(Mini) Game Review: Wavetale

Wonderfully animated, striking art and beautiful scenery. While graphics/visuals are not the be-all and end-all of a game, I do think that they can lift a title up several levels. I mean, if you’re going to be looking at something for several hours, it does help if that something is nice to look at, right? Developed and published by Thunderful Games, Wavetale is certainly a great-looking title but how does it play?

“Explore an open sea and the decaying archipelago of Strandville in Wavetale, a story-driven action-adventure game introducing you to fed-up fishermen, secretive hermits – and maybe a pirate or two. Traverse calm waters and surging waves as Sigrid, a young girl who befriends a mysterious shadow that provides her with the power to walk on water.”

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Originally released as a Stadia exclusive last year… and we all know how that whole Stadia thing turned out, eh? Now released on everything, Wavetale is as chilled and easygoing as it is exciting and action-packed. Action-adventure, platforming and even a bit of combat. The story here is nothing special, you play as Sigrid, a resident of the archipelago of Strandville. When a dark and foreboding fog engulfs the land, you set out to try and stop it. Throw in some secrets of the various inhabitants of the islands and you do have a rather cliché plot. Still, as sub-standard as it all sounds, Wavetale does a really great job of telling it and there are a few surprises to learn along the way.

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You (as Sigrid) team up with your grandmother and have to collect sparks, these sparks can then be used to bring light to the darker areas of the archipelago to destroy the impleading doom. Being set in and around an archipelago means that there’s a lot of traversing over water. The main problem with that is that you don’t have a boat. Early in the game, you cross paths with a mysterious shadow figure in the water. Placing a foot down on the water’s surface, the shadowy figure does the same, your feet meet and from then on, you are connected. Sigrid is then free to (basically) skate over the waves with amazing grace and ease.

This is one of the aspects that makes Wavetale such a pleasure to play. The controls, movement and momentum are just perfect. Sigrid is very nimble and has a variety of moves to help her get around. Aside from gently skimming over the water, Sigrid can jump and double jump, dive under the water, glide through the air, grapple and more. There’s a real joy in navigating the world that you are in that is effortless and exciting. You’ll need those moves too as the little islands of the archipelago require some serious exploring.

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Kind of like a Tony Hawk’s game getting it on with a Zelda title, Wavetale is a charming action-adventure game with a really great and intuitive control scheme. The combat is basic but works well enough. Then, everything is tied together with a story that is a tad cliché but still told well. £25 is how much Wavetale is going to cost and you’re looking at around 4-5 hours before you see the end credits. Maybe a tad longer if you want to mop up all the side quests and such. What you get here is a very serene and calming title, but still with plenty of action to boot. Controlling Sigrid over the water and on the islands is wonderful and a major highlight. Sometimes, I forgot about the main plot and just went exploring, enjoying skating over the water, ‘grinding’ along platforms and clambering up towers. Wavetale is charming and very playable from start to finish. Very attractive on the eyes too.

Game Review: Paper Cut Mansion

It’s Halloween once more and time for a spooky game review. Developer Space Lizard Studio and publisher Thunderful Games have a rather apt new game out just in time for the long dark nights and to help get you in the mood. But, is Paper Cut Mansion a worthy Halloween game with scares or is it just scarily bad?

Paper Cut Mansion is a roguelite horror set in a papercraft world. Play as Toby, a police detective arriving at a mysterious old mansion. Explore the mansion floor by floor as you seek to unravel the story behind this bizarre place, with each run giving you the opportunity to collect another piece of evidence to be added onto your Evidence Board. The Mansion also hosts a mysterious cast of characters who may help or hinder your progress on each run…

Now, I do have a weakness for a good roguelite, it is one of my favourite sub-genres of gaming, so this gets a big tick in the plus column before I even start. Paper Cut Mansion also gets bonus points for its art style. As the title may have clued you in (and the trailer definitely so), what you get here is a paper-cut-out aesthetic. Think, a children’s pop-up storybook and that is pretty much it. It looks great too with a mix of 2D paper cut-outs and 3D paper models.

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With this being a roguelite, expect to die, a lot. As is the norm for this sub-genre, dying just helps you learn more of what to do and further you to the end of the game. How Paper Cut Mansion plays is an action-puzzle-detective ’em up. You have a mansion with multiple floors to explore, objects to search, clues to find and a variety of NPCs to meet. What gives this game a USP is the addition of three different dimensions to explore. Each floor of the mansion will have a gateway to those dimensions. When you go into a gate, the map layout remains the same, but the graphics change, as does the gameplay mechanics of each dimension.

