Cartoon owl holding up a controller. Pixelated red background. Text: Tiny game reviews.

This is just a list of games we’ve played through, accompanied with some feelings about them. Consider them tiny game reviews.

I’ll be updating this list from time to time. Feel free to come back here if you ever want to know my quick thoughts about the games you see in the sidebar’s game list.

Note: If you’re a fan or a developer of one of these games, try not to get upset. I may come off overly rude at some points, since these thoughts are very condensed and honest. Feel free to use the comments section to contact me if you want a more detailed and constructive article about any of the games. I’d love to give constructive feedback to you.

Breath of Fire II (SNES Online)

Pending more game play.

The Beginner’s Guide (PC)

A narrative walking simulator through one person’s crummy games. It’s made by the same guy who made Stanley Parable. If you’re looking for “an interesting narrative experience game”, I suggest skipping this and going for Stanley Parable instead.

A Short Hike (PC)

This is a super short open world exploration game with stuff like climbing and flying and talking and running around and fishing. The overall feeling of the game is a bit hard to put into words. It’s like… if you want to experience Stardew Valley or Breath Of the Wild, but without fighting or farming and condensed in just a few hours. Either way, it was fun while it lasted.

There’s a postmortem video about the game, if you’re interested in some of the decisions behind the game design.

Link: gog.com

Sam & Max Hit the Road

Pending time to write review.

Link: gog.com

Tsioque (PC)

This is a super short interactive fairy tale book (that looks somewhat like a point and click game but isn’t exactly). Essentially, you click stuff you see around you and stuff happens. Sometimes that stuff is a game over. Actually quite often, since many puzzles contain sudden “quick time” events (with no prompts). You just have to realize that you needed to do something while something else was going on. But don’t worry, you get checkpoints with almost every click, so you get to retry the event immediately.

The animations were really, really neat and it was an enjoyable little story. Still, I wouldn’t recommend the game unless that is exactly what you’re looking for.

Link: gog.com

Thimbleweed Park (PC)

A very nice modern Lucasarts style point and click adventure game. Our playthrough was about 15 hours. There are quite a bit of things to do so it very rarely felt like we had no idea what to do next. There is an in-game hotline for if you need help. Can’t comment on its quality since we didn’t end up needing any tips.

Our only gripe was that the game is very meta. If you prefer your point and click adventures with very little or completely void of fourth wall breaking, then you might want to skip this one.

Link: gog.com

Collection of Mana: Trials of Mana (Switch)

The combat definitely feels much better than in Secret of Mana. You don’t have to wait as long between attacks and doing special attacks is done with a press of a button (instead of holding down the button for a long time). It’s still a bit troublesome how the game stops any time somebody casts a spell or does a special attack.

The game has some major bugs (shields, dexterity and luck effectively do nothing), although you probably won’t notice them if nobody tells you about them. (Sorry about that!) The game does not really reward exploration: areas have all sorts of optional routes, but there are next to no chests or other rewards to find there. The game has co-op, which is really nice, but sometimes status effects make you switch to another character and get all confused. The menus are super slow and clunky. And yet, even with all that, the game has been pretty enjoyable.

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord (PC)

Been playing the early access. It’s buggy and missing a lot of features. Still, it feels so good to be riding on the fields of Calradia again. I want to make a blog post about this one since there’s a few game design choices I’d like to discuss (things that have been made really quick to access, and things that take a lot of time), and show off some bugs. I already have over 150 hours in. Still, since it’s early access I suggest you wait until the game is closer to ready. Also, it’s one of those games that teaches you what it’s like to be rich.

Link: steam

Layton’s Mystery Journey (Switch)

The puzzles are nice, but the stories are very tame and therefore, quite dull. It’s a bit weird that the puzzles sometimes feel quite complicated, but the game otherwise feels very safe and casual.

