The shortest month of the year is over and with it I’ve got another batch of cool games. This time there are five, all of which are fun and may have flown under your radar this past month. As usual, thanks to the publishers who sent these games to me in order to make this list possible and let’s go ahead and get started.
ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights
So Ender Lilies is basically a 2D souls-like where you play as a loli that has a JoJo stand do all the fighting for her. It’s quite the setup, but for being an Early Access title, it’s actually pretty polished and a worthwhile entry into that 2D souls-like genre. You play as Lily, who must embark on a bizarre adventure with the help of her stand, a cursed knight that lends her his power and provides guidance. Along this journey, you’ll take down a bunch of cursed enemies, unlock new abilities from said enemies, and, of course, take down bosses in classic Dark Souls style.
It’s a very good-looking game, but also a very good-sounding one. The soundtrack is this excellent blend of more dark, ambient stuff, but with just a bit of light to it through its vocals – it’s actually from the same group that did the Goblin Slayer opening theme. It’s a perfect reflection of the game’s setting – I mean, you’re playing as this bright character in a world full of the exact opposite, it’s honestly kinda cool. And for being in Early Access, I didn’t have any issues with it – the only thing missing is the rest of the content. But if you’re a fan of these 2D souls-like games, it is well worth a look.
Steam page. Early Access only, planned for release on Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
Speed Limit is FAST. It’s hard to assign it a specific genre, but it plays like one of those arcade games where you are constantly dying, respawning, and trying that short level segment again just hoping to make it to the next. It can be a bit stressful, but it’s an exhilarating experience for the hour or so it takes to beat. During that time, you’ll be constantly shifting genres, going from a side-scrolling shooter to a top-down racing game and even to a retro flight game.
You’re never stuck with just one segment for too long and that’s really what makes the fast pacing work so well without becoming outright frustrating. And yes, this is a very difficult game. It often took me a dozen or so attempts to clear certain levels, but with how fast you die and respawn, it’s honestly not that bad. It helps that the controls are responsive too and the graphics aren’t that bad either. This is not a game for everyone, but if what I’ve described sounds like a good time, it might be worth checking out.
Steam page. Also available on Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
Fights in Tight Spaces
Now this is an interesting blend. It’s basically the deckbuilding mechanics of Slay the Spire made into a roguelite tactics game with the aesthetic of SUPERHOT. Throw in a bit of John Wick and you’ve got Fights in Tight Spaces. You start each run with a deck full of cards that determine what actions you can take on a given turn, whether that be simple attacks, movements, or more specialized stuff like kicking enemies to another tile or setting up blocks and counters.
You always move first and health is carried over in-between levels, so there’s a lot of emphasis placed on setting up the perfect combos to clear each level without getting hit. Aside form straight damage-dealing, the levels and enemies are designed in such a way that you can take advantage of them to further this goal. Not only can you push enemies outside of the level, but you can also shove and position them in a way that their attacks hit their own guys – and you pretty much have to do this if you want to proceed unscathed. It’s a surprisingly difficult game, but a fun one for being in Early Access.
Steam page. Early Access only, also available through GOG and on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
30XX is basically a roguelite Mega Man. That’s it, that’s all I gotta say. But really, this is yet another Early Access game that I was surprised by. I hadn’t played the original 20XX, so I went into this one blind, but it’s got a pretty good foundation here. Simple, yet effective combat, randomized and vibrant levels, cool enemies and bosses to fight, there’s honestly not much to complain about other than the fact that it’s unfinished – but that’s to be expected.
The graphics and music that are there are nice too, really bringing out that classic retro feel – reminiscent of Mega Man X specifically. It’s just a smooth action-platformer overall, especially so for an Early Access game and if you’re a fan of such, it’s one to keep an eye on.
Steam page. Early Access only, planned for release on Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.
Don’t be fooled by the low-res graphics – Aground is actually a really solid survival-adventure game, with a nice sense of depth reminiscent of Terraria. It’s been out on PC for a year but has just made its way to consoles this last month – so I decided to give it a look and was pleasantly surprised with how quickly I grew to like it. It’s got the basics – cutting down trees, mining for ores – but there’s a bunch of extra stuff on top of that – like an entire RPG and leveling system, quests to complete, and even bosses to fight.
At the same time though, the graphics and overall design of the game radiate this sense of simplicity and it can even be relaxing at times just sitting back and gathering materials while working towards your next quest. It’s just that well-polished and if you’re a fan of survival games like Terraria, Minecraft, Forager, do give it a look.
Steam page. Also available through itch.io and on Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.
And that’s the list. Only five this time, but all cool games regardless. A Mega Man roguelite, a 2D Dark Souls with JoJo stands, hopefully at least one of the games caught your interest. I’ll be seeing you guys again next month with a brand-new list, so do look forward to that.