Games of the week – Rocket Arena, Orcs Must Die! 3, Paper Mario: The Origami King and Creaks
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Paper Mario: The Origami King
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Puzzle / Adventure
A fold apart
Mario is’a back again in wafer-thin form, battling a force attempting to turn the paper world into origami. It’s an absurdly entertaining story that works for the Nintendo favourite, thanks in many ways to the humour – particularly paper puns – as well as a diverse, playful and colourful world. A 1000-Fold Arms power enables you to tear things like walls down with huge extendable arms, using the motion controls. Mario is thrown into ring-based battles, in which you must rotate enemies to line them up for maximum impact with the right weapon. It’s not the most satisfying part of gameplay, especially as it’s not always particularly challenging, though it cranks up a notch when you come face-to-face with bosses.
Skip to the end: A beautiful world and fun story which is hard not to love given that it’s Mario, but gameplay could be more challenging.
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Price: From £22.49
Another attempt at Fortnite
We’ve seen many try to take on the might of Fortnite and now EA is making a fresh attempt with Rocket Arena, which is a lot more kiddy, focusing on – you guessed it – launching rockets. It is a 3v3 online multiplayer concept, with four different game modes, offering a good mix to vary playtime out. There are 10 heroes to choose from, each boosting their unique abilities and weapons. While the game holds up in entertainment terms, the price point is a bit of an ask, given that Fortnite – and many others like it – are free with optional in-game purchases. Rocket Arena not only expects you to fork out for the game up front, but cosmetics will cost extra – bearing in mind, these are optional, they don’t add anything special to the game other than more pleasure on the eye and a chance to show off to other players.
Skip to the end: While fun, the rocket-focus becomes repetitive and the pricing seems a bit of an ask given there are many free-to-play rivals already established.
Orcs Must Die! 3
Platform: Google Stadia
Genre: Co-op action
Price: From £8.99 per month with Stadia Pro subscription
Defend until the end
Orcs Must Die! first emerged in 2011 and now it's in its third outing – excluding the doomed Unchained release in 2017 – which is currently exclusive to Google Stadia. As before, it’s a tower defence game, tasking you with keeping hordes of orcs away from your precious towers by laying different traps and other structures. The vast amount of traps with their varying strength and ability really keep the game fresh throughout. As you progress, the orcs become increasingly harder to fight back – sometimes making them seem near undefeatable, but as ever, practice makes perfect and the points you gain along the way help you boost your traps further. There are also huge War Scenarios which are overwhelmingly large. Despite a weak story – supplemented with little cut scenes – Orcs Must Die! 3 is well-paced gaming.
Skip to the end: Tower defence game keeps a good pace and freshness through its vast amount of traps on offer.
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS
Genre: Puzzle adventure
Price: From £4.99
Rarely has a puzzle game looked and sounded so good. Creaks follows a boy who finds an underground lair through a hole in his bedroom wall. The story is odd yet intriguing and carefully supported by stunning hand-drawn art and an enthralling soundtrack to boot. And yet, this is just a puzzle game, but the way each element is linked together creates an excellent scene. Each puzzle is unique and varied in complexity, blending into an ideal all-rounder well worth a go.
Skip to the end: Eerie puzzle title is strung together with intriguing moments and good variety of unique puzzles in each room.