July 11 - 17

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

Welcome folks, and happy “53rd Anniversary of the release of Space Oddity” week!

When David Bowie’s now-iconic song was first released in 1969, Bowie was not yet iconic. His first album had flopped and Space Oddity was a reinvention that was rushed out to capture a zeitgeist, 9 days before the Moon landing. The gambit paid off and the BBC used it on its official broadcast of the Moon landing. Eventually, it became Bowie’s first chart hit in the UK and US and set him on the path to Ziggy Stardust. You may all celebrate by playing a game where an early respec sets you up to go full Legendary.

Hot Wheels Unleashed: Looney Tunes is an expansion that does what you’d expect it would, but they are being very cagey on specifics. There’s 9 new vehicles, 4 themed tracks—with one based on Wile E Coyote—and packs full of items and parts to build your own wacky Looney Tunes vehicles and tracks. It’s part of the Volume 3 Season Pass, which includes some further expansions to come. You may never have to play with real toy cars again.

Escape Academy is a bunch of virtual escape rooms made by devs who used to make Hot Wheels games. The aim is to recreate the gameplay feel of IRL escape rooms, where you try to solve puzzles against the clock, but with extra stuff you can only do in a video game, like crazy architectural realignments or putting the characters’ lives at risk. You can do it solo or splitscreen co-op locally or online. The interface is pretty simple and there’s no complicated platforming or reflex action required; it’s mostly about talking to each other to solve the puzzles.

Time on Frog Island is like making Death Stranding for preschoolers by boiling it down and mixing in some Zelda. It’s a peaceful, single-player castaway game: you wake up shipwrecked on an island full of frogs with a functioning gig economy. Everyone communicates in pictures of what they need, and you run around picking things up, one thing at a time, and putting them down somewhere else, for trade and crafting. Some items even grant a special ability while you hold them. There’s no hardcore survival features like hunger or fatigue, so there’s no stress about time or running out of stuff. With relatively simple mechanics, what sells it is the atmosphere: the world has an idyllic, Animal Crossing vibe with a cruisy soundtrack that makes you want to keep exploring.

Rayland is a bite-sized, single-player puzzle game with 42 levels of placing mirrors on an isometric, 2D grid to reflect laser beams past obstacles to hit targets. Nice, if you want a new puzzle game and don’t need leaderboards or daily Twitter challenges to get into it.

Two Hundred Ways is a port of a 2021 PC puzzle game, where you build 3D, Mousetrap-style courses to guide a ball into the exit. It’s called Two Hundred Ways because there’s 200 levels.

On the bigger-budget side of things is The Tale of Bistun, a Microsoft ‘sclusy. It’s an indie, 3D action adventure game based on Persian mythology, specifically a famous 12th-century tragic romance poem: “Khosrow and Shirin” by Nizami Ganjavi, a humanist Persian bard who was the equal of Shakespeare, 400 years earlier. The game itself is another 3D, cartoony, Zelda-world full of characters, items, quests, obstacles, and enemies to fight. You’re an amnesiac stone carver who wakes up on a magical island with nothing but your trusty rock hammer and a narrator, narrating you. The narrator keeps you on task, together with a guide bird, and while there’s a hub area to return to between missions, it’s not truly open-world, but neither is it priced as one. It’s the kind of $20-$30 game that would have been great to try on GamePass, but it’s not on GamePass.

Superola Champion Edition is a very memey, sidescrollin’ llama game. Every frame contains a reference to another game.

Hellpoint is an HD console port of a 2020 PC game. It’s an action RPG with a grimdark sci-fi aesthetic and Soulslike UI and progression, albeit with a jump button. While it looks like a Soulslike, it plays a lot easier, with combat that isn’t as precise or as deep, which could make it grindy for some.

Flappy Butt is a Flappy Bird knockoff with a predictable twist—I mention it as a “See What I Have to Deal With?” thing. At least 12 of these kinda games clog up the list every week.

Two Hundred Ways has enough brain-teasing puzzles to keep you going for months, if you’re hungry for that sort of thing. Maybe I’d look at The Tale of Bistun if I had an Xbox. Ultimately, Time on Frog Island looks best this week. Instead of cramming in features half-baked because it’s trying to tick a box, it reduces the experience and concentrates on best using what it has. I’ve no idea how long it is supposed to take, but it looks like a charming diversion for old and young alike.

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

PC

  • 07-11

  • Blobbs: Remastered
  • Castle Greyrot
  • Circadian Dice
  • Crate Knight
  • Flappy Butt
  • Gloomgrave
  • Going Into The Unknown
  • In Sky Girls
  • Isolania
  • Legends of the Lost Lands: The First Seeker
  • Lunar Axe
  • Neon Blight
  • PIXELS: Digital Creatures
  • Platform Roll
  • Project Speed 2
  • Pylorus - Footsteps of Greed
  • RIFT
  • Ring War
  • Sakura Succubus 6
  • Science Simulator
  • WAVECADE
  • 07-12

  • An Uninvited Guest
  • Escape From Hard Drive
  • Fore Score
  • Happy Golden Toad Fishing
  • Kayak VR: Mirage
  • Krut: The Mythic Wings
  • Man of the World
  • Monument Valley 2: Panoramic Edition
  • Monument Valley: Panoramic Edition
  • My Hero Stand-Alone Edition
  • Rabbitoad
  • Samurai
  • Second Thoughts
  • Time on Frog Island
  • Tower of Spirit
  • Trading Time
  • XEL
  • 07-13