Wild Guns Reloaded (Switch)

This is an arcade-style game where you essentially play until you get game over and then start from the beginning, slowly getting better and better and making it just a bit further every time. I like that the game has co-op (1-4 players) and it’s really satisfying learning the stages and getting better. I also like the new characters. I’ve been wanting a bomb/grenade user type of character with satisfying gameplay mechanics, and the new character Doris really fills that need.

Stronghold Crusader HD (PC)

I have a few constant gripes about how placing walls works in this game. I’m pretty sure it worked better in original Stronghold (or Stronghold HD). Other than that, I’ve really been liking the game. Building forts and defending them is still really neat, and while the single-player campaign doesn’t really have a story this time, it does have something like a whopping 80 missions.

Link: gog.com

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PC)

I don’t usually like to recommend games that are story-based (aside from certain visual novels), but I really liked this one. A big reason was probably because there was no text and no comprehensive speech, so the narrative is based completely on body language and actions. I recommend this if you want to experience a couple of hours in a morbid fairy tale land.

Link: gog.com

Breath of Fire (SNES Online)

I’m really enjoying these older RPGs that have much more condensed stories compared to most modern games. A very interesting cast of characters who have different abilities. May require you to look up some stuff from a walkthrough (I don’t know if those things are hinted in the manual since we didn’t have one). If you happen to realize those things without looking them up, you’ll feel like a genius. Not without its flaws, but still highly recommendable.

Battle Princess Madelyn (Switch)

A short arcade-style game very much like Ghouls ‘n Ghosts. Despite finishing it in a day, I really enjoyed the experience. Will definitely return to play this again (note to self: I’m not very good at keeping promises).

Fallen Legion (Switch)

(I want to write a full article about this one, since it’s hard to condence my exact thoughts in this small space.)
There are quite a few of things in this game that made it feel like it was made by “Japanese gaming otaku” (I’ll probably have to write what I mean by that someday). Although it wasn’t. The game is FULL of very small things that, if fixed, would likely make it a good game. But as is, the experience was quite lackluster. I recommend playing Has Been Heroes or Indivisible instead (if you’re looking for a somewhat similar game style).

StarTropics (NES Online)

There are some cheap deaths and we ended up using the save states quite a bit. Also there’s one part that requires you to look up “copy protection” from the internet to keep playing. Other than that, the game was very enjoyable. Highly recommended.

River City Girls (Switch)

A bit more straightforward than I’d hoped from a River City title. I like the AI much more than in River City Ransom: Underground. The world feels more lively with enemies doing their own stuff in some areas and not dodging 100% of your special attacks. The music and graphics are wonderful. We played the heck out of this game and enjoyed it tremendously.

Link: gog.com

Cadence of Hyrule (Switch)

Forget the Link’s Awakening remake. Get this instead. I’m musically challenged and never really had a problem with the rhythmic gameplay. My only gripe is that there’s no physical copy of the game available.

Secret of Mana (SNES Classic)

Something felt off with the combat system. I’ve played Seiken Densetsu 3/Trials of Mana (the SNES version, not the remake) a long time ago before this one, and that has a much improved combat and gameplay.

Overall, the game was okay but nothing spectacular. (I know that at least the person who recommended we play this game is sad about that verdict.) I did like that we could play co-op, but many boss fights boiled down to just me competing with the boss to open up the menu and cast spells, so there were times when Vayandil had nothing to do.

A Hat in Time (PC)

A short and sweet 3D Mario-like with co-op. Main story took us about 30 hours with all DLC. There are extra DLC challenges we skipped.

Like with most other games that have it, we really liked the co-op. The visuals and humor were nice. We really liked the visual world of stages, although they were disorienting at times. (Especially compared to stages in 3D Mario games.) Gameplay was pretty great for a 3D platformer, although the occasional level design and camera issues sometimes caused problems (playing co-op, which forces split screen, might have also affected this).

Link: gog.com

Gheralf H. Swiftwar

Gheralf H. Swiftwar

Crazy owlmister. Speaks about games for free, but only codes for teh monies.

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