It’s the first day of February, and the deluge is almost here. From Anthem to Metro, from Crackdown to finishing up Kingdom Hearts, this will be a big month for games. As usual, we here at Coverage Club have our sights set elsewhere, and we’re presenting another pair of hidden gems for you to ponder. They may not be as flashy as the big boys, but sometimes you need something small. Keep the palette cleansed and all that. With no further ado, here are The Way Remastered and Megaquarium.
The Way Remastered
Covered by Samuel Guglielmo
I have never heard of The Way up until its remaster. However, when a family gettogether was in my future, I realized I’d need a Switch game or two to keep me occupied. So I settled on The Way Remastered, which was the first game that really caught my eye. I’m not sure if it was the best choice, but it sure is interesting.
The Way Remastered opens up with the revelation that your wife is dead. However, the main character spent some time studying an ancient religion on a distant world and discovers a way to revive his dead wife. After digging up her body he grabs a ship and flies off to attempt it. It’s an interesting premise, one that could hold a lot of promise, especially if it explores themes of sacrifice and letting go. However, by the time I put the game down I hadn’t seen much of that yet. Maybe it’ll show up later, but at least what’s here is keeping me entertained.
Those who have had a yearning for a throwback to games like Flashback should be considering The Way already. At its core, The Way is a puzzle platformer with a slower pace. Animations take a while to carry out, and combat often required deliberate aiming. You can’t survive more than a small drop or single attack, so you always have to be careful about what you do. It leads to a very deliberate and methodical play style, one I came to appreciate. It may not be new or innovative, but I feel like I don’t see it a lot and it was nice to experience again.
That doesn’t mean it’s always fun, however. Aiming is a bit tough, and at times it feels more like a suggestion. Often I’d overshoot targets several times because the aiming just isn’t precise enough to hit them. It’s also overwhelmingly frustrating when a small fall kills you, as many of the times it felt like you should have been able to walk away from that no problem. Thankfully, checkpoints are generous so I never lost more than a minute or two of progress.
As for the puzzles, none of them felt so difficult that I was annoyed. One involved finding the correct way to hit switches to shut off waterfalls, while another needed me to alter power to a base so I could access different parts of it. However, the biggest problem with most of these puzzles was the amount of backtracking required. Often I had to move several screens ahead to check one thing, then run all the way back just to enter a single code. It’s pretty annoying after a while.
Despite this, I found it hard to hate The Way Remastered. It has issues, sure, but it feels like it was aiming for a very specific kind of game, and it manages to hit the mark pretty well. Before long I felt like its issues were more quirks with the style, and I even came to appreciate them. It’s not going to be for everyone, but as far as throwbacks go, this one seems to know the way to your heart.
That was terrible. I’m sorry.
TechRaptor covered The Way Remastered on Nintendo Switch using a copy purchased by the player. The game is also available on PC.
Covered by Courtney Ehrenhofler
This is a game for fish people. Not like Guillermo Del Toro Shape of Water fish people, but it’s a game for people who like fish. But not like them like Guillermo Del Toro Shape of Water like fish. This is a game for people who enjoy fish a modest amount in a socially acceptable way. And management games, it’s also necessary to enjoy management games.
So, with an open mind and an enthusiasm for fish-keeping, I dove into Megaquarium, the newest game from Twice Circled, the developers of the 2015 management game Big Pharma. The game offers 10 different levels to go through, each with their own objectives and goals and increasing in difficulty. Unfortunately, the game does not have a free play mode where you can just dive right in on your own, though the entry levels do offer a substantial tutorial to those new to the game. At times the tutorials can get a little too “hand-holdy” but for those who need to be shown every aspect of a game at a pace they can learn at, this is perfect.
Megaquarium operates like a fairly standard simulation game, harkening back to the days of classics like SimPark and SimSafari. Keep your fish happy in shoals, appropriate tanks, heated and fed, and you’ll do pretty well. Of course, there’s managing your aquarium staff, attracting visitors and earning revenue to keep you busy as well. All of this sets you on the path to expanding your aquarium by diversifying what fish you’re able to keep, as well as quite literally expanding the size of it.
Like the gameplay, the graphics are fine. Everything is rendered nicely in 3D, but it lacks any sort of distinctive style to set itself apart. The fish are cute and nicely rendered, but unfortunately, they run into the problem of scope and scale. By the time you zoom in close enough to see the fish and appreciate them – or to tell what a tank’s contents are by sight – you’re too close for it to be practical, and you need to zoom out again to resume management work on your aquarium.
Overall, Megaquarium is a pretty good game. Other than the problem of scaling and zooming in on the graphics, everything operates like a fairly standard simulation game. While it’s not that innovative and doesn’t add anything new, Megaquarium is a fun time with fish!
TechRaptor covered Megaquarium on PC via Steam with a code provided by the developers.