LEGO Worlds
First Impressions


Admittedly, the mere concept of LEGO Worlds is what draws me in.  Melding the sensibilities of Minecraft and LEGO itself, its subtle step forward is very exciting.  Of course, much of its concept relies on established tropes and mechanics.  While it’s not building a brand new concept afresh, the ideas and potential it brings to the table seem to be what I wanted from Minecraft in the first place.  However, I can’t deny that the inclusion of greatly varied brick sizes is the main allure in that package.  It makes for much more detailed, enjoyable and artful landscapes, the creation of which is at your beck and call in a variety of interesting ways.  …   [continue reading]


The Last Guardian
First Impressions


From its opening notes, it’s tough to discern exactly what the designers’ intentions were.  However, the game is clearly about teamwork and forming bonds.  Its unique approach of interacting with a very independent beast is compelling in the extreme.  Beyond that, it seems a slow and contemplative puzzle-platformer.  Under that lens, The Last Guardian is far from unique – even from the creators who made it.  While the ideas at play here are interesting and engaging, it’s admittedly a little thin on the ground.  Its minimalism sometimes undermines it, while also being a credit to its approach.  …   [continue reading]


Hear the writers discuss this subject (and the whole Final Fantasy series) on the Secret Cave Podcast!

It usually goes one of two ways for people when it comes to the prolific Final Fantasy series.  Most have either never bothered dipping their toes, or have already obsessively played large chunks of their games.  The release of Final Fantasy XV was something I greatly looked forward to, being a firm member of the latter camp.  Of course, i’m far from the only one.  Its announcement, ten years ago, has caused a rich lather of anticipation.  From ridiculously impressive gameplay videos to an entire cinematic offshoot, we’ve had plenty of time to let excitement take hold.  …   [continue reading]

Copying Clickbait In An Overwatch “Clone”

Booting up, the main thought being that it’s free, so at least I’m only wasting time if it’s shit.

Fiddle about with login details for 15 minutes – who knows what my bloody password for Smite was?

Music sounds a bit Overwatch-y.

Get kicked into a tutorial with Soldier 76. Wait, sorry, “Viktor“. He’s Russian. Totally different

overwatch clone - viktor

So we get abilities with cooldowns, a primary weapon with infinite ammo but a limited clip, and an ultimate that doesn’t get lost when I die.

Wonder what abilities vodka-toss over here gets? … Oh. Great start that. I love it when one of my defining “abilities” is fucking iron sights.…   [continue reading]

The Deadly Tower of Monsters [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

The Deadly Tower of Monsters
First Impressions


This is a game full of little innovative ideas in both its gameplay and approach to storytelling.  They mostly keep its more pedestrian elements afloat, which are generally well implemented anyway.  It lulls you into thinking it’s less original than it actually is, before smashing you with a surprising number of inventive twists.  Quite an old-school approach throughout is lent a nostalgic feel rather than a stale one.


Quickly building on elements we’ve seen numerous times before, the bare bones of this game are fundamentals we are all well aware of.  …   [continue reading]

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
First Impressions


The mere gall of thinking you can use the medium of video games to tell your half-baked story is an insult not only to players but the entire industry.  Going into it with outright contempt for design and gameplay is a noxious mindset, and one I want well away from my game developers.  However, its setting is an intriguing one, and its interest in bringing extreme aesthetic quality at every turn is very much appreciated.


There is no gameplay to speak of.  The “game” is essentially a well decorated corridor which you walk sluggishly through.  …   [continue reading]


This post is a little different to the spotlights I usually post up, which are written to try and help people find dusty gems they may not have unearthed.  Instead, today i’d like to rant about the latest Disney princess tripe that’s taking the easily distracted by storm.  I couldn’t quite believe the trailer I saw earlier this morning, and I’ve been mulling over it all day since.  I decided to make today’s Friday Film feature one where I show the vitriol I’ve tried hard to keep away from this corner of the internet.

Moana has already attracted a tad of controversy, offending some Polynesians for it’s portrayal of Maui (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) as an overweight, piggy-nosed stereotype.  …   [continue reading]


Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

First Impressions

(all ratings are out of 10)


Video games as art is nothing new, but thatgamecompany‘s concept of building games around the emotions they want the player to feel is fascinating and unique.  The idea behind Journey and what it brings to the table represents a genuine step forward that too many young designers seem frightened of.  There are many more steps to take, but without Journey the whole process would surely have been slower.

British fellow consumes media and regurgitates back what you should think about it.
…   [continue reading]