You have the NeoCortex and this is the ‘standard’ dimension that you will start your journey in. Here, your focus will be on clue-finding and puzzle-solving. Then, there is the Reptilian Complex which is much more fiery-hellish in its presentation. Overrun with monsters, this one is much more action based and will have you using weapons to fight off a multitude of evil apparitions and demons. Finally, there is the Limbic System, which is the opposite of the previous dimension. Icy cold and you will freeze to death if you can’t find a place to warm up, giving you a more survival style of gameplay. Really, what you get with Paper Cut Mansion is three distinctly different gameplay styles and mechanics that merge together to make one overall title.

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Now, I have to admit that this game put me in a bad mood right from the moment it started proper (after the walking introduction) because the first thing I had to do was solve a sliding puzzle… and I really don’t like sliding puzzles. I just felt that this was going to be an uninspiring and very cookie-cutter title with bog-standard puzzles. Gladly, I was very quickly proven wrong as the game really opened up to something far more worthy and enjoyable soon after. The puzzles here are wonderfully varied. Some are very familiar and some feel truly unique. The NeoCortex dimension is (as previously mentioned) the ‘standard’ one that you will start on as the game begins. Here, you have to search your surroundings and examine furniture for clues. You can rotate and explore the items, open drawers and such, to try and find whatever it is that you need to solve a puzzle. Even then, the clues themself can also be explored as many of them will have something hidden on them that will open up a solution that you may have missed. You really do need to keep your wits about you in this dimension and use detective skills.

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The Reptilian Complex dimension is a lot more action-based. Loads of enemies and you armed with (eventually) a variety of weapons to take them all out. This one plays much more like a shooter/brawler-dungeon crawler with a multitude of collectable upgrades and customisable equipment. The focus here is finding a loadout that suits you and fine-tuning your skills as you kill scary beasts and apparitions. The third dimension, Limbic System, is where you need to try to stay alive and not freeze to death. It is cold and unless you can find somewhere to keep warm, you’ll soon see your demise as you try to explore the mansion and find your way to the next floor.

All three of the dimensions play very differently from each other and yet, they are all still very much part of the same game. You will always have one main mission, and that is to find and open a talking door that will take you to the next floor of the mansion. However, the talking door will give you a mission to complete specific to one of the three dimensions. So, you’ll need to play in all three on each floor of the mansion to really get an understanding of what is going on and how to progress further into Paper Cut Mansion. At set points in the game’s story, you can make decisions that will affect just how things pan out, this leads to a whopping 27 different endings to discover. Thankfully, Paper Cut Mansion offers up gameplay that you will want to come back to and the replay value is high here and outside of the main mission, there’s plenty more to see and do. NPCs will give you side quests to complete based on one of the three dimensions, weapons and upgrades to find and more.

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The roguelite gameplay works very well here and you will always learn something new with each successive run. Perma-death and procedurally generated levels will keep you on your toes, as well as help to keep the game fresh and interesting each time you do die and restart. Then there is the atmosphere and overall style. The paper cut-out aesthetic may give you impressions of a child’s pop-up book, but don’t let that fool you. Paper Cut Mansion has a genuine feeling of dread and horror. Look, the game opens with a short intro where you have to do nothing more than walk along a path to the mansion itself. This short segment not only sets up the tone perfectly, it even made me jump at one point, and all I was doing was walking right. Then, when you do get into the mansion itself, the feeling of dread intensifies and you just have no idea what to expect. There are surprises everywhere, even doing something as simple as searching a bed can give you a scare.

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Priced at around £17 and available to buy now on PC and all the consoles, Paper Cut Mansion is a charming title that really has a lot more going on than it first seems. There is a real depth of gameplay here, the melding of three different game styles and mechanics via the different dimensions adds plenty of variety. That’s before you get into all the different weapons and upgrades. The art style is wonderful and lends its way to some really great and unexpected scary moments. A roguelite that’ll keep you coming back for more, a great title to play this Halloween and a fantastic example of why indie games can be creative and unique.

