I played Waves, and although it’s okay for a high-score game, it’s still just a high-score game at the end of the day; you play each mode once, and you’ve seen basically everything the game has to offer. Even the “Challenges” mode isn’t your standard stage-by-stage progression, but instead has you do each challenge in a row–not even telling you what your target time/combo is until AFTER it’s over–and if you fail one, you get shuffled onto the next one just the same as if you won, with no ability to play any challenge individually. It’s just Time Attack with a gimmick.

I also played Waves 2: Notorious, but that game didn’t seem as good as the first one. Maybe it’s because the erratic enemies are made that much more frustrating to deal with when there’s a pillar in your way, or maybe it’s because those pillars are the only material difference it has from the first game besides making you “download” experience points (the game is even missing some modes the first game has)! I wasn’t sure how to mark these games, but I went with “beaten” because even though they can’t technically be beaten, what more can I do besides get all achievements, i.e. complete them? Even if my labeling is wrong for these two games, I can take solace in the fact that I’m not throwing off BLAEO’s Group Statistics as much as Carlmundo is.

Oh, I also tried out Boulders: Puzzle, but that game is just so buggy! My block would randomly twirl out-of-bounds at least once every couple levels–sometimes not even bringing up the results screen that shows up when you win/die, effectively soft-locking the game and forcing me to pause and restart the level that way. The puzzles themselves range from mediocre to okay (at least from what I played), but even the best puzzles aren’t worth playing if the game makes you restart through no fault of your own, so I gave up and moved on:

  • Beach Island Deluxe

    30 minutes playtime

    3 of 5 achievements

3D Collectathon Platformer. Left stick moves your character, right stick moves the camera, A double-jumps, holding X runs, and pushing Y displays a list of each star’s name, giving you a hint where they are.

By far, the worst part of the game are the controls. Walking is fine, but running and jumping have very awkward momentum attached to them, making it easy to miss even basic platforming segments (even with the double jump).

That said, the level design is actually pretty good. Not only is the entire game world pretty small, meaning you don’t have to wander around much to stumble across the stars that you’re missing, but the checkpoint flags also spawn shortcuts. This means if you miss a star or fall from a high-up platform, you don’t have to redo everything to get back to where you were. There’s no alternate ending or extra reward for getting all the stars besides an achievement, and the ending the game does have is pretty lackluster, but that’s understandable considering it’s a DigiPen game.

Overall, not bad. I recommend it, especially since it’s free.