Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch, E10+)

This was a Mario game, I guess. A dozen themed worlds you run around collecting items in to get to unlock the next one. This Mario adventure's main feature is being able to possess enemies and use their abilities to get through the levels. Also, that Power Moons feel like they're as abundant as coins in other collect-a-thon Mario games. I can handle 120 stars in Super Mario 64, the shitty camera notwithstanding. But how many Power Moons are in this game? Over a thousand? Yeah, not happening.

Yeah, sorry, I don't know how to approach this. I remember it holding my attention while I was playing it, but afterwards feeling like the level design was a bit unfocused, probably because they had to hide ten billion moons in the game. I do have a pretty good memory of that bit towards the end where Beach Land, Food Land, and Arctic Land were followed up by freaking Dark Souls Land.


Squidlit (PC)

Squidlit's homage to the original Game Boy goes beyond the color palette and chiptune soundtrack; like a first generation Game Boy game, it's only about twenty minutes long.

It's not a bad 20 minutes, mind. It's got some cute, dorky writing, and a memorable boss fight against a magic book where you have to jump into the pages and spray ink over spells to seal its attacks. It's hard to get too angry at it, but it would have been nice if there was more to it.


Dude, Stop (PC)

The big twist of Dude, Stop is that its puzzles can either be solved properly, or botched to the increasing agitation of the game's narrator. It's alright, but as a game about antagonizing the narrator, it's hard not to compare it to The Stanely Parable. For one thing, Stanely Parable had a "correct" story that served as the foundation for you to deviate from. As far as I could tell, you have to solve the puzzles wrong in Dude, Stop to advance the story. Stanely Parable also had a better narrator; Dude, Stop's is really forced at times.

On its own merits, the first time you encounter the puzzles and the narrator's reaction to you screwing them up they're entertaining, but they can become tiring as you solve them over and over trying to get the medals for solving all of them right in one go, then wrong in one go, and some can be solved a special way to unlock an achievement. One of the chapters fires off a handful of puzzles from a pool with a very strict time limit, Wario Ware style, so you probably won't be able to figure out what to do before time runs out. You'll then have to run through this chapter who knows how many times to even see all the puzzles, and solve them both ways.