Infectonator : Survivors [Steam store page]
The game concept/design is solid - scavenge supplies, rebuild your base, try to rebuild the car to get out of town - but there are a couple fatal flaws that really hurt the gameplay.

The main one is the AI - it's dumb as a box of rocks, and will walk through toxic slime (which kills the character in a few seconds) without hesitation, even when there's an easy path around it. Most of my damage and deaths in this game were due to the AI making stupid decisions.

And when a character "dies", they can be revived for around 15 seconds - which is fine except that it takes like 7 seconds to actually revive them. The timer doesn't stop as you're reviving, which means that if you get to the character with 3 seconds left on their timer, there's no chance you can save them.

It makes it frustrating if you're in the middle of fighting zombies and can't start healing immediately. I'm sure there are upgrades to make heals faster, but it's still a flawed design.

A solid little ninja-platformer where you click on enemies to teleport to them rather than jumping. The boss fights are particularly fun!

My only gripe is that in the normal levels I sometimes have to click twice to get my character to teleport to an enemy (I think it's because he isn't finished with his slice-and-dice of the current enemy). That's the only thing holding me back from saying this is really good.

Interesting concept, but the implementation is really rough and basic - to even restart you have to exit the game, and when you die any stuff you're carrying is irrecoverably lost.

I'm on the fence about whether to give this an "Okay" or a "Bad" rating, because it's relatively cheap and I like it a lot better than most horror games that use this graphical style, but it's sorely in need of a tutorial and a lot of polishing.

Your character seems to know what needs to be done to fix the apocalypse, and it would be nice if the game told you too, although that minor mystery probably makes it more interesting than the repetition would be otherwise.

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While I like the general idea, the interface for "hacking" feels clunky, and the graphical style isn't stylized enough to quickly convey what items are interactable (and what they do) both in the world itself and in the top-down hacking view.

This is kind of a big deal when the "par" time limits are so tight that it's very hard to beat them even if you know what you're doing, much less when you have to hover over a bunch of stuff using controls that seem more tailored to a game controller.

You don't have to beat the levels under par to progress, but it's kind of pointless for them to even exist if you can't hit the times even when you do well. Though it's a bit strange to even have timed runs in a stealth/strategy puzzle game.

This feels much more satisfying and well-tuned than the original Sanctum - and the addition of co-op takes it to a whole new difficulty level.

The combination of tower defense and hack-n-slash works fairly well together, though the classes are completely unbalanced. Melee is by far the easiest.

Orcs Must Die! [Steam store page]
While not co-op like the sequel, this game has an excellent sense of humor and decently balanced maps. Too bad the humor didn't carry over to Orcs Must Die! 2

Orcs Must Die! 2 [Steam store page]
They added co-op, but lost some of the humor that made Orcs Must Die! so fun. Similar gameplay, with more expansive levels to challenge two players.

Essentially a rage platformer in first-person. You die, restart, try to find the button you missed or avoid the trap you stepped into, performing the exact same sequence of actions over and over, getting a little further each time.

Most traps are visible if you know what you're looking for, although you can't always avoid them. Sometimes the hitboxes are inexplicably large and maul you when you try to dodge. Not a huge issue, just means you missed a switch, but trying to figure out a puzzle in that sort of deadly environment can sometimes be frustrating and time consuming.

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Train Valley [Steam store page]
Starts out simple, but to be really good at this game you have to be able to multi-task incredibly accurately and quickly. That just isn't me, but the game is well designed and will be fun for people who love the challenge of optimizing their strategy and reaction times to climb the leaderboard.

I want to like this game, but while the graphics are gorgeous and the flying feels good, the content is lacking and inconsistent. The difficulty curve is polar opposites most of the time, either you're dominating the enemy or dying very quickly, and there's little to do besides pick up resources and shoot enemies.

The EVERSPACE - Encounters DLC pack sounds like it adds some actual mission content, but I haven't played that so I don't know if it's actually satisfying, and it's silly to be charged extra for what should have been part of the base game. Granted the game+dlc is $40, not $60 like AAA titles, but it also has a lot less content than one too.

I give them credit for the weapon design and feel though - each of the main ones is unique and feels powerful if used correctly. And although there are only three ship types they each play completely differently. It's just too bad they didn't add a decent variety of gameplay to go with them.

A great combination of music, nice visuals, and a unique style of light strategy. Easy enough for casual players, with Bastion type difficulty settings.

The art is bright and fun, but the narrator really makes this game fantastic - narrating every move as you shoot and smash your way through the story.

Tomb Raider [Steam store page]
This franchise reboot was very satisfying, an appropriate start for the character we know Lara Croft will turn into eventually.

Although the controls are really rough (it really should be point-and-click instead), it's still an intriguing story in an interesting environment.

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