This week, let's explore a flat, let's compress worthless citizens into more worthwhile juice, and let's grab three friends/grow three extra pairs of arms for some traditional roguelike fun. Enjoy!
The Juice of God's Future by HawkSandwich
Another entry in the rapidly expanding Papers-Please-like genre, The Juice of God's Future asks you to decide whether the residents of an overcrowded city will either be set free or turned into tasty juice. As it's set in an abstracted, cutesy sci-fi world, and you're not shown the effects of your actions, there's no real moral deliberation involved here, but there are tactical choices to make, as you attempt to achieve a balanced population that's equal parts creative, smart and content.
Exit84 by Bhérring Paucar Bonifacio, Álvaro Fernández
This smart, frantic platformer differs from most, in that you don't control the leaping little hero directly. No, you order them about by typing things with your keyboard, words or just letter-combos that you'll input to bound from one platform to another. With lasers, enemies, moving platforms and the like trying their hardest to make you dead, there's a strong time element here, meaning you'll need to type fast and at specific moments to succeed in each mini-stage. What a brill idea, implemented beautifully.
In The Hollow of the Valley by Nicholas O'Brian
A novel point and click that tells a story through minimalist architecture and interior design, not to mention huge globs of text. It's an elegant, graceful adventure that doles that story out as you click on objects in the pristine environment, and as you edge your way left and right around your home. That story is a fictionalised(-ish) account of the founding of salesforce.com, a thing I've never heard of that I seem to know less about after visiting the baffling website.
Birthplace of Ossian by Connor Sherlock
Connor Sherlock's Birthplace of Ossian has been around for a while, but seeing as he's just dropped the price tag and made it available for nowt, this seems like the perfect time to check in with the walking sim maestro for another bout of atmospheric wandering. I've spent part of the last week traipsing around a windy, rainy coastline IRL, and as I played Ossian this morning, I was struck by how close it comes to recreating the feeling of rambling around a blustery field.
The sound effects manage to suggest wind without blowing out your speakers, while the wonderful synthy soundtrack puts you in the contemplative, quiet mood that comes as part-and-parcel of a lovely walk. Audio aside, Ossian's (massive) landscape is beautifully painterly, and convincingly moorlike, punctuated by occasional monoliths that suggest a backstory that's never explained to you.
H.V.N.T.R.S by FourbitFriday, kbjwes77
A 7DRL entry made by the developer of (exceptional platforming roguelike) Catacomb Kids? Yes please. This is a fully formed top-down roguelike with a vampire theme, and despite the slightly fiddly control scheme, H.V.N.T.R.S. is a well-made and engaging RL, even when playing solo. I say that because, wow, it also offers local co-op, with up to four vampire hunters being able to hop in and play on a single screen. You might need them, as this satisfying, turn-based dungeon crawl can be a little difficult when playing by yourself.