Aside from the fact that Spooktober just wrapped up, the month also brought us a bunch of cool games. In fact, I was quite literally playing trough like 3-4 of them each week. This time I’ll be sharing eight of them, some of which you may have heard of and some of which may be new to you. Whatever the case is, hopefully there’s something that will catch your eye. So, thanks to the publishers who sent these games to me in order to make this video possible, and with that said let’s get started.
As a big fan of games like Portal, QUBE, and the like, Manifold Garden was right up my alley. It’s a first-person puzzler that has you constantly shifting gravity around to solve its various puzzles. This can be something simple like getting a cube up a wall or something more complex like redirecting water flow off a ledge to form a waterfall that can then be used as a bridge when you flip the gravity.
Another key component to the game though is space. Manifold Garden is a game that doesn’t have a limited perspective on space, as each area is infinitely repeated both horizontally and vertically. This means that you can jump off the level and arrive at the top of it once you’ve fallen a bit. It sounds confusing, but it makes getting around a lot easier and even has applications in some of the puzzles. Couple all of that with the game’s nice, geometric aesthetic and you’ve got the makings for a solid puzzle game. Definitely recommended for fans of more difficult puzzle games.
And of course we’ve got a roguelike on the list, but not just any roguelike. It’s called Crown Trick, and it’s basically what you would get if you made a Mystery Dungeon roguelike. The combat is turn-based, moving on the map advances enemies around you, and positioning plays a key role in making sure you live to see the next floor. So it’s got all the staples of a Mystery Dungeon game on lock there, but that’s just half of the experience. The other half is the randomized layouts, the loot and upgrades to find, the numerous bosses to take down, and the progression achieved throughout each of these runs.
This isn’t one of those roguelikes where dying removes all of your progress, there’s a good amount of upgrades and such that can be unlocked in-between these runs to make the next one easier. The game may be a bit lacking in terms of item variety, but for a roguelike, it’s not bad, and the turn-based combat on a grid system allows for quite a bit more strategy than what you usually get in the genre. For fans of that genre, or for fans of the Mystery Dungeons series, it’s worth a look.
My favorite political simulator has returned, this time in its fourth iteration and as an Early Access title. I put a lot of hours into Democracy 3, so of course I was excited for 4, which, now that I’ve played, I can say is just as fun as 3, but with even more stuff this time around. For those unfamiliar with the series, Democracy 4 is a complex political simulator where you take up the role of leader within a specified country and try to last until the next election. You can make any number of changes you want during your time as leader, whether that be something simple like tax cuts or something more extreme like mandatory microchips or complete demilitarization.
As long as you can maintain support amongst the voters, you’re good to go. I personally had a lot of fun creating an America where all drugs were legal for all ages (including heroin), this led to rampant addiction, so I slapped on a 75% drug tax and started making bank off of it. Then in another game, I created a socialist utopia Germany where the government provided citizens with pretty much everything – housing, healthcare, education, etc. Yet I also managed to create one of the most powerful economies in the world, eliminating the national debt, poverty, and crime while also colonizing Mars at the same time. You can do some pretty crazy things in the game and it is an absolute blast if you’re into such political sims.
WHAT THE GOLF?
If you’ve ever wanted to play a golf game that is not exactly golf, but still technically golf, then this is the game for you. WHAT THE GOLF? has you golfing in a variety of different ways. One hole may just be regular mini golf, while another may have you golfing the golfer, or even the club, or maybe several clubs at once. Maybe this will be in 2D or maybe it will be in 3D, or maybe you’ll be playing Donkey Kong or Superhot along the side. It’s 100% the most bizarre golf game I have ever played, but it was a blast to play through.
It took me about two hours to clear with just over 4000 strokes, but there’s a lot more to do if you want to 100% the game, as each hole can be played three times with increasing difficulty each time. It’s a meme game for sure, but one I would recommend – especially if you’re into stuff like Untitled Goose Game.
Remember that game Desperados III that I reviewed earlier this year? Well, Partisans 1941 is basically that but set during World War II. It’s a real time tactics game where you command a small squad of partisans and navigate through a bunch of different levels while stealthily (or loudly) taking out German occupants. All of the staples of a real time tactics game are here, including the cover and stealth mechanics, the interactive environment, and the numerous weapons, upgrades, and other tools to dispatch of your enemies. There’s even the tactical pause feature to set up your complex multi-attacks.
The level design is also of note. There’s plenty of cover, buildings, and other places to hide bodies and initiate ambushes from, both of which are key if you want to properly stealth your way through a level. The overall game may be a bit rough around the edges and not quite as good as Desperados and the like, but if you’re a fan of the genre and setting, do give it a look.
Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp
So, for those unfamiliar, the Monster Prom series is a bit unique. It’s a visual novel dating sim that actually supports multiplayer. As someone that never played the first game, I didn’t quite know what to expect from it, but I was pleasantly surprised once I finished my first run. In it, your character is sent on a camping trip with a bunch of friends and you spend your time visiting different areas of the camp to build up your stats and read through various events unlocked at each location.
The stats then end up helping to determine what ending you get, but the bulk of the game is interacting with other characters. This can be at night when they’re all sitting around the campfire or throughout the day at the different camp locations. This is where the game’s over-the-top comedy shines. It doesn’t waste any time – immediately bombarding you with stupid jokes and references, but for this style of game it actually works quite well. It may not be for everyone, but if what I’ve described sounds even remotely interesting, give it a shot – it even has a demo out on Steam.
From the same team behind Oxenfree comes another story-heavy adventure game done in the team’s signature style. You play as Milo and Lola, two best friends that somehow find themselves dead and now have to spend an eternity in Hell. Sounds pretty unfortunate – that is, until they discover the loophole. If the two are able to outdrink Satan, then they’ll be granted re-entry to Earth. It’s quite the setup, but I gotta give them props for making it interesting.
The gameplay basically has you walking around the underworld, drinking, and interacting with other characters – usually demons. While conversing, you’re often given dialogue options to choose from, which have a direct result on the story and character relations. That gameplay may sound limited – and I won’t deny that many will find that aspect boring – but from what I’ve played – the story more than makes up for it. It’s funny, paced well, and has a nice sense of charm to it – worth a look for fans of story-heavy games.
Raji: An Ancient Epic
Raji is a bit of an interesting case. Off the top of my head, it’s the only game I can think of that’s set in ancient India. It actually uses this setting to its advantage to tell a story about gods and demonic invasion – pretty neat stuff and with some equally nice gameplay to match. When you’re not uncovering more about the story, you’re doing some platforming, solving some simple puzzles, or engaging in the game’s surprisingly fun combat.
Unlike a lot of other indie action-adventures, Raji actually has some depth to its combat by way of combos, aerial attacks, various weapons, and a bunch of elemental upgrades to choose from. You could go from chain lightning attacks on your spear to a bow and arrow that has a chance to freeze enemies and shatter them. It may be a short experience at 3-5 hours – and the writing may not be the best around – but its got the visuals on lock and some nice gameplay, so do check it out if that sounds like your thing.
And that’s a wrap for October. The past couple months have been pretty good – with just this month alone bringing me a new puzzle favorite – Manifold Garden – and another simulator that I can get addicted to – Democracy 4. So, as usual, I’ve left links for all of the games featured here (even the ones in the intro and outro) in the description, so do check them out. Thanks for watching and see you guys next month.