Yup it’s that of the month where I give you the rundown on some games you may have missed. I’ve got seven this time, some you may have heard of and some that may have gone under your radar. Before I get into them I would like to thank all of the publishers who sent these games to me in order to make this video possible. So with that said, let’s go ahead and get started.
Deep Rock Galactic
So this is a game that has been on my radar for quite some time, yet every time I checked it, it was still in Early Access. Well, that finally changed this past month and now the game is officially released after over two years of development. The gameplay goes something like this: you play as a dwarf working for an extraterrestrial mining company. You’re tasked with missions that have you gathering materials, hunting down artifacts, and gunning down aliens, oftentimes being a combination of these and more. The levels are procedurally generated, but are fully destructible, so you’re able to take the approach that you want for a given objective, whether that be digging directly towards it or navigating the cave system already in place.
It sounds simple, but the game adds a lot on top of it. There’s the numerous different gadgets and such that allow you to zipline, place platforms, and dig tunnels quickly, the different classes to suit different playstyles, and of course, the emphasis on co-op. You can just as easily tackle the game as a solo player (you’re even given an AI robot to help you), but the game allows up to four dwarves to work together and combining different classes can make some missions easier. That’s just scratching the surface of what the game has to offer though, there’s a lot more to it than what I can show here and I definitely recommend checking it. It’s pretty much the closest we’ve got to a Minecraft–Left 4 Dead crossover.
For fans of Hyper Light Drifter, this is one to look out for. You play as an old killer tasked with guiding an AI through a vibrant, yet strange world. Along the way you’ll run into enemies, new weapons and abilities, some light puzzle solving, and a story that reveals itself in bits and pieces. In fact, I would say that the game places the majority of its focus on that story, which, while confusing at times, was interesting to see develop, especially as you pick up more details from exploring the game world.
The gameplay is heavily reliant on such exploration. You’ll enter new areas, encounter new and unique enemies with their variety of attacks, and maybe uncover an upgrade or two along the way. Whether that be a three-shot gun or a device that uncovers hidden paths, there’s no shortage of things to find. The game world can be a bit annoying to navigate, especially with all of its paths going everywhere and the fact that many entrances are deliberately hidden from the player, but it’s worth the look if you’re into this type of game.
LIT: Bend the Light
I’ve always been a fan of these little indie puzzlers, with this one coming from a team of four students. The goal is simple: all you have to do is orient a light to hit the goal, what you do to get to that point is entirely up to you. It doesn’t matter what objects you move, what rotations you apply, or even if you use any of the objects on the map, so long as you can reach that goal. As a result, there’s a ton of room for experimentation and most of the levels have numerous solutions to find. I had fun looking for these and coming up with my own unorthodox solutions, oftentimes in ways that felt like I was cheating the game.
As you progress, the levels will introduce new objects to aid in this experimentation. From the simple light reflections offered by platforms to the curvature offered by discs, there’s a good amount to play around with. The game is rather short (it took me around an hour to find one solution for every level), but I had a good time with it and would recommend it regardless.
So this game is a point-and-click done in the same style as the classics. By that, I mean that it’s a very difficult point-and-click game, one full of creative, yet complex puzzles — some that can really test your ability to think outside the box. Whether that be ordering a pizza to distract a bouncer or blackmailing a merchant through his online dating profile, there’s a lot that goes into the game’s puzzle design. This is the kind of game that I can see many getting stumped at, myself included, yet its interesting enough that I just kept playing.
Part of that is due to the game’s overwhelming sense of aesthetic. This is a cyberpunk game through and through, with tons of little details scattered about that add to this atmosphere. There’s the drones flying around, the holographic advertisements, and even the shady backstreet electronics dealers. Couple the excellent art with some fitting music and you have quite the package, one that really drives home the cyberpunk aesthetic. It’s worth a look if you’re into that or if you’re fan of the older-style point-and-click games.
So here we have another neat little indie puzzler — I did mention I was a fan after all. This one goes by the name reky, and it’s got one of the more striking aesthetics I’ve seen from the genre, one full of bright backgrounds to contrast with the colors of the actual puzzles. It’s a minimalistic aesthetic for sure, but the gameplay can be surprisingly complex. Your goal is simply to get the little bouncy orb to the end of each level, but the path to that end can prove troublesome. There are gaps to be crossed, blocks to be shifted around, and colors to be moved from block to block
It starts out relatively easy, but becomes increasingly more complex as you go on. It never got to the point where I needed a walkthrough, but I definitely got stumped on more than a few of the puzzles. The pacing is pretty steady overall, with the game giving you time to adapt to new mechanics before introducing more of them. It gives the gameplay a nice flow and, when combined with the cool aesthetic, makes for a neat little puzzle game, one that I would recommend.
Poly Bridge 2
I don’t know what exactly makes these bridge-building games so fun, but I’ve enjoyed every single one that I’ve played, and Poly Bridge 2 is no exception. As with others in the genre, your goal is to build a bridge to allow vehicles to pass over. This bridge must be built in such a way that it doesn’t collapse while its being used, meaning you’ll have to actually make use of some engineering tricks to keep it stable. It’s a nice balance between being a simulator and being a puzzle game.
Poly Bridge 2 goes one step further though, including a bunch of mechanics that I don’t usually see in the genre. You’ve got the hydraulics for making drawbridges, cables for making suspension bridges, and even springs for making ramps and other crazy contraptions. It’s a solid bridge builder overall and easily one of the best I’ve played in the genre.
Now this is a fun roguelike. Monster Train is a deck building game that, unsurprisingly, takes place on a train. The train is divided into several layers, with your health located at the top and enemies moving up one layer after every turn. Your goal, of course, is to prevent enemies from reaching this HP, and to do so you will have to deploy a variety of units to each floor, upgrade them with spells and such, and apply debuffs to your enemies, all while keeping track of your various resources.
Each run will have you collecting units, spells, and artifacts, battling enemies aboard this train, and upgrading everything along the way. As it is a roguelike, there is a ton of replayability to be had here. Not only are individual runs different from each other due to the random events, card draws, and other factors, but even before you begin a given run, you’re able to select any two monster clans from the five total to determine your deck composition. Each clan plays very differently from one another, so there’s a lot of experimentation to be had in combining their various mechanics together.
I, for example, had fun combining the Awoken clan (which are plant-like creatures that rely on being hit to do damage) with the Stygian Guard clan (which focuses on enemy debuffs and spamming attack spells). Given the right RNG, you can come up with some pretty broken combos and it’s a lot of fun to figure them out as the run goes on. It’s easily one of the best indies I’ve played this year and would highly recommend checking it out, especially so if you’re a fan of games like Slay the Spire.
And that’ll do it for this month’s list. A few puzzle games, a roguelike, a dwarf simulator, there was quite a lot released this past month. Hoping to see June live up to the quality here, but we’ll have to wait and see.