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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine Review – Excellent vintage

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was already a fantastic game last year, and if you needed any more reasons to jump back to it in 2016, look no further than Blood and Wine, its last piece of downloadable content. Just like Heart of Stone, Blood and Wine is a contained story that takes place in the world of The Witcher 3 and can be played at any time during the main campaign. The only caveat is that your character should be at around level 35, but in case yours isn’t, the DLC gives you the option of starting at that point right from the get-go. The setup for this expansion is that the people from the colorful kingdom of Toussaint are suffering from the attacks of a creature who’s killing off important court figures, one by one. Geralt is summoned by the duchess to investigate, and thus the...
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Abzu Review – A wondrous journey

To say that Abzu from Giant Squid has much in common with Thatgamecompany’s Journey would be an understatement. Abzu feels like an extension of the groundwork laid by Journey, using much of the same storytelling techniques and even some of the same themes in such a way that make Abzu feel like a spiritual successor. But for all the similarities, Abzu isn’t a mere underwater version of Journey. It’s very much its own thing, and it’s the ways Abzu differs that make it special. Abzu follows a diver on an expedition to the very depths of the ocean as she follows the traces of an ancient civilization to uncover its mysteries. It begins with the diver lying face-first in the water unconscious. How she ended up there is never hinted at or answered (though I have my theories). The storytelling remains minimal throughout. Hieroglyphics serve...
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Tumblestone Review – Tumble, don’t fall

Multiplayer puzzle games are difficult to pull off. Making the act of puzzle solving into a competition doesn’t translate well to most match-3 puzzlers, often taking the slow-paced nature of those games and throwing another player or two into the mix to try speeding things up. It seldom works, usually resulting in a boring, tacked-on experience with little value. Tumblestone, however, makes a good case for how the match-3 formula can be adapted for multiplayer. It’s a standard-fare match-3 game wherein you pair three blocks of the same color to clear the board. Instead of placing the blocks yourself, however, you’re merely clearing them. It gives you a randomly generated puzzle that you and up to three other players race to solve first. First to clear it gets the point. It’s an interesting mix of speed and contemplation. You have to move quickly, but you...
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