March 4 - 10

Section: 

IMAGE(https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/files/pictures/pictures/picture-13445.jpg)   Felix “Ghost Detective” Threepaper

Welcome folks, and happy “220th Anniversary of the Australian Battle of Vinegar Hill” week!

On 4 March 1804, around 200 Irish rebels in Sydney led the only significant convict uprising in Australia. They were badly beaten and re-captured, but the roots of resistance would continue to grow in other ways, like the emergence of bushrangers—some of the first bushrangers were escaped convicts with memories of this battle. You may all celebrate by not playing a prison simulator.

This week, a crop of exciting indies emerge. A lot of them have been mentioned by TheHarpoMarxist on the Conference Call recently, so I hope he can find a few extra days this week down the back of the couch.

Listeners to the Conference Call will be aware of the hype for The Thaumaturge, which drops this week after a few delays. It’s an RPG by Fool’s Theory, Polish devs who are also currently working with CDProjektRed on a remake of the first Witcher. The setting is Warsaw, 1905. Back then, it was under the rule of the Russian Tsar and subject to social and political upheaval as more modern movements challenged the imperial yoke. Historical figures will make an appearance in the story, including an early meeting with Rasputin. Against this realist backdrop, a heavy supernatural element is painted: evil spirits walk among the living, haunting and possessing people. A mystic group known as Thaumaturges have special abilities that let them perceive and tame these spirits, and people hire Thaumaturges when they have a possible spirit problem. Luckily for the game’s quest structure, your character, Wiktor, happens to be a Thaumaturge. And luckily for the game’s skill tree system, he can be possessed by spirits and harness their powers to use in or out of combat.

The gameplay is pure RPG: talking to people, picking up quests, investigating, and turn-based combat. The dialogue and investigation is reminiscent of Disco Elysium, where conversations and cases can take surprising turns. The combat starts simple, with mundane hand-to-hand moves, but branches out as Wiktor collects different spirits and unlocks their special abilities. This feature is drawing comparisons to Persona games.

It’s also graphically impressive. You don’t often see 1905 Warsaw rendered in videogames, and the scenery is packed with impressive details, from cart-tracks in a muddy road to the embroidery on peoples’ jackets. Isometric games have come a long way. It also zooms into cinematic mode during dialogue, like in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Also on the RPG front is Unicorn Overlord. This is a strategy RPG where your characters march armies across a medieval fantasy world, claiming territory and forging alliances on your quest to reclaim a stolen kingdom. You move units around in real time and they get into battles. I haven’t played the demo, but apparently the combat is reminiscent of Ogre Battle and also very crunchy in its own right, both in how you resolve battles and in how you build out your units and characters.

Classified France ‘44 is a squad-based tactics game where you take your elite team of resistance saboteurs on missions against a better-resourced force in Germany. It’s WW2 XCOM: turn-based combat on a grid, squaddies with special abilities that make it even more heartbreaking when they die.

Floramancer is a Stardew Valley-type game where your crops are your spells. You are a plant wizard whose spells come from different flowers, and you have to find their seeds and grow them before you can use them in your quest for the next seed.

Expeditions: A MudRunner Game is an open-world, off-road trucking sim that’s not about high velocity or massive drift, but chugging your 4WD slowly through mud and rocks. The environment is one big traversal challenge and missions involve things like towing other trucks out of the bog. This is for the people whose favourite part of the SUV commercial is when it drives through a river.

Reveil is a psychological thriller game that starts in a circus as you explore to piece together what happened last night. The Outlast Trials is a stealth-based horror game. Cat and Ghostly Road is a point-and-click adventure game where you are a white cat on a journey through the world of spirits and demons. There’s an inventory system to solve puzzles … where does the cat keep all the items? In its purr-kets?

My GOTW is The Thaumaturge. While Unicorn Overlord sounds fascinating, it’s from an unfamiliar genre, whereas The Thaumaturge is more in my ballpark. It’s giving strong flavours of Disco Elysium and Persona, and themes from The Witcher and Sherlock Holmes. I hope this more familiar blend is a tasty one.

