Hey hey back with another one of these videos. Just as with last month, I imagine many of you are still stuck at home, so here are six games that you may have missed in April 2020 to pass the time. Before we begin, I would like to thank all of the publishers who sent these games to me in order to make this video possible, and, as usual, this list is in no particular order. So let’s get started
Take Mario Party and Monopoly, add in a little bit of Pokémon, and you got Billion Road, a 1-4 player board game that has players traveling around Japan in order to become the next big business tycoon. The gameplay is done in a turn-based manner, with the board being a very stylized depiction of real places in Japan. You’re able to land on various cities, purchase properties, acquire monster followers, and mess with others players on the board all while amassing wealth. The goal, of course, is to be the richest player by the end of the game, which can last anywhere from 3 years all the way up to 99, with each month being one turn per player.
There’s a bit of strategy involved in how the investment system works, but the game is heavily reliant on RNG, which I find is what makes these kinds of games fun. The game is also very, very punishing to whichever player is in last place at any given point. You’ll often run into mechanics that reward whoever is in the lead while punishing whoever is in last, even if they have no say in it. It can be a brutal game at times, but I had a blast playing through a session with my group of friends. It’s pretty much the closest we’re going to get to a Momotaro Dentetsu game on PC anyways.
Now this is an interesting take on the RTS genre. Radio General is a game that has you play as a WWII general sitting in a tent, far away from where the actual battle takes place. All you have are a radio, a map, and a bunch of figurines to mark what is going on during any given operation. It is up to you to keep track of friendly units and their status, enemy units and their positions, and anything else that may pop up along the way.
Not only are you having to juggle actually completing the objective in each operation, but you have to keep track of all of that at the same time, sometimes even operating completely blind because a unit’s radio went out. It makes for some rather chaotic gameplay at times, but I got to give the game some credit for maintaining this sense of realism while still being fun to play. In fact, you can even play through the game using voice commands if you really want to get that authentic experience. I spent all of my time in the singleplayer campaign (which has scenarios based on actual history), but there is also online co-op and even a map editor to create your own missions. Definitely one of the more unique RTS games I’ve played as of late and worth a look if you’re a fan of the genre or of the history.
If you’ve seen previous videos in this series, you’ll know that I love indie puzzlers. Filament is a great example as to why. Here we have a complex, yet wonderfully crafted top-down puzzle game with a strong story side to it. The game takes place aboard the Alabaster, a research vessel that has mysteriously locked down and whose crew has gone missing. You’re tasked with boarding the vessel and solving over 300 different puzzles on your journey to uncovering what exactly happened.
The puzzles themselves have you controlling a little robot who must wrap filament around pillars in order to light them up. Once all of them have come into contact with the filament, the exit to the puzzle opens. However, the catch being that you have to wrap them in a certain way in order to actually reach the exit, as you cannot cross over filament that has already been laid. It’s a very cool mechanic and makes for some pretty creative — and difficult — puzzles. You can tackle these puzzles in almost any order you want, so if you do end up stuck at one, you can just leave it and come back another time. I quite enjoyed the freedom offered by the game, which, when combined with the unique puzzle design, makes for a solid experience all around. Would definitely recommend it to fans of the genre.
I will not claim to be the best at bullet hells, but I sure do love playing them regardless. ITTA is exactly that, an indie bullet hell that takes the form of a long boss rush. Yes, that means the gameplay primarily has you killing bosses, a grand total of 18 of them. Some light exploration separates these bosses, but that exploration is more so there to serve story reasons and to provide a means for the player to find better weapons, all of which can be swapped to at any time during combat.
That may sound limiting, but the bosses are varied enough that they more than make up for it. It also helps that the combat just feels good to play, with a nice dodge roll mechanic and the variety of weapons really helping out there too. The story, while rather basic, was a nice touch as well. It’s a bit short at just three hours, but worth a look regardless.
I seem to always find myself playing these Overcooked-style games. A lot of them are bad, but occasionally you get one that sets itself apart from the crowd. Moving Out is one such game, providing an excellent, yet hectic local co-op experience that was a blast to play with a couple friends. In the game, you’re plopped down onto a map as a moving company and tasked with helping the town’s citizens move out. To do so, you just have to move all of the marked items out of the property and onto the truck. Sounds easy? Well, it’s definitely not. There are usually a number of distractions in the way, whether that be a swimming pool, a haunted piano, or cars running over the furniture in the road.
This means that you’ll be constantly shuffling around furniture, playing catch with fragiles, slapping ghosts, and causing a bunch of destruction on each property you visit. It’s a very chaotic experience, but that’s part of what it makes it so fun. In fact, there were even moments where my friends and I were struggling to breath from laughing so hard. For those looking for a fun local co-op game, definitely give this one a look. It even works well with Steam Remote Play if you want to go that route.
This game is pretty much the embodiment of aesthetic. Here you have this massive cyberpunk city with neon lights everywhere, constant rain, and a bunch of flying cars going all over the place. As a big pan of cyberpunk, that is exactly why the game drew my interest in the first place. If anything, it’s got that aesthetic on lock.
The gameplay is actually much more laid back than what the aesthetic makes it out to be. You take up the role of a delivery driver working for a shady company named Cloudpunk. This company operates on two rules: Don’t miss a delivery and don’t ask what is inside the package. Your objective, of course, is to do exactly that. You’ll pick up a package from somewhere and deliver it somewhere else, that’s pretty much the core of the gameplay. It sounds simple, but I found it to be oddly entertaining. As you’re delivering packages, you get to learn more about the world, the protagonist, and this strange company that you’ve found yourself employed to.
Of course, there’s other stuff to do (like searching for collectibles, taking up sidequests, and customizing your character and vehicle), but the overall experience is a rather relaxing one, making for this interesting contrast with the aesthetic. I may not recommend the game to everyone, but if you’re into games that are heavy on atmosphere and story, then Cloudpunk is definitely worth a look.
So that will bring this month’s list to a close! We had quite the selection this time around, from the realism-heavy RTS that is Radio General to the chaotic co-op that made up Moving Out. Hopefully at least one of them catches your interest during this stay-at-home period. As usual, do let me know if I may have missed one of your hidden gems this past month, I’m always looking to increase that backlog.
Thanks for reading! We’re just a couple months away from having covered an entire year with this series and I don’t expect to be stopping anytime soon.