The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - Playstation 4 Review


Just a few months after The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel was released on PS4, the sequel has now had the remastered PS4 treatment setting us up for the much-anticipated release of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III this fall.

Trails of Cold Steel II is a great addition to the franchise which continues to build on the original, it continues straight after the events of the first game which makes playing it a necessity. The story begins with a mission to reunite all you beloved classmates. With such a huge mass of characters and even more being added it’s easy for cast members to fade into the background, however this game manages to not only keep all the characters involved in the story, but to continue to build their character arcs and bonds throughout the game whilst tying all the components of the story into a neat little bow by the end of the game.

The overall heart and soul of the Trials games remains true with cold steel II with some very welcome additions (except the snowboard minigame, I am terrible at that).

So what are these additions? The sequel offers much more freedom as you are no longer tied to the academy as your base of operations and you are not forced to have a set party for your assignments, instead allowing you to handpick your party before disembarking on story elements.

You begin the story at level 40 with all crafts being carried over from the first game, initially I thought this would be an issue as it wouldn’t allow for character growth, however I was pleasantly mistaken as each character learns new crafts as well as upgraded versions of previous crafts. With the level increase comes an increase in difficulty, making using tactics during battle all the more important.


The battle system still maintains the combat link system but this has been expanded with the ability to now overdrive with your link partner allowing you to take 3 turns there and then, this can completely change the tide of battle. This feature is only available once you have searched out and completed the trial chests for the relative characters which features defeating some difficult enemies.


The battles with Valimar are very much still rock,paper,scissors but a new element has been added with your party members linking up with the ashen knight to take part in the battle too.

There is a slight issue with the framerate at times when the battles get a little bit hectic, but overall The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II is a solid addition to the franchise and is Falcom continue to build on this for Cold Steel III, I for one will be pretty pumped for its release.


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Table Top Racing: World Tour Nitro Edition on Nintendo Switch First Look

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Table Top Racing: World Tour continues it's 'tour' with a brand new release on the Nintendo Switch. The game is already out on other platforms including; Xbox One, PS4, Steam and now it's available in a handheld variety!

Already own TTR: World Tour? This Nitro adds some brand new features to the game, along with all previous downloadable content and patches, it now boosts a split-screen online or offline mode, split-screen VS battle mode, and optional AI opponents in Online games. These new additions alone make the Switch version a standout piece in choosing what to play Table Top Racing: World Tour on.


You progress through the game unlocking new challenges and races along the way, efficiently it's like a skill tree and you can choose your path and order in which you complete the challenges or race in. While the races themselves do seem a little short sometimes TTR knows what it is and that's a pickup and play fun racing game with lots of items and unlocks to be had.


The TTR:World Tour series was first released in 2016 and has now landed on the Switch. Having had huge success on it’s other platforms, everything is brought over to the Switch version, along with a much need split-screen mode. While the game won’t rival the likes of Mario Kart, it does bring it’s own table top size fun and pickup and play ease with the Nintendo Switch release.

The new modes in the Switch version make it a solid choice for racing and pick up and play fans, looking for a new addition to there Nintendo Switch library.

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Between the Stars is a Kickstarter game which has just received full funding and is due for release in Q1 2019 by Isolated Games. They have released a long playable demo called Prologue which is what I'll be reviewing here. BTS is a single player spaceship action game with management elements and is the latest in a long line of games of this type, going way back to Elite in the 8-bit era.


You play a starship captain of the Interstellar Republic as you hop about the galaxy in a variety ships, shooting space pirates, managing your crew and carrying out various missions along the way. The graphics are pretty but being as it's space there's often not a lot to look at. The music is well done too and I didn't notice it repeating even though it did. Voice work on the whole is good and the ships handle pretty well. There's no controller support (at least on this demo) but it doesn't take long to get used to the basics.


The missions follow the basic routine of flying where you need to go, maybe shooting a few enemy ships, then docking at your objective. Once you arrive the game turns into a text adventure, with a dialogue box giving a description, ie "You have entered a large room, do you want to go left or right" and the choices available are listed below. This was a bit strange at first and I wondered if I had flown through a time warp to the 1980s. There's not even any spoken dialogue, it is strictly old school. Once you finish the mini adventure section (which usually only takes a couple of minutes) you are back flying about again.


The downside to this is there can be long periods of just getting from A to B which although you can use 'turbo' engines to get there a bit quicker, it can drag the pace of the game down a bit.

The space combat is quite fun, and there looks to be a large amount of star systems to explore, upgrades to ships and general Elite-ing about available in the main game when it gets released.

Whilst it is difficult to review an early demo, and of course the main game could be very different, the demo itself is worth downloading if like space-em-ups and have a fancy to relive Level 9-style text adventuring.


Oh, an important thing to note, you can't save your progress in this demo, so be sure you want to quit when you do!


PROS    Lots of gameplay for a demo, good presentation

CONS    Can get repetitive, long periods without action, no Save Game



You can find more out about the game at the official Isolated Games website:



Strange Brigade by Rebellion is a third person action-adventure set in a steampunk style 1930s, which features 1-4 online co-op, a variety of weapons, traps and puzzles. It’s available on PC, Xbox 1 and PS4, usually for around £25.00.

The setting is Egypt, where an ancient evil force, Seteki the Witch Queen has been unwittingly let loose by an archeologist. It’s the job of the Strange Brigade, made up of Nagala Rushida (African tribeswoman), Frank Fairburne (sharpshooter) Professor De Quincy (Scholar) and a Manchester factory worker Gracie Braithwaite. Each have their own starter weapons, and have a different powered up attack which you get by killing a variety of nasties.


The game itself looks pretty enough, and plays very similarly to Rebellion’s own Sniper Elite series but without slow motion replays of internal injuries.

I played mainly as Nagala, as she seemed to have the best starter weapon, also after finding a power-up, I discovered that I could take a lot of enemies out with one shot.

These weapon power-ups are difficult to find and in four stages I only managed to get the one. This is due to the nature of the puzzles in the game which have locked doors hidden by symbols that have to be opened in a variety of ways. Some of these are very obvious, some seemed completely random and you only get 3 chances before the door gets locked for good.

The quantity of enemies, mainly mummies and giant scorpions, can make the game a bit of a slog and you have to clear all of them in a certain area before moving on. There are some traps like spinning blades and spikes dotted about that you can shoot to activate, and occasionally you’ll pick up other weapons like grenade launchers which can help, but often the sheer weight of numbers makes it hard going. Ammunition dumps are quite well dotted around and your character’s pistol has infinite ammo but is really only good for setting off traps as it’s very weak. It’s the constant mowing down of the same creatures, together with a pretty but repetitive set of backgrounds that makes this game best played in multiplayer, as in one-player the puzzles aren’t amazing and you’ve basically seen all of this done before.



