“We get these pills to swallow
How they stick in your throat?
Tastes like gold”
– Queens of the Stone Age
ABOUT MEDVEDEV, VIDEOGAMES AND MONKEY ISLAND
Have you ever felt sad without an apparent reason? I think it’s something that each of us has experimented, with at least one time in his/her life. What you can do in these situations is 1) try to figure out what is the reason behind your sadness, racking your brain the whole day; 2) try to think of something funny.
First, let me say that there isn’t a valid solution for all, it simply depends on what kind of person you are. For example, if you are just like me, then, believe me, the solution n. 1) is not a good idea: you can never know what you might discover about yourself????! Complicated people need a simple life, this is the main reason why my head is hardly ever “full of thoughts”. Believe me, it’s not so bad feeling light-headed now and then!
So, excluding the n. 1), for people just like me what remains is only the “try to think of something funny” solution. Of course, these days, it’s not so easy to think about something funny and may not be enough reading a random Dmitry Medvedev‘s shitpost…
But we can’t forget that we are, in the first place, videogamers, so when we are sad without a reason we can try to regain our good mood by laughing “with” or”of” videogames, reminding us that being a videogamer can always have its advantages. For example, if your life isn’t very satisfying you can always say something like “ok, it’s true, my life was ruined by my obsession with video games, but fortunately, I had another two lives”. Or, if you have just broken up with your girlfriend, you are allowed to play a lot of videogames, because you need to uh… console yourself.
Sometimes is the videogame itself that can give us a smile.
On this regard, it’s Impossible not to mention games like Monkey Island with its fabulous sense of humor. One of my favorite gag was “So, your name is Haggis McMutton?” “Aye. But my parents were going to name me ‘Heart-Liver-And-Kidneys-Boiled-In-The-Belly-Of-The-Beast’ McMutton.” “Ohhhhh, so they were expecting a girl?“. But we don’t necessarily have to look to the past. There are recent games like “The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk” or “Obsidian Prince” that can grant you more than a laugh. Videogames like these are one of the few things that makes you feel proud to be silly.
I could go on forever, but what I really mean is that videogames, at the right moment and in the right measure, can be like a really precious friend, able to make us laugh and even forget, for some time, our problems and our sorrows.
CIRCADIAN DICE – 11th JULY
The Time is trapped in an endless circle (who said Groundhog Day?) by an unknown entity and your goal is to lead a group of heroes, that have managed to step outside this circle, and destroy – battle after battle – its evil source!
Essentially, Circadian Dice plays like a deck-building game, but this time the game doesn’t involve cards but (guess what?) dice! According to tradition, during the 13 scenarios you can upgrade your “deck”, gain relics and abilities, discover a lot of secrets, and so on!
And if you love games that can give you satisfaction even in a very short period of time, mind you that each run takes just from 10 to 30 minutes!
- Unlockable end-game modes such as an endless randomized scenario, and a campaign mode that provides a more traditional, long-term roguelike experience.
- 10 different heroes with unique characteristics and play styles.
- 60 unlockable and equippable Relics that provide your hero with new abilities, change your stats, and give you game-warping bonuses.
- Tons of hand-drawn animations.
- 110+ different abilities that strengthen your hero, manipulate your dice, or damage your enemies.
GLOOMGRAVE – 11th JULY
It’s not a secret that I’m in love with the genre of dungeon crawlers, especially the good old ones, and that I’m also firmly convinced that what we need NOW is an heir to Legend of Grimrock, or Operencia: The Stolen Sun (one of my favorite!).
Unfortunately, the genre seems to be in a crisis, with just a few – and not so good – exceptions in the last years. That’s why, when I hear or read about a new indie dungeon crawler, I can’t help feeling happy and hopeful, despite the many disappointments.
Maybe my hopes will be fulfilled with Gloomgrave, a roguelike dungeon crawler with a retro pixel-art aesthetic, by Netmancer. So are you ready to explore randomly generated dungeons, avoiding traps and engaging enemies in brutal turn-based fights? Personally, I can’t wait!
- 50+ items to loot… including weapons, armor, potions, scrolls, and more…
- 15+ monsters to slay and outsmart.
- 10+ classes, each with unique attributes and gear.
- 9+ depths to explore, each harder than the last.
- 15+ Steam achievements.
UNDERGRAVE – 13th JULY
This is the new game by Wired Dreams Studio, the dev behind Red Ronin.
Somehow Undergrave resembles his first game, but, this time, it plays more like a roguelike than a puzzle-game. In fact, our character, in a mission among the dead, has, as tradition demands, features like HP, Stamina, and several skills to use on the square-grid maps.
As for the story, we must save our beloved one and go down into the Void Realm and complete the Trial of Resurrection. Personally, I’m pretty curious.
