Category Archives: One-Shots

One-off articles about games, cultural phenomena, anime and anything else that isn’t getting the Cover Game treatment.

SeaBed: What You Leave Behind

I reviewed this visual novel over at Nintendo Life — please go support my work over there, then join me back here to delve into the narrative in more detail!


SeaBed from Paleontology Soft is a kinetic novel that first released in 2015. It was localised for PC two years later, much to the delight of Western yuri fans, and in early 2020, it got released on Nintendo Switch, too.

It is, not to put too fine a point on it, an absolutely masterful work of fiction. It’s peaceful and calming yet melancholy, and the evocative, descriptive writing gives the whole experience a pleasantly mature feeling that is a far cry from noisy, chaotic anime hijinks. Not that there’s anything wrong with noisy, chaotic anime hijinks, mind, but sometimes you just want a bit of quiet contemplation to mull over.

So let’s mull it over together, because there’s a lot to talk about. There are likely to be some spoilers ahead, but I’ll try and keep major ones to a minimum, because you should experience this for yourself!

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Dead or School: A Passion Project Pays Off

I reviewed this game over at Nintendo Life — please go support my work over there, then join me back here to delve into the game in more detail!


It’s abundantly clear when you’re experiencing a creative work that was genuinely special to the people who made it.

The end result of such a passion project might be scraggy around the edges, it might not be technically perfect and you can probably find things that are “better”, whatever that means… but for me, finding something with genuine heart and soul will always trump big budgets and technical efficiency.

And so we come to Dead or School from Studio Nanafushi, a passion project that certainly still has a few scraggy edges even after two years in Early Access on PC… but a game that captured and maintained my attention from the moment I booted it up to the time the last of the credits scrolled off the screen. Let’s take a closer look.

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Madoris R: The House That Switch Built

There’s an assumption among certain quarters of the gaming community these days that for a game to be “good” it needs to be technically impressive, it needs to be challenging and it needs to have complex, deep mechanics.

Madoris R doesn’t really fulfil any of those requirements, but 1) that doesn’t stop it being enjoyable and compelling, and 2) it costs £4.50.

If you’ve been looking for a Switch game that is ideal to chill out with when you’ve got a few minutes to spare, be sure to take a look at this one. Let’s explore!

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Happy Birthday, PlayStation 2

Sony’s PlayStation 2 was a landmark console for both the games industry at large — and for many individuals of a certain age, too.

The console turned 20 years old on March 4, 2020 — assuming we’re going by its original Japanese release date, anyway — and thus that provides as good a reason as any to look back on this wonderful console, share some fond memories and explore how this remarkable machine is still relevant in my daily gaming life even today.

Grab a slice of cake and get ready to party, then; it’s time to celebrate.

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Final Fantasy VII Remake Demo: Yes

Sometime in 1997. I am in my last year of compulsory education. My brother, ten years my senior, has come home from America to visit, on vacation from his job on Electronic Gaming Monthly and the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. I always enjoy this, because he tells me all about the interesting new games that are coming out for exciting new platforms like the Sony PlayStation.

“Have you heard of Final Fantasy VII?” he asks. I respond in the negative. I had a feeling I’d heard the name Final Fantasy before, perhaps in the Super NES magazine Super Control that his ex-girlfriend used to work on back before they split — and before he left our green and pleasant isle for pastures new — but I’d never really paid it much mind. He seemed excited, though — and given that his position meant that he saw a lot of new games each and every day, this was enough to make me pay close attention.

“It’s the only game that I’ve ever seen make someone cry,” he said. I knew immediately that I had to play it. And thus a switch flipped, and what would become the Pete of today was born.

Continue reading Final Fantasy VII Remake Demo: Yes

Hilzartov Fairy: Size Doesn’t Matter

Here on MoeGamer, I don’t cover a lot of outright nukige — adult games where the sexual aspect is the primary focus — but when sexy gaming portal Nutaku approached me and offered to give me an exclusive look at what appears to be an artist’s passion project… well, how could I refuse?

Hilzartov Fairy, which you can check out for yourself here, is the work of a creator known as Mformental, whose extremely not-safe-for-work portfolio can be found over on Pixiv. They have a particular taste — and talent — for fantasy-themed artwork and animations, especially if it involves any combination of monsters, tentacles, futanari girls and significant size differences.

On the grand scheme of things, Hilzartov Fairy is one of their tamer works… though you still better be ready for some… unconventional sexual situations. Let’s take a closer look!

Strong sexual content ahead; you have been warned!

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198X: Retro Games as Art

“Art games” have a somewhat polarising reputation among the broader gaming community. Some love how far creators are willing to stretch the definition of “game” in order to tell a story or explore a theme; others feel like these titles are a boring waste of time.

I’ve gone back and forth a bit on this over the years, but one thing most art games have in common is that they tend to de-emphasise mechanical depth and complexity in favour of telling their story. In some of the most well-regarded cases, you don’t even really “do” anything; you just walk forwards while a story passively washes over you.

198X is a bit different. It’s definitely an art game — or perhaps it’s more accurate to call it a short, animated, pixel-art film — but unlike many of its peers, it’s designed to be satisfying and enjoyable to play as well as to emotionally engage with. Let’s take a closer look.

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