GWJ Word of the Week

Isometric: A graphical perspective where the game is presented as if a camera is filming from above the character, but at an angle instead of straight above. It’s like when you climb up on your roof and see your neighbour hanging their washing in their backyard. It started in the early 1980s with Zaxxon and Q*bert but was later popularised in the 1990s in RPGs like Fallout, Baldur’s Gate, Diablo and RTS/Strategy games like Syndicate and original XCOM. Isometric was a useful way to present a 3D-looking space in 2D, as opposed to purely side-on or top-down perspectives, within the limits of processing power at the time. It was also a fixed perspective. Then 3D acceleration was invented, and many games are now actually modelled in 3D and presented as if from the isometric perspective, but you can swivel the game camera around and even zoom in and out, like in Baldur’s Gate 3 or XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Games with the original isometric perspective are now referred to as ‘fixed isometric’, partially to prevent posters flooding the GOG forums with ‘pls help how to rotate camera’ topics.

Here's the list, in release-date AND alphabetical order!

PC

  • 03-05

  • Area 19
  • Classified: France '44
  • Color Splash: Predators
  • CRUX
  • Disco Simulator
  • DREAMIO: AI-Powered Adventures
  • Expeditions: A MudRunner Game
  • FloraMancer : Seeds and Spells
  • Game of seduction
  • Kingdom: The Blood
  • Milky Way TD SURVIVORS AUTOBATTLER RTS: Earth
  • Quilts and Cats of Calico
  • TESD: Into the Vortex
  • The Outlast Trials
  • The Showdown Effect: Reloaded
  • Where The Crows Roam
  • 03-06

  • A Difficult Game About Climbing
  • AI Roguelite 2D
  • Ambulance Chauffeur Simulator 2
  • Asurya's Embers
  • Backrooms: The Exit
  • Berserk Boy
  • Buckshot Arena
  • Everloop
  • H Girl 3
  • Hairdresser Simulator
  • Hex Gambit: Respawned
  • Hospital 666
  • IdleCraft
  • Inside The Crystal Mountain
  • Liminal Border Part II
  • Little Learning Machines
  • Nano Planet
  • OG Memory: Synthwave Boats
  • Only Up !
  • Orrstead
  • Reveil
  • SOLOS (Pixelsplit)
  • Succubus life
  • TV Studio Story
  • Twin Stick Tennis
  • Twizzle Puzzle: Predators
  • Wyvern Studios Solitaire: 30th Aniversary Edition
  • 03-07

  • 13 Seconds
  • A Twisted Tale
  • Ancient Weapon Holly
  • Astro Duel 2
  • Auto Auto: Maximum Autodrive In The Alien Apocalypse
  • Barbotine
  • Blade Prince Academy
  • Chasing the Unseen
  • Cursed House 13
  • Dizital ImageClub - Neo -
  • End Of Legends
  • Farmer Survivors
  • Fight till the End!
  • Gas Gas Rocket!
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Trial of Allegiance
  • Manic Mechanics
  • Minute Fighter
  • Muse2:Great Swordsman
  • Mushy Score
  • New Star GP
  • Per Aspera Test
  • Potions: A Curious Tale
  • ProxOS
  • Reimei no Yu
  • SEARCH ALL - MOUSES
  • Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley
  • Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator
  • TEEFAX: Cold Case
  • The Czar is Dead
  • The Last King Prologue
  • The Pirate Queen: A Forgotten Legend
  • Top Racer Collection
  • Valley of Shadows
  • Zombies vs You
  • Zoria: Age of Shattering
  • 03-08

  • 9 Days
  • Abyssal Reflections
  • BORE BLASTERS
  • Bubballs
  • Clash: Blue Mirage
  • Dawnsbury Days
  • Deterrence
  • Fox Golf
  • Go Go Zombies
  • Greebles
  • Human Farm - Pratice Section
  • King of the Bridge
  • Love and Crime
  • Make It Stop!
  • Milky Way TD SURVIVORS AUTOBATTLER RTS
  • NodeRunner
  • Paper Planes (Saucecup Studios)
  • Phenom Overdrive
  • Princess Quest (ShiroKuroSoft)
  • Skill Up!
  • Sky Roller Coaster
  • Stilt
  • SUMMERHOUSE
  • Tales of Morrow
  • The Consumist Journey
  • Where is the meaning?
  • WWE 2K24
  • Xatrom Command
  • 03-09