PROS: Nice concept, good in short bursts, nice cut scenes

CONS: One player gameplay can get repetitive, samey backgrounds



You can find more out about the game at the official Strange Bridge website:

Blast Zone! Tournament - Steam Review (PC)



Do you like Bomberman? Do you like dressing up your in game character in different outfits? Do you like loot boxes? Then you’ll LOVE Blast Zone! Tournament, currently in Early Access on steam, the sequel to Bomb Buddies (unfortunate name?) from Victory Lap Games


The game starts with bright colourful menus and thumping techno music (though I am old so it could be any one of the millions of thumpy noises them kids listen to these days). Your avatar has the super-deformed big head anime look and has literally billions (10 billion combinations according to the publisher) of outfits, hairstyles etc. so you could spend hours dressing your little bomberperson. Also there are loot boxes you can buy for real money full of outfits and numerous other stuff.


There are ten game modes such as Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Treasure Mode (coins are sometimes released when bombs go off) and Zombie Mode, which turns any dead players into zombies who can walk through blasts and infect other players. Lots of Power-Ups are available to increase Speed and Bomb Range, as well as Ultimates which offer other abilities like being able to throw or kick bombs across the screen.


The one player mode has 240 levels divided into 7 zones like Jungle, Pirate Ship and a Disco dance floor. The multiplayer options cover 283 levels across the 7 zones and allows up to 32 online players at the same time. Victory are targetting this as an esport, and like other esports games the PC requirements are minimal, listing only a Pentium with 512Mb graphics needed to run it (though I wonder how well such a machine will handle 32 players  on screen at once) and I had no issues running it at a good speed with my somewhat-overkill Ryzen 7 and GTX1080.


So, aside from loot boxes, costumes and hundreds of levels, how does it actually PLAY?

Very well in fact, super smooth with bright colourful graphics and a good learning curve so even someone not good at Bomberman in the past can get a good game in. The one player game has a good variety of challenges and is a good way to train you for the multiplayer, which is where the long term fun is to be had. Having a screen full of characters and bombs going off in all directions really is a lot of fun with friends, and the deep customisation and many game modes really reward extended play. It’s not cheap at £15.49, but there is a lot there if you enjoy Bomberman and multiplayer gaming in general.

So, if you liked Bomberman you’ll love it, if you didn’t this won’t change your mind.

- Ian


Blast Zone! Tournament was provided for an unbiased review, all views expressed are those of

You can find more out about the game at the Victory Lap website:

Death Fungeon - Steam Review (PC)

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Death Fungeon by Ritual Games is the latest 8-bit style puzzle platformer that has elements of classics like Super Meat Boy and Prince of Persia and combines them into a £1.99 little packet of fun(geon).

There’s not a story as such, it just plonks your little mediaeval sprite in a seemingly endless dungeon and challenges you to jump and puzzle your way out. You have no weapons, spells or gimmicks, this is purely about your running and jumping abilities as a player.


The action takes place flick-screen style, with ladders and platforms for you to traverse. It starts you off easy, and introduces the challenges at a good and steady pace. There’s infinite lives, no time limits and when you die it starts you back at the beginning of the same screen you died on. The game also auto saves each screen you enter so you can leave and come back and not lose any progress. This makes an ideal game to play in short bursts, and also makes you want to keep coming back to see just how much further you can get.


The puzzles in the game often revolve around getting past the large ogre-like guards. They have 4 stages of alertness, from asleep to running around angrily, which is heralded by the blowing of a suitably mediaeval horn. There are large cauldrons for you to hide in, but these only work when the guards are not alerted. Later hazards include the usual spiked pits and walls, circular saws and lava pits, with trampolines joining the ladders and ledgers to enable you to get around.


The graphics are nice and colourful, and even though you are in a dungeon there’s enough variety for it not to look too samey. Music is just one tune on repeat but you can always turn it off in the menu. The controls are tight, and when playing on a joypad I experienced no issues, which is vital for a game often requiring precision jumps and quick changes in direction.


This game is an unashamed basic platformer with bright colourful graphics, tight controls and solid gameplay. It’s not exactly original, but is a great flashback for those of us old farts who remember when 8-bit was new, yet challenging and fun for those who wouldn’t know a Commodore from a commode.

- Ian

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Death Fungeon was provided for an unbiased review, all views expressed are those of




#killallzombies by Beatshapers is a twin stick shooter that retails for the not-unreasonable £3.99 on Steam, and is also available for PS4, X-Box One, and even the much-neglected PS Vita. The Steam version was the one tested here.

The action takes place on a three-quarters overhead view arena with a hexagonal floor which you can scroll about a screen-width in all directions, and plays like a modern-day version of that 90’s arcade classic Smash TV. (showing my age again here….)


There are 3 Game Modes. Survival which is to kill as many as you as can before they get you, Vault Defence which gives you a base to defend, and Co-Operative which means 2 players can play on the same screen, although you share the one health bar. Hmmm….

Common to all modes, the game eases you in with a simple handgun and a few undead to run around and shoot. If you get very close you can do melee kills but be careful as your energy bar can go down very quickly if you linger amongst the rotting hordes…

After a certain number of undead are killed, you get to select a power up from a selection of 4, which change randomly each time. There are over a hundred of these, certainly too many to list here, but include poison shots, extra time, improved melee damage or smart bomb equivalents that just kill everything. You also get power ups like Health or other weapons that appear randomly on the screen.


Later levels introduce turrets of spinning spiked poles, vehicles dropping from the sky (the floor flashes red briefly before they appear) falling meteors and even flying saucers.

One of the big selling points Beatshapers are touting is its Twitch streaming interactivity, which enables spectators to issue voice commands which affect the gameplay, by changing player’s stats, spawning more or less zombies or even flip the screen to a different perspective. There is a cool down timer though so at least you can’t be spammed.

I will confess to not testing these features, as there seemed to be a lot of issues getting the stream to work properly. This may well have been due to my connection and you may have more luck.


The minimum specs for this are low so you could pretty much run it on a potato, but even though I am running it on a Ryzen 7 and GTX1080, there was slowdown when a lot of zombies were on screen at once on later levels which seemed odd. I did all the relevant checks and even re-installed the game but there were still these occasional issues which was unfortunate.

And that is basically it. Run around, shoot, repeat. This is definitely a far better 2 player experience, as both you can run about laughing and killing zombies in a variety of gruesome ways, whilst trying not to blow each up. As a Single player game the shallowness of the gameplay is revealed, and means it’s best played in small doses.


