I enjoyed Astral Ascent when it was in Early Access and I still enjoy it after it's official release. Multiple characters, spells, and abilities along with procedurally generated areas and some fun and interesting boss fights against the Zodiacs give Astral Ascent plenty of replayability. If these kinds of games are up your alley, you'll get plenty of gameplay out of Astral Ascent.
Slay the Princess is my first visual novel in my roughly thirty-five years as a gamer and I enjoyed every minute of it. With so many dialogue options to choose from, no two runs of the story are the same, and even when you get to the story's finale there are still a few different ways it can ultimately end. The voice acting and soundtrack ties everything together beautifully and for someone who never got into visual novels, I can't recommend this one enough. If you're looking for a psychological horror story with quite a bit of comedic dialogue thrown in, then definitely prepare to Slay the Princess…that kind of came out weird.
Gravity Oddity is a roguelike game that plays differently than other games in its genre. Instead of improving yourself every time you die, you actually improve yourself with every completed run, unlocking new game modes and mods. While each run isn't necessarily that long once you know what you're doing, getting the hang of the controls and mechanics can be a real challenge, especially when a lot is happening on screen. Once you can master that though, you'll find a game with a lot of customization, challenge, and replayability that's good to play in small bursts of time. Strap on your gravity boots, save your roommate, and pay your rent.
30XX is a marked improvement over its predecessor. Beyond the permadeath Standard Mode, you can check out Mega Mode if you'd rather choose your level order and can also create and upload your own levels or chunks of levels. The ability to play as either Nina or Ace and can switch between runs in Standard mode, or play co-op, means you can choose whoever better suits your playstyle. Make no mistake though - even if you're a fan of Mega Man (specifically Mega Man X) you'll still find plenty of challenges as you make your way through, but for it's a challenge I definitely recommend checking out.
Master Detective Archives: Rain Code is a great game that really goes deep into each of its cases to prove who the real culprit is, sometimes to a fault. The Mystery Labyrinths can tend to go on for a bit despite knowing who the real culprit is halfway through and Shinigami's sense of humor can get a tad annoying at times. It also doesn't help that after going through a few hours of how the crime was committed, you then basically get to relive the entire crime two more times which at that point just feels like the game is padding itself. Overall though, if you're up for solving some mysteries with a purple ghost sidekick, Master Detective Archives: Rain Code is definitely worth checking out.
Nocturnal may seem short on length but is enjoyable throughout and doesn't seem to overstay its welcome. The "light your sword on fire" mechanic to reveal puzzle clues and help defeat enemies shrouded in the mist is unique and helps the game flow smoothly. While it can be a bit annoying to miss some lore collectibles or extra ashes to help you get to that next perk upgrade since you can't backtrack after certain points, it does make for an interesting risk vs. reward scenario: do you want to just press ahead or take the chance against the mist and learn more about the game's lore?
Hunt the Night requires a lot of skill and a lot of patience, but becomes more enjoyable once you learn how everything works. Everything looks, sounds, and controls great, and you'll definitely begin to feel the challenge even in the opening areas of the game.
Blacktail is a great game with some minor flaws here and there, but nothing that really takes away from the experience. The morality mechanics do a great job at shaping your abilities and what you're able to do and the storytelling is pretty well done. If you're not great at survival games you might struggle a bit with the game's resource management, especially since your bow and arrows are your only physical weapons. Overall though, as long as you remember that survival is priority one and firing arrows at everything in sight is priority zero, you should still have an enjoyable time with Blacktail.
Astlibra Revision can be a bit grindy at times and has a lot of dialogue, even for an action RPG, but I'd be remiss if didn't say this is one of my favorite games I've played recently. The game looks and feels like you're playing an anime (complete with intro sequence at the start of each chapter) and the music is really hard not to rock out to. If you're into action RPGs or just want to give this a shot, you can check out the demo before hand to get an idea how mostly everything works. Once you're ready to dive into the full game, there's not much more to say but enjoy.