  • Coding Learn
  • Crossing Frontier
  • Escape Academy
  • JETMAN
  • Kingdom Gun
  • Loopmancer
  • Muse:Valkiri&Dungeon
  • Necrosmith
  • Project Angels - Visual Novel
  • Rune Factory 5
  • SUPER UFO FIGHTER
  • The Tale of Bistun
  • Tilefinder
  • TimeLock VR 2
  • TPORT
  • Undergrave
  • Urbek
  • Xiaoyao Xiuzhen
  • Zhijiang Town
  • 07-14

  • 1651
  • Before The Night
  • Chimeraland
  • Clanfolk
  • Conquest Emperor
  • Dinkum
  • Exodus Vigil
  • Eyes in the Dark: The Curious Case of One Victoria Bloom
  • Fight of Steel: Infinity Warrior
  • Heavenly Love
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed: Looney Tunes
  • I Love Finding MORE Pups
  • Light&Dark
  • Mollycoddle Mayhem
  • Mothmen 1966
  • Otoko Cross: Pretty Boys Klondike Solitaire
  • Phantom Tentacle
  • Presenter Slides
  • Sengoku Princess
  • Serious Fun Football
  • Spidersaurs
  • Stones Keeper: King Aurelius
  • Strategic Command: American Civil War
  • Superola Champion Edition
  • The Future You've Been Dreaming Of
  • The Quest For Excalibur - Puy Du Fou
  • Toilet Chronicles
  • Unity of Command II - Desert Rats
  • 07-15

  • Ballads at Midnight
  • Ballex 2: The Hanging Gardens
  • Bombs Away
  • Citizens
  • CYCO
  • DANGO!
  • DC League of Super-Pets: The Adventures of Krypto and Ace
  • Dial-In
  • Fira
  • Fire & Maneuver
  • Fly&Poop
  • GoldenAxeIdol
  • Harem of Nurses
  • Have you guessed the ending
  • Immortal Tactics: War of the Eternals
  • Kingdomfall
  • Kinkoi: Golden Time
  • Knight Princess Eris
  • Overdose WW2
  • Overdriven Evolution
  • Rain Ruin
  • Raubritter
  • Reborn Souls
  • Rule No. 2
  • Shape Puzzle
  • System Critical: The Race Against Time
  • The Final Earth 2
  • Tor Eternum
  • Ultimate Muscle Roller Championship
  • Updog
  • Video Game Fables
  • Westwood Shadows
  • 07-16

  • TRATRITLE
  • 07-17

  • Albert Innovation

PlayStation 5

  • 07-12

  • Hellpoint
  • Time on Frog Island
  • 07-13

  • Rayland
  • 07-14

  • Hot Wheels Unleashed: Looney Tunes
  • Superola Champion Edition
  • 07-15

  • Two Hundred Ways

PlayStation 4

  • 07-12

  • The Quest for Excalibur - Puy du Fou
  • Time on Frog Island
  • 07-13

  • Rayland
  • 07-14

  • Hot Wheels Unleashed: Looney Tunes
  • Mothmen 1966
  • Superola Champion Edition
  • 07-15

  • DC League of Super-Pets: The Adventures of Krypto and Ace
  • Two Hundred Ways

Xbox One

  • 07-12

  • Time on Frog Island
  • 07-13

  • Rayland
  • The Tale of Bistun
  • 07-14

  • Azure Striker GUNVOLT 2
  • Escape Academy
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed: Looney Tunes
  • Mothmen 1966
  • Musynx
  • PowerWash Simulator
  • Spidersaurs
  • Superola Champion Edition
  • 07-15

  • DC League of Super-Pets: The Adventures of Krypto and Ace
  • DreadOut 2
  • Running on Magic
  • Shred! Remastered

Xbox Series X

  • 07-12

  • Hellpoint
  • Time on Frog Island
  • 07-13

  • Rayland
  • The Tale of Bistun
  • 07-14

  • Escape Academy
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed: Looney Tunes
  • Mothmen 1966
  • Musynx
  • PowerWash Simulator
  • Superola Champion Edition
  • 07-15

  • DreadOut 2
  • Running on Magic

Switch

  • 07-11

  • Galactic Pioneer
  • 07-12

  • F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch
  • Krut: The Mythic Wings
  • Mira: A Bird's Flight
  • The Quest for Excalibur - Puy du Fou
  • Time on Frog Island
  • 07-13

  • Rayland
  • 07-14

  • Ambition: A Minuet in Power
  • Darker Skies
  • Growbot
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed: Looney Tunes
  • HunterX
  • KURSK
  • Mothmen 1966
  • Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition
  • Pixel Game Maker Series JETMAN
  • Running on Magic
  • Spidersaurs
  • SUPER UFO FIGHTER
  • Superola Champion Edition
  • Table of Tales: The Crooked Crown
  • Vzerthos: The Heir of Thunder
  • Worth Life
  • XEL
  • 07-15

  • DC League of Super-Pets: The Adventures of Krypto and Ace
  • Hell Pages
  • Long Live the Queen
  • LOUD
  • Marimo -VS- I.A.S
  • Universal Flight Simulator

Comments

That's certainly a list of games.

Think I'll keep clearing the pile.