Spooktober has begun, but before I can officially hop on that train, I gotta tell you all about some of the cool games you may have missed in September. I have eight of them this time from a variety of different genres. So without further ado, thanks to the publishers who sent these games to me in order to make this list possible and let’s go.
Foretales is a bit of a unique one. It’s a card game, but not some roguelike deckbuilder or traditional battler. Rather, it’s a narrative adventure RPG where the cards are your locations, characters, items, and events. You travel by placing cards on other cards, battle by slapping cards with other cards, and really just doing everything with a cool card twist and some actually top-tier animations to match.
It’s been oddly relaxing so far, providing a good balance between storytelling and gameplay that makes equal use of diplomacy, combat, dialogue, exploration, and all of that with some cool mechanics to add a bit of a challenge too – like the fact that you have to reload your party members’ skill cards ever so often. I honestly cannot think of another game off the top of my head that is quite like this, but it has been really fun so far and I would definitely recommend it.
Foretales retails for $20 USD and is available on Steam. It is also available through GOG and on Switch. You can get an official Steam key 10% off and support the channel using my Gamesplanet partner link. This also applies to the deluxe edition.
Shovel Knight Dig
So yeah, a new Shovel Knight came out last month and somehow a lot of people haven’t noticed? Whatever the case, it’s a fun one. It’s basically an action roguelike with procedural generation where your goal is to just keep digging down. Along the way are enemies to fight, treasure to collect, bosses to take down, and plenty of bonus stuff to find too. It’s a full-fledged Shovel Knight game all the way through and I was very impressed with the little things I kept finding and the whole procedural generation that actually doesn’t feel like it was just lazily implemented.
That and I appreciate that the game doesn’t waste your time. You’re able to purchase shortcuts and other items that allow you to skip portions of the random dungeon that you’ve already played through, so if you do just want to get to the next area or clear the game, then that option is there. Of course, you can just ignore all of that and play it as a normal roguelike if you wish. Very cool game, a bit addicting, an easy recommendation.
Shovel Knight Dig retails for $25 USD and is available on Steam. It is also available on Apple Arcade and Switch.
Slime Rancher 2
I never played the original Slime Rancher, but wow, this sequel is a lot of fun. It’s currently in Early Access, but already has a ton of stuff to do. A brief tutorial was all I needed and I quickly found myself building up my little home complete with food farms, chicken pens, and multiple slime pens to hold my ever-growing collection of little slime dudes that I find scattered across the map.
There’s a full suite of upgrades to unlock, slimes to find, locations to explore, and the game loop is some incredibly relaxing stuff. This is the type of indie game I can see myself popping in to play maybe a few times a month just to farm some slimes for a bit – chilling out, no pressure, but working towards some tangible goals by way of the upgrades and all that to still provide a bit of direction. I’ve been having a great time thus far and would recommend it.
Slime Rancher 2 retails for $30 USD and is available on Steam as an Early Access title. It is also available on Xbox Series X|S.
The Wandering Village
The Wandering Village is one of the most unique city builders I have ever played. The concept is that you’re literally building a village on the back of a giant dinosaur-looking creature, one that aimlessly wanders the world and one that you can – with upgrades and such – try to persuade to do certain actions. A dynamic is formed where you must take care of your villagers’ needs, but also the giant’s, lest it die and leave your villagers stranded as my first playthrough went.
There’s a bunch of stuff to build and research here, including food production, housing, exploration hubs to send out your villagers, horns and trebuchets to take care of the creature’s needs, and of course, dung collection to use as fertilizer. It’s streamlined enough that a tutorial isn’t really necessary (and I myself was just picking up things as I played), but not so simple that it becomes boring after like an hour or so. It’s very impressive so far for being in Early Access and I’m excited to see what the final game ends up looking like.
The Wandering Village retails for $25 USD and is available on Steam as an Early Access title.
Isle of Arrows
Isle of Arrows is basically a minimalist Tower Defense version of Carcassonne – which is somehow becoming a trend or maybe it’s just a coincidence that ORX came out last month and it practically does the same thing. Of the two though, I probably prefer this one. It’s got a striking, blocky aesthetic, gameplay that is simple on the surface, yet requires a lot of planning for the late game, and plenty to unlock too.
You have to manage aspects like where to expand your buildable land, where to place water tiles to maximize adjacent bonuses, where to place certain towers to maximize their reach, or what kind of winding path to lead the enemies down. It’s not too difficult a game – I managed to clear my first run without much trouble – but it’s fun enough to warrant a recommendation.
Isle of Arrows retails for $13 USD and is available on Steam.
We have been getting so many of these top-down indie farming sims that I honestly expected this one to be just another entry, but was surprised to find that it’s actually a bit of a departure from that norm. Instead of farming, you are running a clinic in a small fantasy town. Materials gathered in the overworld allow you to craft various potions and other medicinal items which can then be used to treat patients – given you’ve diagnosed them first through a minigame.
The crafting itself is reminiscent of Atelier, with elemental traits and a grid to fill out. The atmosphere is also similar, with some gorgeous pixel art and animation to really bring this small town to life – coupled with some good music on top of that. It’s a bit of a slow game for sure, but as someone that has been growing a bit tired of the usual farming sim formula, it’s a nice change of pace.
Potion Permit retails for $20 USD and is available on Steam. It is also available on GOG, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch.
There Is No Light
It seems like every month I find myself playing one of these indie action RPGs with Souls-like elements and nearly every month I am impressed. There Is No Light is no exception. It is a very straightforward, difficult action adventure RPG set in a dark fantasy world that is just full of all the crazy horror, gore elements and all that depressing stuff that I just keep gravitating towards for some reason. Whatever the case, the pixel art is absolutely solid and while the gameplay is not the most complex thing around, it is rather polished.
It plays fast, with little downtime between attacks and movement. There are some weapon choices to mix it up a bit and yes, some skills to unlock too. There’s some sort of story here, mostly told through the usual cryptic dialogue line or two. And yeah, the boss fights – wouldn’t be one of these games without them. Really, it’s just a nicely done package all around and while not like super special in any one area, it’s worth a look if you’re into the genre.
There Is No Light retails for $25 USD and is available on Steam. It is also available on GOG.
Roadwarden is a full-fledged illustrated text adventure complete with a large map to explore, tons of characters to meet, and a story that – from my experience – just kept evolving as I played. You play as the new Roadwarden, tasked by the guild to expand their influence and solve some mysteries across the peninsula. Of course, this is not an easy task and you will quickly find yourself duking it out with strangers in the wilderness, earning a reputation amongst the locals, and taking in the atmosphere of this dark fantasy world.
That last one the game really goes hard at – with a huge chunk of the writing dedicated to worldbuilding, even to a fault at times. Regardless, it’s one of the more unique adventure games I have played as of late and while definitely not for everyone, if you’re into very story-heavy games – Roadwarden is worth a look.
Roadwarden retails for $11 USD and is available on Steam. It is also available on GOG. You can get an official Steam key 10% off and support the channel using my Gamesplanet partner link.
And that’s all I got for this month! Another batch of neat games, maybe not quite as good as last month, but some fun ones regardless. My personal favorite ended up being Foretales, although I also really liked Slime Rancher 2. Anyways, I’ll see you all around this time next month.