Knights and Guns takes arcade-style shooters like Buster Brothers and adds a few things to make it unique. I can understand some people getting bored by the repetitiveness of the game and if you're looking for something that majorly shakes up the genre, you likely won't find it here. What you will find is a simple always-firing-upward shooter that lets you shoot monsters with several types of weapons, a campaign where you can take multiple paths to get to your final destination, and the ability to bring a friend along for the ride. For ten dollars, I'd say that's a pretty solid deal.
XEL looks great on the surface, but unfortunately it has too many bugs and technical issues to warrant recommending it to anyone. The framerate drops and slow-loading zone transitions alone can cause some frustrations, but add in an uncontrollable camera that is overly distant from the action, difficult to detect enemies, and terrain that is easy to get stuck to - forcing you to reload from your last save point, and you have a game that is near unplayable in its current state. Patches may resolve these issues, but as of right now XEL is too frustrating to fully enjoy.
Wonder Boy Collection may be a bit short on the extras, but the four games included still make for a very solid collection. Wonder Boy and Wonder Boy in Monster Land are great for arcade gamers and the options let you tweak things to make the games easier or harder to suit your skill level. Meanwhile, Wonder Boy in Monster World and Monster World IV are great for console gamers, offering very fluid controls and a more relaxing style of gameplay where you're not rushed by a timer wanting to devour your quarters. Whether you're a fan of the series or just stepping in for the first time, Wonder Boy Collection is bound to have at least one or two games that everyone can enjoy.
Wildcat Gun Machine is an interesting take on roguelike and bullet hell games, but the roguelike aspects feel a bit lacking, especially the story. The game looks and sounds great, but a lot of the time I kind of felt like I was just going room to room, fighting enemies, and then going back to the checkpoint, which mitigates a bit of the challenge. Still, Wildcat Gun Machine is enjoyable, but if you're specifically looking for a roguelike game to keep you busy, you might find things a bit lacking here.
Wunderling DX is an interesting take on the "villain becomes a hero" concept in that you're basically a minion setting out to stop the hero. While I can see some players may be turned off by the simplicity of the game and the easiness of the early-going, there's enough content and collectables to keep things fresh throughout your journey as an underling setting out to stop a hero. As backwards as that concept may seem, I thoroughly enjoyed my time through Wunderling DX.
What Lies in the Multiverse is one of the most fun indie games I've played in quite some time. The puzzle-aspect of it is rather on the easy side for most of the game with nothing too complex, but where the game really shines is the story. If you have a few hours and about fifteen dollars to spare, definitely take a look and see What Lies in the Multiverse
Time Master is an incredible puzzle game with great visuals and interesting gameplay mechanics that are executed almost flawlessly. There are a few minor issues; a somewhat empty story outside of Zeno saving his sister, as well as the need to be pixel-perfect to obtain some of the three-star rankings. But thankfully you can play the game casually and still finish the game's story without too much stress.
Aspire: Ina's Tale is an enjoyable platform-puzzler with a great story and a relaxing atmosphere, but it's one drawback is its short length. If you know what you're doing or are pretty good at solving puzzles that involve platforming, the game should only take you a few hours to complete. If you don't mind that though, Aspire: Ina's Tale has a great story and a relaxing atmosphere that's worth checking out.
Tunche can be an enjoyable game, but it may take some time to get there. Early on the enemies can be damage sponges and you don't have a lot of attack options available, making combat somewhat difficult and quite repetitive. As you level up each character and unlock new abilities and options for the cores you find, the game itself begins to open up and become more enjoyable. Tunche looks and sounds great and after some time, the gameplay itself will become pretty good. You just have to be patient a bit for it to get there.
Tandem: A Tale of Shadows is a fun and clever puzzle game, but the story falls quite a bit flat with a pretty dark ending. The puzzles themselves are enjoyable with needing to switch between Emma's and Fenton's perspectives a nice mechanic. The story though is just there and while puzzle games don't need stories to be enjoyable, if you're going to have one at least flesh things out a bit. If you don't mind a story that covers just the bare essentials needed to have a story, Tandem's puzzles are pretty enjoyable and I'd recommend checking the game out at some point.