STONES KEEPER: KING AURELIUS – 14th JULY
Developed by SK Team and published by Valkyrie Initiative, Stones Keeper is a turn-based strategy and tactical RPG. In a world devastated by a ruthless war, you must guide a flying island across fierce lands and fight in tactical grid-based battles.
The game boasts a charming setting and interesting lore, but, maybe, my favorite aspect of the game are… the animations (obviously, I’m joking…). Anyway, this game represents just a free prologue to the full game that is going to be released on 12th of September!
- Explore a world filled with secrets, mysterious lands, dangerous creatures and unexpected discoveries.
- Immerse yourself in the epic story of the Order of the Griffin with a single-player campaign spanning over 15 hours, consisting of 45 missions full of intrigue, action, and tension.
- Manage your own flying castle, fight other castles, unlock upgrades, and develop its systems.
- Form alliances or fight with other factions inhabiting this world.
- Conquer your enemies with over 55 unique units such as Gryphon Riders, Elven Witches, Diamond Golems, Dragons, and Ents.
- Play against your opponents in LAN multiplayer or Remote Play Together using up to two players.
- You can choose one of four sides to fight against in the castle skirmish mode.
- Build your own formidable army and determine the fate of the Order.
Only on Steam
FIRE AND MANEUVER (E.A.) – 15th JULY
Fire & Maneuver is a strategy game set in the Victorian Era. The setting is quite fascinating because we are talking about an era of great changes. As muskets become rifles, and infantry are replaced by Gatling guns, you must adapt to a rapidly changing battlefield.
This is a new age, not of courage and chivalry, but of Blood and Iron.
Talking about the gameplay, F&M offers an engaging “simultaneous turn system“, so that, instead of passively waiting to react to a move already made, you must actively consider all possibilities, deciding which tactical choice your opponent is most likely to make.
On Steam in the middle of the month.
IMMORTAL TACTICS: WAR OF THE ETERNALS – 15th JULY
If you often find yourself wishing that terrain and environmental effects were more of a factor in your tactical games, Kenisoft’s Immortal Tactics: War Of The Eternals is definitely a game you should check out. This roguelite’s hex-based battlefields are positively brimming with dangers to evade and exploit. Storms of arrows from offscreen armies and the grasping hands of the restless dead are just a few of the hazards you’ll face.
While the battles in Immortal Tactics are immediately reminiscent of those from the classic Heroes of Might and Magic games, aspiring generals will find that the combat ultimately plays very differently. Low hit point totals all around and a turn order divided into phases makes this game require much more planning than its ancestors.
See for yourself when Immortal Tactics launches on 15 July on Steam!
FLEET COMMANDER: PACIFIC – 21th JULY
Fleet Commander: Pacific is a grand strategic simulation of the naval war in the Pacific from 1941 to 1945. All major surface combat ships of the Japanese and Allied navies are present in this streamlined reproduction of the biggest maritime war in history.
The game contains:
- Turn-based gameplay, with US having the slight advantage to play second as they broke the enemy’s code, allowing for interesting counter-moves.
- All main battleships, carriers and heavy cruisers as individual units – and minor ships, marines or air units in groups and flotillas.
- A simple (but not simplistic) game mechanics, focusing on taking control of key sea zones.
- Straightforward battle mechanics, handling the various aspects of naval warfare: gunnery exchanges, submarines and airborne attacks.
- Day and night battles, island bases’ invasions, air raids against ports, reinforcements from other theaters of war.
- A challenging set of decisions each turn – choosing which areas to defend, and which ones to seize from the enemy or harass.
- An AI that will attempt to foil your grand strategic plans, or your local actions.
- A very accurate database with faithful ships’ sketches, 3D models, and actual historic photos.
- A streamlined UI with easy controls, and a wealth of in-game information.
- Many scenarios of variable length and difficulty.
GEARHEAD CARAMEL – 21st JULY
This one is a real “labor of love”.
A turn based RPG/roguelike like few others that really brings back the good old games.
In development for a very long time, we already wrote an overview on it, where you can find all the information you need, but, if you want the long story short, Gearhead: Caramel it’s the third game in the series and, at its core, it’s a very deep RPG with randomized content, a great setting and, above all… Mech fights!
You can’t miss it!
The game is already available on Itch.io and during the second half of the month it’ll be released also on Steam.
BLACKEN SLASH – 22nd JULY
Blacken Slash is a minimalist turn-based tactical roguelike, that players can just jump straight into. Play short levels that take minutes to beat, with straightforward mechanics that even newcomers to the genre can quickly get used to. There are no hard-to-learn mechanics in this game, only hard-to-master gameplay.
