FeaturesReviews

Quick-fire July 2021, Part One

Just Die Already
Just Die Already was developed by DoubleMoose and published by Curve Digital on the 20th of May this year. It is an old people mayhem sandbox game created by the designers of Goat Simulator. You are old and angry and you’ve just been kicked out of your retirement home. How will you survive in a world that wants you to Just Die Already?

At the beginning of the game you will select your character, or better said boomer. You can choose between two males, Stanislav and Wally, and two females, Kamala and Lucky. Your first goal is to acquire a golden key that will open the door of your room in the retirement home. You need to watch out while traversing the room, because even the refrigerator doors will decapitate you and I am not even kidding. You are going to pick up random things and throw them, that is if you will still have your limbs. If you have played Goat Simulator, you know this game is going to be ultra serious and will follow the rules of realism. It is a physics-based sandbox game with a quite big playing area with plenty of locations to explore and die in. Its ragdoll gameplay will make you do funny and unusual things that no one would even consider doing in real life. Just Die Already’s story is practically non-existent, you are just a grumpy old person trying to complete your bucket list before you die. The graphics are what they are, do not expect anything mind blowing, but the point of this game are not awesome visuals. Audio is not over the top either, and mostly loops around. All in all, Just Die Already can be a fun game for about an hour, after that you will probably get bored of it. Killing yourself numerous times can only be funny for a while, after that it becomes a tedious chore, trying to find ways you have not already died in. I cannot recommend Just Die Already, as you can grab much better games with the money you would spend on it.

Minute of Islands
Minute of Islands was developed by Studio Fizbin and published by Mixtvision on the 13th of June 2021. It is available for PC on Steam, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. Explore strange and wonderful islands and dark labyrinths below in this narrative puzzle platformer. Guide young mechanic Mo on her quest to repair a world on the brink of collapse. The powerful Omni Switch at your disposal may not be enough to fix the damage that hides beneath the surface…

You are Mo, a skilled tinkerer, living with her family on a pastoral archipelago, once inhabited by an ancient race of inscrutable giants. Their otherworldly but vital machines, festering in the underbellies of the islands themselves, must be kept going or an almost forgotten threat will swallow all. Mo vows to restore the hidden engines in time, but is this truly what she needs?

This Unity made hand-drawn narrative puzzle platformer looks stunningly beautiful. It is set on various islands where giants were once living on. You make friends with four giant brothers that make you an apprentice, who will control them and the machinery responsible for purifying air with the help of an Omni Switch that you wield. All machines stop working at once and you need to get the purifiers working again, since the islands got filled with poisonous gas that endangers all the inhabitants. As I have already written, the graphics of Minute of Islands look amazing. These hand-drawn images create a brilliant atmosphere for the game, and the sounds of it complement it really well. The gameplay, however, is lacking features, as all you do is jump, crawl, run and shimmy around the ledges that make-up the game’s landscapes. You are also fixing the purifiers using the Omni Switch, which also acts as a compass to help you find new objectives and guides you on your way. The problem is that this gets repetitive very quickly and you get bored of the same gameplay over and over again. If you can get through the dullness of it, I recommend getting the game anyway, since its vistas and interesting story told through the eyes of a narrator will keep you in it even though playing it might feel boring at times. It costs twenty bucks, and if you got a feeling that is a bit too much for a repetitive experience, wait for it to go on sale and grab it then, if you are a fan of adventure platformers.

Out of Line
Developed by Nerd Monkeys and published by Hatinh Interactive on the 23rd of June, Out of Line is a 2D puzzle platformer. A unique adventure game filled with beautiful puzzles all hand-drawn in an original 2D style. Out of Line follows the adventures of San in a quest to escape the Factory that was once home. Dive into a story set in a mysterious world that is revealed through multiple chapters.

First of all, I need to recommend playing it with a controller, as it has full support and in my opinion plays better this way. Out of Line is a Unity made game that looks great with its hand-drawn surroundings and plays similarly as its older brothers and sisters that it took inspiration from. You are San and you are platforming your way out of the Factory with the help of your trusty spear. The spear will help you traverse to higher grounds, stop cogs and trap mechanisms, and also move different platforms that need to be moved in order to progress. On your way to escaping, you will encounter various enemies that will chase you or want to grab you from overhead – you will need to avoid their sensors to not be seen. Besides enemies, there are also other entities that are friendly and will help you with the puzzles, and lend a helping hand through your quest. The game, as short as it may be, is prompt and not boring, as it introduces new gameplay mechanics periodically. If you are used to so-called 2.5D platformers, you might have some problems trying to jump and land on surfaces that will lead to your death, but you will get used to the pure 2D environments quite fast. Out of Line is also pretty cheap, but nonetheless you will get a few hours of satisfying puzzle-platforming gameplay that will not leave you disappointed. It sadly does not have a real replay value, but you will gladly give it another go, if you missed some of the achievements the first time. I am looking forward to seeing what Nerd Monkeys have in store for their next game.

Power Rangers – Battle for the Grid Super Edition
Power Rangers – Battle for the Grid was already released in 2019, but the version we are reviewing here is the Super Edition which also features a handful of downloadable content, better said all of the game’s DLC up until now. It got released on the 25th of May this year and is a 2D fighting game by nWay. Generations of Power Rangers collide across the multiverse’s 25 year history. Experience authentic, but reimagined Power Rangers gameplay. This easy to learn, but hard to master fighting game is designed to welcome players of all skill levels.

I have to admit I was never a Power Rangers fan, but this game seemed interesting and I just had to get my hands on it. With getting all downloadable content for it in a sweet package, it seemed like a right time to do so. Super Edition contains the base Power Rangers – Battle for the Grid game, passes for Seasons One, Two and Three, Street Fighter pack, and four bonus character skins. All three of the Season passes include three new characters and additional skins. The game is available on PlayStation 4 (the version we are reviewing), Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Steam and Stadia. If you already own the base game, there are upgrade kits to the Super Edition available. There is also a physical boxed version coming in August, if you wish to grab it on disc. Now, let us get to the Battle for the Grid! This Unity made game features various game modes, and we will start by mentioning the Story mode that is loosely based on the Power Rangers comic book Shattered Grid. There are also Arcade, Versus, and Training modes, where the latter offers a training match and a tutorial, which was the first thing I played when starting the game. It tells you how to hit, block attacks, use special attacks, super attack and how to summon your Zord with your Ultra, among others. The Versus mode allows to play single matches against the CPU or other player, and you choose three characters for each side and an arena where the battle will take place. Arcade mode is pretty much the same as Versus, except you have to beat seven stages in succession against the CPU to win it. Power Rangers – Battle for the Grid also offers an online multiplayer feature, where you can play Ranked or Casual matches against players from all around the globe. It also has a cross platform feature, so you will be able to play it against peeps that own the game on a different platform than yourself. As far as the gameplay goes, the developers say it is easy to learn, but hard to master, and I have to say that playing it on Easy mode already provides quite a bit of challenge. Either that or it is just that I totally suck. It is very fast-paced and you will have to be quick with your combos to defeat opposing characters. Other than that, it is quite a fun experience with its tag-team mechanics that are well done. The graphics, however, do not excel and there are prettier games to get out there. I recommend it especially if you are into Power Rangers, or you are looking for a surprisingly challenging 3-on-3 fighting game.