At its worst, Manifold Garden is great. At its best, it is transcendent. It is easily one of the best puzzle games of the past few years. While its flaws definitely detract from the overall experience, it is still a game which is absolutely worth experiencing. It will challenge you, leave you saying “wow” aloud, and consistently surprise you.
Ultimately, Eliza is a fantastic experience. It dives deep into subjects which aren’t often talked about openly, and does so with expert attention to detail. It is a biting commentary on our reliance on technology in the modern world, and does not use kid gloves while doing so. Along with technology, it is a wonderfully executed think piece on mental health, and what it is like for everyday people to be afflicted by mental illness. Were it not for the story stumbling across the finish line, it would be a wholehearted recommendation without any caveats; but as it stands, expectations ought to be tempered for its conclusion.
There is a lot of good to say about Supraland, and I do have fond feelings for a lot of my time with it. When at its best, it is an impressive feat which is worthy of anyone’s time; but at its worst, it leaves me with the feeling of “I don’t want my friends to think I agree with what this game is trying to say.” In the end, it is an extraordinarily creative puzzle game with a significant amount of content to be explored and experienced; but also one which can be actively unfun to play, and occasionally expresses some feelings you might either find funny, or really gross. I somewhat recommend it, but you should maybe expect to bite your tongue every now and again.
Even with its flaws, AI: The Somnium Files is an exceptional game. As it became apparent that the final hours were drawing near, my biggest problem with the game was that I didn’t want it to end. It is a unique experience which you’ll remember for years to come, and its story highs are – as of yet – unrivaled by any other release this year. You’ll certainly be hearing this game come up again when the time comes for us to talk about Game of the Year!