Well, we have nine games on out to buy list this week. A very healthy number but alas no heavy hitters among them. Some indie games, (okay a lot of indie games) a movie tie-in game, a simulator game, a Plant vs Zombies game and another old school D & D adventure collection to match last week’s The Baldur’s Gate games.
As for our misses this week. Well, The Fisherman – Fishing Planet looks like a solid fishing game, but I have the same problem with fishing games as I do with bowling and billiards games. I am not convinced I need a standalone product. I have a ton of games with fishing mini-games that scratch that itch. Everything from Sims 4 to Breath of Fire 3 and 4, Yakuza 6 (which has spearguns as does Warframe but I will not pretend I will ever level up anywhere near enough in that game to go fishing), Stardew Valley, Persona 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, Far Cry 5, Dark Cloud 1 and 2 (Which along with Breath of Fire games are a favorite) and about half the JPRG’s in my collection. And that is just the ones I own/play, so that does not include the various Zelda games, Minecraft or World of Warcraft. So yeah, fishing games are kind of sorted.
Where was I? Oh yes, games that are a miss this week. Children Of Morta mixes mediocre pixel art with tons of repeating areas and monsters for a rogue like experience with one good idea (You play as a family) that can’t carry the lot. Kine is a puzzle platformer where you play as an accordion. (Seriously). Monkey King: Hero Is Back is coming out the wrong week for ugly protagonists, Chinese propaganda, and is not the movie tie-in we are interested in. Stela is on the Xbox One after premiering on the Apple Arcade and it is like Limbo but not as good. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes pretends it is supposed to be a bad video game (Hey, that’s the joke) but ends up just being a bad video game in probably one of the bigger disappointments of the year. Pig Eat Ball is a pixilated puzzle game with lots of vomiting. Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure is yet another movie tie in which I am not trying out this week.
As for the recommendations below some of them may migrate to the miss column as reviews drift in (I am looking your way Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip) but all have at least one element that makes them interesting this week.
Our game of the week is Return Of The Obra Dinn. I am not being lazy stop saying that. Yes, it is a critical darling that will probably appear on everyone’s top ten list this year. (Heck, even Yahtzee Croshaw loved it) And it had been out on PC for a while. I might as well have picked The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on the Nintendo Switch (Though the thought of controlling Roach with motion controls gives me nightmares.) Indie black and white puzzle game for the win.
Return Of The Obra Dinn
Ah, an insurance investigator game that is done by the guy who did Papers, Please and that garnered great reviews. It looks like a puzzle game tie in for that TV series The Terror.
Stranded Sails: Explorers Of The Cursed Islands
This looks like a bog-standard exploration and farm game. It also looks like a gorgeous bog-standard exploration and farm game. I would like to see some reviews to see if it plays as good as it looks, but good lord is it pretty.
Well, the reviews are in, and it plays as well as it looks. Plus, it is a wonderfully cheerful game, which is something I admit I need more of in my game collection.
Solid theme park management game. Containing a lot more depth than one would expect from the mobile style visuals. A little close to being a real job, but the ability to walk around your aquarium is fun. But honestly, like a real aquarium, it is more educational than thrilling.
Planescape: Torment/ Icewind Dale: Enhanced Editions
A collection of two ancient school D & D games. On the plus side, these are some very good old School D & D games. In addition, the game promises some enhancements outside of a slight graphical polish. (Well, at least for Icewind Dale. Apparently Planescape doesn’t have an easy mode.)
All the polish in the world can’t completely hide the fact that these are some rock hard games without a lot of the modern conveniences we are used to. If you have a lot of modern re-imaginings of these games still clogging your backlog. (cough Divinity: Original Sin II cough) tackle those first before picking this up.
A real-time strategy game where you play as the Lovecraftian God Dagon and gather your minions/worshipers to kill all the humans? Okay, this is going the list for me. Disappointments include pixilated graphics, a lack of checkpoints and difficulty spikes, and it looks like you are mostly killing sailors instead of mall shoppers or coeds. Still, this could be a pong ripoff and with that description and I would want to try it out. Does it have any topless killer mermaids like the movie Dagon? I am guessing not.
Despite all this, I am always up for a game where you play the bad guy. For example, the video game industry keeps threatening to entertain me with a game where I can play as a great white shark casually eating swimmers at various beaches. The industry hasn’t stuck the landing as of now but hope springs eternal.
This is where the recent Friday the 13th game was such a disappointment. I want to play as Jason the indestructible monster attacking skinny dipping coeds. Not some poorly controlling tank that fears firecrackers.
As for now, I have to make do with games that are often not technically designed as bad guy simulators such as Fable II, Skyrim and Sims 4.
Update: There is a new shark eating people game coming out on May 22nd 2020 (Maneater) so hope springs eternal.
Plants Vs. Zombies: Battle For Neighborville
I really liked the Plant vs. Zombies Garden Warfare one and two. Do I see myself running out to buy this? No, not really. But I would be remiss not to give it a good heads up. It has a decent single player. And it will continue to get new content over the next few months. Plus, it is one of the few multiplayer shooters I do really well at. Probably because most of the other players are eight-year-olds.
Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip
An isometric movie tie in a twin-stick shooter where I can play as Emma Stone? I could see myself on board with this one. Am I the only one with fond memories of Zombie Apocalypse on the XBLA? This game definitely gives off the same vibes. Looks like it could be a good old-fashioned mindless fun. Much like the movie they base it on.
Dark Souls-like two 2d sprite-based side-scrolling. They are pretty sprites but they are still sprites and honestly; I am tired of sprites and I am tired of Dark Souls style games but I am not tired of good blocking mechanics and this game seems to have good blocking mechanics so I am keeping it on the list… barely.
Felix The Reaper
Disco dancing employee of the Grim Reaper who is trying to set up Final Destination style deathtraps. Sure, it is an indie puzzle game, but I have to admit that premise could smooth some rough edges for me. Plus, it is our second game on this week’s list where I get to play as the bad guy. Happy days.