To some, Super Mario may appear tired: a mascot whom Nintendo trots out every few years to sell another console with repackaged but fundamentally stale ideas. Super Mario 3D World is a fierce rebuttal to the accusation. Mario and his makers once again assert their dominance of spatial navigation games, displaying a rude abundance of ideas to delight, surprise and celebrate innocence and playfulness.
The game struggles a little over the mid-to-long term: the difficulty doesn't fluctuate much and, soon enough, you're merely turning the cogs rather than responding to thrilling challenges, but Zoo Tycoon is pleasant and engaging, even in its absence of spectacle.
Dead Rising 3 is still one of the strongest titles in the PS4/ Xbox One launch line-up, but that's more down to a lack of sharp competition than any peculiar brilliance. A more forgiving proposition than its forebears, this is an enjoyable zombie romp that's lost some of its character in the lurch onto the next generation hardware.
But there is no denying the sense of accomplishment when you solve a puzzle, arranging the branches, vines and spouts of water in the correct way and then successfully manoeuvring Max across them and safely into the next screen. It's a game that makes you feel smart and, unlike Limbo, never surprises you with unforeseeable traps: there is always an opportunity to stand back, assess and, finally, execute. It's a somewhat short, enjoyable and inoffensive game that delivers on the potential of its mechanical promise, if not its narrative premise.
Despite the range of games on offer (everything from motocross to pinball) there is an inevitable sense of repetition, perhaps because the original games themselves were, behind the artwork, less distinct than they first appeared. As with many reconstituted products, NES Remix is immediately delicious, but inspires an obsession that it can't sustain for long.
Nevertheless, despite its unevenness and occasional cruelty, Teslagrad is a bold and captivating proposition. The unusual and elegant aesthetic is persistently attractive, and the lightness of touch with the storytelling brings the world-building to the fore. Its Nordic development team are fledgling (this is only their second game) and there's fidgety keenness to the game's ideas and creative execution. Teslagrad would have benefited from a more experienced publisher to help round off the sharp edges and better balance the challenge. But in the meantime, this is a rough yet worthwhile jewel.