Pictured above: Tangledeep
January is normally a pretty slow month for new releases, but this week was an exception. While we saw great titles like Iconoclasts, Subnautica, and Celeste released so far this year, the last few days were probably the busiest so far this year in terms of the volume of promising new releases. I'm not here to personally recommend any of them, just highlight some recent games you might have missed. Remember to check out reviews and videos to find more information about each game.
Fun Punch Games
Strikers Edge is a medieval "dodgebrawl" game, where the competitors are various ancient warrior archetypes, and the "balls" are spears, arrows, and throwing daggers. Choose one of eight strikers with unique weapons and abilities in 1v1 or 2v2 online and local multiplayer. Each character also has their own single player campaign, where you can learn about their backstory and how to use their abilities before heading online. Streamers will probably be excited about the Twitch integration that allows viewers to become members of the in-game crowd and vote on match modifiers. You can also find Strikers Edge on the Humble Store and PS4.
Ruined World is the remake of Avernum 3, the final chapter in Spiderweb's first Avernum trilogy. While the story remains largely the same as the original, Ruined World features some additional content, reworked UI and mechanics, and updated visuals, though the game still looks intentionally ancient. Your millage may vary on the redone mechanics, however; I've seen some older Spiderweb fans complain that Ruined World is more watered down than the original. Both versions of Avernum 3 are also on Spiderweb's website, GOG, and the Humble Store.
The official description for Elementium is brief, uninspired, and overall poorly conveyed, but the trailer was intriguing enough that I felt like I had to highlight it here. It looks like your standard Portal clone at first, but then you notice the perspective manipulation. The game's puzzles are based around optical illusions, with the example puzzle in the trailer involving making cubes grow and shrink by picking them up from different angles and distances. It looks like it could be a pretty clever puzzle game, though it's so obscure that finding reviews and third-party opinions is rather difficult.
Fully Illustrated, Darkwind Media
Wulverblade is a stylized 2D brawler set during the Roman invasion of Britannia. Take on the Ninth Legion as one of three playable characters and rally the northern tribes to your cause. As with any good brawler, Wulverblade features two-player co-op, though unfortunately its limited to local multiplayer only. The game is also available on the PS4 and Xbox One.
Candleman is a puzzle platformer where you play as an enchanted candle exploring a dark-yet-whimsical fairytale world in search of the light. Your wick can only remain lit for around 10 seconds at a time, and the game's puzzles mainly revolve around using your flame to light objects and manipulate shadows. Candleman is available on the Xbox One as well.
Violet Cycle describes itself as a "hyperkinetic, neopoly roguecade action game." In practical terms, it's an isometric roguelite brawler with procedurally generated levels that emphasize aerial combos, environmental destruction, and slamming enemies off floating islands. Find new power-ups and weapons between levels to help you reach the peak of the mysterious Tower Garden and uncover the truth of what happened to your world.
Tangledeep is a 16-bit roguelike RPG that recently exited Early Access. Explore a mix of procedurally generated environments and handcrafted levels as you battle monsters and discover new loot. Choose from 12 different jobs with over 100 skills divided between them. Improve your gear by entering challenging "Item Dream" mini-dungeons. You can even capture and raise monsters, then breed them to create even more powerful pets. If you aren't a fan of roguelikes then you can play the Adventure Mode instead, which reduces the game's difficulty somewhat by removing permadeath. Tangledeep is also on GOG.
Finally we come to Delver, another roguelite dungeon crawler that just released from Early Access. Inspired by first-person action RPGs from the '90s, Delver is a pixelated adventure that promises to focus more on personal skill than grinding to victory. You can also find Delver on Android, if you somehow find playing a game like this with touch controls appealing.
Which of these games caught your attention?