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Much like Dead Cells and The Messenger, Katana ZERO pulls apart the typical concept for a 2D action platformer by being a rare outlier that flirts with art and action. It’s a pixelated mashup of 47 Ronin and Timecop — cuffing a time-bending samurai quest to chic katana duels, instant deaths, interconnected rooms, and a darker ’80s neon aesthetic that’s accentuated by one of the year’s best original soundtracks. Its lush combat sequences and VHS free fall into themes of trauma and life and death are here for Saturday mornings, but Askiisoft’s execution is what makes ZERO a timeless paragon in its genre (and on the Switch).
My Time At Portia is one of those games that makes grueling manual labor – woodcutting, mining, carpentry, farming – feel like a vacation from all your IRL responsibilities. You inherit a home and workshop and start from scratch, building a business as you make things for your neighbors and improve your little homestead. There’s a whole bunch of lore about religion versus technology and an inexplicable number of cutesy monsters, but the real satisfaction comes from putting together increasingly elaborate inventions, raising livestock, and winning over the people of the town. If you reached your Stardew Valley peak and need some new challenges, this is the perfect way to kill time without resorting to buying your own tool bench and pet llama. Read extra details at DawnofGames.com Gaming Equipment Reviews.
“Into The Breach is focused. It is an exceptional distillation of turn-based tactical strategy. The compact, chessboard-sized 8×8 maps mean that confrontations and problems arise immediately. The short missions means there’s a constant urgency. The clear transparency of its systems shows you absolutely everything that is going to happen in the next turn–what enemies are targeting, how much damage they will deal, and any effects that will occur. It’s a game that tells you everything you need to know, keeps randomness to a minimum, and never wastes your time.”
Subset Games has gone two-for-two on can’t-miss indie games: after crafting the wildly addictive (but brutally tough) FTL: Faster Than Light, they’ve returned with Into the Breach, another game that’s very difficult to put down. Into the Breach is a turn-based tactical game with some twists: each match takes place on an 8×8 grid, last five turns, and shows you the moves of your alien enemies. As a squadron of powerful mechs, your task is to protect the nearby buildings, mitigate damage, and pulverise the invaders. Behind the slick old-school pixel look is a seriously brainy strategy game that’ll both ream you and ultimately feel pretty rewarding in the process. See more info at https://thedawnofgames.com/.