It's often said that gaming is an expensive hobby. Major new releases retail for as much as Ł50, and with dozens of supposedly 'must-play' titles launching every year, the pennies can be quick to add up.
I wonder if David Ostman, the indie developer behind A Science Fiction Saga, has received a call from Futurama's lawyers yet. His upcoming release tells the story of Anderson Kane - an unfortunate chap who finds himself thrust thousands of years into the future after an incident at work. The involvement of pizza and cryogenic freezing is something that's yet to be confirmed.
Most games wouldn't go near the kinds of topics that To the Moon crafts a whole story around. But To the Moon isn't most games. That brings about its own difficulties: when a game is so entirely structured around its fiction, how do I explain why it's brilliant without spoiling what makes it so?
After all the talk of Monster Hunter and Demon's Souls, all the footage of giant beasts being tackled in majestic battles, it's quite a surprise to sit through the first couple of hours of Dragon's Dogma and realise what this actually is: an extremely traditional, noticeably Western roleplaying game.
You need to forget the name. Which is quite difficult, given that the story of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City plays on the second and third games in Capcom's long-running series.
If the months I spent playing RollerCoaster Tycoon taught me anything, it's that the general public are idiots.
Plenty of revered games started their lives as mods for existing titles. Counter-Strike began as an inordinately successful Half-Life mod, while Killing Floor and The Ball both tagged onto the back of Unreal Tournament installments.
Sometimes, a game gets by on its character alone. That was the case with last year's Drawn: The Painted Tower, an unassuming little point-and-click adventure which might have passed you by. It was hampered by some unfortunate puzzles, a dreadful hints system and a slight lack of variety, but it exuded something special.
I love the sunshine, and I've rather a taste for garlic, so I've decided I'm probably not a vampire. It's taken a while to be sure, though. The world of Bloodlines is so arresting, so marvellously cohesive, that it's difficult not to be entirely taken in. Despite the ageing visuals, the places and people of this gritty, gothic Los Angeles are frighteningly real.
Nearly three years after its UK release, I'm still trying to get my head around Pathologic, an obscure genre mashup from weirdest Russia. Every time you think you've grasped it, every time you figure out what's at the heart of the game, it slips away or blurs with another idea. What is this thing I've come to love so dearly?