Lots of games are launching this week, but you might not have heard about many of them. But just because they’re not major releases doesn’t mean they’re unworthy of your attention. Some of these look very interesting, whether you’re into realistic hacking sims, visual novels, or you just want to kick back with some buddies for a night of gaming. Read on to discover all video games worth know about that are launching the week of August 10.
1. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
Releases August 11 on PlayStation 4
Developer The Chinese Room is known for its experimental story-based titles like Dear Esther, a game in which you wander around a deserted island, finding and reading letters that add up to a fairly compelling story. It’s unconventional in that there’s no combat, puzzles, or much input from the player at all, other than wandering around the game world. The game acts more as a delivery device for the narrative.
The developer’s next game, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, looks similarly bold. It’s an open-world game set in an English valley after some kind of apocalypse has occurred. Once again, the primary drive is the game’s narrative, which is weaved together by the memories of the people who lived in the valley. If you’re willing to venture outside the box of conventional video games, this game will almost certainly be worth a look.
2. Actual Sunlight
Releases August 11 on PS Vita
Another narrative-driven game hitting the market is Actual Sunlight, which the makers describe as a “short interactive story about love, depression, and the corporation.” Just from that description you can tell this game deals with themes most games don’t. The graphics are rudimentary, but much of the experience of Actual Sunlight is simply reading text on the screen. But if the Steam user reviews are anything to go by, this game packs a punch.
3. Xblaze Lost: Memories
Releases August 11 on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita
While we’re still on the subject of wordy games, we have Xblaze Lost: Memories, a game that mixes RPG-style dungeon crawling with a visual novel. That means you’re in for lots of reading if you want to play this game.
As far as the plot goes, the main character’s sister has disappeared into an alternate reality, and it’s up to you and your mysterious companion Nobody to find her. As it’s a sequel to the game Xblaze Code: Embryo and it’s deeply entrenched in Xblaze lore, this might not be the ideal place to start for newcomers, but fans of the series may want to take a look.
4. Garfield Kart
Releases August 11 on Nintendo 3DS
Everyone’s favorite Monday-hating, lasagna-loving cat refuses to stay out of sight. He’s back once again in a kart racing game that has him, Jon, Odie, Nermal, and the rest of the crew tearing up the track in a number of diverse locations. It looks like it packs a lot of content, from game modes to collectibles and customizable karts, so if you’re in the market for a colorful racer, this is one to keep an eye on.
5. Gauntlet: Slayer Edition
Releases August 11 on PlayStation 4
Gauntlet games have been around since time immemorial (1985, to be exact), but this latest one is an update on last year’s reboot. That said, the core gameplay hasn’t changed very much over the decades. It’s still a multiplayer-focused hack-and-slash game in which you and your friends pick from an assortment of unique heroes and then work together to slay monsters. If you’re looking for a fun party game anyone can pick up and play, this is a good bet.
6. Goat Simulator
Releases August 11 on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3
For those players in the market for a bit of absurdity, Goat Simulator is right up your alley. You control a goat whose only goal is to run around, jumping, dashing, bashing, and exploring the realistic open world on offer. It’s kind of like a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game, but way wackier and with less focus. Really, it boils down to having fun and being silly. If that sounds like a good time, pick it up on the PlayStation platform of your choice.
7. Paddington: Adventures in London
Releases August 11 on Nintendo 3DS
If the kids are in need of a new game, you might want to grab Paddington: Adventures in London for 3DS. It’s a simple game about a beloved (non-man-eating) bear who gets to explore London, solve mysteries, and work his way to becoming a proper English gentleman. There are puzzles to solve, thieves to catch, and sandwiches to eat. If that doesn’t sell you on the game, nothing will.
8. Toy Soldiers: War Chest
Releases August 11 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC
When you were a kid, you probably didn’t have any qualms about mixing your licensed toys together to have, for instance, the X-Men invade Legoland. That’s basically what you get to do in this action/strategy game about toy battles.
It features a number of made-up toy brands as well as real licensed properties like He-Man and G.I. Joe. Publisher Ubisoft promises two additional mystery toy licenses will appear in the game as well. As for the gameplay, it’s the same mix of action and strategy that developer Signal Studios has found success with before.
9. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Releases August 12 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4
Released in 2013 on other platforms, this terrific game revolves around navigating a gorgeous painted world solving environmental puzzles. The unique feature here is that the game has you control the two protagonists at the same time, using a single controller. One analog stick and trigger controls one boy, while the other stick and trigger controls the other.
It’s tough to wrap your mind around at first, but eventually it clicks. The idea is to solve environmental puzzles in order to make your way to a tree that provides an antidote for your father’s illness. And unlike most puzzle games, this one tells a deeply touching story.
Releases August 12 on PC
Here’s an intriguing one. Hacknet has you use real-life hacking skills in order to solve a fictional mystery. In the world of the game, a mysterious hacker has died. But before he did, he set up his system to automatically email instructions to a single user — you — to make sure the powerful software he created doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Your job is to follow the instructions to uncover the plot against him, using a realistic-looking hacking program. And although the game uses actual hacking skills, it was made with newbies in mind. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something.
11. Fallout Shelter
Releases August 13 on Android
While the impossibly long wait for Fallout 4‘s November 1 release date, Android users can dive back into the Wasteland early by playing the free game Fallout Shelter. In it, you create an underground shelter of your own, adding new rooms and utilities, and populating them with new arrivals. Along the way, you have to make sure everyone is fed and happy, and defend your shelter from Radroaches and marauders. Who knew living underground would require so much management?
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