PowerWash Simulator is a fun experience, due to its addicting mechanics and progression system while acknowledging it is still in development. However, it will likely improve as development progresses, and we look forward to seeing what FuturLab has in store.
Cosmonius High is Owlchemy Labs’ best game to date, bar none. The developer took everything that made its past games special and fit it together with master precision to create this one. The sound design, physics, and characters go far to make the player feel like they’re in a real intergalactic high school.
Rogue Legacy 2 is a leap above its predecessor, which was already great fun. The music, characters, and world blend to create one of the most enjoyable Rogue-likes of this decade. The sheer level of content will allow players to engage with this world for hours and hours, and the House Rules enable the player to make it more challenging after that. Rogue Legacy 2 is a must-have for fans of the genre.
Overall, Kayak VR: Mirage is a beautiful game that manages to create a kayaking simulator that feels like you’re actually paddling through scenic locations. Not only is it a peaceful way to relax, but your arms will certainly get a workout the longer you play. While the game might be a little light on content at the moment, that is sure to improve as the devs continue to support it post-launch.
Dwarf Fortress is one of the most incredibly complex games to ever be released, with Bay 12 Games showing no sign of slowing down in the coming years. While the complicated menus and steep learning curve might be too much for some people, this game will be exactly what most colony management fans have always been looking for.
Teardown is a beautiful game set in a world that’s more destructible than anything in games before, allowing players complete control over a voxel sandbox. The detail of the world and physics is nothing short of amazing and will be studied by developers for years to come. With the extensive possibilities of content already in the game and modding, players will never run out of things to destroy.
Dorfromantik is a peaceful puzzle game that doesn’t ask a lot from its players. Those who enjoy simple puzzles will likely find a lot of fun matching up the different hexagons. Spending time just trying to put your village together is rewarding when you see the final product. However, this puzzle game isn’t for perfectionists or those looking for more complicated city builders.
Little Cities is a great city builder that provides players with tools and the opportunity to use them. There is a lot of freedom in how you get your city to level up, but not much else outside of that. Whereas some city-builders encourage the constant evolution of a city, Little Cities is much more about solving the puzzle of how to level your town based on different challenges the game puts in your way.
Escape Academy is an exciting puzzle game that invites the player to experience around a dozen unique escape rooms. While the world doesn’t evolve into much beyond that, it’s still a lot of fun to progress through the different challenges. Add in that players can experience these puzzles with friends and Escape Academy becomes a proper re-creation of real-life escape rooms.
River City Saga: Three Kingdoms is one of the most unique brawlers to come out this year, managing to create something more than its side-scrolling relatives. The art and music help evolve this game into a charming experience that keeps the player interested through the tough battles. While there is a learning curve and the game’s controls are a bit strange, Three Kingdoms is a thrilling fight to be a part of.
The Wandering Village is a great management game that has an important message it doesn’t try to jam down your throat. The mechanics will tell your story, whether it is parasitic or mutualistic. Stray Fawn Studio has done a wonderful job of creating a game that teaches the player the importance of being kind to nature before nature leaves us.
A Space for the Unbound is a great coming-of-age game that presents difficult topics to players in a compelling way. The game’s art style is beautiful, with many detailed scenes clearly lovingly created by the artists at Mojiken. While there are moments where it feels slow, this is a game that will last with players for many years to come.
Weird West has a lot to offer fans of the westerns and the supernatural. If you’re a fan of adventures that put all the power in your hands, you’ll enjoy the freedom that Weird West gives you. However, there’s a learning curve that players will get used to as they take on more formidable enemies. Just because you can kill anyone in the game doesn’t mean it’ll be easy for you.
Darkest Dungeon II is a faithful sequel that pays respect to the original while still evolving on many mechanics. While the runs can take a while and the character dialogue in battles can be annoying, it still features an impressive tone and excitement in each twist and turn that it can bring.
Green Hell VR is a fun game for players who are used to VR games. It can be a bit challenging as you’re learning the different plants, but it’s worth it. Solving the problems and getting closer to the end objective feels like a rewarding trek through the rainforest. If only Incuvo had improved on some of the systems from the 2018 predecessor, it would make this game shine.
Painting VR is likely what many amateur and professional VR artists are looking for. Logging in and seeing paint on canvas, the different textures, and experimenting with tools is a unique experience that rivals creating art in real life. In addition, the ease to then export and share those paintings will only allow creativity to blossom further as the community evolves.
Trek to Yomi is arguably one of the most beautifully staged games this year. While the fighting is simple and repetitive, it’s very difficult to master some of the harder difficulties. Like the main character, the player will need to find their balance as they venture forward, encountering all the demons and monsters that this game has to offer.
Soundfall is a wonderful game to listen to, even if the combat and metronome mechanic can be frustrating to work with. Soaring through a level because you've found the rhythm is a uniquely cool feeling, but the rest of the gameplay fails to do it justice. While Soundfall was designed around the music and metronome, it feels like a little more complexity would help this game take flight.
Fans of Two Point Hospital will likely really enjoy Two Point Campus and the new spin on the model that made the original game famous. While it can be a bit overwhelming at times, the game does provide you with tools to dig yourself out of a hole. With future support for the game likely planned, Two Point Campus is the next logical evolution in Two Point Studios’ development story.