- Fight through bite-sized tactical puzzles
- Create powerful builds from a plethora of items which grant you skills and can change gameplay mechanics
- Carry on your favorite items between runs in normal mode
- Start from scratch each week and compete with other players in the online ladder mode
- Try various playstyles and hunt for challenging achievements
- Enjoy a lovingly crafted story of ridiculous computer nostalgia and a blast of a retro soundtrack
CHAOS GALAXY 2 – 25th JULY
A couple of years ago, Han Zhiyu released Chaos Galaxy a self-defined “A pixel-art turn-based Galaxy total war game“. The game received very good reviews and this is the reason why now we’re talking about its sequel, called, without great imagination, Chaos Galaxy 2.
At a first glance, the game looks much like the first one, but, according to the people who tried the demo, there are many important improvements, like, for example, in the planet management area and in the diplomatic section.
It’s a solo developer project and it seems realized with much love! If you are a fan of Advanced Wars and Super Robot War don’t miss this chance, go and try the demo right now!
Only on Steam.
VESTARIA SAGA II – 28th JULY
Another sequel for this month. Vestaria Saga is a strategy RPG series where positioning, movement, and weaponry are paramount to success. Move your heavily armed units around a classically styled grid-based map and engage pirates, rebels, monsters, imperial soldiers, and anyone else that stands in your way.
Vestaria Saga II continues the adventures of Zade, bringing the tales of him and his companions to a thrilling, satisfying end. They will encounter allies both new and old while uncovering more mysteries behind the vile Margulites and their plan to plunge Vestaria into a new age of darkness.
DARK ILL – 30th JULY
Ok, this is a rather strange game and for many reasons. First, because we don’t know exactly if the name of the game is Dark Ill or Darkest Witchcraft. Second, I’m not sure if the game will be ready for the 22nd of June, because reading the developer’s post it seems that it’s still in an alpha state.
The only thing that’s clear is that this game, essentially a card battler/roguelike, is “DARK” in every sense (in fact the screenshots on Steam were barely visible…).
Despite that, I saw some videos and I must admit that, even if Dark Ill (or Dark Witchcraft) looks heavily inspired by Darkest Dungeon, it has some potential. In any case, as always – we will see…
On Steam, maybe…
CITIZENS – JULY
Redkar Limited’s scenario-based city builder treats your settlement like a puzzle. By exploiting resources and carefully planning your expansion, you’ll be challenged to achieve specific objectives. There’s also a free-play mode if you just want to build the best possible city.
Each construction takes one turn, causing time to progress – resources are gathered, citizens pay taxes (or don’t), and life goes on in your city. You have to complete your objectives within a set number of turns, and every decision can have far-reaching consequences.
There is currently a demo if you want to try it, on Steam.
TWILIGHTSTAR: HEART OF EIR -JULY
TwilightStar: Heart of Eir, developed by DragonClaw Studios, is a narrative RPG heavly inspired by classic JRPGs.
The story is rather simple: the World of Eathral is dying and the Stryah crystals, that shine like starlight imbuing the planet with powerful magic, are turning black. Eir leads a simple life until she witnesses a brutal tragedy at the hands of a dark and powerful order. From that moment, everything will change for me. Trying to control her new powers, she will embark on a great adventure to defeat the corruption of Eathral …
Among its features, it’s very interesting the possibility of battling both in turn-based mode or in the so-called “active motion” mode.
- Magical Affinity Interaction System
- Active Turn-Based Combat
- Multiplayer CCG Card Game
- Complex Puzzles and Dungeons
- Mining and Weapons Upgrade System
- Mounts and Fast Travel Abilities
- Open World Exploration
- Build your own unique House and Village
- Fishing and Farming
Here the Steam page
WARHAMMER AGE OF SIGMAR: SOUL ARENA – JULY
Ok, with just a bunch of exceptions, I’ve never trusted of ports of games from Android and this not only for technical reasons (e.g. graphics, control etc.), but also because, in most cases, we talk about free games with a pay-to-win feature.
So, with a bit of skepticism, I present you Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soul Arena a multiplayer strategy game, already released a while ago on Google Play Store.
In terms of gameplay this is the description offered by the developers: “Players choose from a diverse and powerful range of captains available and then take turns facing off against each other on the battlefield, where they must select and arrange the units they want for their army. All fighting is done automatically. Turn after turn each player builds their army stronger and stronger, perhaps focusing on a select few powerful units, or perhaps adopting a more aggressive and high paced aggro playstyle“.
LEGENDS OF KINGDOM RUSH – JUNE
Kingdom Rush is a well-known tower defense game developed by Uruguay-based Ironhide Game Studio and published by Armor Games. Initially released as a free flash browser game back in 2011, it had many sequels, always cataloged as tower defense. But now something is going to change. During June, Ironhide Game Studio will release Legend of Kingdom Rush, an RPG game with roguelike elements taking place in the medieval fantasy world of Kingdom Rush.
Fight on a turn-based grid; switch and match your heroes and companions until you find your ideal team for each battle. Find treasures, solve riddles, explore ruins, and so on, but beware, because according to the developers the world will react to your decisions!
During June on Steam.
And, for this month, that’s all folks!