Taken in that way, there’s fun to be had here, even though the occasional glitches and overall lack of polish knock a few points off. Still, for less than the price of a Big Mac meal you get a fun little shooter that fans of the genre will enjoy.

- Ian


To learn more about the game, head over to the Beatshapers website:

#KILLALLZOMBIES was provided by Beatshapers for an unbiased review, all views expressed are those of

Creepy Road - Steam Review (PC)



Creepy Road from Groovy Milk and Grab Games is the latest Metal Slug-a-like on Steam for £9.99. The soundtrack is also available for £1.27.

The story goes that grizzled trucker Flint Trucker is on his way home when a crazed circus bear runs out in front of him, causing his truck to crash. The only way for Flint to get home is to walk through the woods, gunning down all in sight, whilst trying to work out what’s driving every creature he meets homicidal.


The art style Is really nice, with excellent use of colour, and the soundtrack compliments what’s going on very well. There are a few repetitive speech samples which play throughout but you generally end up ignoring these after a while.

The game starts you off with a revolver, which is fine for the smaller enemies like homicidal rabbits and pigs carrying hams, but as you progress you grab better weapons to help take out larger enemies -a favourite being a gun that turns enemies into poop- as well as grenades and molotov cocktails. I found myself mainly using the shotgun as it had the best balance of speed of fire and stopping power, with most enemies taking 2 shots to kill. You can shoot in either direction or straight up, but there is no diagonal fire which was a pain.


As for the enemies, you’ll be up against bears on unicycles, floating pandas, birds that drop swordfish on you and rednecks with shotguns and flaming torches. And this is the first couple of stages! Whilst the variety of enemies increases as you move through the game, the variety in the game itself doesn’t. You’re basically walking right to left shooting whatever is in front of you. The scenery may change, but the action doesn’t. There was a Boss fight at the end of the third stage, and later in the game there is a flying section which sees you riding a missile, but it’s basically pretty repetitive. There is a life meter for Flint, checkpoints as you go through the game and infinite lives so how far you get will really depend on your patience and how much work you want to put in.


As one of the loading screens suggests, I played with an Xbox 1 controller, and in later stages of the game I found serious glitches where the game would suddenly have Flint walking in one direction I wasn’t pointing in and firing when I hadn’t pressed a button. This lead to at least one death where it sent Flint straight into a landmine which was frustrating to say the least! I checked everything and the controller was functioning perfectly, so I can only assume this is an in-game glitch which will hopefully be patched, because as it stands, it’s quite game breaking.


So, what we have here is a gorgeous looking side scrolling shooter that looks like it’s escaped from the App Store, with fairly repetitive gameplay and some serious control issues. Worth a look? Well if you like Metal Slug and want to take a chance on the control issues being ok for you then sure, but perhaps wait for a Steam sale, as at the moment it’s really only fun in quick bursts and when it behaves itself!

- Ian


To learn more about the game, head over to GroovyMilk's website below:

Creepy Road was provided by GroovyMilk for an unbiased review, all views expressed are those of

Bombslinger - Nintendo Switch Review

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Bombslinger is the latest game by Mode4 and while being available through Steam's Early Access program for a couple of years now, the game launches proper on Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC and Nintendo Switch today. We'll be taking a look at the Switch version of the game for this review.

Personally, I'm not into story-driven games these days, so you could say Bombslinger is a perfect match for me with it's firm emphasis on multi-player. The game does however have a story-mode and luckily for me, it's a welcoming and fast-paced affair that follows a straight-forward storyline with a nice quick intro before throwing you into battle. Now let's get on with hog-killin' time. 


You play as a poncho wearing bombslinger in a Bomberman / Smash TV style'd game. One glance of Bombslinger and you'll more than likely be familiar with the gameplay mechanics, but there's much more to the game than successful bomb placement and you'll need to have your wits about you if you hope to succeed. The aim of the game is to defeat all enemies within each room and in doing so different areas will open up for you to choose your path to the next randomly generated room. Along the way you'll come across bonus rooms with locked chests within, requiring a key to open. A final room will pit you against the boss for that stage. 


Along the way you'll encounter a bunch of different enemies to take down, while gaining coins for doing so. This will then enable you to explore shops that are located around the different rooms and inside you can purchase weapons and power-ups, you'll also gain the ability to select new power-ups with the use of XP that is accumulated throughout the game. All sounds easy right? Drop a few bombs, gain some power-ups, then learn the bosses movement patterns and 'bomb's your uncle'? In practise, the answer is No, this game is hard – well, at least for me. Upon dying you'll be taken back to the very start of the game, and while you do have a couple of lives that are indicated by hearts, it's only the most precise and experienced players that will get to experience all that the Single-Player game of Bombslinger has to offer. 


However, as previously mentioned, Bombslinger offers a robust selection of multi-player modes for up to 4-players, this will be the game mode I think most players will relate too, and it's what the Switch is perfect for. You can check out our video below to see the multi-player in action!

So, it a bombing good time?  

I'm a little torn. On one hand we have the steep difficulty curve of the single-player mode, this is mainly due to the fact that you can't continue from where you left off but then the game is also about progressing and levelling-up while gaining new abilities, so this does help alleviate some of the game's difficulty level if you stick at it. On the other hand we have the pickup and play aspect of the game, with very quick loading times across all game modes, the fantastic presentation, decent music and the hectic but fun multiplayer mode.



If Bombslinger sounds like your bag, then you can pick it up from the Nintendo eShop for £10.79.

The game is also available across Europe and other territories including the US:

eShop US Bombslinger US $11.99 





It’s the Year 208X, Mars is in the process of terraformation with an expected timeline of 300 years till completion. Back on Earth a great war erupts and millions of migrants look to Mars to flee their home. The Planet Remodelling Project is accelerated with the aid of ANTS, a completely robotic automated system. Migrants build large dome-shaped colonies in regions with now stable climates and rush to construct cities within them to sustain the flow of refugees.

Time passes and the World Federation has set up military colonies on Deimos and Phobos, and the dwarf-planet Ceres is being moved to Mars’ orbit to help create an ocean for the planet. One day, communication is suddenly lost with the surface of Mars, a peace keeping force called DAT whom are currently training on Deimos are sent to investigate...

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Key Features:

• 35 full-length battle-heavy campaign missions

• Pit your skills against waves of enemies in a horde gameplay mode known as 'Inferno Mode'

• Over 100 mech-customisation possibilities for yourself and your allies

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Take your team, consisting of 3 other MECHS, into battle against wave upon wave of mechanical enemies. You have a variety of weapons at your disposal, each of which can be selected with one of the four controller face buttons.

The D-pad takes care of issuing your squad with orders, should you want your teammates to Attack, Standby, Defend or Hold Position.

