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.

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