A Year in Review: App Trigger’s video game reviews of 2017

Credit: Nintendo
Credit: Nintendo /
4 of 6
Pyre screenshot
Supergiant Games /


  • New Nintendo 2DS XL (Hardware review) – “Years of experimentation and refinement have finally produced the best DS. The problems mentioned above fall squarely in the department of issues that either won’t be solved until a new “generation” of handhelds debuts, or that are already solved in one way or another on the Nintendo Switch. And even with the console, the New Nintendo 2DS XL remains my favorite handheld to slide into my bag for a long road trip. I just wish this design had hit the market years ago.”
  • Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles (PC) – 6/10 – “Despite a pleasing aesthetic and overtures at greatness, Yonder’s clunky menuing, excessive fetch questing, and empty story deprive it of the greatness it reaches for.”
  • Splatoon 2 (NS) – 8.5/10 – “Splatoon 2 provides a second chance at life for the Wii U’s best game, drawing in a new Switch audience with the staples that made the first game great and adding just enough quality of life adjustments and new modes to entice veterans.”
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PS4) – 9/10 – “Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age retains the best parts of the PS2 original and improves on the game’s flaws. With enhanced visuals, a vastly improved job system licensing board, and the option to move at a faster speed, The Zodiac Age is the best way to experience Final Fantasy XII.”
  • Archangel VR (PSVR) – 6.5/10 – “While fun when you feel like a giant robot, Archangel can get very boring for long stretches of time. The game’s plot is also rather shallow outside of some scant character interactions after a mission.”
  • Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure (PS4) – 6.5/10 – “Overall, Unbox is richly designed with delightful characters who dole out packaged puns and gaming references that, paired with the diverse environments, make for a unique world to spend a couple hours. But spending any more than a couple hours there becomes a tedious trek through the same repetitive content just with a slightly altered package.”
  • Pyre (PS4) – 7.5/10 – “Supergiant has once again bet on themselves by crafting a neat and quirky world to explore inspired by a myriad of popular stories and ideas.”
  • Hey! Pikmin (3DS) – 6.5/10 – “Though it touches on some interesting ideas, Hey! Pikmin never ventures outside of the comfort and safety of a standard Nintendo handheld platformer.”
  • Miitopia (3DS) – 5.5/10 – “No amount of bizarre mash-ups and almost-inappropriate jokes can save Miitopia’s repetitive gameplay loop from itself.”
  • Layton’s Mystery Journey (Android) – 6.5/10 – “Though a disconnect in the writing between the excellent animated cutscenes and clunky written dialogue results in a strange story pacing, Katrielle’s adventure nonetheless has a satisfying payoff and a strong cast of characters that has me hopeful for future installments.”
  • Namco Museum (NS) – 6.5/10 – “Namco Museum on the Nintendo Switch offers a few arcade classics on the go but not really much else. The lack of online or even local multi-Switch play for all but one title, no real extras and the fact that the selection is kinda meager make this a pass for most people.”
Yakuza Kiwami
Credit: Sega /


  • Beat Fever (iOS) – 7.5/10 – “It looked and felt great until my veteran, rock-loving ears were subjected to the top 40 track lists being shoved down my throat.”
  • LawBreakers (PC) – 8/10 – “LawBreakers is a solid middle ground between modern day style shooters like Overwatch and more fast-paced arena shooters like Unreal Tournament, a niche that I find refreshing and exhilarating.”
  • Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within Episode 1 (PC) – 7/10 – “For now, a ho-hum, plot-seeded opening episode centered around a disappointingly mundane villain is good enough if a better payoff down the road follows suit.”
  • Sonic Mania (PS4) – 7/10 – “Sonic Mania brings Sonic and friends back to the series’ 2D roots successfully but also reminds us of many of the issues with early 90s 2D platformers. Longtime Sonic fans will no doubt find some value here, but everyone else is better off playing more modern takes on the genre.”
  • Shrek: Sugar Fever (Android) – 6/10 – “Shrek Sugar Fever is a great concept that will have you jumping for joy at first, but soon you will discover that this game does very little to capitalize on its fun beginning.”
  • Severed (NS) – 9/10 – “Severed was an amazing game in 2016, and it continues to be phenomenal in 2017 on the Nintendo Switch despite the weightiness of the system.”
  • Agents of Mayhem (PS4) – 6/10 – “In all, the execution fails a great premise for what could have been a fun romp around a city. I wanted to like this game more, but it ultimately never brought much more to the table beyond the slapstick vibe it had from its opening moments.”
  • Flip Wars (NS) – 6.5/10 – “Flip Wars is yet another fun party title from Nintendo. Alas, just being fun doesn’t justify a purchase.”
  • Madden NFL 18 (PS4) – 7/10 – “With the three different playstyles and modes like Ultimate Team being robust as ever with the addition of MUT Squads and improvements with the newly-christened MUT Draft; this year’s Madden is a great place to come back to if you missed out last year or are just getting started.”
  • Yakuza Kiwami (PS4) – 8/10 – “Yakuza Kiwami represents a solid reimagining of the Kamurocho of old. An expanded story, the refreshing Majima Everywhere system and plenty of minigames do their best to stave off familiar standards the series has brought forth this year.”
  • Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 3: More Than a Feeling (PC) – 7.5/10 – “You can’t leave “More Than a Feeling” without feeling a sense of immense responsibility. It’s a testament to the game’s ability to craft a story worth caring about. Presenting the player with a moral quandary is a risk worth taking, and I’m glad Telltale went a bit existential with it.”
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Ubisoft /
  • Battlejack (Android) – 7/10 – “Battlejack is a mobile game that oozes enough cutesy charm to keep players interested for a while. The in-depth battle and character systems allow for countless party combinations, however, the story can be completed relatively quickly, and there’s little incentive to continue playing after this point.”
  • Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (NS) – 8/10 – “Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle isn’t the deepest turn-based strategy game on the Nintendo Switch, but it has a lot of unique quirks that work in its favor and is way deeper than you’d ever first guess.”
  • Windjammers (PS4) – 8.5/10 – “Make no mistake, Windjammers biggest strength is in its fun and addictive gameplay. It cuts through the white noise and just delivers some fast-paced, super competitive action that anyone can pick up and play.”
  • Absolver (PC) – 7/10 – “Absolver spends so much time honing the development of its fascinating, ambitious combat system that it leaves a shallow narrative structure in its foundation.”
  • Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (PS4) – 8.5/10 – “Ys VIII abandons the sprawling, dramatic settings of other JRPGs for a restrained world and cast, then gives us every reason to fall in love with both. From combat to story to exploration to sound, Ys VIII offers subtle, but refreshing distinctions from the usual genre fare.”
  • Last Day of June (PC) – 7.5/10 – “Last Day of June emphasizes emotional, visual, and aural beauty and excels in all three departments to the detriment of its gameplay loop.”
  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm episode one (PC) – 7.5/10 – “Deck Nine has kicked off the story of Chloe Price and Rachel Amber on the right foot. The first episode of the prequel miniseries stays true to the spirit of its predecessor while focusing on the rebellious personality of Chloe.”