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It seems we are already in the mad pre-Christmas gaming rush. Hayden Meikle takes a quick look at three recent releases.
Rating: (PG) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Knack 2 is from that time, a glorious throwback to a simpler time that I can honestly recommend to every single person who enjoys gaming.
It’s a sweet, enjoyable actionplatformer that has you step back into the shoes of Knack, a sort of animatronic, cyborg-ish creature made up of bits and pieces. Knack has the ability to grow in size through absorbing bits of rock and debris, and also the ability to shrink.
Levels constantly present you with two sets of challenges — big Knack handles the fighting, the extreme jumping and the environmental destruction; little Knack slips into small tunnels and uses small steps to scale heights.
A simple skills tree adds a roleplaying element to the story, which is rather confusing, but does not detract from the sheer enjoyment of old-fashioned runjump-punch gameplay. Highly recommended.
For: PS4, Xbox One
From: EA Sports
Rating: (PG) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I actually haven’t played the last couple of NHL games, so it was fun to get back on the ice. The sport offers a fast, intimate experience and the production values are top-shelf.
There are the usual modes — a solid career option, Be A Pro, Ultimate Team and so on — plus a new one this year, NHL Threes, a hectic and fun mode aimed at those who simply want a pick-upand-play sports game.
Smartly, NHL 18 also offers a range of control layouts to cater for both the experienced stickwielders and newcomers who just want a couple of buttons to press.
Like many New Zealanders, my knowledge of ‘‘harkey’’ is limited — though I know Connor McDavid is the new Wayne Gretzky — and this does make it difficult to get really immersed in the game. But then, as with Madden, maybe one of the best ways to get to know the NHL is to play the game.
For: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: (PG) ⭐⭐⭐
Aven Colony is a neat citybuilding game with a sci-fi flavour. You’re in god mode and charged with the colonisation of an alien planet. You want humans to settle, and you need to attend to their every need. Build a better colony, attract more settlers. Simple.
Slow-paced and deliberate, the game rewards those who are prepared to quietly tick off the various challenges to develop their colony.
Nothing particularly new here but it’s done well and will find favour with those who like the genre.