PAC-MAN 99 is another hit for Arika, this time with one of the most iconic arcade games of all time. It’s a bit surprising just how well Pac-Man fits into the 99-player battle royale format, but that’s just a testament to the work done by the developers. PAC-MAN 99 has me excited for whatever the developer’s put out next.
Oddworld: Soulstorm is an excellent adventure game and platformer, with cool mechanics that keep gameplay fresh. The environments are stunning, and the 2.9D animation makes the world feel three-dimensional and lived-in. Only held back by a slew of bugs, Oddworld: Soulstorm is a great installment in a classic franchise.
Narita Boy is a game that takes such a strong influence from so many past works, it can often feel a bit derivative. However, that doesn’t stop the game from being enjoyable, as there’s plenty of unique challenges to overcome as well as some solid lore-building. It’s gorgeous visual design and soundtrack will be enough to entice anyone familiar with 80s pop culture, and could prove irresistible to those that have a fondness for the era.
Dandy Ace delivers as challenging roguelike, with difficult enemies and bosses galore. The use of cards allows players the freedom to fine-tune their loadout to be the most efficient for their respective playstyle. Add on top of that the visually pleasing art style and use of color, and you’ve got yourself one magical roguelike.
Mundaun is a horror adventure with a compelling mystery, all wrapped up in some well-executed horror. Unfortunately, the game is often weighed down by some of its core mechanics, such as combat and inventory management. Despite that, it’s still a unique experience that offers a fresh approach to the horror genre.
Loop Hero succeeds as an adventure game by blending together elements of strategy and roguelikes in a way that feels clever and fresh. Giving players agency on the adversaries they encounter, and the frequency of said encounters, is an exciting spin on the genre, and one that forced me to strategize in a unique way. Couple the outstanding mechanics with a gorgeous and well-executed visual design, and you’ve got yourself one satisfying gameplay loop.
PUSS! is a game that’s distinctly unique, if nothing else. The visual presentation and art style are oozing with weirdness and have no shortage of absurdity. The levels themselves are also quite well done, though it’s a shame the experience is bogged down by unnecessary roguelike elements. Despite those issues, PUSS! is still quite the challenge for any hardened player looking to test their skills.
Olija is incredibly cinematic, despite its minimalist approach to art style. The game still feels fantastical thanks to an incredible attention to detail with both the visual and sound design. In addition, Olija tells a heartfelt story with important themes, while keeping satisfying gameplay at the center of it all. It becomes even more impressive when you realize the game was practically developed by one person, Thomas Olsson of Skeleton Crew Studios. Olija is a pleasant treat and likely an early frontrunner for one of the best indie titles of 2021.