FWD Progress: Still Alive

A Puzzle from PushmoIt has been over a month since we posted an article at Game Forward, but we are not dead. Things have been hectic around here as we prepare for the arrival of our daughter and we simply haven't had very much time to check out new games and software, research story ideas or write.

We're getting close to being done with the prep work and have a month or so before the baby arrives, so I'm turning my attention back to my neglected baby, who incidentally turned four years old a couple weeks ago while I have the chance and hope to make the most of the time by writing some one-off news pieces, finishing off old projects and features and if I'm really lucky, rebuilding the site one more time. Read More...

It's hard to get back into writing after such a long break, especially picking up on old projects and trying to get motivated and look at them as "new again", but that's exactly what I'll be doing over the next few weeks.

Since its release in November, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has dominated about 80% of not only our gaming time, but free time in general. We've managed to log over 90 hours so far and it still feels like we've accomplished nothing. The game's issues and buggy nature have been well-documented in the gaming media, but aside from a few hard crashes on the loading screens and one glitched-out side quest, we've thoroughly enjoyed our time with the game and will probably still be playing it two years from now thanks to our addiction to crafting items.

I have managed to check out a number of downloadable games in recent weeks as well. I've downloaded the spatial puzzler Pushmo and the score attack-based action game Mighty Switch Force on the 3DS. It took a while, but these titles validate the eShop service as a source for great original content on Nintendo's latest platform.

On the consoles, I've tried out three multi-platform releases: AMY, Choplifter HD and Trine 2. AMY is a slow, boring, easy and quite frankly ugly take on the survival horror genre that reeks of poor production values and antiquated game design choices. I was worried about Choplifter HD because the original game was one of my favourites as a kid in the arcade and on my SEGA Master System. Thankfully, my fears were dashed and it turned out to be a great update that simply plays right.

Trine 2 is a Joy to Look AtTrine 2 is a Joy to Look At

Trine 2 is very much a "more of the same" experience as the original, but in this case that's a good thing. Cleverly designed levels require players to use all three characters' unique abilities to reach isolated areas and find all of the collectible items. The game also looks stunning and has a fantastic sound design.

I've also had the chance to check out a couple iOS titles. Swingworm from perennial favourite developer 10tons (Azkend, Rope Raider) is a charming platform/puzzle game in which you guide a worm up a tree using a simple, but effective mechanic. Roo Roo Run from 5th Cell (Scribblenauts) is a variation of running games like Cannabalt in which you guide a Kangaroo from Perth to Sydney in search of his mate. The formula is tweaked a bit, in that each level is only one screen in size. Both of these titles represent what I fell in love with iOS for; ideas that are designed specifically for the touch screen interface that can be played in short bursts or completed in a long session.

Looking ahead, I will be reviewing at least one or two of the aforementioned titles and can't wait to get my hands on both the Circle Pad Pro peripheral for 3DS and the PlayStation Vita for review. I'm also excited to play Kingdom of Amalur: The Reckoning and Final Fantasy XIII-2, two titles I had no interest in until recently playing their demos.

If you've read this, thanks for sticking around through our lull in production, we'll be doing our best to get content up in a more timely manner in the coming weeks and months. Don't forget, you can follow us on both Facebook and Twitter for day-to-day gaming news and updates.