Available on: PS3; Publisher: Boolat Games; Developer: Boolat Games; Players: 1; Released: August 30, 2011; ESRB: Everyone; Official Site
No puzzle game is like the other. Each one tries to do more than the hit before it so it can be the next big thing. Whether it’s the simplicity of Tetris or the social drive of Bejeweled Blitz, each game strives to stand out. The latest game, 4 Elements HD, isn’t necessarily simple nor does it have a strong social component, so what is going to keep you coming back to it? Instead of either, 4 Elements HD is filled to the brim with different obstacles, which makes for a game that is quite complex and will easily appeal to those in search of new challenges.
One of the least revolutionary genres of video games tends to be the racing genre. There isn’t much room for innovation from the gameplay/design aspect and the majority of changes rely on enhancements in cars. But Ubisoft has decided to break out of the mold and make a truly unique racing game with Driver: San Francisco. We’ve decided to give the demo a shot and see what we can expect before the full game is released.
Also on: PC, Xbox 360; Publisher: Digital Reality; Developer: Candygun Games; Players: 1 – 4; Released: July 19, 2011; ESRB: Teen; Official Site
Trends will inevitably hit gaming and certain genres or themes will be exploited to the point where they are present in virtually every other release. Like in games and movies, zombies are now swarming a multitude of games, from Call of Duty: Black Ops to Ryu ga Gotoku Of the End (Yakuza of the End). The latest to try its hand at zombie bashing action is Dead Block, which fails with its weak game mechanics and will have a hard time keeping players’ attention when there are so many better options available.
Also on: PC, Xbox 360; Publisher: Playdead; Developer: Playdead; Players: 1; Released: July 19, 2011; ESRB: Teen; Official Site
Often times, video games are credited as the great escape that people need from the monotony of life and powerless nature of humanity. Words are barely enough to describe the sheer joy that players can feel from taking control of a mobile suit and mowing down thousands of enemies in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 or embarking on an epic quest in Dungeon Siege III. Every once in a while, a game goes the other direction and limits players’ abilities to more realistic realms. Limbo does so in a drastic manner and yet keeps players compelled despite their roles as a boy who can only jump, push, and pull objects.
Available on: PS3; Publisher: Zoe Mode; Developer: Zoe Mode; Players: 1 – 4; Released: March 29, 2011; ESRB: Everyone; Official Website
Who can forget the music of Tetris? Even though it is embedded into our memory from now to forever, who wouldn’t want a little variety? Chime offers players the opportunity to use the environment of a puzzle game to let the music develop as they progress. This may seem almost gimmicky but Chime is a unique game that goes way beyond the music environment.