Hello there, welcome to the premium free detritus of the web column, where you get all the news you'll ever need (ish) in one nugget-sized column. So cover these words in the invisible ketchup spewing from your eyes and read on, maybe dipping a chip into them every so often.
First into the sauce is Victory, a puzzle-platformer that doesn't exactly start out in a challenging way. The first few levels are simpler than a Premier League footballer, although they have ludicrously pretentious little quotes describing them.
Ignoring them in order to stem the riding tide of anger, it's fortunate that the easiness doesn't last for long. After a while of just hopping up onto a couple of platforms and up through the exit, you'll finally begin to notice the walls closing in from each side, forcing a bit more urgency in how you approach each level.
Then you remember you can also spawn crates, which hasn't been an issue up until now. Eventually it starts to become, while not massively challenging, at least engaging enough to be worth a go.
Hollow looks like it'll be an 'art' game, and it kind of is, but what it definitely is is much harder than Victory. It starts off tough and gets worse, with deaths occurring all the time and constant trips back to the beginning of the stage.
Depending on where you're playing, this difficulty will be a good or a bad thing. Playing at work you won't want the frustration, but playing at home or in a non-monitored environment, it's fine. However, it does lack focus, and it's not really explained why you're in the subterranean world in the first place.
Still, for fans of challenging platformers where your only attack is to launch yourself into a flying headbutt, this'll do you right. Just so long as you can get over the frustration of constant repetition.
The Night Circus takes us away from the platforming genre and into the... actually, what is it? It involves playing cards to develop a very text-heavy story.
Playing out kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, you select a card and then make choices based on this. So, for example, you go into a circus and maybe a raven is there, you can choose to try to grab it or not, perhaps giving you a new item that might be useful later.
There's an interesting check on keeping you from blitzing through without reading the text. Your deck of 'opportunity cards' recharges over time, so if you do rush through, you'll have to wait a few minutes to continue.
What this means is it's one for those at work, which you can leave on in the background, flicking to it when you're at a loss as to how to further your company's interests for a few minutes. As you'd expect, there is that element of pretension there, but in this context it's fine.
Another puzzler now, but not one with a platform-related edge. EscapeBot is a programming puzzler, and is therefore really quite complicated when you first look at it. But, just like the full game SpaceChem, it's not that bad once you've got past that “Whuh?” factor.
You control a robot and you have to guide him from the Start to the End, as you might expect, on each level. To do this, you have to input commands into the robot's memory, and it'll follow those instructions until it hits a mine or gets to the end.
Once you think you've got the right instructions entered in, you can click Play to see what happens. Upgrades can be purchased with money earned, like mine avoidance or a laser measure. It's really quite fun and much simpler in the end than SpaceChem.
Finally, Adult Swim are here again for another 'comedy' effort called Titan Lunch Retaliation, which involves an ancient warrior getting a bit vexed with a gull stealing his ham.
It's a launcher game, which means your gallant soldier will hurtle down a slope before leaping into the air. To keep going, you need to stab various creatures and bosses, the blood spurt flinging you further every time.
Every effort brings monetary reward and with that comes the opportunity to purchase upgrades, like a better sword (a more powerful blood spurt), a longer grappling range (easier to stay in the air) or an orb (increased money from each go).
It's limited, but it is relatively amusing. You'll probably give up with a 'meh' after a few goes, but even so, it's compelling in the way the way that Yeti-hitting-penguin game was from all those years back. Or Angry Birds, even, but with far less content.