May 1 - 7


IMAGE(   Felix “Undiggy Dwarves” Threepaper

Welcome folks, and happy “137th Anniversary of May Day” week!

May Day commemorates workers’ rights. It’s a celebration of the historic struggles and gains made by the labour movement over the years, a reminder that workers didn’t get decent conditions by asking their employers nicely, but rather through solidarity and blood, sweat, and tears. The original “May Day” was the Haymarket riots in Chicago in 1886, which started as a peaceful strike and nationwide rally in support of the 8-hour work day, until someone (I’m looking at you, anarchists) threw dynamite into the crowd. You may all celebrate by screwing capitalism, and going home (RIP).

Redfall is the big release this week. It’s a PC/Xbox ‘sclusy, since Microsoft bought ZeniMax, which owns the dev, Arkane Studios, and the publisher, Bethesda. I’ve never owned an Xbox, and the family PC has become a Roblox console, so this is a reminder that I won’t be playing the next Fallout or Elder Scrolls game unless I invest in new hardware.

Arkane wowed us in the 2010s with immersive sims: the Dishonored series and Prey. Then, with Deathloop, it tweaked the formula with a hint of roguelike, requiring you to do repeated runs until you unlocked one perfect run to complete the game. It also had a limited multiplayer mode where you could invade other peoples’ games.

Redfall shows that Deathloop was a waypoint (RIP), not a detour, because Redfall is not an immersive sim. It looks more like a looter-shooter: you hunt vampires in an open world, mostly with guns. Numbers spew out of vampires’ heads when you hit them, and you grab randomised loot when they die. There’s proc-gen dungeons (“nests”) to grind for legendary drops. There’s 4 different characters to play, with different abilities and skill trees. There’s no combat rebalancing for multiplayer, so while it can be a challenge to play solo, it becomes a cakewalk with 4 player co-op.

I have no problem with devs branching into new genres. It’s just that Arkane has gone from my favourite genre to one I am indifferent about. Redfall looks cromulent enough, just not for me.

Age of Wonders 4, however, is right up my alley. The shorthand descriptor is “fantasy Civ”, and that’s enough for me. It looks lush, with a wide variety of landscapes and fantasy units. The map becomes populated with cool fantasy architecture and features as you expand. The UI is slick, with plenty of nested tooltips for the game to explain itself. There’s a heap of customisation for your starting faction—not just cosmetics, but features that will determine your starter buildings and unit roster. You can follow well-worn fantasy tropes and choose mining dwarves, or go against the grain and have fat elves.

When there’s combat, you can auto-resolve or zoom in for a tactical battle. If you win a campaign, your leader can ascend to a pantheon like a level 36+ D&D character (Immortals rulebook, anyone?) which can provide different empire options when choosing that pantheon in future playthroughs. Apart from freeform campaigns, there’s a bunch of challenge maps that provide more bite-sized experiences.

Arto is a hack-n-slash RPG with an art theme. The world is gray, and the heroine colours it in as she walks through it. This is not just a cool visual effect, but a handy way to know where you’ve been before when exploring. The game plays with different art styles, from pixel art to pop art to cubism, as each of the 6 worlds has a specific style. There’s also combat, skill trees, and a branching narrative with multiple endings. Colour me intrigued.

I had to check out Karl Marx and the Ring of Communism on its title alone. Is it an economy sim? A dialogue-driven narrative game? Nah, it’s a pixelated platformer that has one joke. Sometimes you take the bait to remind yourself why you never take the bait.

City of Beats is this week’s game that mixes rhythm with another genre. This time, it’s rhythm game meets twin stick shooter as enemies move and shoot on the beat and so will you, if you want to survive.

Maybe it’s too parochial for the List-O-Matic to pick it up, but AFL 23 is out on 4 May for those who celebrate. It’s Aussie rules footy, by Big Ant, who does these every year. It’s also about 4 years behind EA Sports games in its features and general graphics. This year’s entry includes the womens’ league for the first time, as well as a manager mode where you don’t have to play the games, just manage the team.

Swordbreaker: Origins is a port of a 2022 visual novel with choices and combat like in a Fighting Fantasy gamebook. It’s going for fantasy parody, so expect a LOT of references to other fantasy works and tropes.

Weeping Willow is also a visual novel, with a medieval detective theme and anime art style. And unexpected nudity, as one of the mechanics is peeping through keyholes.

Age of Wonders 4 is my GOTW. After 4 years of playing Civ 6 on console, my total time with it can be measured in full Sands. I’m struggling to find new ways to keep playing it. Humankind isn’t out on PS5 until 16 May (allegedly). I need a new console strategy fix, and Age of Wonders 4 looks like ex-Zacny what I need (RIP).

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


  • 05-01

  • 2D Dogfight
  • Amazing Maze
  • Amulet of Iovar
  • Boo!
  • City of Beats
  • Coffee Dates
  • Crazy Goat
  • Death Drive: A Deck-Building Open World Survival RPG
  • Doppa
  • Ethyrial: Echoes of Yore
  • Flora Domina
  • Follow me
  • Gods Of Defense
  • Horde
  • Karl Marx and the Ring of Communism
  • Last Ruler of Vicissity
  • Legend of Marfa
  • Lennod Jump Game
  • Lies of Astaroth
  • Medieval Coin Hunt
  • Meridian
  • Monster Tribe
  • No Way Out
  • Path of Achra
  • Paws of Coal
  • Pigeon Strike
  • Pixel Madness
  • Play the piano at 5am
  • R.I.C.E - Repetitive Indie Combat Experience
  • Raimodula
  • Red&Black
  • Regiment of Armour
  • Rustystreet
  • Sol: Last Light
  • Super Heli Balance
  • Tales of the Magic Ball
  • The forgotten boundary
  • The Great War 3032
  • The Last Vagabonds
  • The Stoevi Curse
  • The Witch of Fern Island
  • Ticket to Europe
  • Tuya
  • Vagabond
  • Watchers of the Universe: I'm outta here!
  • World Turtles
  • 05-02

