Gut Check: Among Trees

There is no denying that Among Trees is cut from the same cloth as the countless other survival games that have existed over the years, but leaving it at that would not only be dismissive and reductive, but fairly inaccurate as well. While Among Trees is one of "those" kinds of games, it sands down some of the rough edges of other titles of its ilk that usually lead me to avoid the genre entirely. But there's something about this particular early access survival game that has me so fascinated and eager to continue playing it...

Gut Check: Hardspace: Shipbreaker

Hardspace: Shipbreaker is a game that might have been made with me and my proclivities in mind. In Hardspace: Shipbreaker, you play as an unnamed "cutter" for a company that dismantles and salvages derelict space crafts for various clients, while making sure to pick through everything in an effort to get a little extra bonus cash. It's currently in early access which is reassuring considering its various and completely understandable technical issues, that hopefully will be fixed as time goes on...

Gut Check: Neversong

Neversong is a spooky little side-scrolling game that tries to blend so many elements together, but ultimately doesn't succeed at most of them.  The spooky action, adventure and puzzle game has an interesting enough stylistic and plot hook to grab your attention, but many of the gameplay decisions are just dull...

Gut Check: Beautiful Desolation

Beautiful Desolation is a point and click adventure game that puts you in the shoes of a gloriously mullet-ed man who is investigating the presence of a mysterious triangular object that's appeared in the sky.  Through a combination of puzzle solving, dialogue trees and aimlessly wandering around gorgeously rendered landscapes, you start to peel back the cosmic mystery that's upended your life...

Gut Check: Maneater

Maneater is a genuinely fun game with an extremely unique concept that ultimately gets bogged down in repetition and monotony far sooner than you'd expect. One would think that a game about being a shark that's hell-bent on consuming and destroying any and everything in its path would be more exciting to play, and while the moment to moment gameplay achieves that desired level of excitement, the objectives and grinding required of you become very tedious, very quickly...

Gut Check: Wildfire

There will never be a time that I don't find complete and utter joy in a game that allows me to mercilessly mess with my enemies by scaring the living hell out of them. Wildfire is a game that allows me to do just that, while layering in some awesome elemental powers and great stealth mechanics, while bizarrely asking me to be a pacifist and not burn dudes alive...

Gut Check: Streets of Rage 4

Streets of Rage 4 nails everything you would hope for out of a sequel to one of the greatest brawler franchises in history.  It retains all of the chaotic action of it's predecessors, while paying tribute and modernizing the unique aesthetics the series was known for.  That dedication to honoring the roots of the franchise is a double-edged sword however, highlighting both the good and bad the genre has to offer...

Gut Check: Cloudpunk

Cloudpunk is a blend of two of my favorite kinds of elements in games:  Cyberpunk aesthetics and a mundane profession, in this case a delivery driver.  Sprinkle in an engaging yet slowly unfolding story with interesting and sometimes genuinely funny characters and you've got yourself the recipe for a game that is one-hundred percent up my alley...