Not a remake of 1989’s classic side-scrolling NES platformer as much as it is a reinvention, A Boy and His Blob has the look of a cartoon from Studio Ghibli (Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle) and just oozes an earnest, almost childlike charm. If you don’t fall in love with both the little boy (that’s you) and his best friend – a shapeshifting white blob who can be a ladder, a balloon, or 13 other things depending upon what jelly beans he’s fed – you’re either a heartless bastard or an emotionless robot. Seriously, the game has a freaking hug button so you can reassure the blob when he gets scared. How are we supposed to act all badass and hard in the face of that?
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (360, PC, PS3)
We understand why very few people were eagerly anticipating this one – publisher Activision’s last movie-based Transformers game was a disaster. However, the upcoming sequel has two things the first one didn’t: a new developer and a fantastic multiplayer mode.
Imagine four-on-four, Team Fortress 2-style gameplay merged with giant robots. Not just any giant robots, mind you, but Transformers, each with different weapons and abilities (basically making it its own class) and each constantly switching from vehicle mode to “massive metal warrior” mode on the fly. Now, you’re getting a glimpse of what makes this a completely unique and interesting battlefield . It’ll be out by the end of the month too, so you don’t have to wait long for this one.
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (DS)
If you didn’t play the first Professor Layton, stop reading this and go play it. Now. Because that’s the only real way you’ll understand why we’re frothing at the gills for what looks like a “more of the same” puzzle game. In an oddly quirky version of England, the Professor is sort of like an ultra-polite Sherlock Holmes, who spends his days solving logic riddles such as “how can I turn this matchstick house into a boat in only three moves?” on his way to solving some greater mystery. This time, it’s the murder of Layton’s mentor. It’s charming, addictive, and with some 150 puzzles on the cart and more downloadable puzzles on the way, big enough to keep your brain fried for quite some time.
Trine (PC, PS3, [360 pending approval])
Remember The Lost Vikings? No? Well then, young whipper-snapper, just be glad someone else does. Downloadable offering Trine is essentially that game brought into the modern era - a side-scrolling action puzzler in which the environment itself is the puzzle and you must use the powers of your three party members to navigate it. The wizard can conjure ramps and crates to help cross chasms, the thief can shoot switches and descend vertical shafts with a rope and hook, the warrior can sledgehammer enemies and fragile obstacles – you get the idea. It looks lovely, too.
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