When Apex Legends released last year, my friends and I were overjoyed. Here was a battle royale we could get into. Crisp shooting with lots of guns, fun characters with unique powers, and a helpful ping system left us hungry to jump into this explosive multiplayer genre.
Then we died. A lot. And died some more. Meeting an enemy team was near-instant death, every time.
At the risk of further humiliation and demoralizing evenings, we ultimately shelved Apex Legends. I continued to watch the genre from afar, my hands pressed against the glass of the battle royale sweet shop, not daring to venture inside. Until Spellbreak appeared in the window.
Stardew Valley was my personal game of the year in 2016. Like so many others, I’d paid zero attention to farm-sim games before falling completely in love with the 16-bit art-style, charming characters and town, and endless variety of gameplay.
Ooblets, available now in Early Access via Epic Games Store and Xbox One, may lack Stardew’s pixel art, but it’s every way an effective farm-sim successor, along with its own unique charm and gameplay courtesy of the titular creatures.
Deep in the laboratory, a new enemy that looks like a Bane cosplayer teleports next to me, slamming into the ground and knocking out half my health in a single strike. I scramble to unload a quick series of sword strikes before he disappears. I roll to the side this time when he warps back, finishing him off with a shotgun blast. Unfortunately I rolled too close to a pair of sword-spinning goblins, forcing me to jump into a stream of bullets from a nearby minigun-wielding soldier. I curse as my body is vaporized, showering the ground with hard-earned gold and crystals and sending me back to the outpost to try again.
Death is a frequent and frustrating occurrence in Foregone, a challenging 2D action-platformer out on the Epic Game Store’s version of Early Access this week.