With a lot of people stuck at home right now (myself included), there’s even more of a reason to sit back and play some cool games. This past month saw the release of some bigger games, but there were quite a few that may have flown under your radar. Given that, I have compiled a list of five games that you may have missed in March 2020. As usual, I would like to thank the publishers that sent these games to me in order to make this video possible. So without further ado, let’s get right into things.
Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders
This game is a rather interesting case. It’s a 16 year-old hack-and-slash RTS that was only available on the original Xbox. And now here we are in 2020 with a straight port of the game to PC, without any sort of remastering. The same blocky graphics, low-res textures, and wonky controls are all there in their full glory. I imagine many would immediately lose interest because of this, but I found it to be oddly nostalgic. Sure, I never owned the original game (let alone an original Xbox), but the entire way this game plays is quite unlike anything we see nowadays.
It takes the form of an RTS where you control various units on a large open field, directing each of them individually or as a group. When said unit encounters an enemy, the game then throws you into a 3rd person hack-and-slash fiesta. The combat is very clunky here, but again, this is a 16 year-old game, so I can at least cut it some slack. It’s a good throwback to that era and is worth a look if you’re looking for that nostalgic hack-and-slash fix.
Okay, so this one is less an actual game and more an experimental work of art. That is because the gameplay revolves around two things: walking and waiting. When you first start up the game, a countdown of 400 days begins, 400 actual 24-hour days. You are unable to beat the game until that countdown completes and there’s very little to do while that time passes. You can walk through a seemingly endless network of tunnels, climb just as many staircases, or partake in a few of the distractions that the game offers (such as reading the entirety Moby Dick).
It is without a doubt the least engaging game I have ever played, but I have to give it some credit for doing something I have never seen a game attempt to do. If anything, I’m looking forward to seeing what the ending is like in 400 days. You don’t have to be in-game for that time to count down, so I’ve set myself a reminder to check back once it’s finished. Maybe it will be something cool, but as for now, it’s simply a waiting game.
Hidden Through Time
Remember Where’s Waldo and those I Spy books? Well Hidden Through Time is basically that in video game form. You’re presented with an elaborate drawing and given a set amount of objects to seek out in that drawing. Given that this is a game though, there’s a bit more interactivity than just that. Some parts of the drawing will move around, some parts can be uncovered when clicked on, and you’re even given a small hint when hovering over the item you need to find.
Sure, it’s a simple formula, but the levels can become very, very complex and you’re oftentimes asked to find something as small as a rock. It’s also pretty cool how the game’s levels are based on history (hence the name). You’ll go from prehistoric levels, to middle ages, and to western levels over the course of the game. There’s even a map editor if you want to get creative. It’s a fun little puzzle game overall and one that I can see myself returning to to play in short bursts.
Half Past Fate
Combine the dating elements of a romance visual novel with the light puzzle elements of an adventure game and you get Half Past Fate, an indie dating sim with a very cool pixel art style. You play as multiple protagonists over the course of several years, with the game jumping around its own timeline as it links together all of their stories. You’ll have one chapter that takes place just 8 hours ago and then another that takes place 8 years ago. In each of these chapters, you’re presented with some dilemma that will inevitably introduce you to another character. In the first chapter, you’re a businessman who wants to get to know the girl that works at the tea shop, whereas in the third chapter you’re trying to recreate a photo taken in the park years ago.
The gameplay has you going around talking to people, interacting with objects, and doing some light puzzle-solving that combines these two elements. However, the focus here is on the story and how all of these characters tie together, something that the game does pretty well. If you’re into romance VNs, Half Past Fate is definitely worth the look.
So I’m kind of surprised that this one has gone so unnoticed since its release. It’s a nice top-down adventure game with a very cool time manipulation mechanic, similar to Superhot. The gameplay can be paused, rewound, resumed, and any combination of those at any time during combat, with heartbeats making up the “steps” that you can jump between. This gives you a lot of control over individual attacks, blocks, dodges, and any other ability that you may want to throw into battle. In fact, it’s kind of hard to even get hit if you just keep rewinding and fixing your mistakes. This doesn’t kill the experience though, as it kind of becomes a strategy game in that regard.
The game is marketed as a tactical RPG, but it’s more like a story-driven adventure game with tactical combat, as there aren’t really that many RPG mechanics. The story that is there isn’t gonna blow you away either, but it’s definitely not bad. Regardless, it’s been a pretty fun game from what I’ve played and worth the look if you’re into this style of gameplay.
And that’s the end of my list! As with last month, we had some pretty nice variety this time around. From the top-down adventure game Iron Danger to the experimental game that is The Longing, there were definitely some interesting releases. As usual, do let me know in the comments down below if I may have missed a game that you really liked this past month. Thanks for watching and don’t forget to subscribe for more reviews and videos like this. Hope to see you all in the next one and remember to stay safe out there.