Once defeated the enemies usually leave behind Development Points (to be used to upgrade your MECHS) and various recovery items.

Mission Objectives shake up the routine of blasting, these can range from securing all the points on a map to completing a mission under a certain time limit. Achieve the objective and it’s onto the next Mission.



Do you like MECHS? Do you like shooting stuff? If you answered yes to those two questions then you‘re probably the target audience for this game. Assault Gunners HD is a port of a PSVITA game that was released exclusively in Japan back in 2012, it’s taken 6 years for it to land on our shores and the question is, was it worth the wait?

Before going into this game, it’s best to lower your expectations. However, it mostly succeeds to deliver what it promises, namely plenty of missions, lots of blasting action and a large dose of customisation. 

First impressions aren’t great, the game manages to look blander than bland and the first few training missions don’t do much to persuade you that there’s much fun to be had here.

At first the gameplay appears to follow a similar template to the Dynasty Warriors series, only with Robots instead of the usual Japanese feudal heroes you may be used to in a game like this. Unfortunately destroying your enemies isn’t a particularly satisfying affair, you have a choice of which weapons you want to use to deal out the damage but I found myself sticking with the powerful homing missiles for the most part. Although, the flurry of rockets is reasonably exciting to behold at first, the enemies sadly just seem to disappear in a rather lacklustre way once taken out.


There’s a hint of some sort of strategy element to the gameplay, however for the early missions you don’t need to think too much about that, later however, as missions get steadily more difficult I couldn’t help thinking that I was missing the strategic edge that seemed to be needed to successfully complete the objectives.

I never quite got a handle on managing my units effectively and the parts I’d developed to customise my MECH and those of my team, didn’t seem to helping my progress. I tried in vain to to make proper progress in the game, perhaps I’m meant to fail the same mission over and over again for the sake of collecting more points and eventually levelling up enough to achieve the objective? I never quite worked out what I was doing wrong.

At least customising the MECHS is fun, despite their generic design at the beginning of the game you can unlock some cool alternative parts and at least make them aesthetically pleasing enough.



At first I thought I was going to really dislike this game, after all it doesn’t give the best first impressions but as I began to progress in the game and discovered the fun customisation options, I really felt that I was starting to get into it, zooming around blasting stuff was fun for a while, but I was soon faced with the realisation that the core gameplay just couldn’t hold my attention. The game eludes to having some sort of depth but this was either hidden deep behind the barrage of stats and numbers that the levelling up system throws at you, or Assault Gunners HD is just simply not the deep technical gaming experience it seems to be eluding to.


Unfortunately Assault Gunners HD doesn’t just suffer in the gameplay department. It’s story is nonsensical, it’s graphics are below par and the controls could be a little more intuitive, although not terrible by any means. The game’s music is is also instantly forgettable and while it does contain some spirited Japanese voice acting, none of it is subtitled.


This isn’t a bad game, you can have some fun with it, it’s just incredibly average in nearly every way. At least it’s reasonably priced at £7.99 for the basic game and £9.79 with some extra missions. If you like Dynasty Warriors type games and have a love of MECHS you may get a fair amount of enjoyment from of this game, especially when you factor in the customisation side of things, just don’t expect too much. Overall it’s just tough to recommend this over the ton of other more polished and enjoyable games available on PSN for the same money.


OUT NOW: PS4 EU:!/cid=...

PS4 NA:!/cid=...


ASSAULT GUNNERS HD EDITION is out now on both PlayStation®4 and PC with three purchase options available.

ASSAULT GUNNERS HD EDITION (Standalone Game) - £7.19, €9.99 or $9.99*


ASSAULT GUNNERS HD EDITION COMPLETE SET (Standalone Game + DLC) - £9.29, €11.99 or $11.99*

*Prices may vary depending on region


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You know that bit in Top Gear (before Joey joined) when they would have to complete a task by creating something? Memorable examples being the sea going cars and the hovercraft... well this game is a bit like that. So imagine that Jeremy, James and Richard have created a game; but their total game-playing experience is limited to Duke Nukem, Serious Sam, with a dash of Rogue and the single exposure to Gauntlet Legacy. Now you’re thinking that, this is just my way of being polite, since their endeavours rarely worked out for the best... well no - this is actually rather good.



The redneck of the title is a tourist who ends up dead after an accident and is handily reincarnated next to a series of pyramids which have to be tackled - using assorted weaponry. So all pretty standard then.



Controls are smooth and can be redefined although the initial arrangement is fine enough. The targeting reticule changes to match the equipment ordinance and various ammo/health refills are earned as you play. It’s all quite jolly with a pleasant front end as well but that does lead me into the first couple of things that do annoy. Iconography can be tricky to read, even on a really really big screen (technical term). The same can be said of the map. This functions quite well but the legend/key is a little small for quick reference.



After playing the tutorial the game starts; however I would have preferred that the tutorial also covered the gameplay as well since it can be awkward to fathom exactly what is going on with a certain degree of confidence. The redneck angle is ultimately just there for the comedy aspect but the Egyptian theming is however a corner stone of the game design and looks good. The game is played as a series of interconnecting multilevel rooms with special staircases joining up the internal levels. As you reach the apex you face the boss at the top of the pyramid. All the foes have their own attack styles and some are spawned from generators. Hidden chests can be found and scrolls acquired to present random perks (although not all are good for you).


The internal pyramid structure is created randomly each play though using standard rooms; these rooms once entered cannot be left until they have been cleared (usually of foes). Each room is consistent so that each time you encounter it you can reuse any strategies that you have formed. A cleared room can be re-entered without penalty which is handy since the random nature of the levels will create many routes – some of which will be dead ends. Also any dropped weaponry can be retrieved if needed.



You have little to no chance of completing the game on your first or even 51st attempt. To get somewhere you have to upgrade your stats using gold obtained from your previous play. As upgrades are purchased, further branches are made open to you. Purchased upgrades can be further enhanced with more gold; this has to be done in order for certain branches to be made accessible. However as you progress bigger and bigger amounts have to be handed over in order to unlock the full tree. As you progress other characters can be unlocked on the skill tree - each with slightly different strengths. One annoying feature is that by re-entering the pyramid, your gold is set to zero so you cannot save up for upgrades and if you try to manage your gold in order to get the most for your money you’ll discover that the unit prices will change as you make each purchase; so usually spoiling any carefully crafted plan.



The controls are good and targeting is very accommodating, even when you are moving at speed.Graphically, the game walks the fine line between detail, character and recognition very well, although the iconography can be hard to read on the maps until you get used to it. Credit must be given to the music, which is very good and not invasive. As per usual with modern download games you are dropped in at the deep end. So, even games with relatively straightforward goals and objectives require a lot of play in order to get a good understanding of the mechanics (assuming you have a rounded gaming experience of course). It would have been nice if the game had a gameplay tutorial; even if it was an old fashioned attract screen that you used to find on arcade games.


