Pictured above: Battlerite
I'm back with another batch of recent indie and AA releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games- I'm just highlighting some new releases that stood out from the crowd and haven't received a lot of media attention. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game.
The unique card-driven/board game roguelite Hand of Fate returns with a vastly improved sequel. The core premise of Hand of Fate 2 remains the same, but features tons of new quests, challenges, items, and mechanics. Develop your character in a board game controlled by the mysterious Dealer by collecting cards that represent weapons, gear, and abilities. Recruit new allies that can aid you in battle or manipulate the board game's rules. Combat is where Hand of Fate 2 has changed the most, abandoning the rather weak Arkham-style system of the original in favor of more traditional hack and slash action combat. You can also find Hand of Fate 2 on GOG, Xbox One, and PS4.
MinMax Games Ltd.
Space Pirates And Zombies is another cult hit indie title that had a sequel release this week, although its technically been out for over a year now via Early Access. Much like the original, SPAZ 2 allows you to explore a vast galaxy full of AI factions and rival captains that you can turn into enemies or allies. The events of the original game have decimated the galaxy's infrastructure, so resource management and scavenging play a larger role in the sequel. Much like Hand of Fate 2, SPAZ 2 has made rather drastic changes to the game's combat system, and has swapped the original's top-down view to a third-person perspective. Space Pirates And Zombies 2 is also available on GOG.
Battlerite is the latest game from the developers of Bloodline Champions, and just exited Early Access several days ago. Much like its predecessor, Battlerite distills the MOBA genre down to its most exciting part: The team fights. Matches are played in large arenas without minions, towers, or farming, and rounds usually take about two minutes. Besides some pre-game tweaking that allows you to customize your champion by choosing five cards, Battlerite is wholly focused on character knowledge, positioning, and team composition, with nearly every ability being a skill shot that needs to be aimed. As a free-to-play MOBA-style game, Battlerite is monetized via loot chests that contain vanity items and champions, along with a weekly hero rotation. Alternatively, you can spend $30 to unlock all current and future champions.
Digital Dreams Entertainment LLC
The classic Sega Genesis arcade football game Mutant League Football has been resurrected with modern mechanics and graphics with a spiritual successor made by the original's lead designer. In Mutant Football League, choose one of 18 teams made up of killer robots, alien monsters, and mutant freaks ready to (literally) smash the competition. Recruit All-Star players to give your team an edge on the trap-laden gridiron, and play dirty tricks like shotguns or chainsaws at the right moment to turn the game in your favor.
Remember Spintires? It was an Early Access driving sim about using enormous all-terrain vehicles to navigate the muddiest "roads" you've ever seen. It gathered a sizeable following, but unfortunately development was permanently suspended after the one-man dev team was screwed over by a shady publisher. Luckily, Saber Interactive kept the rights to the IP and made a new deal with Focus Home Interactive. MudRunner is the ultimate version of Spintires, and features improved graphics and physics, new vehicles and environments, and full Steam Workshop support. You can also find MudRunners on the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One, though I hear that the console versions aren't particularly good.
MudRunner isn't the only new release that recreates heavy equipment in near fetishistic detail. Heliborne is a helicopter combat game that lets players fly 40 of the most famous gunships from the 1950s to modern day. Relive historic battles from Vietnam, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and other conflicts in single player, co-op, and competitive multiplayer for up to 16 players. You can also find Heliborne on the Humble Store.
Finally we come to Card Quest, a card-driven, dungeon-crawling RPG roguelite. Choose one of four classes, each of which has three specializations, and delve into dungeons to battle monsters, defeat bosses, and earn loot. Combat comes in the form of a card game, with the various items and abilities you earn by questing and leveling up forming your customizable deck. Rid a cursed city of an undead plague or explore a dwarven mountain stronghold, each of which has 12 potential areas to visit during a run.
Which of these games caught your attention?