Playing Monument Valley is a weird experience. It doesn’t last very long, but for the hour or two that you are playing, you’re torn between progressing with the puzzles or just staring slack-jawed at the screen. Because this isn’t just a game: it’s gorgeous, beautiful art.
When I first played Rayman Legends on the Wii U almost a year ago, I knew it was going to be brilliant. Since then, it’s been delayed for months, is no longer a Wii U exclusive, and has flown under the radar a little. But none of these things matter, because I was right: Rayman Legends is absolutely brilliant.
It is the year 1959B, and the Soviets are up to no good. I know this because I am a secret agent, an invisible tool my government deploys for tasks requiring the utmost discretion – like, say, stealing a Soviet hard drive from their imposing headquarters. Sounds difficult? Maybe for an amateur like you – but professionals like me always have a plan. Naturally, it begins in the park outside the headquarters. I walk up to my contact and say hello to him. “WHERE IS THE MACGUFFIN?” he screams at me, with impressive volume. Confused, I ask him again, and get the same reply, only louder. I wander off to ask a passerby what a MacGuffin is, but the first guy I run into asks me for some gum. I hand my last stick to him, and he blows a bubble so big that it bursts in his face, blinding him. He then, naturally, rolls into oncoming traffic.
This isn’t what I signed up for.
It’s not uncommon for an RPG to have a variety of playable classes. Wizard, Paladin, Brute…the list goes on. South Park: The Stick of Truth draws heavily on RPG heritage, and thus it has four classes of its own. Fighters: …
The last thing this industry needs is another Voodoo-based roguelike with engaging art, smart procedural level generation and rewarding cooperative play. Wait, whaddya mean that’s exactly the kind of thing the industry needs? And that someone’s developed a game …
Occasionally, a certain type of game will come around. The type of game that is perfectly suited to its platform. One where everything comes together to form a beautiful package; where the gameplay complements the graphics which complement the sound which complements the level design. One where it’s so damn perfect, criticising it is almost impossible.
OlliOlli is that type of game.
The Novelist is a game about compromise. In that respect, it’s probably more realistic than any other: it is the embodiment of the idea that you can’t please everyone. And that idea leads to what makes The Novelist so special: you can’t win.
As I sail the seas of the Caribbean, navigating through shimmering blue waters towards the next island, which is itself undoubtedly rich in flora and fauna, I realise something. Assassin’s Creed 4 has done the impossible: it’s made me enjoy sailing.