Hey hey it’s that time of the month again where I look at some of the cool games released this past month. We had some cool bigger releases (some of which I covered for this very channel), and a bunch of smaller ones that may have flown under your radar. Given that, here are seven games that you may have missed in February 2020. Before we begin, I would like to thank all of the publishers who sent these games to me in order to make this article possible. So with that said, let’s go ahead and get started with the first game.
This is one of the more unique visual novels I have played as of late. You take up the role of a coffee shop owner, brewing coffee for customers and talking with them if they so choose to. That’s it, that’s the game. It sounds incredibly basic, but it’s actually a pretty cool VN experience. The game takes place in a fantasy world where various races live together, including orcs, mermaids, elves, and even aliens. You’ll be meeting characters that come from all of these races and more as they come to the coffee shop to discuss their lives.
Many of them discuss problems that reflect not just their own society, but our real world society as well. These include specific problems like the working conditions of those in the game industry and more broad problems like racism. It was very interesting to see these problems discussed with the fantasy theme applied over them, it was quite unlike any VN I’ve played before. Of course, there’s also the coffee-making minigame on top of that. It’s a simple minigame, but a nice little distraction from the VN segments.
The 3D platformer is a genre that we don’t get enough of these days. As someone that grew up with it, I was excited to see something as bright and colorful as Lumote come out on Steam. It’s a short, yet fun little 3D platformer where you play as a jelly-like creature whose goal is to overthrow an entity known as the Mastermote. In doing this, our little jelly friend must traverse a series of levels populated with various puzzles.
For a game that only has a jump and interact button, these puzzles can actually get quite complex. They also build on each other as you progress, so there’s definitely no shortage of challenging puzzles to complete. It’s never to the point where a walkthrough is needed (at least, it wasn’t for me), but the game does not hold your hand either. It only takes around 4-5 hours to clear, but it’s a fun experience during that time and definitely one I would recommend for fans of the 3D platformer.
Dwarrows is an interesting little indie game that blends city building with puzzle-solving adventure. You start out with a small village and slowly work it up to something bigger, all while going on quests that have you solving puzzles and uncovering treasure. You do this by constantly swapping between the three playable characters, each with their own specialty. One is good at gathering, another is good at building, and the last one is good at treasure hunting.
You’ll need to make use of all three to both build up your village and complete quests, the latter of which helps you accomplish the first. The quests aren’t just filler though, the game actually puts a decent amount of effort into them. In fact, I would say the game places more emphasis on its adventure elements than its city-building ones, but it manages to make the two work well together regardless. For those that like games like My Time at Portia, do give Dwarrows a look.
Now this is how you do a roguelite. Fast-paced combat, great enemy designs, and some wonderful pixel art to tie it all together, ScourgeBringer brings a lot to the table. It’s already much better than others in the same genre and it isn’t even out of Early Access yet. Within minutes of opening the game, I was already flying around the screen, dispatching enemies, and upgrading my character to do so even quicker. It’s a game that knows fast combat and it shows in just about every area. Combo mechanics, ranged weapons that charge from melee attacks, and even the various enemy attacks all encourage constant movement and it feels great to play.
In its current form, the game is a bit light in terms of content (as it did just release in Early Access), but I am very excited to see what the future holds for it. It’s one of the better roguelites I’ve played as of late and I can only imagine how cool the final product will be.
Death and Taxes
A unique name for a rather unique game. Death and Taxes is a game all about making the difficult decision as to whether a person should live or die. Of course, this means you’ll be playing the role of Grim Reaper, with the twist being that you are taking up this role as an office job. The gameplay revolves around you receiving files on individuals in life-threatening situations, making the decision as to whether they should live or die, and then faxing those decisions off. You can’t just go through and mark everyone as dead or alive though, there are specific quotas you need to meet in the process.
Granted, the gameplay is definitely not for everyone, but I found it to be a cool little experience to play in smaller chunks. There’s a story that goes along with it that, while weird, is definitely a nice complement to the gameplay. If you’re into games like Papers, Please and Reigns, Death and Taxes might be worth checking out.
Giraffe and Annika
This is a nostalgic game. It’s a game designed with the same mindset that many games were during the Nintendo 64 and GameCube eras. This is not a game with a large open-world, not a game full of overly complicated game mechanics, and not a game that wastes your time with unnecessary fluff. It’s a straight to the point 3D adventure platformer full of all of the charm that made games from that era great.
You play as Annika, a cat girl who must explore the mysterious island of Spica and uncover its hidden mysteries. Alongside you during this journey is your friend Giraffe, a young boy who seems to know more about the island than he lets on. During this journey you will explore various dungeons full of simple puzzles, pick up a variety of neat collectibles, battle bosses in rhythm game style, and meet a bunch of other colorful characters. It’s a neat little Japanese indie game that’s definitely worth a look.
WORLD OF HORROR
We went from neat little Japanese indie game to another indie that almost feels like one. This time it’s World of Horror, a 1-bit adventure game inspired by similar such games released back during the 80s. However it’s not just any adventure game, it’s one that sells itself as a love letter to the works of Junji Ito (the god of horror manga) and H.P. Lovecraft. It’s a game that bleeds horror, in everything from its art, to its writing, to even its dark chiptune music.
The gameplay has you go around solving various horror-inspired mysteries, with event cards making up the bulk of the gameplay. These cards present you with a choice which, depending on your character stats, can lead to a variety of different outcomes. These outcomes will ultimately decide what ending you get for that specific mystery, as each has multiple endings. It’s honestly unlike anything I’ve played in the past few years and is such a weird game that I can easily see it not being for everyone, but its worth checking out regardless, especially if you’re into obscure indie horror games.
That will wrap it up for this month’s list! There was definitely a good amount of variety this time around, from colorful 3D platformer Lumote to Grim Reaper simulator Death and Taxes. As usual, let me know in the comments down below if I may have missed a game that you really liked this past month, I’m always interested in checking them out. Thanks for watching and do subscribe for more reviews and videos like this. See you guys in the next one.