Another month, another bunch of games that may have flown under your radar. This time I got seven of them, from all sorts of different genres. As usual, thanks to the publishers who sent these games to me in order to make this list possible, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s not waste any more time.
Now this is a fighting game. You play as a giant crab and duke it out with other giant crabs with a bunch of different weapons and some of the most awkward fighting controls I have ever seen. Sounds like a disaster for sure, but it’s a blast to play. A quick tutorial was all I needed and within minutes I was swinging around my claws, grabbing other crabs, and flipping them over with ease.
Later down the line, I had unlocked the mud crab and proceeded to equip it with a two-hand claymore and completely decimate the competition, easily taking down the king crab boss wielding his dual golden flails. That’s just a snippet of my adventures with the game thus far, there’s actually a surprising amount of content and depth to it despite its simple concept. There’s the singleplayer campaign, online co-op, and, of course, versus mode for both offline and online play. Then you got the entire shop system and the stats that can be leveled up on each crab. It’s a meme for sure, but it’s a fun meme at that and one that’s definitely worth a look, especially if you can play it with a group of friends.
Sometimes you need a fun little beat ‘em up game to play locally with friends, and Clan N was exactly that kind of game for me. It’s nothing too complicated, you basically got a series of levels that stop you constantly to take out groups of enemies, with special segments and bosses thrown in there to shake things up. It’s very much played like an arcade game in this manner, especially considering that each player has a set amount of lives and continues to use throughout the game’s short campaign.
The actual combat is simple as well, but effective for the type of arcadey gameplay the game goes for You got your light attack, heavy attack, ranged attack, and special attack, with a dodge and block mechanic layered on top of that. It isn’t just a spam fest in that you can keep attacking and never get hit, you have to actually make use of the dodge and block in order to effectively take out most enemies, especially with the bosses. It may not be the best singleplayer experience, but do check it out if you got some friends to play it with locally.
Kill It With Fire
For fans of spiders, boy do I have a game for you. Kill It With Fire is a game that tasks you with doing just that, killing spiders in the most magnificent way possible. Whether that be simply slapping them with a clipboard, shooting them with a double barrel, or just chucking a Molotov at them, there are countless ways to complete this simple task.
There’s more to the game than just that though. Each map has its own set of objectives to complete, including stuff like cleaning out the fridge, destroying all pictures, or blowing up explosives. There’s also a bunch of new weapons to find, collectibles, and even challenges on each map. You don’t necessarily have to do these optional objectives, but you can get upgrades and such by doing so, making your spider killing even more efficient for the next level. It’s a pretty straightforward game, but it’s a fun time killer for sure and worth a look if you like stuff like Surgeon Simulator and Untitled Goose Game.
Chef: A Restaurant Tycoon Game
As someone that grew up on tycoon games, I’m always up for trying out a new one. Here we have one that takes the classic restaurant tycoon setting and gives it a fresh look, providing some simple, yet fun management gameplay with some cool mechanics of its own. It’s got staff management, menu making, restaurant decorating, and even a neat popularity and influence mechanic that drives what kind of people come into your restaurant.
The menu management in particular was pretty cool, as you’re able to customize all aspects of it and even come up with your own recipes to add on top of pre-existing ones. Of course, the way you design the menu will then determine its popularity with different crowds, including the vegetarians, the blue-collar workers, and the high-class food enthusiasts. It’s not all that complex for the genre, but it’s a fun little time killer for what it is and worth a look if you’re a fan of these kinds of tycoon management games.
Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars
So this is another interesting blend of genres and mechanics. At its core, Immortal Realms is a turn-based strategy game, but it also features turn-based tactical combat and a card-game mechanic layered on top of both of these. And then you got the vampire dark fantasy setting to tie it all together. It’s quite the combo, and one that I had a good time with.
You basically go around, claiming tiles, recruiting units to your armies, and taking down enemies along the way, all while managing your blood supply and ensuring a constant flow of new cards. These cards have effects both on the map and in individual battles, whether that be something simple like a damage boost or something more complex, like the ability to feed on a village’s population for blood.
It’s nowhere near as complex as other such strategy games, but the core loop is nice for what it is. The game itself can be played in either a scenario mode or a campaign mode, the latter of which has a light story tacked on top. It may have its issues with regards to UI and quality of life features, but if you’re a fan of turn-based strategy games, you’ll probably find something to like here, it’s one to keep an eye out for.
Spiritfarer is a bit of a special game, the type that comes along only a few times a year. And this isn’t just with regards to its interesting genre combination, but rather with its theme and just the amount of passion behind the work that is evident in just about every area. It’s a management game where you play as a ferrymaster for the deceased, building up your boat and slowly getting to know the various spirits and how to care for them. Of course, your goal is to get these spirits to their destination: the afterlife.
It sounds somber for sure, but it’s actually kinda pleasant. The game has this laidback nature to it, with the gameplay consisting of you talking with these spirits, farming on your boat, and collecting supplies from around the sea. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to compare the feeling to that of Stardew Valley. Yet, it does this with a wonderful art style and some excellently done animation to top it all off.
And the writing too. Although it doesn’t appear to be a story-focused game, there’s some surprisingly well-done writing here, both with regards to an overall story and with the different characters. You really get to know your passengers, and coupled with everything else the game offers, it’s honestly one of the most relaxing games I’ve played all year and 100% worth a look if you have even the slightest interest in it.
And it wouldn’t be a video of mine if I didn’t play some sort of roguelike, so here we have this neat one by the name of UnderMine. It’s got all the staples of an action roguelike on lock, including the randomized dungeons, the numerous upgrades and items to be found, and a nice sense of progression to wrap it all together. In fact, the game really nails that last one, offering up this hub world with several different areas that can be upgraded to affect future runs, whether that be upgraded gear, passive abilities, or shop upgrades to name a few.
It’s also an action roguelike that knows how to diversify each run. Sure, your goal is the same on each, but there’s a lot of extra stuff thrown in there to keep the experience fresh. You got minigame rooms, tons of secret rooms, and room layouts that don’t feel like they’re being copy-pasted from floor to floor. The combat itself is simple, but effective for this type of game, and prioritizes melee more so than ranged, the opposite of what we usually get with the genre. I’ve yet to make it to the end, but this is definitely one I can see myself coming back to and I recommend it to any fan of the genre.
And that’s a wrap for August 2020. Some really cool games this time around, fitting for the 1-year anniversary of this series and definitely better than last month if anything. This series has been running for a year now and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.