  • Age of Wonders 4
  • Catch The Fox
  • Clausum
  • EdgeLords
  • Jumping Frog -A Time Traveller-
  • Linia Stripes
  • Magic Toenail
  • Redfall
  • Ritual
  • Showgunners
  • Soul Cliff
  • Square Brain
  • The Magic World
  • Two Portals - A Gemstone Puzzle Game
  • Wandering Skies
  • 05-03

  • Apex Phobia
  • Beach Gas Gas
  • Biscuitts 5
  • Era of Celestials
  • Finding Hannah
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Fever
  • KAKU: Ancient Seal
  • KoreanPoliticalFighters : 2ND
  • Little Postman
  • Modules
  • Room of Depression
  • Silica
  • Soul Survivors
  • Spaceship Racer: Portal
  • Super Dungeon Maker
  • Swinging Over It with Alin Lucian
  • Tape to Tape
  • Thereafter
  • Thief Simulator 2: Back to Business
  • Tiny Life
  • 05-04

  • Absolute Rummy for Windows 11
  • Absolute Skat for Windows 11
  • Against All Odds
  • Bananaguy
  • Bare Butt Boxing
  • GeoJelly
  • Gorgeous and Fantastic Battle
  • Guardians Survival
  • illum
  • Insert Rich Family Name
  • Knight Crawlers
  • Legend of Youlong
  • Mia and the Dragon Princess
  • Millennial Simulator
  • My Summer Adventure: Memories of Another Life - Day 1
  • NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy
  • No Man's Island
  • Penguin Noir
  • Pens: The Freeware Collection
  • Physics Rush
  • Press Lex to Metaverx
  • Project-X Zombie vs. Machine Gun
  • Propagation: Paradise Hotel
  • Ravenlok
  • Royal Class Poker
  • The Pellar
  • The Suits Have Gone Mad!
  • Year 500
  • 05-05

  • Axolotl Kingdom
  • Blood Souls
  • Bottle
  • Contractor
  • Death or Treat
  • Delegati Genesis
  • Dippy & Chippy
  • Dreamy Trail
  • Duru - About Mole Rats and Depression
  • Electro Magnate
  • Escape From Russia: Mobilization
  • Geistfrei GmbH
  • Glob
  • HatLand
  • Idol Showdown
  • Just Survive
  • Let's Make a Potion
  • Lua Zombies
  • NeverHome - Hall of Apathy
  • PiggyGambit
  • Racer
  • Retrocausality
  • Sea of Choices
  • Shelley's Haunted House
  • simple shapes
  • Spriters, Hopes Blooming Dawn
  • Swarm Grinder
  • The Outer Rim
  • Three Kingdoms: King
  • Titans Pinball
  • Xon
  • Zero Year Old Starlight
  • 05-06

  • Origin Unknown
  • 05-07

  • Dead Pedal
  • Grow On The Go
  • Save King

Xbox Series X

  • 05-02

  • Age of Wonders 4
  • Redfall
  • 05-03

  • Moonrise Fall
  • Weeping Willow
  • 05-04

  • Ravenlok
  • 05-05

  • Death or Treat
  • Swordbreaker: Origins
  • Titans Pinball

Xbox One

  • 05-03

  • Moonrise Fall
  • Weeping Willow
  • 05-04

  • Ravenlok
  • Space Gladiators
  • 05-05

  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Swordbreaker: Origins
  • Titans Pinball

PlayStation 5

  • 05-02

  • Age of Wonders 4
  • 05-05

  • Death or Treat

PlayStation 4

  • 05-01

  • Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster: FF35th Anniversary Edition
  • 05-05

  • Hogwarts Legacy


  • 05-01

  • Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster: FF35th Anniversary Edition
  • 05-02

  • Pixel Paint 2
  • Toziuha Night: Dracula's Revenge
  • 05-03

  • Color Pals
  • Super Dungeon Maker
  • Weeping Willow - Detective Visual Novel
  • 05-04

  • Jigsaw Puzzle Fever
  • Mia and the Dragon Princess
  • No Place Like Home
  • Pathfinders: Memories
  • The Shooting Range 3D: Shooting Gallery Simulator
  • Urbek City Builder
  • 05-05

  • Duru - About Mole Rats and Depression
  • Gruta
  • Swordbreaker: Origins
  • 05-06

  • Scrap Bolts


I read this naked. Don't judge me.

MaxShrek wrote:

I read this naked. Don't judge me.

That’s hilarious and I don’t need any further details!

Showgunners (PC only) is the one I'm interested in this week. It's a cyberpunk setting in which you play as a contestant in a Running Man-style TV show, competing to survive in turn-based battles. Comes out tomorrow.

Age of Wonders 4 for me - seen many LPs of it already, and it looks like it'll be great.

Happy week to finish pile games before new Zelda next week, to all who celebrate.

Welp, it looks like AFL 23 is experiencing some technical difficulties:

Redfall had a super buggy launch as well.

Unfortunately, when I'm doing TWA, it's hard to see bugs coming. I have no special access -- I'm just looking at what's freely available on the internet. Many of these things aren't obvious until the game actually launches.