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Games of the week


By Features Reporter


Wreckfest. Picture: Handout/PA
Wreckfest. Picture: Handout/PA

Wreckfest

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4

Genre: Racing

Price: £34.99

Breaking up is fun to do

Wreckfest is a racing game geared towards chaos rather than control. You still need driving skills if you want to win, but dirty tricks like shunting or spinning your opponents out of the running become essential tactics here, not least because your AI rivals will be trying to do the same to you. Especially during the challenging Destruction Derby deathmatches, where an arena full of cars charge one another until only one driver remains. Wreckfest is aggressive and unpredictable, something that may frustrate purists but ultimately makes for exciting races full of opportunities, threats and second chances. The menu system is awful, with crucial elements unexplained or hidden away, and visually it isn't groundbreaking, but Wreckfest is a constantly thrilling ride.

Skip to the end: An unsophisticated but exciting and entertaining racer.

Score: 8/10

Age of Wonders: Planetfall. Picture: Handout/PA
Age of Wonders: Planetfall. Picture: Handout/PA

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4

Genre: Strategy

Price: £41.99

Space race

After centuries of isolation, the colourfully varied races of Age of Wonders: Planetfall have rediscovered deep space travel, which can only mean one thing. War! This conflict is fought over large-scale Total War-esque maps, involving territory and resource management, zooming into grid-based battlefields (think X-Com) and turn-based skirmishes. Each of the six factions – from insect-like Kir'Ko to the boringly human Vanguard – have their own technology, resulting in explosive differences during battles, though you'll also discover smaller, fascinating species during your world-conquering quest. Age of Wonders doesn't excel at either style of play but the whole package delivers a solid and moreish slice of interstellar strategy.

Skip to the end: Plenty of character but not much innovation.

Score: 7/10

Sea of Solitude. Picture: Handout/PA
Sea of Solitude. Picture: Handout/PA

Sea of Solitude

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4

Genre: Platformer

Price: £15.99

Water, water everywhere

Sea of Solitude often feels like the Scarecrow sections from Batman: Arkham, where you leap around a level avoiding the attention of a gigantic, glaring monster – only here the dangers are hulking shadowy beasts that emerge from the streets of a flooded Berlin. But where Batman's episodes were brilliantly atmospheric and emphasised the terrifying size of your enemy, Sea of Solitude strays into an exercise in dreary platforming that fails to conjure any tension from the behemoth blocking your progress – and it's not always clear where to go next in the game's cute but indistinct environments, leaving you in a frustrating hunt for the clue you've missed. Sea of Solitude's plot is ambitious, but the execution is limited and dull.

Skip to the end: Narrative depth can't make up for poor gameplay.

Score: 6/10

Raiders of the North Sea. Picture: Handout/PA
Raiders of the North Sea. Picture: Handout/PA

Raiders of the North Sea

Platform: iPad/iPhone

Genre: Strategy

Price: £9.99

Plunder world

Raiders of the North Sea is a pocketable version of the hit board game. You're a Viking Yarl, eager to impress his chieftain by successfully plundering an upriver fortress. But to get there you'll need to juggle tokens, coins and crew cards at your Viking village base, taking it in turns with AI or multiplayer opponents to raise a boatload of warriors and provisions to take on bigger and bigger raiding targets. Bouts can last a significant time as you and your rivals compete to grab resources from the village mill, barracks or town hall, and blocking your enemy from amassing what they need while stockpiling your essentials is a core strategy. Raiders is stylish, addictive and a fiendish challenge.

Skip to the end: Lush looking digital version of the compelling board game.

Score: 8/10



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