Some retro revivals around the DS era really didn’t work out well, so I was very pleasantly surprised by Digging Strike. The new mechanics and successful merging of the first two Dig Dug games works really well in creating a game that’s more complex while retaining the feel of the original game. I sure didn’t expect the story to be such a joy either, so much so that I wish there was more of it! I also wish that the unlockable item system was handled better and that Taizo moved faster by default, but even with those issues, it’s such a breezy experience that it’s hard to get too mad at it for those things.
Challenger is yet another game to add to the pile of "misunderstood NES games that are actually good but people think are bad because they played them years past their ideal historical contexts" alongside games like Hydlide, Deadly Towers, The Legend of Kage, and Xevious. People playing it for the first time nowadays could easily walk away unimpressed thinking it's just a worse Zelda with some other stuff, but when looked at in the context of 1985, it comes off as something really ahead of the curve. With multiple genres of play, a large world that takes exploration and practice to master, and a flexible difficulty curve for all kinds of players, it's a game that impressed me in short order.
Disney’s Chicken Little
Chicken Little falls in between the extremes of licensed game quality and that's the most unfortunate place for it to be - too dull to recommend playing, but also rarely funny enough to get an accidental kick out of. Its GBA version fares better, being a simple but competent platform with a stronger focus on platforming and more consistently enjoyable design.