Game Review: LEGO Bricktales

I adore the LEGO games. You know the ones, those family-friendly action romps, usually based on a pretty famous IP. Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Batman and more. They are all a bit ‘samey’, I admit, but no less fun for it. I always think that the LEGO games are a good entry point for younger gamers and the fact they can be played in co-op means you can play with your kids and enjoy them just as much.

If these games have a negative, then it is (as mentioned) that they are ‘samey’. No matter the IP used, the games pretty much play the same regardless. Even when they do something more original with the likes of LEGO City: Undercover (best LEGO game so far), the core gameplay never really changes. This brings me to LEGO Bricktales, a new LEGO game from developer ClockStone and published by Thunderful Games. So, the same old LEGO game eh? Well no, not quite.

“In this puzzle-adventure, use an intuitive brick-by-brick building mechanic to solve puzzles and bring your creations to life! Experience a charming story as you explore beautiful LEGO® dioramas and help the people inhabiting them.”

With LEGO Bricktales, you get a very different type of LEGO game. There’s no running around and smacking enemies in the face here, as with most of the other LEGO titles. As the blurb up there describes the game, this is more of a puzzle-adventure title. The story is that:

“Your grandfather, a genius inventor, has called you for help! His beloved amusement park is about to close as the mayor is threatening to shut everything down and seize the land if the necessary repairs aren’t made to bring it up to code. With the help of your powerful little robot buddy, you can restore it using a mysterious device based on alien technology. As a source of power, the device needs happiness crystals, which you can harvest by making people happy and solving their problems. With the aid of a portal, travel to different locations all around the world to help people and collect their happiness crystals. Strap in for the ultimate building adventure and save your grandfather’s amusement park!”

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Taking place over several themed LEGO-built dioramas, you need to help various people to gain happiness crystals, which can then be used to restore your grandfather’s theme park to its former glory. The main draw of LEGO Bricktales is its building mechanic. If you have ever played any of those previous LEGO games, then you’d know that building really is nothing more than just holding down a button while the game auto-builds whatever is needed. Here though, you have to physically manipulate and build each item by hand, brick by brick. You can move the various LEGO bricks around in a 3D environment and place each one to create whatever it is that you need to build to solve the puzzle.

As this is a puzzle-adventure title, the action here is minimal and the pace of the game is much slower than other LEGO games. You’ll be spending a lot of your time exploring the numerous LEGO dioramas, talking to NPCs and solving a lot of LEGO-based puzzles. You’ll be doing things like building a bridge for construction vehicles to pass over (this is developed by ClockStone famed for the Bridge Constructor games), putting together gyrocopters, rafts, a throne for a king or even a perch for an owl.

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Each of the building puzzles will have rules and criteria that you will need to abide by. For instance, the building of a perch for an owl that I just mentioned. Here, you have to ensure that the perch is balanced correctly and doesn’t swing around too much. The puzzles can be quite taxing on the old noodle as there is no one way to solve them and there are multiple possible outcomes. Each puzzle can be completed in a number of ways with you using the specific LEGO bricks given to solve it. Use as many or as few LEGO bricks as you like, as long as the build meets the set criteria. The way that I build a bridge may very well be totally different to how you do it, even if both work.

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Physics plays a big part in the puzzles too. Getting a gyrocopter off the ground takes very careful placing of the LEGO bricks to ensure that it can take off evenly and doesn’t crash. The building of a multi-level fire escape took me a good while as I had to ensure it was safe enough to hold the weight of my character and had enough support for each of the sets of stairs. The building here really is very creative, will keep you occupied and the freedom you have (even with limited LEGO) is really impressive. Then, once you have successfully completed a puzzle, you can go back to it, now with unlimited bricks in a sandbox mode. So, you can really put your LEGO-building skills to the test. This sandbox mode does completely remove the puzzle element from the game, but it also allows you to really get creative with your builds. Turn that rickety footbridge into a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge. Take that basic gyrocopter and fashion it into an Apache AH-64E. Your imagination (and build space) becomes your only limit.

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Outside of the many and various taxing puzzles, there is the usual LEGO humour. The characters you talk to and the main story is peppered with silly little jokes and pop culture references. Then there is the exploring of the dioramas, there’s a lot to see and do. It’s not all about solving puzzles as you can find various collectables, hidden areas, costumes for your character (yes, the character is customisable), alternate brick designs and more. Your character learns new skills as you progress through the game and these skills can be used to access previously impossible-to-reach places. This encourages you to go back into previous areas and see what you can find.

