F1 2019

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4

Genre: Racing

Price: £44.99

A personal best from the official race series

Annual licensed tie-ins often disappoint, but that's emphatically not the case with F1 2019. There's never been a more fluid, rapid and thrilling rendition of the fastest road race of them all, but that isn't the real achievement of this new instalment. You can, of course, jump straight in and race against your heroes over 21 official circuits. But F1 2019's masterstroke is the addition of an F2 series, which in career mode acts as your gateway into the elite competition, stoking your anticipation as you earn your stripes. The handling is sublime, giving both tiers of cars a distinctive and intuitive feeling. F1 2019 isn't just essential for enthusiasts, it's one of the best games of the year.

Skip to the end: Fast, fresh and exciting, the greatest F1 game ever. 9/10


Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4

Genre: Strategy

Price: £23.99

Gravely appealing

Zombies multiply at a terrifying rate. In this aptly named story of apocalyptic survival, if just one deadite gets into the warren of tents your colonists call home then pretty soon, well, They Are Billions. You see, the world is over. But a single, steampunked settlement remains, protected inside a giant crater. Your mission is to reclaim the surrounding landscape, first with simple tools (bow-wielding rangers, wooden walls) before research leads to more effective means of protection - which is fortunate, given the horrendous variety of monsters who can't wait to eat you. Minor flaws irritate (awful voice acting, poor side-missions) but They Are Billions is gloriously infectious fun. Reviewed on Asus ROG G703GI (i7, 16GB, GTX 1080, asus.com/uk/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers)

Skip to the end: A vivid and engaging challenge with real strategic depth. 8/10


Platform: PC, Switch

Genre: RPG

Price: £49.99

All tangled up

With eight main characters, you'd expect Octopath Traveler to be a lively adventure. In its mesmerisingly retro and almost tilt-shift style 3D fantasy, there are merchants with wanderlust, warriors with existential worries and healers with good intentions. The turn-based battles are truly brilliant, evoking Final Fantasy's cutesy sprites but demanding a skilful balance of tactics to uncover enemy weaknesses and then exploit using a satisfyingly explosive Boost system. Yet there's a terrible loneliness in Octopath Traveler. Cut-scenes play out as if your party of friends were never even there, the levelling-up grind is crushingly drawn out and dungeons offer meagre rewards, making for a frustrating disappointment. Reviewed on Asus ROG G703GI (i7, 16GB, GTX 1080, asus.com/uk/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers)

Skip to the end: Excellent battle system but ruined by serious flaws. 7/10


Platform: iPad/iPhone

Genre: Adventure

Price: £1.99

Less than ordinary

'Normal Club is unusually well written, though you'd really hope that would be the case in a text-based adventure game. But a finely crafted story isn't enough to keep this tale from going stale, and the weird world setting (supernatural elements like ghosts, Yeti and aliens rub shoulders with typically geeky teenagers) doesn't have the personality or enthralling atmosphere of similar games like Frankenstein Wars. Interactive elements are also repetitive and dull. In fact, where Frankenstein Wars was dark and deftly stylish, perfectly suiting an audience of book and movie-savvy gamers, 'Normal Club is caught awkwardly in a combination of paranormal, YA-style teen drama and stereotypical high-school rivalry. It's hard to see exactly who it's going to appeal to.

Skip to the end: A sprightly story but lacking in interactive interest. 7/10