This Week In Games: Taking Stock

Image: XCOM 2 / Firaxis

While we're still technically in the quiet period, I'm always surprised at how there's always one big title that you never quite see.

Except this week. It's all indies.

Update: No XCOM 2 this week — that doesn't arrive until the 27th. Apologies all.

Beyond that, it's a good opportunity to take stock of the year and work through that back catalogue. It's been a pretty good year for that, all things considered. But let's get onto the new games.

Mother Russia Bleeds (PC)

What is it? Think Hotline Miami meets Streets of Rage. Should you care? It's pretty savage. Belting a bear with a girder might be a bit far for some people.

Star Chart (PC, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift)

What is it? A virtual reality app for star gazing, basically. Should you care? Planetariums are great, and if I had VR I'd get this in a heartbeat. It supports desktop use, but you really want this for VR.

Just Sing (PS4, XBO)

What is it? An opportunity to dance around your living room while singing Sia and Justin Bieber songs badly. Should you care? Sure, why not.

Dogos (PS4)

What is it? A shmup with a dynamic camera and 3D elements. Should you care? The way the camera moves makes me think of Desert Strike and Jungle Strike. If you loved those, maybe give this a look.

Project Highrise (PC)

What is it? A simulation about building skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. Should you care? Remember SimTower? Anyone that does will care. I haven't played this though, so no guarantees.

140 (PS4)

What is it? A minimalist platformer with a very stark style. Should you care? Probably only if you're into platformers, honestly.


What is it? An arena shooter harking back to the days of Quake and Unreal Tournament. Should you care? Despite now being released as a free-to-play game, you're probably better off playing the new UT instead.

Jotun: Valhalla Edition (PS4)

What is it? The console re-release of a boss-based action game featuring Norse mythology. Should you care? It's very slow paced and the combat can be a pain, but if you need to scratch that Norse itch Jotun will get you there.

Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet (PS4)

What is it? A bullet hell game crossed with a one-on-one fighter. Should you care? It sounds better than it looks.

The Curious Expedition (PC, Mac, Linux)

What is it? Finally launched on Saturday. It's a roguelike set in the 19th century where you visit local tribes, loot temples and work your way through a procedurally generated world. Should you care? Imagine a cross between FTL and 80 Days. That works for a lot of people.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (PS3, Vita)

What is it? The latest in the long-running JRPG series. Should you care? If you own a Vita and want fresh things to dive into, sure.

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas (PS4)

What is it? The PS4 re-release of a mobile RPG that channels Zelda hard. Should you care? Putting it politely, it's a Zelda knock-off — so it depends whether that's your cup of tea. I'd play the mobile version.

Sky Force Anniversary (PS3, PS4, Vita)

What is it? Shmups updated for modern systems. Should you care? Most won't.

The Tomorrow Children (PS4)

What is it? Imagine Minecraft with RPG elements Should you care? This is coming out in Early Access on the PS4 this week before going free to play. I'm mentioning it because early access games on PS4 are really rare — and I don't think people are going to take notice of it the second time around. The general vibe hasn't been good.

Did we miss anything? Anything catch your eye this week? Let us know in the comments!


    XCOM 2 got delayed a while back to the 27th. So it quite literally is a title you won't see this week. The Elder Scrolls Online Gold Edition is also out this week on PS4/XBOne/PC.

      I got really excited for a minute when I saw this article, maybe I was wrong about the delay... But no, you're totally right. No XCOM 2 until the end of the month :(

      Yep, been waiting anxiously for this one. Got the digital deluxe. I can't wait.

        Cheers, thanks for the update. My apologies.

      LoH:ToCS II is also November for Australia, unless I'm completely off piste.

        I think you're right. It's 6th Sept for the US. The 11th Nov for the EU & the 18th Nov for Australia.

        Also, I can't seem to find a PS3 physical release for Oz, only Vita. It may be PSN only.

    I think I tried XCOM The Last One on about three different devices before I gave up. I really wanted to like it but alas.

    I looked into XCOM2 at the time, it seems my experience with the game was canon. The blighters beat me.

    Toxxik is actually much better balanced than UT, and new UT whilst still certainly playable, is definitely an alpha.

    Oceanhorn is a Zelda knock-off and it has clearly been made on a budget for lesser hardware, but they've done a good job with what they had. It doesn't feel like they bit off more than they could chew it just feels a little basic. I really liked that it didn't feel like a love letter. I mean it's clearly Wind Waker/Link to the Past inspired but it doesn't get hung up on that or attempt to coast on the fact I love those games.


    Well if there's no XCOM 2 then consider this a good rehearsal :p

    RE: Mother Russie - I have a hard time articulating it, but Devolver Digital seems to like attaching its name to those sorts of games. So, so edgy!

    Oh my God, I just watched the trailers for Mother Russia Bleeds and now I have to own it.
    That SimTower sequel looks pretty baws too.

    I hope they bring The Curious Expedition to mobile. I really enjoyed FTL on iPad, and 80 days works so well there as well.

    Shame about The Tomorrow Children, I thought I heard that was supposed to be good. Oh well. Might check it out anyway.

    Ace Attorney: Spirits of Justice is this week as well.

    REDOUT was released on steam over the weekend. If your a Wipeout fan be sure to check it out, played about 5 hours so far and loving it!

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