A psychedelic metroidvania game with hints of time loop and roguelike mechanics, the game sees you seemingly having crash landed on a massive structure known as the Sarcophagus, which houses the ominous being known as Ultros. Making use of alien gardens and biology in order to further one's skills, players have to fight their way through to break the loop, or maybe find hidden pacifist solutions along the way instead.
Set in the quirky fantasy kingdom of the Sprawl, the 12-year-old Lil finds themselves covering for their dad one day, taking over for his duties as guardsman. Now this one gig will help set off a chain of events that could determine the Sprawl's outcome, in this Papers, Please-inspired comedy adventure game.
The sad thing is that Silent Hill: The Short Message has a lot of good story ideas, characters and world-building, but then proceeds to waste them on completely unoriginal, shallow gameplay. It paradoxically wanted to move ahead and tackle more mature themes and stories, yet has gameplay that feels blatantly regressive, settling for the most generic aspects of modern horror games. If this is the direction that the franchise wants to take, then it's headed straight for a cliff. Hopefully the likes of No Code will be able to salvage things with their side games later, but for now, you can easily skip over The Short Message.
Home Safety Hotline is a unique game in both the adventure genre and the horror genre, using deduction-based gameplay to great effect as folks attempt to decipher just what kind of gnome or fantastical fungus is plaguing each caller. While it could have been tougher, the cleverly-designed blend of supernatural phenomena and sharp comedic writing with a nicely dark edge will keep players hooked until the end. The prospect of working at a call center for things that go bump in the night sure is terrifying (although that goes for any job at a call center, period), but here, it's a job worth tackling.
While there are times where it feels like Wizard With a Gun doesn't live up to its full potential as a survival game, it still succeeds overall thanks to delivering action-packed twin-stick gunslinging, a gorgeous world with nice lore to discover, and a lot of stuff to find, be it new furniture when it comes to decorating your Tower or new strategies when it comes to dishing out pain.
Pizza Possum delivers a clever twist on classic arcade gameplay with its simple and fun stealth-based gameplay, and it has a ton of charm in its colorful visuals and appealing take on an Italian landscape. But a lack of content and awkward handling of power-ups provide a sour taste, though there's still enough here that you should at least consider sampling a bite of it. If it's good enough for our possum buddy, after all…
El Paso, Elsewhere is an excellent nod to the days of Max Payne, but thanks to its impressive story, surreal world and unforgettable soundtrack, it still manages to stand on its own as a top-notch shooter. With smooth, slick combat that perfectly feels like a classic action games with a modern feel, this is one terrific blast of adrenaline that anyone should check out. The Void may mess with you quite a bit, but the trip through it is definitely worth taking.
Despite a few flaws that harm the pacing, Mineko's Night Market is a truly impressive life sim that stands out among a sea of similar wholesome games thanks to its jaw-dropping visuals, unique emphasis on Japanese culture and arts and crafts, and a cute story at the center of it all filled with wonder. It's a terrific little game that can be enjoyed by those of all ages, plus, again, you get to pet hundreds of cats. Really, that alone should make it worth it.
Lies of P is a worthy entry into the soulslike genre of gaming, particularly when the game allows its own unique elements to truly shine, such as its unique spread of weaponry and combat mechanics or its impressive story twists that can have you rediscovering what it means to be human.
Goodbye Volcano High is a terrifically-crafted slice of high school drama that succeeds thanks to the strength of its lovable cast of characters, amazing music and a sweet story about perseverance in the face of uncertainty, be it the possibility of your best friends moving on or the possible end of the world.
An immensely clever and unique game, Chants of Sennaar expertly captures the power of language through its well-crafted cultures and its intricate and perfectly-challenging puzzles, turning the art of translation into a captivating bit of gameplay. By the time you'll have validated your last glyph, you'll still be left wanting more, but what we have here still makes for a terrific journey that is not to be missed out on.
Samba de Amigo: Party Central isn't exactly the deepest rhythm game, but there's still fun to be had here, even if the overall product is held back by its finicky Joy-Con controls. A great soundtrack, enjoyable gameplay modes and a bold, eye-catching visual style help keep the party going even longer, but with a little refinement, future shindigs in this series can be even greater than ever.
Videoverse is game that managed to hit me with the force of a truck in various ways, from the more subtle things like the in-game community's reaction to a collapsing world around them to the parts that were more upfront, like Emmett and Vivi's budding relationship.
The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood is an amazing narrative journey exploring fate, politics, isolation, friendship and more, filled with a stellar cast and great writing and music, but the tarot card creation is what will easily have players addicted for hours, and the way it ties into the main story is done superbly. It makes for a truly unique adventure game that's not to be missed out on, especially for those looking to get creative, go nuts and craft the motorcycle wolf card of their dreams.
Stray Gods' unique blend of musicals and video games alone makes it worthy of applause, but it's the incredible way that the ear-pleasing, player-orchestrated numbers are weaved into such a well-designed murder mystery which deserves the loudest cheers.
Through a exploration of Southern Indian cuisine and the preparation of it that's been given a slight puzzler twist, Venba manages to serve up a captivating story about culture, motherhood, immigrant life and more, spiced up with likeable characters and great dialogue, and topped off with eye-catching visuals and an ear-pleasing soundtrack. It's a short feast, but a filling one, so it would be wise to give it a shot. Would it help if we said that it might remind you of a rocket somehow?