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Yoku's Island Express
Pinball Platformer

Everything about Yoku's presentation is quirky and charming. The art, the music, the sound design all combine for a very cute and fun game. It also gets major points from me for doing something unique and unusual in game design. That said, I would have actually preferred it if there was a stronger separation between the pinball board levels and general exploration. Some fast travel options do exist, but they are very limited and if you want to really explore the island and find all the hidden goodies then prepare to do a lot of backtracking through multiple pinball boards, which can be frustrating. Still, very clever and enjoyable in the main playthrough.

Dark Souls

An odd game for an e-shop thread, but that's where I picked it up. Also, I am apparently a filthy casual myself, because I just could not get into this game. I like difficulty in games, but not like this. It feels like my character moves through mud and the moment an enemy damages me (or stomps the ground near me) I'm stun locked until they beat me to death. Maybe, I just lack patience, but going through ten patient minutes of slow, careful combat only to get stun locked by one attack, murdered, and sent back to the beginning isn't my idea of a good time. Like with Owlboy, I'll try this again later and update the score if needed.

Run and Gun

From one difficult game to another, Cuphead was a vastly more enjoyable experience. The action is always fast-paced, well-balanced, and the aesthetic is fantastic. Even when you die the restart time is quick and it's easy to get right back into the action. The cartoonish nature of the story, foes, and music fits perfectly and helps to take a little sting out the frustration of frequent losses. The only thing that prevents this from being a 5/5 is that the random nature of some boss attacks makes them impossible to dodge.

Run and Gun

Keroblaster is a throwback to old run'n gun games with simple pixel art, controls, and enemies, but it makes up for that with a quirky story/theme and controls that are tight and pleasing. The upgrade system allows you a nice sense of freedom and the varied guns are pleasing, though I typically just stuck to the spreadshot or the flamethrower. It's a short game (about 3-4 hours) without much replay value unless you want to try again in a harder mode. It's simple and fun, but probably not worth its $10 asking price. I caught it on sale for about $4 and that's a solid value.


Another throwback game that harkens back to the original Metroid in its space-themed exploration. It is set apart from Metroid with a brighter color palate and lighter atmosphere. The ability to customize your main blaster and the unique upgrades (rocket boots, submarine, teleport) are cool, but the main draw is the ability to warp between the foreground and background. This ability is very cool, but at the same time it feels like more could have been done with it. Probably just because the game is so short with only four worlds and none of them being particularly big. It's about 3-4 hours of content, maybe 5 if you ferret out all the hidden weapon and health upgrades. The bosses are all just the same enemy type, with more health and new attacks. On one hand it is a fun boss battle and it's neat to have a new wrinkle thrown into a familiar pattern each time, but at the same time it's also a bit old hat by the fifth or sixth time you do it. Another game that probably isn't worth the $10 asking price, but I caught it on sale for $3 and for that its.