Dwarf Fortress looks more modern and offers a lot more ease of access on Steam, but it is still an intimidating game. Another batch of tutorials or contextual tooltips would go a long way toward helping new players uncover the deeper mechanics of the game. There’s something to be said for figuring it out yourself, but that’s not everyone’s learning style.
Shovel Knight Dig is another smart repackaging of the brand. Yacht Club games already proved it could repurpose its ideas into a tile-based roguelike with Pocket Dungeon, and now Dig demonstrates what happens when the platformer gameplay is remixed for a deadly descent into a dark pit.
Thymesia wears its inspirations on its sleeve, and the rest of its outfit screams “we want to make a Dark Souls game.” Even the messages that appears when you activate a checkpoint or die in combat carry similar fonts and colors. Yet it feels acceptable in this instance, because despite the clear influences or borderline copycat mechanics, the result is a very enjoyable game.
Influences from other games are quite present in Solar Ash — Tony Hawk's line-following, Super Mario Galaxy's wraparound camera, Shadow of the Colossus's massive bosses. While those together may seem incongruous, they come together to make it an exciting, fast-paced platformer that gives you the tools to move smoothly and complete the challenges before you. It's so satisfying to nail those obstacle courses, clear anomalies, and topple skyscraping Remnants. The roller coaster of Solar Ash is well worth riding.