Heaven’s Vault embraces linguistic puzzles and ancient exploration within a unique fantasy world, but you’ll have to slog through some agonizingly slow and tedious gameplay to see it all.
Immortals Fenyx Rising may be a smaller version of Breath of the Wild, but it’s still an incredibly dense game. Even if you’re an open-world expert, we’ve compiled some tips as you take your first baby steps into this colorful, mythological world.
A sci-fi micro-RPG that takes place entirely on a giant colony ship, and uses dominoes instead of dice.
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Designed by: JVC Parry
The Earth is lost (no shocker there). Our only chance for survival is aboard a massive colony ship called the Drakar. As a member of NORSE (the Nordic Office for Research into Space Exploration), your job is to help the ship, and the remnants of humanity, survive whatever problems may arise as you make your way to the promised planet of Valhalla in this micro-RPG that uses a set of dominoes instead of dice.
If you’re going to shamelessly copy gameplay, style, and art from a single game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a pretty darn good specimen to draw from. Immortals Fenyx Rising may be Ubsioft’s answer to Nintendo’s grand adventure, but also trims much of the fat of open world games, along with a humorous style that’s surprisingly charming.
Taking a cue from the much-loved co-op series Overcooked, Unrailed is a zany co-op survival adventure in which a team of players hurry to mine resources and lay tracks to keep their unstoppable train from crashing.
Unrailed lacks the visual charm of Overcooked but adds more dire stakes as the tracks stretch farther and farther.
As far as classic 80s franchises go, none may be as sacred and universally beloved as the Back to the Future trilogy. The adventurous time-traveling series remains mercifully untouched by modern adaptations, but that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a proper modern board game – or two!
Back to the Future: Dice Through Time (not to be confused with Back to the Future: Back in Time, another cooperative BTTF board game that released this year), continues Ravensburger’s trend of turning popular film franchises into satisfying, family-friendly tabletop experiences.
What is the difference between a new game and a remake? Despite being labeled as an all-new game in the tower-defense series, Dungeon Defenders: Awakened is clearly a remake of the original 2010 game.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the original Dungeon Defenders effectively combined tower defense gameplay with co-op action. The formula remains as fun as it was a decade ago, though it’s disappointing to see so little improvement or changes.
Beat ‘Em Ups were all the rage in the 90s. The simple, fun co-op action games fit well in arcade machines, then on home consoles. Sega’s Streets of Rage series was one of the best, with smooth gameplay, varied levels and enemies, and killer soundtracks. But as the attitude era of arcade machines and street punks in leather jackets and colorful mohawks faded, so too did the side-scrolling genre.
Fast-forward over 25 years since Streets of Rage 3. Video games have advanced at an incredible rate, and the once popular genre has been regulated to old-school nostalgia. Streets of Rage 4 suddenly crashes into a smokey alley in a Delorian, as punks and ninjas run in from both sides. The genre never died; it’s been waiting just off screen for the developers at Dotemu and Lizardcube to create an amazing modernized sequel.
Poor Iratus was struck down on the eve of world conquest, his undead horde scattered to the earth. But a good villain never stays dead, least of all a master of necromancy. Starting from the deepest bowels, Iratus must raise a new army of undead monsters to scour dungeons in this compelling tactical-strategy roguelike RPG, Iratus: Lord of the Dead.
Iratus plays like a reverse Darkest Dungeon. Instead of grim heroes delving into dungeons and braving increasing horrors, Iratus is hell-bent on bringing those horrors to the surface.
The Expanse made it to Book 5 before they finally had their Empire Strikes Back, both in tone and excellence.
Unlike the previous novels, Nemesis Games takes our heroic space-faring foursome and splits them up, with everyone getting their own PoV chapters. It’s like in a tabletop RPG campaign where we focus on individual characters and their own personal stories – except here the book deftly weaves these stories into the main plot as everyone becomes entwined in an apocalyptic event that sets up all new stakes, alliances, and warfare within the inner systems. And we witness it unfold from four different angles! It also finally brings fan-favorite past supporting characters like Bobbie Draper and Clarissa Mao in really cool ways.
My only complaint is that it doesn’t really conclude, instead serving up an intriguing springboard into a new main plot.
Nemesis Games is easily the best book of the entire series up to this point. I only hope the rest of the novels can keep up the momentum.