same function my collection of physical board games will: to bring my friends together to have a good time for an hour or two. This game is simply not appealing enough in any aspect for me to feel comfortable asking my friends to buy it and spend their time on it.

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This game really disappointed me. I had heard great things about Moonlighter so I hopped on the opportunity to score it for free on Epic. After playing through the first dungeon, I felt pretty content with the combat, shopkeeping and overall progression in the game. I was excited to upgrade equipment, craft cooler items and withstand harder tests of endurance in the rest of the game.

However, this game really ends after the first dungeon. I quickly felt a sick sense of repetition too similar to an idle game. The items for sale were reskinned items from the first dungeon with a higher price, and I realized every other aspect of progression followed the same trend. I felt very bored but stuck with the game through the end because I expected something to change, but nothing did.

Overall I still appreciated the construction of the game, the art and action are fine enough but Moonlighter's unique hook wasn't sufficient to keep me interested the entire time.

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Katana Zero is a perfect example of unashamed style. This game's combat challenges feel like setting up dominoes: the player is expected to find the perfect route through a scenario through trial and error, then execute the whole string at once.

The experience is reminiscent of Hotline Miami, the action flows constantly until the player is able to get it right once and you're shown the results of your labor.

Aside from its unique game feel, this game also carries a surprisingly interesting story element. My only disappointment with this game is its final promise for more content. While it feels short, I feel I would've been more satisfied believing the game was a complete package.

I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys games where progression is equivalent to mastery of individual levels as a puzzle.

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FTL is, to me, one of those games that always finds its way back to my hard drive. It feels like a toy or a great puzzle disguised as an unforgiving sci-fi adventure with a dark, thoughtful score.

This game is greatly enhanced by isolating from the internet archive of knowledge, because the path to unlocking new ships and receiving great rewards is always achievable by trial and error. Some of my favorite moments in this game have come from killing a character I was meant to save and receiving a bleak message along the lines of "you feel as though you left something behind..."

I would recommend this game to anyone who loves a game infused with the emptiness of outer space and those who love a game about surviving constant challenge.

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Anodyne 2 combines true escapism with themes grounded in our own world. Its use of nostalgic mechanics, art and music are hard to ignore. I found myself recognizing concepts everywhere, though I'd never played the game before.

During my experience, I constantly found myself surprised. These surprises were always pleasant, never the kind of easy story-changing twist that can lessen everything else.

I would recommend this game to anyone who played and loved Playstation or PS2-era games, or those who want to play something totally non-modern.

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Though I love the first Hotline Miami, the second makes me even more excited.

This game feels much more like a well-executed story than the first. Every player character has their own secrets and their plots are played out subtly with exaggerated moments always happening at the right time. I have no hesitation in saying that the concepts explored in this game are potentially life-changing.

I will note that some players take issue with the limited control and open level design found in this sequel. In my experience, this didn't detract from the game due to the fact that I view Hotline 2 as a game about being an observer in the lives of the characters. These moments, if at all noticeable, help to pull the player out of immersion and remember that the lives of the characters are not their own.

While I would like to recommend this game to anyone who has played the first, I wouldn't recommend it for those who value the pace and difficulty of the original more than the feeling and message.

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Hotline Miami is a triumph of poignant theme and addictive gameplay.

The art direction and sound design are purposeful, with intent to bury the game into the player's mind and keep you trying repeatedly in the face of defeat. I wish more games would take a note from Hotline and allow music to persist across level restarts. This feature in particular makes it hard to put the game down before reaching the ultimate satisfaction of completing a level.

This game was the first to make me question the effects of a video game on a person's outlook and will always hold a special place in my heart.

I recommend Hotline Miami to everyone. The game is incredible for everything it does and it is practically flawless in my mind.