Review Roundup: ISLANDERS, Zombotron, Monster Slayers & More!

A few gems among the average.

islanders review

You may not find yourself coming back to every title April had to offer, but there were a few that are absolutely worth your time. If you’re jonesing for something to play this week, check out some of the games in this month’s review roundup.


ISLANDERS

ISLANDERS - Feature

ISLANDERS by GrizzlyGames is not your conventional city builder—it’s much simpler. Your goal is to rake in points by placing buildings on your island. The more points you earn, the more building options open up. No resources necessary. Just place your buildings, earn points and unlock more.

As you earn more points, you also unlock the option to move on to bigger, more diverse island types. Why does this matter? Well, you also earn more points by placing buildings near like objects on your island. For example, you’ll earn more points if you place a lumberjack near trees and sawmills. You really have to be strategic in where you place your buildings, which gets tricky as the island becomes more crowded. Also, some island types may not offer the objects you need to get the highest possible number of points.

ISLANDERS is great, especially for the extremely low price tag. At times it may feel a little simplistic, but I can see this being a great title to come back to whenever you have a few minutes to spare.

[Reviewed on PC]

8/10


The Mystery of Woolley Mountain

The Mystery of Woolley Mountain - Feature

The Mystery of Woolley Mountain feels nostalgic in a lot of ways, calling back to familiar point-and-click mystery flash games likes the Crimson Room. However, this title really embraces its comedic side instead of a somber one. From the moment you start up the game, you’ll see that Lightfoot Brothers are going for more of a light-hearted experience rather than something thought-provoking and intense.

After an evil witch captures a group of children from Woolley Mountain, a group of witty scientists take it upon themselves to rescue them. The game is cute, funny and genuinely satisfying once you start to put two and two together, combining items and solving puzzles to push the story forward.

But the writing really suffers here. It would have been much more enjoyable if dialogue lines weren’t so annoying and expositional. Characters constantly say exactly what they’re doing, and they do it multiple times in a row. The game loses a lot of its comedic charm because it never trusts the player to understand what’s happening, even when it’s extremely straight-forward.

[Reviewed on Switch]

6/10


Monster Slayers

Monster Slayers - Feature

Monster Slayers is fun for the first half-an-hour or so, but it quickly becomes repetitive. The premise is similar to games like Darkest Dungeon—move through a series of rooms, use abilities (in this case, cards) to kill any enemies that stand in your way and collect loot.

I don’t have anything much worse than its repetition to point out about Monster Slayers. It executes most of its mechanics well enough, but that’s largely where this game falls flat. Nothing really stands out. Most of the choices here are pulled from games that have come before it, so it ends up feeling like a mish-mash of good choices other developers have made.

The visual style, though still fine-looking, feels uninspired and, again, recycled from other games from equally equipped developers. That said, the game isn’t much of an investment, so if you’re looking for something solid but not revolutionary, this could be the game for you.

[Reviewed on Switch]

6/10


One Finger Death Punch 2

One Finger Death Punch 2 - Feature

Simplicity is at the forefront in One Finger Death Punch 2, and it is a blast from start to finish. You’ll only concern yourself with the left and right mouse buttons—that’s it. You’ll click the left button for enemies approaching from the left and the right for enemies coming from… you get the picture.

As you progress, enemies will become more varied. For example, some will begin throwing projectiles at you from a distance, while others will start to take more than one punch to be eliminated. But the core of the game never changes—left for left, right for right. Silver Dollar Games does a great job of opening up the possibility of getting into a gratifying rhythm of taking out enemies while keeping it challenging.

And it is challenging. Don’t be fooled by the simple control scheme. And better yet, it’s one of the most addicting games to come out this April. It doesn’t cost much at all, so I’d encourage you to pick this one up ASAP.

[Reviewed on PC]

9/10


Zombotron

Zombotron - Feature

Zombotron is a fairly basic 2D platformer. It’s fun to blast through a bunch of zombies and collect new weapons and items to use against them, but the writing is a little cringey, and the story feels all too familiar.

You play as a space marine who finds himself lost on a strange alien planet. How many games can this synopsis be applied to? Too many. However, if you’re not playing Zombotron for the story, it gets a little better. Making your way through unexplored bunkers and encountering new alien species is just as fun as it sounds, and finding secret areas within each level adds another layer of intrigue.

Zombotron does occasionally feel like just another 2D platformer and nothing else, but if that’s the kind of game you’re looking for, then it checks all the boxes.

[Reviewed on PC]

6/10