LEGO Bricktales is available on everything from today and will set you back around £25. Now, I’m not entirely sure what the target age is for LEGO Bricktales. It is far more taxing than the usual LEGO games and some of the puzzles even had me stumped for a while, and I’m 46. So, I think that younger gamers could be put off because it isn’t as straightforward as other LEGO titles. The placing of the bricks can prove to be really fiddly at times. Because you are moving the bricks around in a 3D environment, the controls can be a tad stubborn and placing a brick exactly where you need it can be a pain.

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There is no run option for your character. This is a game that involves a lot of moving around, exploring, backtracking and so on. Your character just toddles along at a steady pace and wanting to get from one area to another can become a bit of a slog. Plus, I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more variety with the puzzles. There are some really creative ones that will test your LEGO-building skills. Puzzles like having to build a train to hold ‘coal’ (LEGO studs). The ‘coal’ drops and you have to build a funnel-type thing to direct the ‘coal’ that is attached to a train that will then, not only contain the ‘coal’ but also be strong enough to transport it. There are a few of these more ‘out of the box’ puzzles. However, most of them do just have you building a bridge or some kind of platform.

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Still, slight niggles aside, I really enjoyed my time with LEGO Bricktales. It’s not a very big game, nor does it outstay its welcome either. You get five dioramas to explore, all based on LEGO sets and themes (jungle, pirates, medieval, etc) and those five dioramas have multiple areas to explore too. As previously mentioned, there are things to find, hidden areas to discover and more. The dioramas are bigger than they first seem and there is a decent chunk of game here and the £25 price tag is a reasonable one. LEGO Bricktales is a fun and challenging title that is a nice and very welcome break from the usual LEGO games. A recommendation from me indeed.

Game Review: Cursed To Golf

Developed by Chuhai Labs and published by Thunderful, Cursed to Golf is (surprise) a golf game. Only, this isn’t PGA Tour, a cheeky 18 at Pebble Beach and then onto the clubhouse for an egg and cress sandwich, washed down with a sparkling mineral water type of golf. This is… well, this is golf done very differently.

“Cursed to Golf is a golf-like adventure where every shot counts. Players are tasked with making it out of Golf Purgatory to become a Golfing Legend. With insane hazards, otherworldly power-ups and tons of replayability, will you make it back alive or will you forever be… Cursed to Golf!?”

The opening of the game works as a tutorial to get you used to the basic controls. Playing as a champion level golfer, taking part in the Eternal Golf Championship tournament. A storm begins to build and clouds form in the sky. You are on the last hole and are about to sink the ball to take the title. The storm has gotten worse, a lightning bolt hits your club and you are killed. Yup, you are dead. Sent into purgatory, golf purgatory. Guided by a ghostly Scottish golfer in a kilt called The Scotsman, you have to beat several devilishly tricky 18-hole golf courses to be returned back to life and back to the Eternal Golf Championship tournament.

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The controls for Cursed to Golf are beautifully simplistic. No lugging a golf bag full of clubs around here. You only have three clubs. A driver for long-distance and powerful shots. An iron for medium-distance and more controlled shots. Then you have a wedge for shorter chip shots. The mechanics of using the clubs is just as simple too. Select your club, press the button to bring up the power bar and press again to select how hard you want to hit the ball. You’ll then have a trajectory line that sweeps up and down, waiting for you to press the button for the final time to select the angle of your shot.

While the controls and mechanics are simple enough, making your way through 18 holes of a golf course in purgatory isn’t. The courses here are not your usual golfing experience. Here, you’ll have to contend with the typical golf hazards such as rough grass, bunkers, water and the like. But then there are very untypical things like blocks of TNT, teleporters, fans that blow your ball and a host of other hazards that I don’t want to spoil here.

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You start each hole with only 5 shots but there is no way you are going to make it to the pin in 5 shots or less. The holes here are massive and closer to par 10s+ than par 5s and under. So then, how do you make it to the hole when you don’t have enough shots? This is where things get a lot more tricky. Along the way, you will come across statues, smash the statues with your ball to earn more shots. These statues are rarely in easy-to-reach places and will often have you pulling off trick shots to reach them. Then there is the addition of ace cards. These things are one-use power-ups and can get you a few extra shots too.

