TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Here’s a look at the list of recent game releases:
PHOBIA – ST. HOTEL DINFINA
Chasing thrills and chills in the style of “Resident Evil” and “Silent Hill,” developers Maximum Games and Pulsatrix Studos create a grim survival horror experience that’s best played with the lights out.
You play as amateur journalist Treze Trilhas, searching for a historic hotel that seems to be connected to all sorts of strange happenings.
Facing ghosts, monsters and a cavalcade of fears, you piece together clues that lead you deeper into the bowels of the hotel and the mysteries it holds.
While some of the more awkward puzzles create a bottleneck effect that slows down momentum, a constant tone of unease and a steady trickle of tension-breaking revelations keep things intriguing.
It takes a high tolerance for backtracking and some patience, but those looking for a solid virtual scare will find the scores chill and shock.
Independent publisher Ratalaika Games and Lowtek Games Studio show their love for old-school single-screen experiences with a pair of games that would be hard to justify as individual releases, but combined are a reasonable way to spend roughly $8.
Both bug-themed games revel in the addictive keyboard and phone games of yesteryear.
“Tapeworm Disco Puzzle” is a bit like “Snake,” in that you are asked to steer the long, sinuous body of a tapeworm nightclub owner as she weaves her way around obstacles to stay alive.
“Flea!” is a time-based platformer that puts you in control of a leaping flea as it makes its way through an increasingly dangerous landscape.
While both games are as skinny as they come, they have enough aggravating appeal to keep you coming back for more and more flops.
The futuristic, high-speed racing hovercraft takes some cues from Sony’s stalked “Wipeout” and Nintendo’s dormant “F-Zero” series to put the pedal to the metal.
The key to success on the variety of creatively designed tracks is to avoid hitting walls and lining up your movement with power-up strips that allow you to boost at the right moments. Overcharge your boost meter and you’ll burn your racer, leaving you in tatters and stuck with a time penalty.
Another novelty comes in the form of long distance jumps. The direction and tilt in the air challenge you to take the correct angle to land and continue your run at maximum speed.
Various difficulty modes and a dizzying array of design elements keep the runner from development studio 34BigThings alive. However, the lack of depth catches up with it, leaving replayability in doubt unless you can assemble a reliable group of multiplayer competitors.
THE WITCHCRAFT OF STEVE JACKSON
Derived from early 1980s “Choose Your Own Adventure” style gamebooks, “Steve Jackson’s Sorcery” lives and dies in its writing.
Relying on “Dungeons & Dragons” style storytelling, you make decisions that send you along paths that branch off and build on your past choices, leading to different outcomes. The myriad options challenge you to come back again and again to see how things turn out differently.
The game was released episodic for PC between 2012 and 2016. You can play each of the four episodes separately or start a character in the first chapter and work your way to the end.
While more in tune with fans who can appreciate the anachronistic nature of “Steve Jackson’s Sorcery,” there’s plenty to enjoy for those who can appreciate the wry humor and slow dramatic flair.
Publishers provided review codes.
Phil Villarreal is the lead realtime editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of “Phil on Film” which is seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson. Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star. He is married with four children. Share your story ideas and hot topics with Phil via email email@example.com or connecting in Facebook, InstagramY Twitter.