Ben Catley-Richardson reviews new releases Madden 20, Night Call, Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Tetsumo Party.

Game of the Week:

Title: Madden 20

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4

Genre: Sports

Price: £49.99

Prepare to sweat the ball stuff

American football is a complex sport but has a simple, obvious core - run fast, throw well, hit hard. Recent Madden games have tried to make the complexity accessible, or as realistic a representation as possible, but Madden 20 focuses on emphasising that essentially physical factor. Superstars now have special skills that make running, dodging, throwing or tackling fundamentally more effective, grounding the game in the dirty business of bodies and mud as opposed to the bloodless selection of tactical plays and planning, although it unavoidably means that more commonplace players can feel hugely outclassed. The strategic depth is still there, but for once Madden feels unpredictable after the snap, and matches are more lively and exciting as a result.

Skip to the end: A hustling, bustling, exhilarating outing for the series.

Score: 8/10

Title: Night Call

Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, Switch

Genre: Adventure

Price: £14.99

Big yellow taxi

Midnight in Paris. A passenger hails your cab and questions flood your mind. Will their tip be generous? Will you have enough petrol? Will they reveal vital clues about the serial killer who left you for dead? In Night Call, your taxi-driving hero is also an investigator, piecing together the mystery through conversations with a huge variety of passengers plus info from the lazy police who blackmailed you into working for them. It's a wonderful idea, with well-written dialogue and great atmosphere. But the interface is too restrictive, clues are too vague, and the solutions require too much guesswork to make this a satisfying whodunnit. Reviewed on Asus ROG G703GI (i7, 16GB, GTX 1080,

Skip to the end: An intriguing but unfulfilling murder mystery.

Score: 7/10

Title: Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Platform: Switch

Genre: StrategyPrice: £49.99

Damp squib

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a poor example of the previously successful series. This turn-based fantasy RPG leaps between overwrought narrative storytelling and strategically-minded skirmishes - but where other Fire Emblem adventures told dark and gritty war stories, this new outing skews too much toward a tired adolescent coming-of-age tale. It's also much, much easier than veterans will expect. With Switch having such a huge new playerbase, it might sound sensible to introduce them to a more accessible Fire Emblem, but in practice it means the personality and cult appeal of the series is lost. Yet the dense interface, intricate character management and slow-burn progress remain, threatening to discourage any newbies from exploring other, better games in the Fire Emblem series.

Skip to the end: A let down for fans even if it captures new attention.

Score: 7/10

Title: Tetsumo Party

Platform: PC, PS4, Switch

Genre: Party

Price: £4.99

Sink hole

Tetsumo Party sounds like hilarious fun with friends. Based undeniably on the daft TV show Hole In The Wall, you and up to eight friends take it in turns to manipulate the chubby arms and legs of a sumo wrestler, who faces an onrushing wall with a hole in it. To fit through, you need to match the shape of the hole by striking the correct pose (e.g. one arm out, one leg bent). But any potential comedy value is lost in the finicky and unintuitive control of your limbs, not to mention the fact that only two sumos can take on the wall at once. The best party games may be simple, but Tetsumo Party is simply basic.

Skip to the end: Briefly entertaining oddity that quickly gets boring.

Score: 5/10


1 Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

2 Super Mario Maker 2

3 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

4 FIFA 19

5 Grand Theft Auto V

6 F1 2019

7 Fire Emblem: Three Houses

8 Red Dead Redemption 2

9 Minecraft

10 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2017 UKIE Ltd