Put the ball in the hole with shots to spare, and you earn money. Use that money in the golf shop to buy more ace cards. There are a variety of these ace cards too, not just extra shots ones. Various perks and power-ups can be used via the ace cards, while out on the Hellish links. Turn water into ice, stop the ball dead without bouncing, turn it into a controllable drill, adjust the direction of the ball in mid-air, have it split into three balls and so much more. With 20 different ace cards to nab, there are a lot of different ways to navigate the labyrinthine-like holes.

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If you fail to get through all 18 holes in one go, it is game over and you have to start from hole 1 again. This is where Cursed to Golf goes a bit Rogue-like. Every time you do have to restart the course, the holes are randomly generated. Oh yeah, it’s a right fucker. You think you have learned a hole and can put the ball away with relative ease, only for the game to change each and every hole next time around. Now, the holes here are not procedurally generated, they are pre-deigned, but there are around 70 or so of them that will be thrown at you randomly each and every time you play.

This is a very tough Rouge-like, not lite, as you don’t get to restart with anything that you have unlocked. No ace cards carry over, you fail, you lose everything and have to start over with nothing. There are a couple of saving graces that may ease frustrations. There is a checkpoint system, but only one per round and you have to beat a mid-course (level) boss first… which is not an easy thing to do. Plus, you can store a set number of ace cards in a binder in the shop for later use. Storing the cards does mean that you can’t use them while they are in the binder though, so you effectively lose them for the round you are currently playing.

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Make no mistake about it, Cursed to Golf is hard. The holes are really difficult to navigate, and that is just for the ‘normal’ ones. There are special challenge cursed holes that really push your golfing skills to breaking point. Randomly and continually through one of these challenge holes, you are given a handicap to contend with. These are not your average handicaps though and offer things like turning the screen upside down, removing the bonus statues to gain extra shots or forcing you to only aim one way and more. The boss battles are pretty damn tricky in their own right. The 16-bit inspired graphics are really nice and offer a lot of little details. Everything just suits the game on a visual level. That carries over to the music and sound too.

£17 is what this game is going to cost you and it is out on PC and all the consoles right now. Yes, this is well worth a purchase, but be warned… this is a very, very tough game. The simplistic controls and mechanics, the cute 16-bit pixel art and the chirpy music are a front for just how unrelentingly difficult Cursed to Golf is. Still, that difficulty does just add to the satisfaction and enjoyment when you do make good progress. Unrelenting, unapologetically hard and yet, unbelievably playable and rewarding too.

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Cursed to Golf is not an easy game to get into. It often feels downright impossible at times. Still, perseverance is key here and spending a bit of time with it, learning how to best use the ace cards, trying to memorise the 70-odd courses and navigating them with confidence? Well, that just makes the game even more enjoyable and rewarding.

Game Review: Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX

I play (and review) a lot of indie games and often notice trends. Much like how the Rogue-lite genre is one that a lot of indie devs delve into. I do love a good Rogue-lite title but the issue with there being so many of them is that, well frankly, not all of them are very good. Developer Dejima and publisher Thunderful Games throw their firefighter helmet into the Rogue-lite ring with Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX.

Take on the role of a young rescue officer starting her career. Armed with a trusty axe and high-pressure fire hose that also acts as a jetpack, Firegirl responds to emergency calls across the city. Can Firegirl save all the trapped civilians caught in each blaze? Can she uncover the truth of why these fires have engulfed the city? Find out in a mystery that goes all the way to the top…

So here, you play as Firegirl, the daughter of a much-respected firefighter, who died while saving the city from attacking fire monsters. 10 years later and those fire monsters are back wreaking havoc. Firegirl, following in her father’s footsteps, tries to defend the city from those pesky fire monsters. Truthfully, there is actually quite a bit more to the story that is revealed as the game progresses, but I’m not about to spoil that here.

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The first thing to mention about Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX is that it is a much spruced-up version of the original game that was released on PC a while back and got some very average reviews. I never did play the original version but from what I have been reading, this new version is a lot more than just a slight upgrade. From all-new level designs, difficulty balancing, a better upgrade system and more. In terms of the gameplay, this is a very typical Rogue-lite platformer and if you are familiar with the genre, then you should know what to expect before you even press the start button. Explore randomly generated levels, earn in-game currency, upgrade, die and try again.

