6 Video Games Launching Next Week: ‘The Witness’ and More

The year is young, but we’ve already gotten a handful of excellent games, from the Zen–inducing Amplitude to the console edition of Gone Home. This week brings a whole new batch of notable titles from a wide variety of genres.

You can spend dozens of hours solving puzzles in The Witness, slaying monsters in Final Fantasy Explorers, saving the world in LEGO Marvel’s The Avengers, or doing a whole lot more in the other games releasing the week of January 21. Read on to find out which ones appeal to you.

1. The Witness

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows PC
Release date: Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Developer Jonathan Blow helped kick off the modern indie gaming scene with Braid, a side-scrolling platformer that was stuffed to the brim with mind-bending puzzles. Apparently Blow funneled nearly all of his profits from Braid into The Witness, a puzzle adventure game that was first announced in 2009, and has expanded in scope and ambition ever since. The game will contain a vast selection of challenges, including some puzzles that are nearly impossible to solve. You might want to keep a walkthrough guide handy if you play this one.

2. Final Fantasy Explorers

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release date: Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Square Enix has proved time and again that it has no problem cashing in on its wildly successful Final Fantasy franchise. These games tend to appeal to the hardcore fans and no one else, but Final Fantasy Explorers has the potential to reach a wider audience. That’s because it taps into what makes the Monster Hunter games so addictive: regular-sized heroes fighting against enormous beasts. It’s also a perfect game to take on the go, because although it has over 100 hours’ worth of content, most missions can be completed in a matter of minutes. Check this one out if you want to hunt monsters on your commute.

3. LEGO MARVEL’s Avengers

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Vita
Release date: Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Whenever a popular franchise pops up, there’s a good chance LEGO will make a video game out of it. For The Avengers, it was practically inevitable. This block-based action game follows the events of the two Avengers movies and more, with all your favorite superheroes donning their costumes to scrub out villainy wherever they find it. You can also expect to see characters from last year’s Ant-Man and the upcoming movie Captain America: Civil War, which comes out in May.

4. Slain!

Platform: Windows PC
Release date: Wednesday, January 27, 2016

If your love for heavy metal is only matched by your love for puzzle solving and retro hack-and-slash games, then you’re in for a treat, because Slain! is heading your way. It looks and sounds fantastic (assuming you’re into heavily distorted guitars), and it’s just as drenched in gore as the covers of the metal albums you know and love. Just watch the trailer above and try not to head bang. It can’t be done.

5. Rise of the Tomb Raider

Platform: Windows PC
Release date: Thursday, January 28, 2016

The 2012 series reboot Tomb Raider was a top-notch action adventure game that revived the franchise in the best way possible. This sequel delivers the same kind of bow-shooting, thug-bashing action as Lara Croft comes into her own as a treasure hunter. As for the tombs of the title, this game has a lot more than its predecessor, and each one is filled with delightfully challenging environmental puzzles. That’s perfect for Lara Croft fans both old and new. Read our full write-up for details.

6. This War of Mine: The Little Ones

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release date: Friday, January 29, 2016

If you’re looking for a game about people having a good time, move right along, because there’s nothing for you to see here. This War of Mine was well received when it came out in 2014, thanks to its nuanced depiction of civilians trying to live in a city under siege.

Unless you want to get killed by snipers, you must stay inside while the sun is out, crafting, trading, and building shelters. By moonlight you can go out to forage for supplies. It’s a gritty, unhappy existence, but the game side of things is satisfying. For this console release, the developers have updated the game to include children characters who weren’t in it before. It’s not your standard video game fare, but sometimes that’s exactly what we need.

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