I feel like I don't actually like playing Pac-Man all that much. There's a fair bit of variation here though.

Notably it includes Pac-Man 256 and strips out all of the ads and mobileness from it which is nice.

Maybe there's some more games in there that I'll enjoy, but I'm not so sure.

A game with an interesting idea, but let down by terrible localisation, poor signposting and the need for pixel hunting

If you were to describe what The Artful Escape was to it's basic units, you'd say it's a Simon Says broken up by basic forgiving platforming and dialogue choices that have no impact to the gameplay.

But... this is a game where style trumps substance. The story is about finding ones true self and moving out from under the shadow of a relative and what your expected to be. And it looks and sounds cool while doing it.

Could you get the same experience watching a Let's Play of this game... maybe? But you get to personalise your character at a points in the game and it's certainly fun to do that and be telling your story rather than someone elses. Plus it's very cool to do a running double jump off a ciff and boost with a chord and land on a slope while shredding. In the end your just holding the X button while you run a lot, but it's just very cool.

It doesn't overstay it's welcome and the Simon Says portions don't require you to remember (as you can do them at the same time as they're presented if you wish). And it's on Game Pass, so....

This review contains spoilers

So my wife and I used to play a lot more relaxing couch co-op games than we have recently. We started playing games like Overcooked, but ended up too much on edge. So It Takes Two seemed like it'd be a good fit for us to just chill and play a game together.

And I have some mixed feelings about the game. Much of the platforming is good and it mixes things up with new abilities and it doesn't overstay it's welcome.

Plus there's little mini-games and distractions around the place that allow you to goof off. It was always good to be able to go the wrong way and find something interesting.

The voice acting is good (apart from the book), but there are occasional prompts from the characters that come far too early. In some cases the cut scene ends we go towards what needs to be done and the character explains what needs to be done. Like yeah, give me a chance. Other times the dialogue seems aware of itself and one character would respond with exactly what we were saying.

I guess it's the story that grates. You play as Cody and May who tell their young daughter Rose that they're getting divorced. Rose asks a book about relationships to make her parents love each other again and magically the parents are transferred into the bodies of two toys. The book, who is the most annoying character in our tale, comes to life to coach Cody and May through their issues. OK good premise.

So let's get down to the worst bit of the game from a story point of view. Cody and May have decided that because Rose cast the spell (somehow) that they need to get to her to get changed back. So they finally get to her and they yell and scream but she can't see them. She's written a letter and May kicks the eraser and Rose sees it move. And at this point my wife and I go "use the pencil to write something!"

But the characters instead go "Let's destroy something she loves so she cries on us and reverses the spell". And then they do that. What great parents. It really feels like they added this to pad the game out because in the end it's a useless diversion and it's the only time that the book is not guiding them.

Anyway, I was hoping that the story would lead down a path of "Yes you two shouldn't be married, but that doesn't mean that you need to hate each other. Get divorced, but do it in an amicable way." But no... they stay married. I can't help but feel like that couple that goes on holiday and think that they're relationship is now fine and perfect and it goes bad a year later.

Rose herself is a bit of a nothing as well. I'd worry that if my parents were basically in a comatose state and would probably call an ambulance, but I guess that goes to how they treat the kid in the first place?

Maybe I'm bringing too much to this game that isn't there, but I wonder how the game would play out with a different theme. Divorced of the divorce them, would I treat it any differently? I don't know.

TL:DR Fun game for couch co-op, but didn't enjoy the story.

Couldn't get a multiplayer session to last more than 5 minutes. It's not a great single player game from what I can see so far

Didn't really make it far... I'm not sure that it's necessarily a game for me

It's very pretty and has an interesting backdrop, but it wasn't enough to keep me hooked. I guess it didn't quite call to me.

The first game I ever paid for. So maybe it's just nostalgia talking but it's just such a lovely stripped back implementation of an arcade racer

So having not played The Longest Journey or Dreamfall, this has been an interesting experience. The game starts with what I presume is a spoiler for the second of those two games, but it really didn't matter much for me.

The first book has focussed on Zoe, who luckily forgets a whole lot (and there's a section early on where she gets to do a recap). So I guess I'll find out more about her when she remembers

There are some clunky parts to the game, but the dialog system works well, the characters tell you what they think about each choice. The "Balance has changed" isn't as subtle as Telltale's "so and so will remember that", but it does seem like they make the changes affect the story and they tell you that things are happening because of your choices.

There's less for the other playable characters to do in this book. Kian's story in this book is brief and didn't really explain much about who he is or why he's doing anything (except I get the impression he doesn't like to talk very much)... and I didn't really care for or understand the Interlude very much.

I'm a little way into the second book a the time of writing and it seems to focus on Kian more, so maybe I'll get to find out about his back story.

Like a dream, I had little control and felt that I had to sit back and watch it unravel. I remember only parts and much is nonsensical. I remember running from guards with my heart pounding and some people died and I had to stop and wonder if any choices that I made would have dramatically changed anything.

But I don't think I can be bothered lying back down to dream this again to see if it will resolve differently...

I may go back and actually play The Longest Journey and Dreamfall at a later stage... to kind of give myself an idea about wether or not this one is a good game, but not today.

The story gets better and the puzzles get less so. And I'm quite over these Interludes with the finding of things, but hoping that this is at an end as we head into the finale. The world building and the lore has become a bit more interesting and am curious to see it come together.

And my graphical woes continue. In this book I had a touching scene between two characters where almost everything was the same shade of blue. Very odd...

And now I'm caught up I have to actually wait for the finale. Let's see where my choices will take me.

So I continue to play through this series. This one was good enough that I kept going through to the fourth book straight away. This one's story is much stronger, though it almost feels like the puzzles are an after thought.

I think it was Book Three where there was just too much fog and darkness for my graphics card... but I struggle through this.

Edit: Though I've come to accept that choices that I make are just choices that I make, I found it a bit annoying that there was a choice I made without realising I made a choice. And yes, that's pretty much on me, but still...

Soooo.... I'm realising that I probably need a new graphics card. I've been fiddling with the options but still am getting a lot of black shapes and loss of textures. I've pushed the gamma up a fair bit and that seems to help, but... eh...

Anyway, most of this one is with Kian and making some tough choices that change the Balance. And I'm kind of becoming cool with gut instincting them. The Kian parts are good.

I was somewhat less satisfied with the Zoe stuff. I find it hard enough getting around town as is without the game making it harder for me. And then making me find certain points using the radar... hmm...

And then the interlude was just urgh... I mean there were some cute moments in there, but that's such a painful fetch quest which ends in the game smacking me for not playing the earlier games.

Dunno, maybe I need to take a break from this series... or perhaps the next one will trend towards less of what I dislike and more what I like about the game.

Played through with daughter (4yo).

She solved some of the puzzles and remembered what the spy tools did when they were required. A lot simpler for her than the Freddi Fish game we started on.

As Rock Band Rivals is coming out very soon, figured I should finish off the Campaign mode of Rock Band 4. The end is rather unsatisfying as you get closer to it, it starts to push Nightmare difficulty songs on you all of which seem to also be very long songs. And it just ends up being a bit of a chore. And your reward is just a "hey well done for that" screen and then some credits.

There's still more to do in the campaign mode (like get more fans and money) but I almost feel like it's just more interesting to jump into quickplay.

Still when Rock Band Rivals comes out, I'll dip back in to see how the Behind the Music segments play out. Plus my daughter will probably end up signing "Happy", so that'll be nice too!