As we roll into August, Xbox Game Pass has unveiled eight new titles to be added to the library. Joining the likes of Metro Exodus and MGS V are indie classics like Downwell and party pleasers like Jackbox Party Pack 2.
Say goodbye to any free time you were planning on setting aside, here's what's coming to the Xbox Game Pass in August.
Ashes Cricket (Ultimate, Console)
Just in time for the real-life Ashes, comes the 2017 game, which lets you play the sport with mostly current players and impressive graphics.
Cricket games have come a long way since I first borrowed Cricket 2000 on PS1 from the local video rental store so it's a pretty good way to sink a few hours.
Pandemic (Ultimate, Console)
If you're more in the mood for a digital board game, then Pandemic will also be available on Xbox Game Pass. You can play with friends or in single-player mode to treat diseases as they travel around the world, threatening to kill humanity. It's not worth it's usual price tag but given it's free, give it a twirl.
Downwell (Ultimate, PC)
It's a vertical scroller with a very literal title; you go down a well in a local park and fight and shoot the monsters living in its dark depths.
The Devolver Digital title has a pretty impressive score on Steam and Metacritic (87 percent) so it's definitely one to try out.
Falling down in video games is usually a bad thing. Spikes wait for you at the bottom of many a playfield, along with bottomless pits, pools of lava and other instadeath hazards. But, falling down is a joy in Downwell. The deeper you go, the better — and harder — it gets.
Jackbox Party Pack 2 (Ultimate, Console)
The sequel to the original is now available on the Xbox Game Pass, which is a great way to entertain friends. The sequel contains five party games and is usually $33.45 (Microsoft Store) so it's a good one to test out if you haven't already.
I didn't want to nominate the entirety of the second Jackbox Party Pack, as there are two titles in the pack that are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the offering. One of those, Fibbage 2, is an iterative jump of the game that proved so good in last year's Jackbox Pack. The other was released on its own in the middle of the year. And by God, is it something — as a few TAYbies undoubtedly know.
Space Hulk Tactics (Ultimate, PC)
Another board game-based entry in the lineup, Space Hulk Tactics is set in the Warhammer 40k universe and is a turn-based strategy game. Given its RRP is just over $50, now's the best time to see if it's any good.
Slay The Spire (Ultimate, Console, PC)
Likely to make a bunch of Game of the Year lists for 2019, Slay The Spire is an impressive roguelike title, which has just been released after being in Early Access for two years. If you only have time to add one of these to your play queue, this would be our recommendation.
After over a year in Early Access, the challenging deck-building roguelike Slay the Spire is officially out on Steam today with a Switch port to following later in 2019. The game was really good when I played the hell out of it back in early 2018, and though the finished version is mostly the same, it still bears the marks of nearly 14 months of updates, balance improvements, and overall polish.