Hidden Gems of Xbox Game Pass

Has anyone tried the Grounded preview? I was kind of skeptical but my daughter and I played through on Xbox and Really enjoyed it! Warning that the story isn’t finished but the world is fun and somewhat stressful to explore. Really looking forward to the full release. One complaint is that the UI on Xbox is pretty clunky until you get used to it (PC felt more intuitive) and the monologue with Max especially gets a little grating. Awesome that Obsidian is an MS studio now though.

I checked it out for a bit and agree on all points. I also thought keyboard/mouse felt better on PC than with Xbox controller. I really like the setting. I'm not really a big survival game type and on normal difficulty there were some challenging moments combat-wise.

Docjoe wrote:

Has anyone tried the Grounded preview? I was kind of skeptical but my daughter and I played through on Xbox and Really enjoyed it! Warning that the story isn’t finished but the world is fun and somewhat stressful to explore. Really looking forward to the full release. One complaint is that the UI on Xbox is pretty clunky until you get used to it (PC felt more intuitive) and the monologue with Max especially gets a little grating. Awesome that Obsidian is an MS studio now though.

I have not looked at it, but my Twitter feed has been blowing up with glowing impressions.

Yeah, I've tried Grounded too and have been pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure how far I want to get into it right now--maybe the 2 hours I've played is enough to wait for the next big update--but it's more appealing than I thought it would be.

I've also put 4 or 5 hours into Observation. It's really good! Between Observation, The Turing Test, Deliver Us the Moon, and Tacoma, Game Pass sure is chock full of solid adventure game/walking sim/light puzzlers that are varying degrees of creepy and set in space/space stations where something has gone wrong. My main criticism of Observation is there are spots where I generally know what I need to do but there's some tiny detail about the way the game wants me to do it that I don't quite get and I waste 10 or 15 minutes before I figure out. It's gotten to the point where I have a walkthrough pulled up on my phone and consult it the second I get stuck. My other quibbble is there were parts early on where the game wanted me to do stuff on the exterior of the space station where I was supposed to move to a location, and with no map and the whole space station being white and gray metal, I found it kind of impossible and spent way too much time aimlessly wandering in space. That aside, though, it's an interesting story and solid puzzles, I'm definitely going to see this through to the end.

Grounded was visually really interesting and they nail the "shrunk down in the yard" vibe. I wound up not understanding what I was doing and getting to night without a shelter or enough food, and then I ran into a wolf spider and decided I'd try again another time. My son played it a bunch and really liked it, and I watched him jump around a bit more. I think there's definitely a quality game of some sort there once I sit down an apply myself a bit.

I bounced off initially a little myself too, the UI doesn’t help much but once I figured out crafting and that a lot of those bugs do bite, had a lot of fun. Oh and acorn armor is a game changer.

I'm curious about Grounded, but from what I've read, it sounds like there's not much there to maintain interest beyond a few hours. I'll probably let that one cook for a while and check in closer to launch.

Yeah I’d agree with that, we got to the end of the story in about 3 hours but it does make me a lot more excited for the finished product. I and I think a lot of others were kind of meh when it was announced but I think there will be a lot of fun to be had, especially co-op.

I wouldn't be interested in Grounded at all if it weren't for the co-op. As it is, I'm looking forward to introducing it to my kids.

Try Nowhere Prophet!

It's a rogue like deck building card game with a post apocalyptic adventure attached to it. Very fun.

It takes itself pretty seriously, and I enjoy the gritty broad stroke artwork. It does a great job at teaching you to play it, and the concepts are simplistic enough. Your deck represents your followers and fighters to get you through your journey. If they're defeated in a battle, they're wounded making their health lower but also their cost to deploy - but if they're defeated a 2nd time they're killed and removed from your deck. You can heal wounded cards but those places are rare. It strikes a neat balance between spending money to get new followers and letting the wounded go.

The setting is intriguing to me and makes me want to keep going back and doing new runs to try and "finish" the story. (I'm sure there'll be more content but I've not come close - in fact I don't even know if there's an ending yet)

Try it!

Nowhere Prophet has a lot of potential. The overarching FTL-like strategy journey is pretty good. The card battle fighting really lacks depth though. The cards do all sorts of interesting things and have tons of synergies. But the only viable way to win the battles without losing to attrition over multiple battles is to blitz the bad guy as fast as possible. If you actually get to use one of your high priced fancy cards, you might win the battle, but you're losing the run. I'm hoping for some rebalancing that makes the fights more interesting. It's certainly worth a few playthroughs.

I’ve also been playing Nowhere Prophet. I would describe it as a mash up of MtG/Hearthstone, Slay the Spire, and Gwent, though it does add a couple of new twists to the formula. very very small twists. If a unit dies in battle twice, it is removed from your collection, so you need to recruit new cards/units to replace them. Also the unit which strikes the winning blow becomes “blessed” which makes them a little more powerful.

It feels slightly unfinished. There is a layer of polish that is missing. Other than that I have no other criticisms about it.

Minotaar wrote:

Try Nowhere Prophet!

... Oh, ok. Maybe I will.

Minotaar wrote:

It's a rogue like deck building card ga-

NOPE!

mrtomaytohead wrote:
Minotaar wrote:

Try Nowhere Prophet!

... Oh, ok. Maybe I will.

Minotaar wrote:

It's a rogue like deck building card ga-

NOPE!

It's an adventure game with cards that provides a challenge? A good bit of narrative, moreso than most rogues.

Rogue-like games are a big negative, and card games are a absolute no-go skip for me. I keep trying rogue-like games and after 1 or 2 deaths I'm just turned off. It's so sad as there are so many that look so great, including Dead Cells, that I just cannot get into. Thankfully, I did enjoy my time with Rogue Legacy back in the day, but most others end in disappointment.

Just played through Touryst. Short 3-5 hour voxel puzzle platformer. You play a tourist exploring strange island monuments to discover its secrets. It's cute and fun.

Just found out that DARKSIDERS GENESIS is on gamepass... had this on my wishlist since it released, Im happy in not moving it into my pile. Its only console, but I dont care, my friend I play with its over there... great addition to the best deal on games by far.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

Rogue-like games are a big negative, and card games are a absolute no-go skip for me. I keep trying rogue-like games and after 1 or 2 deaths I'm just turned off. It's so sad as there are so many that look so great, including Dead Cells, that I just cannot get into. Thankfully, I did enjoy my time with Rogue Legacy back in the day, but most others end in disappointment.

Thank you for making me feel better. I feel exactly the same way.

cabdodger wrote:
mrtomaytohead wrote:

Rogue-like games are a big negative, and card games are a absolute no-go skip for me. I keep trying rogue-like games and after 1 or 2 deaths I'm just turned off. It's so sad as there are so many that look so great, including Dead Cells, that I just cannot get into. Thankfully, I did enjoy my time with Rogue Legacy back in the day, but most others end in disappointment.

Thank you for making me feel better. I feel exactly the same way.

I have spent so much time with deck builders. It always feels like everyone has some extra ability that I didn't know existed going into it. It baffles me. I am becoming old.