Joel Leizer

Joel Leizer

Gaming Bits: Gat's back, E3 in L.A., and more

Welcome to another edition of Gaming Bits, an infrequent feature by Playing Critic columnist Joel Leizer, where he shares a few of the latest gaming announcements to hit his inbox.

Gaming Bits: Syberia coming to Switch, and more news

Welcome to another edition of Gaming Bits, an infrequent feature by Playing Critic columnist Joel Leizer, where he shares a few of the latest gaming announcements to hit his inbox.

Switching to a new console

French production studio Microids announced Thursday that all of the "Syberia" games to date will be re-released on the Nintendo Switch.

Playing Critic: Nintendo's Switch-ing up online play

Nintendo has decided to follow the example set first by Microsoft, later by Sony.

At some point in 2018, gamers will have to pay if they want to play any Nintendo Switch games online: $3.99 for a month's access; $7.99 for three months; or $19.99 for a whole year.

Will it be worth it?

Playing Critic: 'Embers of Mirrim' taxes your ability to multitask

"Embers of Mirrim," metaphorically speaking, is a game that challenges you to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time — and, occasionally, simultaneously hop on one foot, too.

The heroes of this beautiful puzzle platformer are two unique catlike-alien creatures, Mir and Rim, who come from what appear to be related yet feuding tribes.

Playing Critic: Latest 'Cooking Mama' missing key ingredients

As someone who loves food more than is necessarily healthy, I've always been drawn to the premise of the "Cooking Mama" series, where you mimic the kitchen arts by playing thematic minigames.

"Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop" will supposedly be the last iteration of the series to be released on the Nintendo 3DS — and that might be a good thing.

Playing Critic: New sandbox game comes with structure

In so-called sandbox games, the player gets to run amok — molding the world into whatever they please as their imagination goes wild — like a little kid playing in a giant sandbox.

"Minecraft" is, perhaps, the most popular example.

And now there's "Portal Knights."

Playing Critic: Attention to detail stands out in 'Prey'

Beautiful. Tense. Unnerving. Surprising. Frustrating. Familiar.

All words that describe "Prey," the latest from Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks.

Playing Critic: 'Puyo Puyo Tetris' offers a ton of action

"Puyo Puyo Tetris" is a rare thing — a competitive puzzle game where my wife is not only willing to take me on in some head-to-head gameplay, but actually eager to play.

"Best two out of three?" she asks before we get going. "Best three out of five?" follows a few minutes later. "Best ...?"

It might help that she's usually the one winning.

Playing Critic: 'Sexy Brutale' is charming but not challenging

It's a Saturday, and the guests at The Sexy Brutale casino-mansion's masked ball are just dying for a good time.

The mansion's staff are more than happy to arrange that — the dying, that is.

Playing Critic: Turn a bleak situation positive in 'Persona 5'

What is justice, and who should mete it out?

If perpetrators of vile crimes are ignored — even protected — by the authorities, is it right for you to act outside the law? Outside the norms of society?