Author: Mike Differ

Hailing from Glasgow I play a variety of games but a big fan or RPGs and action adventure games. However I do try and review other genres of games. In real life I work in a call centre so with gaming am happy to let video game characters do the talking.
Planet Zoo: Console Edition – PS5 Review
PlayStation Reviews

Planet Zoo: Console Edition – PS5 Review

Planet Zoo: Console Edition is a zoo builder and management sim game where you build a safe space for numerous animals big and small. It was developed and published by the British company Frontier Developments (Planet Coaster, F1 Manager 2023). It is undoubtedly a spiritual successor to Zoo Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon 2, which the team at Frontier brought us. With my review based on the PS5 version the game is also available now on Xbox series X|S. You can check out Kevin's review of the PC version and how it compares. There's a place for all animals big and small in Planet Zoo I was excited to play Planet Zoo as it eventually made its way from PC to consoles after 5 years. Real-life zoos have their share of problems but it did feel nice to (digitally) help conservation for all sorts of ani...
Our Favourite Video Game Easter Eggs
Features

Our Favourite Video Game Easter Eggs

Well Easter is here and some of the team here at Thumb Culture are sharing their Easter Eggs. No not the chocolate kind... Our favourite Video Game Easter Eggs. Video Game Easter Eggs - The Plot Chickens How many of these were you already aware of? Let us know in the comments what your favourite Video Game Easter Egg is. The Last Of Us Tease - Tony Originally The Last of Us was to be revealed in July 2011. The development team on Uncharted 3 created a little link to the upcoming Naughty Dog game during development of Nathan Drakes 3rd adventure on PS3. With Uncharted 3 launching in Nov 2011, The Last Of Us would then be common knowledge. However when the reveal of The Last Of Us got pushed to December of that year, Uncharted 3 was already in players hands with the Easter Egg still i...
Garden Life: A Cozy Simulator – PC Review
PC Reviews

Garden Life: A Cozy Simulator – PC Review

Garden Life is a first-person narrative & life-sim where you manage the community garden of a small, sleepy village. While the garden grows you also contribute to the village and its residents and quickly find your place here. Thankfully for someone like me who doesn't have a green thumb, Garden Life was easy to get into. At its root, Garden Life is a narrative game but gardening is the main gameplay mechanic with tasks and quests. However, if that's not what you're looking for there is creative mode, a sandbox version of the game. Gardening here is a simplified version of the task similar to Stardew Valley or home improvement in House Flipper but still simulates realistic responsibilities and obstacles. The game is the latest release from developers Still Alive Games (Bus Simula...
The Invincible – PS5 Review
PlayStation Reviews

The Invincible – PS5 Review

The Invincible is a narrative-focused adventure developed by Starward Industries and published by 11 Bit Studios (Children of Morta). Starward are a Polish studio delivering its debut game with staff having worked on The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077. The game is based on Stanislaw Lem's 1964 novel of the same name. Set in the distant future, you play Dr Yasna who ends up on the desert planet Regis III suffering from amnesia. The game has elements in common with Firewatch but also movies such as Annihilation & Arrival when it comes to tone and narrative. The game also has elements of sci-fi exploring sims Subnautica but firmly on dry land. The Invincible is available now on PS4 & PS5, Xbox S/X and Windows. The Invincible holds its own in this sci-fi adventure I wasn't fa...
The Fabulous Fear Machine – PC Review
PC Reviews

The Fabulous Fear Machine – PC Review

The Fabulous Fear Machine (TFFM) comes from developer Fictiorama Studios (Do Not Feed the Monkeys) and is published by AMC Games & Shudder. TFFM is an indie outbreak sim horror game with a fresh spin on the genre. Not your typical outbreak though, fear is what is spread through the machinations of the titular machine. The game is set across 3 distinct campaigns where each character makes a wish to Kirlian, a sentient fortune teller carnival-style machine. We're all cogs in The Fabulous Fear Machine TFFM tells its stories in comic book format, panels and all, reminding me of classic comics and pulp fiction horror. In return for helping them achieve their wish, Kirlian takes the character's life story for mysterious reasons. Through spreading fear, each character manipulates stock mark...
Resident Evil 4 (2023 Remake) Separate Ways DLC – PC Review
PC Reviews

