Desertification has been ravaging the continent of Vainqueur, forcing the two major countries of Alistel and Granorg into a war over the remaining fertile land. We play as Stocke, a special intelligence operative for Alistel. One day, Stocke receives from his boss what appears to be a blank book—but turns out to be a magical artifact known as the White Chronicle, which allows Stocke to travel through time. Teo and Lippti, children who act as advisers to the holder of the White Chronicle, warn Stocke of the world's inevitable destruction from desertification and task him with stopping it.
How would you react if you were going on an arctic expedition with a friend only to come across a mysterious structure, get knocked out, and wake up alone trapped within an unfamiliar room? Realistically, you’d probably break down and panic. But if you’re playing We Were Here, this is nothing more than your cue to buckle down and start solving puzzles. We Were Here is a short but competent co-op puzzle game available at a price that can’t be beat: free.
It occurred to me while reading The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie King that all the stories in the Sherlock Holmes canon are titled as "adventures." They aren't "cases" or "mysteries" (or "satsujin jiken"); they are "adventures." I find the character of Sherlock Holmes obnoxious, and the stories tend to be obvious, trivial, absurd, or lacking anything that could be called deduction (or some combination of the four), so I don't particularly like Sherlock Holmes stories... as mysteries, at least. But maybe they aren't meant to be "mysteries"; maybe they're meant to be "adventures," and should instead be evaluated from that perspective. Or maybe they are meant to be mysteries, which they clearly present themselves as and what they are widely considered to be, and I am simply putting too much stock in a single word.
The Beekeeper's Apprentice made me consider these things because I realized as I was reading The Beekeeper's Apprentice that "adventure" was a much more apt word to describe it than "mystery." As a suspense novel, it might be fine. But as detective fiction, it is certainly not. Even if I do not particularly like the Sherlock Holmes stories, I do think they have a certain charm in presenting situations with flair, but The Beekeeper's Apprentice lacks even that.
That being said, The Beekeeper's Apprentice isn't a total wash. Even if suspense isn't detective fiction, it's still gripping. The writing is great, and the characters touching. While there will definitely be some Sherlockians who object to Laurie King's interpretation of Holmes, I think there will also be a portion that enjoys it... and yet I'm still not sure who this book would be for.
Killing Game House - Second the third entry in the House series, returning to the spirit of the first entry. While it avoids the lows of the second game, it doesn't quite manage to reach the highs of the original.
Antichamber is a philosophical first-person physics puzzler where the gimmick is that the laws of physics don't apply. This doesn't mean you can float or fly. Rather, you play in an M.C. Escher-like world where you might go up a flight of stairs only to arrive at the bottom, or travel through a corridor with six 90-degree turns in the same direction in a row. It does what it tries to do well, although there are a few design choices that I felt could have been changed to reduce frustration.
Magpie Murders is the ninth entry in the internationally-acclaimed Atticus Pünd series by Alan Conway, where Atticus investigates a mysterious series of deaths in the sleepy English village of Saxby-on-Avon. You may find this a bit strange. Perhaps because despite supposedly being "internationally-acclaimed," you've never heard of Atticus Pünd before... or perhaps because the gigantic image above this paragraph says it was actually written by Anthony Horowitz. And there is a very good reason for this!
Magpie Murders is a standalone murder mystery by Anthony Horowitz, and revolves around a manuscript titled Magpie Murders, which is the ninth entry in the fictional Atticus Pünd series by fictional author Alan Conway. The manuscript is not merely an abstract plot device; the first half of the novel comprises (almost) the entire text of Conway's story. In this review, in order to differentiate between Magpie Murders the Horowitz novel and Magpie Murders the Conway script, I will be referring to the Conway manuscript as the "inner story" and the rest of the novel as the "outer story."
It's great. Magpie Murders is at once a homage, master class, shining example, and deconstruction of classic detective fiction. The inner and outer stories are each a murder mystery of a different flavor, so you get two murder mysteries for the price of one. It's smart, clever, and satisfying. I wrote that Moonlight Game felt like a detective novel written by a mystery fan, but Magpie Murders feels like a detective novel written for mystery fans.
Another year, another mediocre Netflix live action anime adaption
This review will have SPOILERS. If you've never seen or read Fullmetal Alchemist, then stop reading this and go change that (but not with this movie!!), otherwise let's begin.
"A house full of people all disliking each other is bound to be explosive."
Martingale is an estate of tradition. Traditions the Maxie family is desperately and barely managing to maintain. But when the Maxies take in a local single mother, Sally Jupp, as a maid in order to save money compared to a more respectable domestic servant, she single-handedly shatters the status quo, turning each member of the household into either an ardent supporter or harsh critic. As such it shouldn't be much of a surprise—at least to the reader—when Sally is found dead, strangled in her bed, the door to her room bolted from the inside.
If you somehow haven't heard about the series, Monster Hunter is, shockingly, a franchise about hunting monsters, and Monster Hunter World is the newest entry in the series. Although Monster Hunter hasn't gained the same traction in the West as it has in Japan (although that may change with Monster Hunter World...?), it's a well-established franchise that follows the same format each game. You grab one of a variety of gigantic weapons, put on some crazy armor, fight a huge monster in an epic battle, and use the spoils of your victory to craft deadlier weapons and crazier armor. It's great, heart-pounding fun that provides nearly infinite hours of replayability.
Monster Hunter World was a major release from a well-established franchise, so if you wanted to know what it's like, you'd probably read one of the dozens of reviews online, or watch some of the hundreds (thousands?) of hours of Monster Hunter World-related videos on YouTube, or just play one of the earlier games, rather than relying on this post. So rather than doing one of my usual full reviews, I'm instead going to list my top and bottom 3 things about Monster Hunter World. Let's go!
Eleven girls awaken in an elegant dining room, filled with an eclectic collection of seemingly unrelated items. The girls' legs are locked to the floor, preventing them from standing up, let alone leaving. And quality-wise, things basically go downhill from there.
Welcome to Lux-Pain, where we play as Saijou Atsuki, a stoic silver-haired prettyboy high school student with a tragic past and magic powers that cause his right eye to glow yellow that he uses to fight evil as part of a secret organization. That's right, we're full speed ahead on the chuuni train and brakes are broke.