By Lewis Packwood, Matthew Castle, Laura Hudson, Jay Castello, James McMahon, Lewis Gordon, Keza MacDonald, Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, Tom Regan, Stacey Henley, Nic Reuben, Rick Lane, and Patrick Lum13 Sentinels: Aegis RimPS4; Vanillaware/Atlus This hybrid of visual novel and tower defense game is an absolute must-play, with a deep, highly satisfying plot at every turn to piece together and shocking, time-wasting revelations. PLA Hand With Several FingersPC; ColestiaForget Call of Duty: Black Ops – you’ve been hunting for the CIA conspiracy thriller.
Submerged in a federal folder, on a corkboard, you string facts and findings together. The twist is that this is not just a game of detectives – the more you find out, the more sinister your world gets. EETA Short HikePC, Mac, Nintendo Switch; AdamgryuLast year, this wonderful little Zelda-inspired hiking adventure was released on PC, but you might have skipped it this year on Switch.
It leads to such an atmospheric few hours, filtered through its retro art style, with gorgeous natural colors.
A brief hiking is less about mountain climbing and more about enjoying it. KMAlba: A Wildlife AdventurePS4, Laptop, Xbox, Mac, iPhone/iPad; ustwo gamesYou hear that a luxury hotel is to be constructed on the nature reserve when you visit your grandparents on a Spanish island for the summer – and decide to avoid it.
Alba brings back childhood holiday memories as you hop around to take photographs of the local birds, clean up litter, and have conservation adventures. KMBlaseballWeb Browser; Baseball teams play in your browser with Game BandFantasy, but with around a hundred twists. The combination of the simulation’s randomness, the developers’ insane additions (such as peanut-loving squid gods and weather that swaps out player teams), and the fan base’s amazing imagination makes something unpredictable and joyful. To believe it, you have to be a part of it. JCCloudpunkNintendo Turn, PS4, Xbox, PC; Ion LandsIt’s your first day in the cyberpunk metropolis of Nivalis as a delivery driver, and while there’s a techno-thriller tale woven into the pickups and deliveries you make in your flying car (which is also your dog-long story), Cloudpunk’s real joy is driving through a glittering, crumbling city’s neon voxel skyscrapers about to sink.
LHCoffee TalkNintendo Turn, Xbox, PS4, PC, Mac; Toge ProductionsIn a future Seattle, when they come to your late-night coffee shop for a late-night coffee, you’re a barista listening to people’s issues.
But there are also elves, dragons, succubi, and other characters that are fantasy-inspired, all with very modern concerns.
There is something relaxing in our crowded times about just making drinks and listening to the gossip. Aggro Crab/Team17Hell is free, forward-thinking, and comes with a competitive success package; KMGoing UnderPS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PC;
Yours is a highly coveted unpaid marketing internship: first, you only have to battle your way through the monster-filled ruins of failed tech startups.
Come for the friendly, bouncy fights, stay for the giant troll wielding an industrial cafetière for unacceptably long bathroom breaks and scolding leprechauns. The workplace parody of Going Under is grinning, sharp and genuinely humorous. NRIn Other WatersPC, Mac, Nintendo Switch; Hop Over the Age/Fellow TravellerHere’s a game that by asking you about stuff you can’t see flips the “show, don’t tell” rule on its head.
Your knowledge of the alien ocean around you, as an AI wired to the diving suit of xenobiologist Dr. Ellery Vas, is focused solely on her beautifully meticulous explanations.
LPNecrobaristaNintendo Turn, PS4, PC, Mac; Route 59A highly stylish graphic novel set in a café providing the dead with 24 hours to survive on. Necrobarista follows a cast of amazing characters who all only do their best, and through a writing style that is funny and touching in equal parts, deals with big questions. One of the most reactive virtual worlds around, every material in the procedurally generated domain of Noita behaves realistically. JCNoitaPC; Nolla Games Fire and acid can consume whole floors, while conflagrations can be doused with anything from water to water