Archives — May 2017
May 7-13 2017:
OVIVO is a black and white platformer where you swap between the two colors to move through each level. There have been games with similar mechanics before, but the art direction and freeform nature of OVIVO's levels is really what caught my eye. Each level looks like a piece of art instead of just a platforming sequence, and how you end up swapping between the game's black and white sections is affected by that aesthetic decision. It's a very cool looking game, and one that has universally positive Steam reviews so far.
RUMP! is a third-person run-n-jump (get it?) game that just came out of Early Access. It's a neat take on a parkour runner, with some nice map design and both singleplayer and multiplayer modes. To be frank, RUMP! is a bit of an odd one to recommend, as it's been nearly a year since its last update and the developer admits that was because of a lack of popularity for the game that caused them to work on other things as well. But it does look fun and already has some positive reviews from its time in Early Access, so I still think it's worth checking out.
Rogue Islands is a magic/fantasy themed FPS roguelike mixed with a bit of Minecraft. What that means is a blocky world with crafting and mining, but there's a focus on trying to make it to the end of each run instead of building. The combat looks interesting because it's a shooter, but you use a wand and magic instead of a gun. Rogue Islands just hit Early Access and plans to be there for about three months as developer Big Fat Alien looks for input on balance and new content.
Rakuen is a story-driven RPG adventure about a boy in a hospital and his mother. It sounds like a very emotional story, with the sick boy coming to terms with his own situation by exploring a fantasy world with his mom. The Steam page even says he "ultimately [helps] his fellow patients find closure by walking a mile in their shoes." Basically, bring some tissues. Rakuen looks like a JRPG on the outside with some lovely art, and is already getting very positive Steam reviews.
Released: May 10
Developer: Ezhaac Studio
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Price: $6/£4.79 (20% off for launch)
The Fan is a short FMV adventure game not for the faint of heart. For example, it's very unlikely I'll be personally playing this game because I have no stomach for horror and the trailer alone is unsettling enough for me (read: I'm a big baby) but it could be appealing to those stronger-willed than I. One Steam user even listed "upsetting and too realistic at times" as a con in their review, which is a bit foreboding. The Fan has point-and-click puzzle elements and some light decision making to affect the story, all presented through real video and photos.
April 30 - May 6 2017:
Post Human W.A.R. is a hex-based tactics game that just launched on Early Access. It boasts a focus on skill with "nothing left to chance", which I think means no dice rolls or percentages and definitely struck a chord with me. It's also got a good sense of humor about it with three factions that seem to have interesting twists on classic stereotypes—the robots are all repurposed household bots, for example. A key thing to note is that Post Human W.A.R. plans to be in Early Access for just two months to get feedback on balance before the rest of the singleplayer campaign is added.
Tumbleseed is a roguelike unlike almost any other I've played. It feels similar to a marble maze game, except you move linearly up a mountainside while fighting enemies and collecting new abilities. You play as a round seed, but can only directly control the platform that seed is resting on. You move either end up and down to roll your seed to one side or the other, avoiding holes and baddies along the way. Tumbleseed is extremely challenging and absolutely brilliant, and has one of our .
Super Rude Bear Resurrection is a fast-paced platformer similar to games like Super Meat Boy. It's a hard game, but claims to be beatable by players of any skill level as levels get easier the more you die. Your corpses stay on the level, meaning traps and spikes will start getting clogged with dead bear bodies that protect you from dying the same way again. It's a clever mechanic as it generally won't get in the way for skilled players, and the skill ceiling for this game is quite high, but will still help those who need it.
Spaceplan is fundamentally a single-button clicker game, but does some very strange and cool things by having the experience driven by a well written and funny narrative. It plays with ideas of space travel and time travel alongside a good sense of humor and an immense amount of potatoes. At $3/£2, it's not a very long game, but there's definitely more to get out of it than just another clicker game. You can .
World to the West is an action adventure game that looks like it plays similar to things like the top-down Zelda games. You can play as four different characters each with unique abilities, and the Steam page emphasizes that exploration and discovering secrets is a big part of the game, so it's a good thing its art style is so charming. World to the West was also created by Rain Games, which is the same developer that made the wonderful back in 2013.
Bonus free game: Knightfall: Rivals
Knightfall: Rivals is a card game that is modeled after and expands upon the Triple Triad card game from Final Fantasy 8. Fans of that game will immediately recognize what's in front of them, but Knightfall adds new mechanics and a fresh theme to differentiate itself. It's currently in Early Access, but only plans to be there for a couple months to balance and bug test. I almost didn't include Knightfall: Rivals in this section as it's fair to say free-to-play doesn't really mean free, but I know it's existence will very exciting for some.