Teslagrad Nintendo Switch Review


Teslagrad Powered by Nintendo Switch

Teslagrad by Rain Games was first shown in 2013 and since then its become available on a whole host of formats over the years, and now the Nintendo Switch.

December the 7th marks the release of the Nintendo Switch version but is it worth another visit?


You control a young boy who's found himself being chased by the Kings guards, ultimately forcing you into the surrounding area of the Teslagrad Tower and within. The game itself doesn't showcase what you're doing or even where to go, apart from slight hints but that's what makes this puzzle-platformer such a joy to play.


Throughout the game you'll gain new abilities that will help you explore and solve at first, confusing and 'how do I do this?' puzzles but without instructions. As a handheld version the concept really does work, pickup, play and continue where you left off. This is what makes the game fun to play and enjoyable.


Switching to docked mode and replacing the joy-con remotes with a pro controller will help you out in the later levels, some parts get very tricky as you're ability to change power-ups and precise movements are key but Teslagrad feels at home on the Nintendo Switch.


The hand-drawn environments and art style of Teslagrad, along with it's what appear to be mind bending puzzles transform onto the Switch perfectly. Addition of the handheld mode on the Switch, this is the best version of Teslagrad.

CHINFAI Nintendo Switch Pro Controller Grip Skin Review


I recently picked up a Nintendo Switch and for me, it was natural to also buy Nintendo's Pro controller. Having played with the Switch Joy-con controllers and its grip that makes it feel more like a standard controller, I still needed something that was more comfortable from the beginning.

This brings me to CHIN FAI Nintendo Switch Pro Controller Grip. I wanted some kind skin to help protect and keep my controller having that 'new' feel. 


The product came nicely packaged, instead of a lose rubber jacket in a zip-up bag that I've come across before and the contents include 4 different designs of replacement thumb stick grips.


As you can see from the photos the skin fits perfectly onto the Switch Pro controller and doesn't get in the way of the functions of the buttons, sometimes you find skins slightly overlap  the buttons or even worse, interfere with the analogue sticks when rotating them but the CHIN FAI grip has been grafted to fit. The grip doesn't have any baggy sections of any kind and fits like a grove with no movement.


The CHINFAI Pro controller grip can be brought from Amazon for £8.99

Rive: Ultimate Edition – Nintendo Switch Review

This is a multiformat twin-stick shooter now making its debut on the Nintendo Switch.

OK first some basics – I’m using the Nintendo Switch in hand held mode and despite the Switch having a new Copilot mode it will be played solo.

Initial impressions…

So after installing the game data and the appropriate button presses its game on. After a very brief spacey bit it was platform shooter time and the first thing that came to mind was the NES Sunsoft game Master Blaster. However unlike the almost sedate nature of that title this 6-legged vehicle is faced with apocalyptic levels of incoming foes and their ordinance.

The usual rules apply; one stick for movement the other for firing and the other buttons for jump, scanning, secondary weapon selection and firing.

Downed enemies bring forth bits of scrap which act as a form of currency for upgrades. These upgrades either grant permanent enhancements or limited secondary weapon availability.

So its shoot stuff, collect the spoils, trade and repeat. A novel addition is the scan which turns the weapon into a means of examining the surroundings and triggering doors or hacking equipment for your own use.


So what’s it like…

Visually everything is nicely done and the game has an entertaining self-aware narrative taking place. Progress is marked with checkpoints which prove really useful since this is a challenging game despite what it says on the start screen (you can initially select between normal and hard - no easy mode here). I had opted for normal – but this isn’t the normal for feint hearted.

This game pulls no punches and you learn to progress the hard way. Certain areas despite their intensity provide a challenge but periodically you’ll be presented with additional trials. These can be in the form of direct danger from an advanced adversary or an environmental obstacle to overcome, but quite often it’s usually both.

Thankfully the checkpoint positions are usually fairly placed so plunging you back into the action close to where you met your waterloo.

As you progress additional game modes are unlocked (Missions, Challenges and Battle Arenas) so providing a diversion from the main game.


Final thoughts…

I’ve yet to try it in docked mode but I’m hopeful a larger screen could present a slight edge when the attack waves become intense. 
This is a nice solid title featuring robust gameplay and professional music and visuals. It is hard at times due to the intensity of the gameplay but it can be overcome with practise.

RIVE: Ultimate Edition coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch™ November 17th! Two Tribes’ metal wrecking, robot hacking shooter RIVE will be better than ever on Nintendo Switch. Check out for more!

Morphite Xbox One Review


Totally in the dark on this game; so the style and type of gameplay I’d been tasked with reviewing was a complete mystery. So wasting no time I redeemed the review key via the Xbox store and waited as what was a relatively small file downloaded.

Initial impressions.

Starting off aboard a space station our heroine, Myrah Kale, is sent on a sort of coming of age/first steps type mission. Despite it clearly not being a point and click adventure, this was the immediate first impression. Most likely due to the linear series of events that then followed.

After a short while just following the story prompts which are acting as a tutorial of sorts. The game’s play mechanic started to show through. In short explore, collect, redeem/trade and repeat as required.


The art style is described as ‘Stylized Low-Poly Look’ which seems fitting enough. Some commentators have described it as being similar to Astroneer – which is a reasonable enough statement to make although Astroneer uses a wider range of colours and effects for the art style/environment that it is using.

The music is also worth a mention. The game uses a series of musical cues and mood pieces that play during certain moments acting more as a sound scape than a soundtrack. Like the art style these are very distinctive and helps to give it a sense of place that’s very unique.

So back to the game; having gained a mentor and a feline flying robot (called Kitcat) I completed the firing tutorial and left the space station on-board my own spacecraft. The navigation of which is via a galaxy/solar system type maps. Up to this point everything was first person but inside the ship the view is locked down.


Between you and the destination there are traders and other space stations. Essentially these provide the obvious trading opportunities and in the case with space station upgrade possibilities. Of course there is also the possibility of combat. This takes the appearance of using one of the gun emplacements as seen on-board the Millennium Falcon (or for seasoned players ‘Star Raiders’ through a porthole). This played well enough although I had to change the control scheme from directional to ‘pilot’ like in style by inverting the vertical input – always nice when control options are provided but I do wish there was a way to know which was the default option.

Now the first of a couple of pointers that may prove to be beneficial.

