Friender Bender by Team Mandatory Fun
Backseat drivers finally have an outlet for their frustration in this inspired multiplayer driving game, in which four players are asked to control the same car. How does that work? Well, you each get a go behind the wheel, and while they wait for their turn, the other players can sabotage the driver with various Mario Kart-style power-ups (and, indeed, power-downs). What a wonderful idea, and one that does away with the need for split-screen or a pile of expensive controllers.
Triennale Game Collection by Various Artists
This cromulent bundle packs in five games from five arty developers, including Tale of Tales, and Kentucky Route Zero creator Cardboard Computer. The latter game is my favourite, by several country miles, as Neighbor is a beautiful isometric scene that allows you to wander around and interact with things to mysterious effect. When you've explored the cauldron, the workbench, the water etc. enough times, head to town for supplies, and by the time you get back, you'll find the desert scene rendered in glorious moonlight.
Mario von Rickenbach and Christian Etter's Il Filo Conduttore is my other highlight of the bundle: a satisfyingly tactile short that's equal parts toy and animation. You control a boingy thing on a bit of string, and said boinging is enormous fun thanks to the realistic boingy physics.
REX by REPVBLIC
REX offers a streamlined take on Chess, with fewer pieces and fewer tiles, but with plenty of space for scheming and strategising against either the computer or a fellow human. I appreciate the wealth of difficulty options for solo play, which offer a scaling set of challenges so you can hone your piece-shuffling skills.
King's Field: Heir of Granatyki by MasterTaffer
If you're not aware of Sword of Moonlight, it's a generous, if old and buggy tool that will let you create your own King's Field-style RPGs, brought to you by the makers of King's Field themselves, From Software. Here's a big new adventure that offers a new slime-full, deadly-flower-rich, and spooky-ghost-filled first-person world, then, and one that will likely murder you in your first contact with the aforementioned enemies. It's a tough game for the uninitiated, is what I'm saying, primarily because of its atypical controls.
Don't go into this one expecting WASD and mouselook—and if you have a controller handy, all the better. However! Heir of Granatyki is a sizeable new King's Field experience, set before the four-game series, and one that captures much of what fans love about From's slow-paced, atmospheric RPGs.
Tankita by Terri Vellmann
Tanks for the memories, Terri Vellmann, and if I keep this sentence going long enough maybe the readers will gloss over that alarmingly creaky pun. Do not be alarmed by the lack of music (no, your speakers aren't broken), but do brace your mouth muscles for Smile Mode, as this is a lovely low-poly action game that reminds me of similar curios from the PlayStation 1 era. Controlling a big tank, you have to blow up all the enemy structures and vehicles with your tanky bullets and missiles, while trying your darndest not to be turned into scrap metal in the process. Oh, and you can jump for some reason—and why not. Excellent stuff. (Via Warp Door)