When I attended the Canadian Videogame Awards back in November, I kept seeing Frima Studio’s Chariot during the nomination announcements for a number of different categories1. I was intrigued by this interesting-looking platformer. Frima was nice enough to send me a copy (PS4) to review, and I can safely say that it deserved every nomination that it received. Smallest Thumbs also joined in on the fun to help me test out the couch-cooperative mode – and she was quite happy about that.
For ten years now I have been hearing DS fans drone on about how great Kirby: Canvas Curse was – a game designed to show off the capabilities of Nintendo’s first stylus interface. Navigating Kirby through a treacherous world by drawing paths for him to follow wasn’t a pitch that got me enthusiastic enough to try the game for myself, but now that Nintendo has revisited the concept for the Wii U’s Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, I just had to give it a look.
LEGO Batman is back in his biggest adventure yet in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. In Traveller’s Tales’ most ambitious to date, Batman (and the Justice League along with the Lantern Corps) have to take on Brainiac, attempting to foil his attack on the planet Earth. Familiar controls and characters combine with some new mechanics, suits and schtick to create a great experience. If you don’t care for the LEGO game formula, you probably won’t care for this one, either. However, fans of the series won’t be, and should enjoy this game, even if the focus isn’t entirely on Batman.
Skylanders has been a fan favourite for a number of years. This latest iteration, co-developed by Beenox (Québec City) and California-based Toys For Bob (PS4, Xbox One and Wii U versions; Beenox developed the 3DS version on their own), is a bit of a departure as it seems to be far more interactive than previous versions that I have had the chance to observe. This differentiation is present in more than just the software (the NFC-enabled “Traptanium Portal” is part of the fun as well), and creates an interesting dynamic with the audience – especially the younger crowd. Overall, the game is actually fun and features many hours of entertainment. Of course, to harvest the full potential of this title you may need to reach for your wallet.
Aladdin has been out for Disney Infinity 2.0 for a while now, and we have enjoyed his antics for quite some time. He is an agile character, whose long stint as a “street rat” has given him experience with acrobatic moves and skill with a scimitar. Of course, when all else fails, there is always the Genie’s lamp, which holds considerable magical power. Recently, he has finally been joined by his gal, Jasmine, who is the perfect partner-in-crime for the apple of her eye1.
I remember watching commercials for Dreamworks’ Madagascar films. In fact, I actually saw the third movie first, and then watched the first two, having really enjoyed that second sequel out of order. By far, my favourite part of all of those films Are those four crazy penguins (Skipper, Kowalski, Ringo, and Private) – in fact, they are among my favourite animated characters of all time. Given how highly I regard these characters, it should come as no surprise that I would have very lofty expectations for any game based on or around them. And so, Little Orbit’s Penguins of Madagascar was ultimately disappointing – which is a shame, as it has so much more potential to be a great game with a few changes and additions.
Just when you thought that was it for great puzzle games in 2014, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker made it into the mix just in time for the holidays. With great level design, cute characters, and lots of hidden goodies all wrapped up in a good-looking package, this charming title is some of the most fun you can have without jumping – either on your own or with the family!