Upgrades generally require materials and currency (the delightfully named ‘chunks’). Two types of materials has been the norm so far for upgrades and the coloured bar to the right of the material names is a pictorial representation of the amount you’re carrying (if any) vs the amount required. Since you see all the possible upgrade slots at each venue despite what’s actually available it is a little confusing at first when the on screen requirements are all blank. However the exchange of materials and funds soon becomes a major plank of the game design. Upgrades exist for yourself, equipment and your ship with upgrade areas specialising in one of the three branches.



Now the main thrust of the game is the planet surfaces and it is this that has drawn the strongest comparison to the look of Astroneer and the gameplay of No man’s Sky. As per the Astroneer the No Man’s Sky reference is not quite right either – yes both feature planet surface exploration but the landscape in Morphite is smaller and more valley like in layout thus leading to a precise objective. The reduced colours and geometry is pleasing on the eye with the only drawbacks being that some features such as tunnel entrances can literally disappear when they are the same colour as the surroundings.

Planetary exploration is accessed from orbit via a pod like thing that also acts as a restock point for your weapon and maybe a checkpoint – I say maybe since it’s all a bit confusing. I’ve relied on the checkpoint system only for it to ‘not-save-your-progress’ this forcing me to chase the same amphibian several times.


As I progressed the gameplay did start to coalesce so you can then adopt a playstyle to maximise your playing experience and in game rewards. The game is essentially an exploration based; by scanning flora and fauna on planets you gain readings of their biology that act as tradable items and gateways to enhancements. Other minerals/currency can be acquired via the good old fashioned Zelda approach of smashing stuff or in our instance - shooting it.

Now another playing pointer. You will depend heavily on two items from your roster; the scanner which scans things and you gun with which you can shoot them afterwards. Initially to select between the two required you to pull up a menu and select between them. This was really unwieldy. After all scanning and shooting are the two things you do all the time and rapid selection was pretty much mandatory. Later on I discovered that the D-pad was used to bring up and zoom in/out on a map (up/down) however undocumented was the fact that left/right cycled through your items as well. This turned out to be a mixed blessing since the act of operating the map also moves the held item along. Initially I thought was my inexperience in changing the map but alas having the map up does affect the item being held. The map alas has its own issues. Normally it hangs in the upper right of the screen but is very faint. The version you call up occupies the majority of the screen and is more opaque. So as you move around it does obscure a lot of the scenery and cannot be adjusted. Not only does it make seeing thing difficult as you move but you cannot use anything you’re carrying so no scanning or shooting allowed. Another issue is that the map is rendered as per the height you’re currently at; so instead of seeing the shapes of the valley or caves you can instead get a slice of the world where the terrain has narrowed or even no longer exists at this vertical point.


As already mentioned you progress by exploration and essentially scanning everything. Like all games of this ilk your equipment is compromised at the start and upgrading via exploring is paramount. That does mean that some of the wildlife you see is practically impossible to scan (flies for example). There is a log to let you catch up on the creatures scanned but there appears to be no way of knowing if you’ve scanned all those on a particular planet (they do visually take on a slightly different on-screen appearance). Some lifeforms appear more than once with different preceding adjectives to differentiate between them. This may be down to some sort of seeding system but I noticed at least one whose name of Lakeshits seems a little unfortunate (or maybe I’m breaking the word up incorrectly…).

At this point I should come clean and point out that I haven’t completed the main game yet. In my defence I have literally gone off and done my own thing. Something that this game allows you to do -without question. There is a story and objectives (and a very handy quest screen to keep up to date of what you should be doing) that lead to planetary structures with platform/switch type obstacle courses and the unveiling of a story point (the not at all mythical Morphite!).

The conclusion

This is proving a tricky title to review. There is a lot to admire in this game and they have tried to make it as approachable as possible. Admittedly some of the areas are a little empty and the electronic music (more of an atmospheric audio experience) and graphics can grate if the game is played excessively. However in smaller doses the open ended exploration and easy going nature of this title makes this a game to fall back on, especially since death doesn’t really penalise you – just puts you back to the last checkpoint (maybe).

 “Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?”

You can find out even more details on Morphite on Crescent Moon Games website, while following the developers Blowfish Studios and We're Five Games.

Morphite is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Steam, Nintendo Switch and iOS. 


Graceful Explosion Machine PS4 Review

To summarize G.E.M (which is one hell of a great acronym by the way) would be to say it’s a side-scrolling shooter, played out in a continuously scrolling environment where the goal is to take down the on-screen enemies before they take you down. This however would be selling G.E.M short as it does this with a finesse you don’t always see in games of this genre.

At first, I thought a good comparison would be Fantasy Zone, a Sega classic with a similar gameplay style, in reality G.E.M probably has more in common with the Arcade classic Defender, albeit functioning on a completely different level.

The layers of strategy at play here, coupled with precise and responsive controls result in nothing short of pure Arcade-style gameplay bliss.


Rather than just doing away with your enemies with just a simple laser, G.E.M provides you with a range of different offensive options and depending on the situation, or enemy type, you’ll want to vary your strategy accordingly.

Weaker enemies can be done away with quickly just by using the standard laser. If they swarm you however there is no need to despair, as you have your Energy Sword, which can provide a swift swipe around the vicinity of your ship to keep the marauders at bay. A stronger foe giving you trouble from afar? Fear not, as you can always rely on your Sniper Beam to take them out from a safe distance. There’s also a barrage of missiles at your disposal, if things get a little too hairy.

In the midst of battle be mindful however, as your standard laser can be prone to overheating if you get a little too trigger happy, in which case, be sure to switch to another weapon in your arsenal to keep providing the firepower, if you have enough gems to power the weapon that is. As an enemy is destroyed it will leave behind a yellow gem, once collected these will provide the fuel for your additional weapons. This is where G.E.M’s strategic side comes into play.

Another tool which goes hand in hand with gem collecting is the ‘dash’ move. While dashing your ship becomes invulnerable and you can easily dash through waves of enemies in order to create distance between you and them or just simply to collect those precious yellow gems that have been dispersed from fallen foes. When your special weapons have run out of juice, collecting these gems is imperative.

When I worked out how to balance these different aspects everything about G.E.M fell into place and I began to ‘feel’ the game as opposed to having to spend too much time ‘thinking’ and thinking is a luxury you simply won’t have when challenged with the amount of on screen enemies G.E.M delights in throwing at you after you’ve enjoyed the honeymoon period provided by the game’s first few stages.


There are 4 worlds in total with 9 stages in each world, which will keep you busy for quite some time, with a new world opening up upon completing a predefined number of stages. The game’s difficulty curve is welcoming to players not familiar with this type of game and coupled with its eye catching visual style, G.E.M is a very inviting experience for casual players. While I played the PS4 version, I can see the game being a great fit for the Switch audience in-particular and also one that works well in short bursts making it well suited for a portable platform, however I wouldn’t like to play it on a screen any smaller than that of the Switch due to the size of the objects on screen and the frantic nature of the gameplay.

