In the opening minutes of Marvel’s Spider-Man developer Insomniac nails the titular Webslinger perfectly twice; the first is when Peter Parker has to choose between trying to pay his rent or face eviction or to be Spider-Man and help fight an active crime. It’s the quintessential Peter Parker moment, the kind that has defined the character over the years. Peter Parker might be a genius and a superhero, but he’s always struggled to pay his rent and keep his lifted sorted. The second moment is when he goes diving out of his window in the classic costume and you get to experience the superb sensation of swinging around a beautiful virtual rendition of New York for the first time.
After 20-years in a garage under a dusty tarp a developer has finally decided to wheel V-Rally out, give it a new paint job and see if the old girl can still run. It’s a sequel I never expected and a difficult one to review because even V-Rally 3 was 16-years ago and my memory of it is fuzzy to say the least. So this is going to be less of a review focusing on whether it’s a good sequel that carries on the series legacy and more of a review talking about whether it’s just a good racing game.
Having managed massive dinosaurs capable of slaughtering crowds of visitors and hospitals tasked with curing the sick, dealing with aquariums full of pretty fish feels like a relaxing visit to a spa. There’s no danger of one of my sharks breaking out and eating the guests or of people dying in the corridors because they didn’t get treated quickly enough. In Megaquarium the biggest threat is one fish eating another fish. Cheeky sods.
If the phrase, “Patients are reminded not to die in the corridors” sets off your nostalgia senses then congratulations because Two Point Hospital is for, and it’s for me. It’s basically a sequel to the 1998 Theme Hospital in all but name, often feeling so similar that you could swear you were playing a remaster but also putting a few fresh things into the mix to turn this game into one of the most fun and satisfying management sims in recent memory.
Another year, another F1 game from Codemasters. With such limited development time between each new release hamstringing what Codemasters can do with the franchise what we’ve seen over the years is a steady iteration, each new release tweaking the formula in various little ways with maybe one or two larger changes or features getting shoved in as well. F1 2018 doesn’t break this tradition, offering up just a few changes here and there and a coupe of new features.
So maybe you’re like me and have gone and gotten a shiny new racing wheel so that you can spend hours upon hours screaming along rally courses or lapping Silverstone in a Ferrari F1 car. They tend to come with handy clamps that you can slap onto your desk which is awesome if you just want to race on your PC or something, but if you want to play on console in the living room things can get a bit trickier. That’s where stands come into play. There are a number of them on the market and today I’m reviewing one from the boys and girls over at Next Level Racing.
Many, many board games involve the concept of laying down tiles to do a variety of things, such as building the board. Azul, though, actually has you laying down tiles to create a beautiful mural. The reason behind this is that you’re a tile-layer who is to decorate the palace of King Manuel I of Portugal after the King became enamored with azulejos (blue and white tiles, originally) of the Allhambra in Spain.
Dead Cells is a rogue-like or rogue-lite or rogue-something depending on the exact definition that you opt to go by, meaning that whenever you die you’ll just respawn at the very start but having hopefully managed to make some progress along the way by grabbing lots of Cells from dead enemies, shiny new blueprints and maybe even a Rune or two. In other words this genre is a bit like banging your head off of a brick wall with the goal being to break through. Keep doing it long enough and you might just manage to break the wall. But at what cost? Concussion, I would imagine, at the very least.
Who doesn’t love a good circus? Over the years, though, the humble sideshow has faded away because it typically featured oddities and things deigned to be “freaks”. This might have included bearded ladies, giant rats or seemingly possessed items. Barker’s Row reckons these things are good enough to bring back, though. The idea is to put on the best side-show of freaks, oddities, strange monsters and mysterious artifacts that you can, with the first player who fills their cardboard grandstand with paying customers being the winner.
Ah, speakers. They are so easy to ignore despite typically sitting on your desk, looking a little forlorn because you spend on your time looking at that slutty screen rather than admiring your speakers and reminding them how important they are to you. Because you’re a horrible person AND WHY WON’T YOU LOOK AT ME WHEN WE MAKE LOVE ANYMORE!?