Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens is a card game claiming to be “a highly strategic kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette.”  Until I started this review, I was going to file Exploding Kittens under Tier Two – not bad, but not anything there to keep you entertained past an hour or so.  After reading that elevator pitch, I am inspired to write a bit more.  The premise of the game is pretty simple: draw cards until all but one player has drawn an Exploding Kitten with no Defuse card to stop it.  Everyone starts with one Defuse card, and there are chances to draw or steal more Defusal cards.  There is very little content beyond just that description, even with the advanced rule options.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW for short) is a game of extremes.  At times, it can be an incredibly fun and polished trek through a fantastic open world.  But also at times, it can be an incredibly frustrating experience.  It’s never frustrating for very long, but the moments of frustration are the many small bits of gristle in an otherwise well-cooked and seasoned steak.

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Anodyne

Anodyne is a difficult to pin down game.  Honestly, I’m not even sure if I’m going to put it into Tier One or Two yet.  It has taught me that I may be a bit of a sucker for good audio design and soundtracks, since I ended up playing it longer than I expected based on that alone.  On its face, I found it quite reminiscent of classic Zelda – I was happy to learn that I was correct in this assessment when I visited the Steam page.  You wander about, exploring a strange world with strange creatures and caves, all the time feeling rather lost and alone.  You’re told you have a great destiny, but (and this is where it differs) it doesn’t really seem like that’s actually the case.  Perhaps if I hear something about this game elsewhere, I’ll pick it up again – but for now, I think it goes to Tier Two.  I certainly don’t regret my time, but I also wasn’t particularly engaged except by the mechanics – just the audio and art direction.

Steam link

Euclidean

I first played this in VR, and it gave me motion sickness.  I played it on the desktop, and I got bored.  A Cthulhu-esque horror game shouldn’t be boring.  It’s a pity, because it sets up a good atmosphere – there’s just no interesting gameplay to back it up.

Steam link

Organ Trail

You know what the difference between Super Amazing Wagon Adventure and Organ Trail is?  Organ Trail is fun.  I went into this thinking that Organ Trail would be exactly the same as SAWA – a one-joke, boring parody.  I was wrong.  There’s gameplay.  And choices.  And macabre humor.  And…you know…fun.  This is a better parody than SAWA ever was, and it’s actually a game to boot.

Steam link