Resident Evil 4 (2023 Remake) Separate Ways DLC – PC Review

Much like the original Resident Evil 4, 2023's remake (RE4R) also has the Separate Ways DLC. Capcom has developed and published quality content here and the DLC is a great addition to the franchise. We experience Ada Wong's side of the story and how it weaves and intersects with Leon Kennedy & Ashley Graham's in some surprising ways. We also see how the femme fatale of the series operates in shades of grey but possibly changed after meeting Leon and the events of RE2. There is also the addition of Ada and Wesker to Mercenaries as an excellent addition alongside the DLC. I'm especially glad this content came out following the backlash against Ada's voice actress Lily Gao. I enjoyed her performance and some others disagree which is natural of course. I think we can all agree that the ...
Video Games Celebrating The LGBTQIA+ Community
Features

Video Games Celebrating The LGBTQIA+ Community

Following Pride Month 2023, Tyler and I felt inspired to write a TC feature about some great LGBTQIA+ representation in video games. We put our heads together and came up with the following games and characters. The list is done in no particular order so please don't be offended. We did focus on characters written as queer rather than chosen in character creation or player choices. Narrowing down the many games with LGBTQIA+ romantic options wasn't easy. Especially with game series from The Sims to Saints Row, RPGs like Fallout and Mass Effect and more. Being given the choice during gameplay has come leaps and bounds in video game history. Of the many examples of LGBTQIA+ characters, hopefully, the ones you expect are here. It was difficult to narrow it down but I hope you agree with th...
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Switch Review
Switch Reviews

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Switch Review

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the latest game in the Zelda series and the much-anticipated sequel to 2017's Breath of the Wild (BotW). It is a single-player fantasy open-world RPG developed & published by Nintendo. Having been teased since E3 2019, fans have been chomping at the bit for Tears of the Kingdom (TotK). The game has sold over 10 million copies 3 days after release and even had the knock-on effect of BotW being a top seller again too. There were some strong opinions among players about Tears of the Kingdom being too similar to BotW but I feel fans won't be disappointed. I certainly wasn't as I found TotK is Breath of the Wild cranked up to 11 with its design and mechanics and the return of many familiar faces. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is...
Solasta: Palace of Ice – PC Preview
Previews & Early Access

Solasta: Palace of Ice – PC Preview

Palace of Ice is the latest DLC for Solasta and is a direct follow-up to Crown of the Magister. I was kindly invited to play with a few of the game's developers & publishers at Tactical Adventures. Solasta is their debut game and I was thrilled to be able to see their passion for it. The hour-long preview showcased 3 new regions with the return of the Soraks and new enemies demons & devils. The new campaign comes to PC on May 25th, almost exactly two years after Crown of the Magister. Fans of the base game will undoubtedly enjoy the 25+ hours of this high fantasy non-linear story. I also had the pleasure of reviewing previous Solasta content which I've linked below. Solasta: Palace of Ice - the cold never bothered me anyway I've had a great time playing past Solasta content an...
Aces & Adventures – PC Review
PC Reviews

Aces & Adventures – PC Review

Aces & Adventures is the latest release from  Yogscast Games (Golfie) alongside indie publisher Triple B Games. The game is a deckbuilding fantasy RPG where combat is powered by poker. Luckily for me, you only need to know the main combinations of hands available. The closest comparison I've played is Slay the Spire but Aces & Adventures definitely is making its mark on the deckbuilding genre. Aces & Adventures is available now on Windows PC. Aces & Adventures up's the ante in this high-stakes fantasy game I was excited to play Aces & Adventures as I'm a fan of the genre and Yogscast Games. If you're enjoying the game or excited to please leave a comment below about what you think. Gameplay Aces & Adventures takes place in Cardrasil, a fantasy land home t...