Hooked on a feeling
Everyone, at some point or another, has been emotionally manipulated by a videogame. Jubilant cheers; growls of anger; terrified, shameful ebullitions; even the hot prickling of tears. The forthcoming titles we’ve delved into this month all appear to have a remarkable gift for prompting big reactions. 11bit Studios’ previous work suggests post-apocalyptic city-building sim
Frostpunk (p38) is going to dig its claws into our conscience with every municipal decision we make. May as well book an advance ticket for a round (guilt) trip now, we suppose. On a happier note, The Crew 2 (p34) has earned its fair share of approving noises recently, thanks to its on-the-fly vehicle-switching mechanic. We’re happy to report that an extended demo of Ivory Tower’s silly, surreal magic trick sparks as much delight as its premise suggests – although the jury’s still out on whether it will be used to its full potential in the final game. And while the universal appeal of racing monster trucks through an Inception-esque open world is clear, it’s a very particular kind of person who gets giddy over collectible card games. A story-based expansion for Gwent: The Witcher Card Game (p46) might just convert a few non-believers.
As the sequel to Team Meat’s infuriatingly difficult twitch platformer, you can probably guess the sort of feeling that
Super Meat Boy Forever (p50) has been designed to dredge up: the kind of primal, repressed rage bubbling below the surface of anyone who’s ever been cut off in traffic, fallen foul of a particularly nasty boss fight or, say, weathered a magazine deadline. There’s always the incomparable glee when you emerge victorious, mind. But every so often, there’s a sudden lump in your throat that you weren’t prepared for. This month, it was the childlike cry of the titular being in Fe (p42) that knocked us for a loop: we left a beautiful demo, blinking away whatever was starting to cloud our steely critical gaze. Perhaps we’re getting soft in our old age.