The game also boasts a ranking system and gives you the option to upload your score to a leaderboard at the end of each stage. The ranking system will give you a rating based on several performance criteria, such as time completed, combos acquired and also reward you for the style you’ve displayed during the battle. It’s a great extra incentive for giving stages another go especially since your skills will develop the more you play.

My first impression of this game was of a well-executed arcade style shooter with it’s own unique ideas, I initially saw it as nothing more than good simple fun but felt is was lacking that must-play factor. The more I played however, the more I appreciated the subtleties of the gameplay and quickly found myself entering a state where I became enveloped in the action, suddenly I could take down the waves of enemies with Grace and Purpose, knowing exactly what to do in often hectic the situations. It was at this point everything ‘clicked’, I’d become hooked and found it very difficult to stop playing.


For those who try this game once and walk away thinking ‘that was good…but, something is lacking’, I’d urge you to stick with it a little longer, take the time to learn the mechanics of the game and before long you’ll really appreciate what a blissful experience Graceful Explosion Machine really is and how it is one of the best examples of Pure Gameplay around at the moment on any system.

In summery, Graceful Explosion Machine is a finely tuned and addictive beast of game, if you enjoy shooters, especially those with a strategic edge then this game is a must-have. I’d also say even if you’re new to the genre, G.E.M is just a great Arcade style experience where the more you play, the more you’ll ultimately get out of the experience and like any great arcade game you may just have a hard time deciding when it’s time stop playing…

Graceful Explosion Machine for the Playstation 4 was provided to us for an honest review and is available now, as is a Nintendo Switch and PC version of the game. For more information on the game and and where to buy it from, head over here.

- Tom Parry

Death Squared Nintendo Switch Review

You will die a lot. Those five words neatly explain what will happen when you play Death Squared.
Want more? - For the most part you will be entirely responsible…

However you’re here for the complete package; So Death Squared is firstly a puzzle game and secondly a test on how well you can keep calm under pressure and not shout at each other*.

Now sidestepping the plot for a moment I’ll attempt to explain the basics of the game.

There are cubes that you control. In single player there are two (red and blue) whilst in multiplayer there are four (add a yellow and green to the mix).
So the number of players varies from 1, 2 or 4. The play environment is composed of tiles with various properties and a few other ‘toys (?)’ whose actions are in response to switches or to the movement of specific player cubes.

The basis of the game is to move these coloured cubes from their starting positions to their respective goals (denoted with a matching coloured circle).
And with that simple premise be prepared for torture.

Initially the levels are a little pedestrian. The linear routes helping to focus your attention on the obstacles you face. As the levels go by the game starts to introduce features and what can only be called ‘tricks’ that are designed to foil your progress. Part of the game’s design is that you’re expected to die since some of the traps when released are unavoidable; that surprisingly doesn’t mean it’s unfair, just designed to give you a good rubbing just when you think that you’re home and dry.

Later levels open out the playfield which actually does provide a different challenge. You are now faced with the question of which way shall I go (?) and is that tempting switch part of the test or a lure to extract another fatality. The deaths you experience are totalled for each level and there is no limit to the number of lives, you just restart the level after your demise. The challenge is in solving the puzzle and remembering the solution as you negotiate the ‘dance’ that you perform with the bots to ensure their survival.

At this point I’m going to veer away from the play mechanics and look at presentation. The cubes are ‘in fact’ A.I. bots and inhabit a series of test chambers. In game the inter-level sequences are characterized with audio of David, a slacker employee, and Iris his A.I. companion discussing life, the universe and well everything A.I. bot related. 
All this does sound very Portalesque but is very well done and sets the context for the puzzles whilst giving the player a continuing narrative (and confession time I have no idea what happens at the end – I’ve yet to finish the thing).

In fact the presentation of the whole package is of a high standard with a consistent look and feel. Apart from the colour, the bots are identifiable by an increasing number of lights giving them all ‘faces’ with an additional light on the top to show which bot you’re controlling. This brings up another point about the control system. Each of the Switches controllers operate one of the Bots and can also operate one additional bot when required. So in single player each stick operates its own Bot (a note to Neon owners here – the Bot colours are OPPOSITE to the controller colours) whilst in Multiplayer you may be required to control an extra Bot by holding down the shoulder button).

As you progress the levels unlock and you can revisit completed levels at any time. There is also a series of extremely hard levels (The Vault) for both single and multiplayer that are unlocked after you complete the respective sections. As I’ve not managed to complete the game yet I cannot comment on the difficulty of the bonus levels. So what lies beyond in unknown so I’ve no idea if you’d consider them a reward or a curse.

So the all-important round up. Is it any good?

Well yes it is but don’t wander in thinking that it will be easy or a quick game. It is a challenge and one that will keep you busy for quite a while.
Now if you excuse me I’ve some A.I. Bots that I’ve got to lead to their early death.

*Multiplayer only feature (shouting at the game is available in both single and multiplayer modes)

Death Squared for the Nintendo Switch was provided to us for an honest review. More information can be found and where to buy the game from, here.

- Neil Kenny

AntLion Audio ModMic 5 The Mic your Headset Needs

Totally modular, ModMic 5 delivers performance and flexibility all in one. With two mics on a single boom, ingenious cable design, mute module, and included cable wraps, choices abound.

Modmic 5 by Antlion Audio is a microphone that you can connect to you're existing headset. The best headphones don't always come with a microphone and those that do, offer a basic mic for your expensive headset.

Opening my parcel I was greeted with the ModMic 5, an Antlion USB Soundcard adapter and a Y audio adapter for use with gaming consoles.

The contents are as followered; ModMic 5, mute switch, 1meter and 2meter audio cables, carrying case, 2 base clips with extra adhesives, foam pop filter, 2meter cable wrap and 10 cable clips.

Connecting the microphone to your headset is straight forward, an adhesive pad is stuck to the headset that holds the magnetic clasp. The bond between the ModMic and clasp is tough enough to hold the mic in position but you'll also be able to take it off for storage or changing to another headset with ease.

To sort the cable management issue, Antlion has provided two different approaches; First is cable clips, which I'm impressed by. The clip itself has two sides, a big and a little clip, fitting the headset and microphone cable perfectly. Secondly is a braided cable that wraps around both wires, a little tricky and time needed to setup but works well if you don't intend to swap the ModMic to something else.

