Subscribe to Humble Choice? Unsure which picks to make this month, or whether to activate your month at all? With two weeks left, I’m here to give you an at-a-glance guide at what games you might want to get this month.
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What titles are around this month?
This month has a strong strategy flavour, with these and some visual novels making up the bulk of the options. There’s certainly a lot of brain power used with these games, so expect to be giving the grey matter a workout!
We’ll jump into a bit more depth below, but this month we have:
- Frostpunk (+DLC)
- Pathfinder: Kingmaker
- Book of Demons
- Okami HD
- Shenzhen I/O
- Project Warlock
- The Hex
- Warstone TD
- Night Call
Click on the images for each game to be taken to their Steam page. Without further ado, let’s get choosin’!
Frostpunk is probably the most well-known of this months’ games, being a more recent release and infamous for its rock-hard difficulty. A steampunk city-builder set in frozen wastes, Frostpunk sees you juggling the competing demands of hope, unrest and basic survival as you make difficult choices to keep the last of humanity alive. As I’ve already alluded to, the difficulty is high in this one, but the reward for persevering is great too.
It’s also available on Xbox Game Pass for PC at the time of writing, if you’d rather try it there.
- Fans of steampunk, snow and survival-strategy games
- Casual city-builders and lovers of warmth
A more typical dungeon-crawling, action RPG than the next game on our list. Set in the Pathfinder tabletop universe, Kingmaker invokes Baldur’s Gate, Diablo and Dungeon Siege vibes. Quite dense to get going with tons of menus, character sheets, loot, and choices with consequence. Players of Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder will love the depth and sense of faithfulness to tabletop gaming. Lots of options over difficulty and ease of access too, so it’s totally possible to play without getting clued up on the lore and rules beforehand.
Plenty of additional content for this one too – expect this to be a good, old-fashioned RPG time-sink.
- Tabletop RPG players
- Fond memories of ARPG classics like Baldur’s Gate
- Straightforward stories light on jargon
Book of Demons
Book of Demons is an interesting dungeon-crawler/deck building game. If you mixed Diablo with Hitman: GO’s movement, you wouldn’t be a million miles away. Unlike most dungeon crawlers, Book of Demons uses a cool Flexiscope system that lets you set the length of your next dungeon dive – roughly predicting how long it’ll take you to finish. Now you can do just one more level on your time, not the games’.
A demo is available on Steam should you wish to try first – and the full game is also on Xbox Game Pass.
- Dungeon-crawlers and RPG fans
- People who want time-scaled games
- RPG players who prefer more action that strategy
- Anyone expecting a deep deck-building experience
If you popped Rust’s systems into Don’t Starve’s visuals, you’d probably get close to Cryofall. This one’s feels a bit easier going than some other survival games (I didn’t die within my first day) but the basic feedback loop of gather material, craft, maintain meters and repeat is oh so familiar. The questing system is a great hand-hold to start out with as well, which I enjoyed. The game is in Early Access and appears to be in active development with responsive devs.
There’s a demo for this too. You can play the full game on Steam for 8 hours before you commit to making this a Humble Choice.
- People who wish for 2D Rust/ARK, or wished Don’t Starve was sci-fi
- Anyone who doesn’t enjoy the survival gameplay loop
Okami is probably the title I was most excited for this month. Originally released back on the PS2, a lot of people missed it (including me) as the console generation rolled on to PS3/Xbox 360. It’s a game that really sells itself with the art style, inspired by Japanese brush painting. It’s not half bad as an action-adventure title either with similarity to Legend of Korra. Particularly of interest to those who love Japanese folklore.
This HD edition of Okami is a little rough around the edges with some areas showing less polish (particularly in sound). But it’s a great way to pick up a previous Game of the Year winner if you make this a Choice.
- Lovers of Japan, cel-shading and anyone interested in gaming as an art form
- If you’re not big on platformers or sitting through story, you’ll probably happily skip this
A neat little visual novel with shades of Black Mirror. Playing the part of a virtual counseling assistant, Eliza is peppered with interesting characters and some decent writing. Featuring a protagonist not too dissimilar to Max from Life is Strange. The conversations made me chuckle a few times with my new “favourite client”. Worth a pick if you love a story-driven experience and conversations about AI, machine learning and digital ethics.
One of two games on this list to integrate solitaire, for some reason.
- An opportunity to switch off and follow a story
- Twitchy trigger fingers
- Some of the conversations might be uncomfortable to those with mental health struggles
Shenzhen I/O was a quirky little one for me. It’s a puzzle game – of sorts – that requires you to print off a large manual a la Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, but for a single player. The game sees you building computer circuits – complete with coding – guided by the manual. You can save yourself a bit of paper if you’ve got two screens.
Shenzhen I/O really does throw you in the deep end somewhat. But that’s part of what’s compelling. You actually have to do the reading to understand the tasks and it feels rewarding to figure out the circuit wiring and then the programming on top. Worth a look if you have a spare Choice – just for something completely different. The other game featuring built-in solitaire!
- Programmers, coders and people who love homework
- Puzzle players looking for something different
- Gentle experiences
- People with a total mental block towards coding
Retro-styled first-person shooter in the vein of early Doom and Wolfenstein. In Project Warlock, instead of generic protagonist soldier, you’re a warlock – and with that, you have upgrade trees to purchase new spells and weapons between levels. The pace and feel of it is just about right for fans of the classic shooters, with just enough added to keep it fresh. Plenty of levels to get stuck into, too. Otherwise, there’s not a huge amount to add. Solid, uncomplicated, playable.
Probably the fastest-paced game of the options this month, it’s also another with a demo available on Steam for try-before-you-buy.
- Retro gamers and fans of classic shooters like DOOM, Duke Nukem 3D etc.
- Crosshair enthusiasts
Quirky, point-and-click-esque murder mystery that sees you uncover the stories behind a series of abandoned video game characters, layered against the backdrop of a murder being planned. The Hex is very reminiscent of old-school Flash games a la Newgrounds. Another strong choice for the story lovers.
- Anyone with fond memories of Newgrounds Flash games
- Those who play point-and-clicks for the puzzles might be disappointed
Not a huge amount to say here; it’s a tower-defence game – a solid one at that – with some story elements and multiple upgrade trees to work along between battles adding more depth than usual. The art style of Warstone TD is nice and cartoon-y, and there’s also an option to skip story if you just want to plough through some TD levels. Otherwise, everything you’d expect from a TD game is here. Will kill a few hours.
- Tinkerers who love upgrade trees
- Mandatory PvP in some of the quests will put some off
2D platformer with timing-based combat and RPG elements. Underhero pPlays very much like Paper Mario, for better or worse. There’s a nice element of strategy to combat where you have to maintain your stamina to attack and dodge. The story is fun and overall, Underhero is easy to recommend.
Another game with a demo. If you’re not sure you’ve played/enjoyed Paper Mario/Mario RPGs before, give it a whirl on demo first.
- Fans of Paper Mario or the Mario & Luigi RPG series
- Platformer/RPG players who fear change or hybrids
Noir-esque visual novel that sees you playing a taxi driver caught up in a murder investigation. The initial play of Night Call is probably the best one as a lot of elements get re-used across the cases you’re offered. Unfortunately light on actual investigation elements, the writing and characters are still enjoyable for what they are when you immerse yourself in the story.
- Lovers of noir and narrative experiences
- Gameplay itself