With this firefighting twist on the genre, the levels you explore are all timed and you need to move fast or have the building burn down, ending your run. Putting out the various fire monsters can earn you some valuable extra seconds and finding clocks adds even more extra time. Armed with your trusty axe, you can hack down doors and certain types of rubble that may be in your way. Explore the levels, try to rescue trapped civilians… and the occasional cat and then head to the exit. At the end, you are given a summary of your efforts and awarded cash accordingly. Leave any civilians behind and you will be docked money, save cats to not only gain some extra coin, but also beef up your fan level. The more fans you have the more bonus money you will get.

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Your fire extinguisher can be used to put fires out (obviously) and it can also be used as a kind of water-hover-thing to help you reach higher platforms or get across larger gaps. You do only have a finite supply of water but more can be found on the levels. Still, you do need to conserve water as and when you can because you just don’t know when, or even if, a water refill is going to be there when you need it. Back at HQ, you can use your money to buy all sorts of upgrades. Have your extinguisher hold more water, upgrade to a longer stream and more. Some of the civilians you save can be employed at the HQ to unlock even more upgrades. Add to your hit points, increase your fan levels and rewards. There’s even a handy shop where you can buy better equipment. Failing a level will result in you losing money, but there’s even an upgrade that can help with that too.

There are also a variety of levels just to keep you on your toes. Maybe you’ll be saving civilians from a burning building, maybe you’ll need to stop a runaway train, maybe you’ll need to deal with a forest fire or rescue people from a skyscraper. Given the randomly generated nature of the Rogue-lite genre, you really don’t know what this game with throw at you until it is thrown at you. The various levels will have you testing your firefighting skills in different ways and really do offer some much-needed diversity to stop you from getting too bored with the core gameplay. Not that I am saying the core gameplay is boring, it’s not. I just really liked the fact that Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX mixes things up for you to keep you on your toes. There are a lot of other games in this genre that just don’t do that and rely heavily on the random generation instead. Here, you not only get randomly generated levels but also a variety of levels too.

Looks-wise, what you have is a 2D sprite game in a 3D world. 2.5D, I guess? The presentation is very ‘arcadey’ with an announcer excitedly calling out when you pick up extra time, save a civilian and so on. Your fans will cheer when you do save a civilian… or a cat. And the game really has a very uplifting and joyful feel to it, with just the right amount of high-jinx and cartoony action. It feels like you are playing a 16-bit game from around 1993.

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If I were to pick out a niggle or two, and I will. The game starts out a tad tricky but by the time you have got a few of the upgrades, especially ones that reduce upgrade costs and increase your bonus money, it all gets a bit too easy very quickly and you’ll soon have more than enough money to buy all the upgrades. The basic idea of the game is to collect tomes that will summon the big bad boss to fight, and that is the end of the game. Honestly, that took me around 4 hours and I did feel a bit disappointed by that. Effectively, you can play the game for as long as you like and just not collect the tomes that trigger the big boss, so you could get a lot more than 4 hours if you wish. After the credits roll, you can continue to play and nab any upgrades you may have missed. But once you have bested the final boss and seen the story out to its end… what’s the point? I think that different difficulty settings would be a great idea, a ‘hardcore’ mode for seasoned players or something.

Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX also does this thing when running through levels where the perspective slightly shifts angles itself…and it’s really annoying, to be honest. The option to turn it off would be good. You can see it happening in the trailer above, or in this screenshot.

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While the various levels, that I previously mentioned, do add a bit of variety, there are only four and they do begin to feel a bit too samey after a couple of hours. Every train level looks the same, every forest stage looks the same, etc. Yeah the layouts change, but the graphics and assets don’t. You’ll see the same green and brown walls every single time you tackle the building stage. A few more scenarios, levels and variety of those levels could’ve really added a lot more gameplay value I feel.

£15 is what Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX is going to set you back, not a bad price. In terms of game length though… I’m not sure if it really is worth it. I don’t mind a short game if the price is right and this feels more like a £10 title than a £15 one. 4 hours it took me to see the end credits and as much as I did enjoy the game, that still feels quite short to me. As I said, that was because of the tome collecting that advances the story. If you want to play longer, just don’t pick up the tomes. But I also think that 4-5 hours is about the right length anyway, any longer than that and Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX would begin to drag. The gameplay is fun but limiting. This is a tough game to summarise as it doesn’t really do anything badly and what it does do can be great fun… but I do think it needed a bit more depth to warrant that £15 asking price. I do recommend this one but with the warning that it can be a bit too easy and that perhaps it can be shallow.