Indivisible by Lab Zero Games
The long-awaited follow up to Skullgirls from Lab Zero Games, Indivisible found not just inspiration from fighting games, but the likes of cult classic RPG Valkyrie Profile too. The result was an RPG that IGN dubbed “one of the most wildly creative RPGs of the year”.
Indivisible is set in a beautiful world where myth and spirituality are a part of life. Ajna, Indivisible‘s hot-blooded teen protagonist, starts her journey when her village is set ablaze by invaders. I know what you’re thinking another trite RPG trope where good tries to vanquish evil but no. Well, it’s not just all that. The story develops into a unique and personal journey that gets some good emotion going.
The gameplay itself is fairly interesting. Indivisible is built on two types of gameplay: 2D platforming while exploring and party-based fights with cooldown-centric combat reminiscent of Valkyrie Profile’s turn-based battle system. The two mesh very well together and you’ll have fun with the duality of both gameplay modes.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam, Mac, Linux
Islanders by Grizzly Games Co
Another 10/10 Steam game, Islanders is a minimalist city building game that’s not sandboxed. Unlike SimCity, Skylines or Tropico, the Islanders games is more of a puzzle game with building mechanics.
Here’s how it works: you start on a small island, with a tiny selection of buildings to construct. Every time you put down a building you get points, whether by placing buildings next to certain natural features or by putting them alongside complementary structures. The closer they are to these modifiers the more points you get. The more buildings you place, the more types you get to choose from. The catch, of course, is that each island has a limited amount of space and resources. You need to be very careful where you put stuff.
Islanders is a very simple game, and I get that anyone looking for a more complex city-building challenge might not appreciate that. But there is beauty in its simplicity because in this case, it’s so elegant. There’s a real joy in stripping a genre down to its barest bones. That’s what Islanders is doing here: removing all but the barest necessities from what we’d expect from a game built around the idea of carving human settlements out of nothing. What’s left is pure city-building. No-fuss, no distractions.
Platforms: PC – Steam, Mac, Linux
Outer Wilds by Mobius Digital
Outer Wilds, not to be confused with Outer Worlds that launched roughly about the same time. The Outer Wilds is an open world mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time loop. It’s a fun exploration game with a unique game mechanic and a good blend of discovery and sci-fi storytelling. The whole game revolves this one deep mystery that you’re going to be finding more about each time you reset. It’s a great game that’s more relaxed than you’d think with the whole time reset thing. It doesn’t have that whole Majora’s Mask tension.
If you do get the game you can check out our Outer Wilds Beginner’s Guide!
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC – Epic Games
Outward by Nine Dots Studio
No remarkable journey is achieved without great effort. Outward is an open-world RPG where the cold of the night or an infected wound can be as dangerous as a predator lurking in the dark. Explore the vast world of Aurai, embark on memorable adventures alone or with your friends. Outward delivers an immersive RPG experience coupled with survival gameplay, offering a deeply-rewarding challenge for the most avid gamers.
As an ordinary adventurer, you’ll not only have to hide or defend yourself against threatening creatures, but also brave the hazardous environmental conditions, protect yourself against infectious diseases, make sure you get enough sleep, and stay hydrated. Embark on perilous expeditions across untamed lands to reach new cities, undertake varied missions and discover hidden dungeons crawling with formidable enemies. Check out our full review of Outward here.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam, Mac, Linux
Pathologic 2 by Ice-Pick Lodge
Pathologic 2 is a narrative-driven dramatic thriller about fighting a deadly outbreak in a secluded rural town. The town is dying. Face the realities of a collapsing society as you make difficult choices in seemingly lose-lose situations. The plague isn’t just a disease. You can’t save everyone.
In its simplest terms, Pathologic 2 is a survival game set in a town that’s under assault from a mysterious illness. But a one-sentence description hardly paints a complete picture. Pathologic 2 is more like an interactive fever dream than anything else. One that mashes together brutal survival mechanics and surrealist narrative themes to create an uncompromising and opaque experience. You probably haven’t played anything like Pathologic 2. Unless, of course, you’re a Pathologic fan – this game is essentially a retelling of 2005’s infamous masterpiece. Pathologic 2 is frustrating and haunting all at once, with punishing gameplay and twisted dialogue. Get ready for an intense, albeit memorable experience.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam, Mac, Linux
Re:Legend by Magnus Games
Re:Legend is the RPG games that’s doing it all. Combat, farming, fishing, exploration and growing your own Magnus monsters. You’re going to have your hands full with this adventure. The story is pretty simple, you’ve washed up on an island without any memories and must now learn to survive. It’s almost unfair to compare this game to Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley because yes while there is a farming mechanic, the rest of the other mechanics are equally as well developed. Much of the main quest revolves around combat, making it an important skill to hone in order to continue progressing.
In spite of what the wonderfully cute art style might have you believe, the combat actually has a nice range of difficulty. You can fight these enemies alone in single-player mode, or join efforts with friends in online multiplayer. There is even a range of weapons for you to use from a bow and arrows, greatswords, dual swords, and magical staves. This comes with additional complex skill levelling. Not to mention all the crafting and monster rearing that has to go on. Re:Legend is an extremely full game that has wonderful pieces you’re going to love. It’s out on Early Access now with a couple of bugs.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam