Space explor-o-build-emup, Astroneer, exited Steam’s Early Access program and it’s still as cool as ever if you’re interested in mostly calmly exploring unknown worlds, building new things on them, and then occasionally running low on oxygen.
Mike Williams enjoyed Astroneer for it’s chill nature:
In terms of the survival genre, Astroneer is definitely on the soft side of things. The leisurely pace of Astroneer puts it closer to a game like Stardew Valley-it feels like the little brother of the current version of No Man’s Sky at times-giving you a series of tasks that push you toward an end goal. The primary focus is exploration, as you push out further from wherever your shelter is located. The planets you find yourself on are randomly-generated; a series of bright, colorful alien landscapes. Mountains, plains of swaying grass, and odd-looking trees stretch out in every direction in neon greens, oranges, and blues. Astroneer looks inviting and fun, and your lone explorer bounding across the landscape never diminishes that.
I’ve had fun with Astroneer as well, but I found that the text could be a little tiny when displayed on a TV, that’s with the Windows version on Steam (or via a key on Humble). Astroneer is also available on the Xbox One. Both versions are $30.
Almost everybody seems to have liked Puyo Puyo Tetris on the Switch and PlayStation 4. Sega combined the Puyo Puyo and Tetris puzzles games, but you can also just play either in a bunch of different modes. It came out early last year and it’s finally hitting Windows via Steam on February 27th.
Caty McCarthy’s review of the Switch version for US Gamer:
In Arcade Mode, both solo and multiplayer, there are six particular types of battling: Versus (choosing your poison before battle: Puyos or Tetriminos), Fusion (a combination of Tetris and Puyo Puyo in the same field), Party (where cleared items obstruct your nemesis in different ways, such as speeding up time), Challenge (a challenging six different modes in a row), Big Bang (where preset Tetrimino or Puyo patterns await you, and you clear them as fast as you can), and finally, my personal favorite mode, Swap. In Swap, the player musters through two games simultaneously: a Puyo Puyo match and a Tetris match. The maps shift back and forth between the other every 25 seconds, and as your maps build, the game grows increasingly tense with each swap. One slip-up, and it could spell the end.
Not every mode in Puyo Puyo Tetris is a rousing success though. Some modes—like Fusion and Big Bang—feel tedious and not as frenetically quick-witted as the others. In Swap, I had to be agile and constantly be aware of my maps’ structures. In Fusion, the mixture of Puyos and Tetriminos operating in the same space just makes for a cluttered, frustrating experience. Big Bang, while fun for a match or two, only works on the pretense of its repetition. And once that’s been seen, it loses its fast-paced feverish joy, and becomes the most boring of all the modes.
Puyo Puyo Tetris is up on Steam for Windows with a pre-order discount of 10%, but I’d hold off until reviews are out just in case this port doesn’t turn out so hot.
Monster Hunter checks so many boxes that make me never want to play it. Lets go over them:
- Can’t pause the game to take care of my kid
- I don’t like hunting
- The monsters aren’t really bothering you, why hunt them?
- Different weapons for different enemies. I hated this about The Witcher games, too.
There you go, that’s my complete list of excuses for not playing Monster Hunter: World. If you love murdering dragons with your pals, your cat buddies, or alone, don’t let me stop you.
Bob Mackey is my go-to Monster Hunter reviewer, here’s some of what he said about this one:
If you’re new to the whole Monster Hunter thing, the appeal isn’t hard to explain: essentially, it’s a loot-focused RPG built around a series of boss fights against large (and fictional) dinosaur-type creatures. But the sheer amount of depth Capcom applies to this basic idea explains why it’s so easy to sink hundreds of hours into any single Monster Hunter game. Since you’ll be fighting the same creatures over and over again for the sake of building the best gear, battles involve more than mindlessly mashing buttons. Monsters each have their own specific behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses, and since you’ll be attacking them with unwieldy weapons, even an action as simple as, say, swinging a ten-foot sword requires some degree of planning. Mastering each weapon is akin to mastering a fighting game character: each weapon type features multiple combos and special moves that aren’t always apparent.
And “planning” is basically the name of the game in Monster Hunter. One of the reasons it’s such an addictive experience can be found in how well it rewards you for thinking ahead. You not only have to think about which weapon and armor will aid you best in a hunt—you also need to keep in mind which of the many, many items available may help you fight a specific monster. But it’s not just how you fight monsters; it’s also where. The diverse environments of Monster Hunter offer their own advantages and disadvantages, and the complexity doesn’t stop there. The area you attack on the monster in question—and the weapon you attack with—determines the loot you get, which gives you smaller objectives within the overarching one. Each (typically 5-to-30-minute) battle contains so many variables that even your third consecutive fight against the same monster can bring some new surprises
Monster Hunter: World is $60 at least and out now on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Capcom has a version coming out on Windows this Fall.