This week we're taking a look at 'Kirby Triple Deluxe' for Nintendo 3DS, 'Trials Fusion' for PS4 and Xbox One, and 'Child Of Light' for multiple formats.
'Kirby Triple Deluxe' (Nintendo 3DS)
Kirby Triple Deluxe is in many ways classic modern-era Nintendo: it's not just consciously retro, it specifically plays like a hyped-up sequel to a Super Nintendo game. Once again you are Kirby -- a very strange pink ball of fluff whose main ability is sucking in things, taking their powers and blasting them out again -- and your progress through the world is buoyant, bouncy and round-edged. The result is a fun 2.5D platformer which shares much with the original games but adds a new sense of depth, with at least two planes in the fore- and background which Kirby can travel between to solve puzzles and reach his goal.
It's a deliberately accessible and gentle game, and one that forgoes serious challenge for a sort of extended interactive cartoon, plus a set of minigames including a Smash Bros-style 'Kirby Fighters' deathmatch arena. It's well designed and quite enjoyable in places, looks sweet and will entertain kids. But it's not a classic, really, and there are better games of a similar style around on the 3DS.
'Child of Light'
'Child of Light' is a stunning 2D RPG which combines the same engine and a similar art style of the utterly majestic Rayman Legends with a Japanese storytelling sensibility, and a calmer and more relaxed sense of pace. You explore the world as Aurora, a girl blessed with the ability to fly and soar through the world solving puzzles and unlocking the story at your leisure. It also benefits from a simple and engaging combat system, and a generous learning curve that doesn't present a huge challenge to experienced gamers, but will be attractive to more casual gamers. It's also inexpensive at £11.99, and ultimately stands as a great achievement - an example of creativity and imagination in form and structure over a need to dazzle with gimmicks and multi-million dollar ad campaigns.
Trials Fusion is the latest in the series of 2D-ish motocross platforming-puzzle-reaction-racer hybrids, which are almost impossible to explain with sufficient enthusiasm unless you're actually sitting in place playing the game. Its core is simple - you have a bike, an accelerator and brake, and the ability to lean. You're then presented with 2D courses filled with dramatic leaps, loops, curves and platforms, and have to get from one end to the other.
The fun comes where this simple system breaks apart and recombines into more complex pieces, which is easy thanks to its great level editor and enthusiastic community. It's not the most immediately mind-blowing gaming experience for new players -- it's essentially a sort of hyped-up Excite Bike -- but give it time to seep into your skin and you'll find it hopelessly addictive, funny and enjoyable.