The Google Play Store is a land of opportunity. Even Gordon Ramsay is welcome. If we’re being cynical, we find it hard to see how a generic matching puzzler that has nothing to do with cooking could possibly meet Ramsay’s famously high standards, but it’s free and it contains a few recipes created for the occasion, so we welcome it with open arms.
Elsewhere in this week’s lineup we’ve got a weird but promising 8-bit platformer based on a Brazilian cartoon character, an adventure game set in somebody’s imagination, and Sokoban game that isn’t boring.
Just another day in the dream factory.
Gameplay-wise, Gordon Ramsay: Chef Blast is a solid but uninspired matching puzzler in the image of just about every matching puzzler since Candy Crush. The twist is that it contains not only the (suspiciously youthful) likeness and voice of the great chef himself, but also a few recipes created exclusively for the app.
NetEase’s latest game is a colorful mech battle royale in which you get to design your own fighter. That means its virtual battlefields are teeming with a variety of different units, from ED 209-style walking machines to giant metal spiders and cars that look like the Batmobile. Anything’s possible, within reason.
We’re not crazy about Sokoban-style games, but Neutronized has applied its customary flair to the genre with Picnic Penguin. The result is a block-sliding puzzler that’s packed with charm, challenge, and adorable pixelart graphics. It’s fairly pricey if you want to remove the ads (and you will want to), but it’s worth every penny.
Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio is apparently based on a Brazilian cartoon, though it was made by an Italian studio. It’s modeled after 8-bit games of yore, not only visually but in gameplay terms. That means a lot of trial and error as you learn to master its fiddly 8-bit ways. We haven’t played it yet, but the reviews for the Steam version are “very positive”.
As its name suggests, Figment is set in the human imagination. That sets the scene for some crazy puzzles, level designs, and general vibes. Already available on PC and consoles, Figment is a gorgeous, innovative puzzle adventure game that combines elements of Bastion, Psychonauts, and Inside Out.
Space Frog is a tough, twitchy pixel-art blaster in the tradition of Downwell and others. It sees you running back and forth across the screen, shooting upwards, changing direction every time you fire, jumping on things, and generally trying to stop panicking.