Two additional products that can be bought are the USB sound card adapter and the Y adapter for consoles, so depending on the setup the ModMic 5 can be used on a verity of situations. I'll be continuing to test and use the ModMic 5 in different ways and will be reporting back here and over on our YouTube channel.

While I don't have a presenter's voice, you can hear the crisp and clarity of the ModMic 5 and proves with the right mic, you don't need to be a professional to sound like one.

The ModMic 5 can be bought for $69.95 from Amazon or £64.99 from OverClockers within the UK. A list of other outlets can be found here.

If you have any questions then please let me know in the comments below.

ModMic 5 was provided by Antion Audio for test / review purposes

DOGOS Review (PS4)


A review by Tom Parry


I have never played a game like Dogos, I’ve played similar things but never an overhead shooter with the kind of explorative freedom that this game has, and for the most part it’s a rather impressive and enjoyable game.

You are Desmond and your task is to wipe-out the evil alien Zeetnuk forces through a series of 14 objective based missions. The nature of these missions, at their core, involve shooting everything in sight in your rather nimble spacecraft. You have various weapons at your disposal, ranging from a laser to take down airborne enemies to various bombing weapons to take down ground targets. You also gain access to some more powerful Special weapons, such as Homing Missiles and the super powerful Mega Bomb, a personal favourite.

Your foes, The Zeetnuk, are resourceful sorts and you’ll find yourself having to take down their various small spacecraft and more deadly heavier airborne forces as well as ground targets including tanks, boats and some particularly vicious gun turrets who take great pleasure in harassing you with homing missiles.

This may all be sounding rather familiar but what makes Dogos unique is that the game isn’t on-rails (at least for the most part, but we’ll come to that later). The player has the freedom to explore a rather large terrain and can call on a map to find their next objective. Most of the time, especially at the beginning of the game your waypoints are clearly marked on the map so it’s just a case of flying to the next objective although later on, especially in the last 3 missions a little more exploration must be done to find your next objective, Dogos does a great job of never letting the player get too lost either with some friendly level design.

The mission objectives in Dogos vary, but for the most part involve bombing the Neetnuk’s nefarious facilities, usually taking down shield generators or reactors in order to eventually take down a bigger foe. Some of the larger foes in the game include a large battleship and an armoured, heavily weaponised train.

Movement is a twin-stick affair; the left stick is your throttle while the right stick turns your ship. This works well in practice and allows you to easily weave your way around the enemy’s hail of laser fire with ease.

As the game progresses it introduces some rather tricky obstacles, such as beam doors, which flash on and off giving you a small opportunity to fly through, only to be faced with a series of even trickier barriers. There’s plenty of this close quarters beam dodging, which can be frustrating at times, especially as you manage the ships momentum (it never stops dead when you want it too). However, you will gain improved control of your ship as you play, rewarding practice and patience, and while Dogos may seem harsh in places, it is always fair. It’s certainly an accessible game and frequent checkpoints really help levitate the game’s more frustrating challenges.

Dogos occasionally shakes things up with high speed ‘on-rails’ sections where you have to pilot your craft through a dangerous series of canyons or tight corridors, sometimes while bombarded by various other obstacles that appear in your path. These sections are few and far between and while they give the game a much needed sense of speed (a boost button would be a nice to have), they are sometimes frustrating and often feel unnecessary. Later forced on-rails sections seem to delight in throwing obstacles in front of you with little notice, giving the player a fraction of a second to react. With a bit of patience, you’ll make it through these sections but they can be frustrating and the sudden change of pace can also be a little jarring.

There is no doubt that the core shooting mechanics of Dogos are very enjoyable though and there’s a variety of weapons to unlock too as you progress in the game. These can give you a nice tactical advantage in places. Once you get the ‘Spitfire’ laser and Cluster Bombs though, you have a winning combination.

The game even attempts at having a narrative that can be followed by listening to Desmond narrate his Diary between levels, it’s a rather simple story with little depth or deep explanation but what it succeeds in doing is giving the player a motive for destroying the game’s hordes of enemies.

Desmond sounds like a man who has little hope and his narration is delivered in a suitably appropriate manner. It’s a nice little touch, as is the dialogue Desmond has with his ally, Europa during the game’s missions, which peppers the game with a touch of humanity. Having said that these sections could be better implemented and cut scenes would greatly enhance the proceedings.

As mentioned previously, the game is spread across 14 levels, which include a good variety of locales, from the distinct desert canyons of the first couple of levels, to volcanic caves, tropical stormy seas then eventually into the inner workings of a Zeetnuk spacecraft where you take down the game’s final boss.

The game doesn’t really excel in boss battles sadly though and there’s a feeling that it could do with a few more, at least a little more variety would be nice (you fight the rather underwhelming ‘Goliath’ a total of three times during the games final missions). What is here though is satisfying enough, plenty of projectile dodging ensues but the bosses do have a bad habit of overstaying their welcome and occasionally go on for what feels like an age. A life bar would be a welcome addition for sure.

Worthy of note are the game’s graphics, this is a nice looking game for sure, not only from a graphical standpoint but from a design standpoint also. All the vehicles in the game have their own distinct personalities and everything on screen is very easy on the eyes.

The game’s colour palette is refreshingly bright and while the graphics are certainly of this generation they also have a retro throwback feel, provoking nostalgic memories of the bygone Amiga era.

Musically Dogos is rather underwhelming, the game has a limited soundtrack comprising of a handful of tracks that are re-used far too frequently and often don’t represent the fast paced nature of what’s going on in the game most of the time. A more dynamic soundtrack would help elevate the game’s atmosphere immensely. While some of the tracks are fairly enjoyable to listen to they don’t change up enough when needed and sadly, Dogos ends up feeling flat in the music department for the most part.

In summary, Dogos does a lot of things very well. It has great graphics, satisfying finely tuned controls and nice level design but falls flat in other areas like sound, variety and overall presentation and wow-factor. The frustrating thing about Dogos is it’s almost all there, just the pieces aren’t meshing together as well as they could be, with a few more varied mission objectives, a more dynamic soundtrack, better boss battles and overall greater coherence and polished presentation Dogos would certainly be 'Top Dog'. As it stands though Dogos is a solidly crafted shooter which offers up a refreshing change of pace when compared to other games of its ilk.

I strongly recommend that you give Dogos a go. It provides a rewarding, unique and accessible shooting experience that has some nice challenge, it’s a good length too, providing about 6 hours gameplay to complete the main story and then an incentive to play though the levels again to complete extra challenges.

What I really hope is that enough people try this game to encourage a sequel, as I feel it wouldn’t take a lot more to make this game a top drawer title.

DOGOS is available NOW (Sept 6) for download on PS4 and from Sept 7. for download on XBOXONE and STEAM platforms.