  • Clean The Sea
  • United Penguin Kingdom
  • 03-10

  • JUSFASLEX
  • Reversi Temple
  • S3X Scenario - Interactive Couple Audio-Stories Game
  • Unreal Physics

Xbox Series X

  • 03-05

  • Bang-On Balls: Chronicles
  • Classified: France '44
  • Expeditions: A MudRunner Game
  • Mediterranea Inferno
  • The Outlast Trials
  • 03-06

  • 10 Seconds to Win!
  • Cat and Ghostly Road
  • Hex Gambit: Respawned
  • Reveil
  • 03-07

  • ABRISS - build to destroy
  • Dreamland Solitaire: Dragon's Fury
  • Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator
  • Top Racer Collection
  • 03-08

  • Eldgear
  • Unicorn Overlord
  • WWE 2K24

Xbox One

  • 03-05

  • Expeditions: A MudRunner Game
  • The Outlast Trials
  • 03-06

  • 10 Seconds to Win!
  • Cat and Ghostly Road
  • Hex Gambit: Respawned
  • Reveil
  • 03-07

  • Manic Mechanics
  • New Star GP
  • Top Racer Collection
  • 03-08

  • Dreamland Solitaire: Dragon's Fury
  • Eldgear
  • Horror Gallery
  • WWE 2K24

PlayStation 5

  • 03-05

  • Bang-On Balls: Chronicles
  • Classified: France '44
  • Expeditions: A MudRunner Game
  • Mediterranea Inferno
  • Shadows Over Loathing
  • The Outlast Trials
  • 03-06

  • 10 Seconds to Win!
  • Cat and Ghostly Road
  • Hex Gambit: Respawned
  • Reveil
  • 03-07

  • ABRISS - build to destroy
  • As Dusk Falls
  • Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator
  • Top Racer Collection
  • 03-08

  • Akka Arrh
  • Ancient Weapon Holly
  • Stilt
  • Unicorn Overlord
  • WWE 2K24

PlayStation 4

  • 03-05

  • Expeditions: A MudRunner Game
  • Mediterranea Inferno
  • Shadows Over Loathing
  • The Outlast Trials
  • 03-06

  • 10 Seconds to Win!
  • Cat and Ghostly Road
  • Hex Gambit: Respawned
  • 03-07

  • As Dusk Falls
  • Manic Mechanics
  • New Star GP
  • Top Racer Collection
  • 03-08

  • Unicorn Overlord
  • WWE 2K24

Nintendo Switch

  • 03-05

  • Mediterranea Inferno
  • 03-06

  • 10 Seconds to Win!
  • AEW: Fight Forever - Giant Swing in the Ring
  • Berserk Boy
  • Cat and Ghostly Road
  • Diamond Hands: To The Moon
  • Hellstuck: Rage With Your Friends
  • Hex Gambit: Respawned
  • 03-07

  • Ancient Weapon Holly
  • Astro Duel 2
  • Become The Wild
  • Chip and Charge
  • Chou Nanmon! Kokki de 2-taku Joushiki Quiz
  • Eldgear
  • Fitness Boxing feat. Hatsune Miku: Isshoni Exercise
  • Hajimete no Kankoku-go Typing & Puzzle
  • I. Am. Bouken Shounen Chou Dasshutsu Shima
  • Kurukuru Puzzle Narabete Yojijukugo
  • Metal Mind
  • Motto Shiritai Bakumatsu Ishin
  • New Star GP
  • Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley
  • Suuji de Kantan Shikisai IQ Test
  • Top Racer Collection
  • TV Studio Story
  • 03-08

  • Bubble Fresh Fruits
  • Buggy Off-Road Racing
  • Car Racing Ice - Classic
  • DateJournal
  • Stolen Realm
  • Toon Roads : Race & Drift
  • Unicorn Overlord
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dakka Squadron
  • Xatrom Command
  • 03-09

  • Cat Survivors
  • Gunsmith Workshop Simulator
  • 03-10

  • Bad Cat Sam Simulator

Comments

You're doing an awesome job with these new releases!

I'm all about Unicorn Overlord this week.

Thanks, JohnKillo!

Dyni: Unicorn Overlord sounds pretty awesome. I can't wait to hear more about it as folks play the full version.