Available On: PC
Pacific Rim meets Chess isn’t exactly the most common elevator pitch for indie games, yet it perfectly describes Into the Breach, the long-awaited sophomore release from beloved FTL: Faster Than Light developers Subset Games.
Into the Breach successfully retains all the fun roguelike challenges and tactical strategy of FTL while minimizing most randomized frustrations, creating a compelling tactical board game.
Available On: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC (Win, Mac, Linux)
My generation (I’m in my 30s) has an indomitable passion for the 1980s. The appeal waxes from fun nostalgia to tiresome and cynical. Sometimes you get brilliant results like Stranger Things, other times it’s a disastrous grab bag like Ready Player One.
Crossing Souls lies somewhere in between, proudly wearing its 80s setting on its denim jacket sleeve. The retro animated cutscenes help bring the surprisingly heavy story to life, but it’s dragged down by poor controls, repetitive combat, and strictly linear level design.
Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One (Coming later to PC)
I had the Anjanath on the run. Monster Hunter’s version of a Tyrannosaurus Rex decided he’d had enough of my hacking and slashing, and fled to higher ground. I chased after him, winding up the trees and branches in the Ancient Forest. We reached a nest-like clearing and faced each other, prepared to duel it out again. A terrifying roar signaled a newcomer to the party. We’d wandered into the nesting grounds of a dragon, the Rathian.
The 10-year old within me excitedly cheers as the giant monsters battle each other, the dragon picking up the T-Rex and dropping it from its nest. When the Rathian turns its attention toward me, I make like the Anjanath and run like hell.
Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
While I lack much of the fond nostalgia for the 3D platforming genre, I was completely enthralled by A Hat in Time. Its bright, cheery art and music, witty dialogue, and grandiose level designs instantly catapulted Hat Kid among the upper echelon of the late 90s Golden Age classics.
Simply put: A Hat in Time is the most fun I’ve had with a 3D platformer since Psychonauts.
Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
The exact moment I fell in love with Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 happened in the very first level. I control the Guardians of the Galaxy defending Xandar from the villainous Kang the Conqueror. Activating Star-Lord’s special ability prompts him to slip on some headphones and begin rocking out to the excellent 60s and 70s soundtracks from the the two films, licensed music and everything! All the figures around you begin to dance, because how could you not?
The Lego games have remained family-friendly, co-op games over the last decade but vary wildly in quality from buggy, awkward messes to peak couch co-op. The first Lego Marvel Super Heroes was one of the best Lego games to date. The sequel skirts close to being my new favorite Lego game, with amazingly varied level designs and a wealth of fun content – provided you only care about the MCU version of Marvel.