Sadly, Spooktober has come to an end. It brought us a mountain of new releases, some of which I still have yet to cover for the channel. It also brought us a bunch of cool new hidden gems that may have flown over your radar – and that’s exactly what I am going to be showing you in this video. I have six of them this time, so thanks to the publishers who sent them over and made this list possible – let’s go ahead and get started.
Despot’s Game: Dystopian Army Builder
Been a while since I played a fun auto-battler, but Despot’s Game is exactly that. It’s currently in Steam Early Access, but already has a bunch of different classes, some cool enemy and boss designs, a handful of bonus rooms, and all of the other usuals that come along with roguelike games. The goal is basically to build up your little army, put them in proper formation, and keep them fed – all while traversing a dungeon floor by floor.
Since the combat itself is done automatically, your role is as tactician and runs depend heavily on army composition. You can’t just have a mix of a bunch of classes, there is good to be had by building up specific types – like a mage backline with a shield frontline, or an even split of swordfighters and ranged units. You unlock bonuses as you build up specific classes and there are also passive upgrades to be found along the way. It’s a bit rough around the edges, but fun enough for an Early Access title and I’m looking forward to what the full release will shape up to be.
Despot’s Game retails for $15 USD and is currently available on Steam as an Early Access title.
So a bit of an interesting VN this month. Not because of what it does, but because of what it does NOT do. Love Sweets is a traditional high school romantic comedy and that’s it. No extra fluff, no crazy twist – just a fully-developed high school romcom with a small, yet nice cast of characters. The only thing here is that our protagonist works at a restaurant part-time, the same restaurant that most of the cast ends up working at as well. Otherwise, it’s just kinda… normal?
It’s hard to describe, but it was a bit refreshing in a way – nostalgic even. It’s got that same, laidback vibe as like an early 2000s anime or VN romcom and I am absolutely here for it. The story itself starts up quickly and the game’s structure actually incorporates part of the character routes into the common route – I guess one other thing that kinda sets it apart from the crowd. Regardless, it’s been nice to kick back and play through this one over the past several days as my kinda “side VN” while I tackle other bigger ones. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played thus far and would recommend it if you just want a straight-up high school romcom without any of that extra stuff attached.
Love Sweets retails for $45 USD and is available on PC exclusively through MangaGamer.
Black Widow: Recharged
Black Widow – an Atari arcade game released all the way back in 1982. It’s also an arcade game that I never got the chance to play, so this Recharged version is pretty much the best way to do so for newcomers. It plays as a top-down twin-stick shooter where you simply have to blast all the bugs as they crawl onto your web. There are different types of these bugs, including the basic crawler type, the exploding type, and – my least favorite – the type that launches projectiles at you.
There are also numerous upgrades, allowing you to launch explosive shots, acid shots, rapid fire, and more. It’s fairly straightforward gameplay-wise, but this release also has the benefit of revamped graphics, music, leaderboard support, and a new challenge mode that has its own twists on the classic formula. A worthwhile play for those that enjoy arcade shooters.
Black Widow: Recharged retails for $10 USD and is available on Steam, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch.
Perhaps the most overlooked game of the video – Evertried, currently sitting at just 5 Steam reviews total. A bit of a shame, because the concept is quite neat. It’s basically a tactical roguelite that is part Mystery Dungeon with a huge puzzle edge to it. Your goal is simply to clear the floor and get to the next, but you can only move either one or two tiles at a time and must do so in a way that allows you to take out the enemies without being swarmed and killed.
Some enemies require more than one hit to down and some have special attacks of their own that you also must account for. The bosses are the same, uniquely designed to stretch the simply movement and attack mechanics to their limit. That and there’s also upgrades to be earned along the way, both passive and active abilities. And this is all wrapped up in a nice pixel coat – a neat, if at times brutal, tactical puzzler worth a look.
Evertried retails for $20 USD and is available on Steam, GOG, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch.
I love city builders, always have since I was a kid. I also love sci-fi and games like Surviving Mars are some of my favorite city builders. So yeah, InfraSpace was pretty much my jam. It’s your classic base building colony simulator where you need to manage production, population, transportation, research, and all of the usuals that come with this genre. You’re given a mountain of tools to do this, including various overlays, UI elements, and a brief tutorial to get you started.
Within just twenty minutes, I had the hang of things and was rapidly expanding my first colony – designating different production zones and aiming to increase my colony level to unlock more of the research tree. It’s fun, it’s addictive, and it looks very good for launching in Early Access. In fact, for being in Early Access, there’s a lot here and I’m already looking forward to what the full thing is going to look like upon release.
InfraSpace retails for $25 USD and is currently available on Steam as an Early Access title.
Another month, another retro shoot ‘em up ported to modern platforms. This one I had not heard of before – it’s called Gleylancer and it was originally published in 1992 for the Sega Mega Drive. The gameplay is as you would expect from the genre, but it’s got this unique “gunner” mechanic, where anytime you pick up a weapon, it materializes as a gunner on the side of your ship. You can cycle through a variety of different firing modes for these gunners and there are a bunch of different weapon types to choose from – a very cool way to shake up the usual shmup formula.
The game also has a manga-style story, some cool boss fights, and – as usual for these modern ports – a bunch of upgrades to make it the definitive version. Quick saves, rewind, screen customization – it’s got it all and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t use the rewind feature a good bit (the game would be REALLY difficult without it). Whole thing takes about an hour to clear – I even managed to get the platinum – but it’s a good time regardless.
Gleylancer retails for $7 USD and is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch.
And that’s it for this month’s video. A bit on the shorter side, but hopefully at least one of the games here caught your interest. Personally, I was a big fan InfraSpace and Love Sweets, but the others are fun in their own right too. Anyways, let me know down in the comments if perhaps I missed a game this past month and do subscribe for more from this series.