We aren’t even halfway through July and already one of the biggest releases of the month is upon us. Dragon Quest Builders 2 builds on the 2016 original, this time launching simultaneously on PS4 and Switch.

The colourful construction caper involves taking on quests and resorting villages to their former glory in order to forge a new resistance. RPG elements come thick and fast, including crafting, levelling up, farming, and more. A new fast-travel system also features, along with online four-player support. Outlook: bright.

Expect reviews to surface towards the end of the week.

SEGA’s SolSeraph also mixes role-playing and construction, being a spiritual successor to the 1990’s SNES classic ActRaiser. Sadly, this modern blend of hack ‘n slashing and city-building is far less successful, with many critics suggesting you would be better off replaying the original.

There’s a retro twist to the rest of this week’s new releases, in fact. Grass Cutter – Mutated Lawns is another highpoint for indie publisher Sometimes You, being a colourful arcade-style puzzler with shades of Pac-Man and Bomberman.

That’s joined by Doughlings: Invasion, which offers a new take on Space Invaders formula, and a PS4/Xbox One release of Aggelos – a non-linear action platformer influenced by Wonder Boy.

Then on Thursday, we can expect pixel-art run and gunner Blazing Chrome, launching on PS4, Xbox One (via Game Pass), and Switch. It’s Contra, baby!

Other releases to look out for include the grisly Russian couch co-op top-down shooter Redeemer: Enhanced Edition – which is due a physical release next week – and Namco’s action RPG God Eater 3 on Switch.

New release showcase

SolSeraph

7.5 – God is a Geek: SolSeraph is a very enjoyable, well-designed hack ‘n’ slash title, but the town management parts drag it down a little.

6.5 – Destructoid I appreciate Ace Team’s attempt here, I really do. It’s kind of amazing that this game exists in 2019 under Sega. It’s not as original as the team’s past projects, but SolSeraph has a lot to like if you’re looking for a modern take on an absolute gem of the 16-bit era. Part of me wonders how outlandish these creators could’ve gotten with a bigger budget and scope, but as a tribute, this still hits the spot.

6/10 – PSU: SolSeraph is a good game that tries to do too much. Unfortunately, everything it does is the bare minimum and never really pushes itself to be great. All in all, SolSeraph is a safe and enjoyable title.

5.5 – GameInformer: Building ad defending your settlements doesn’t have enough variety, and the challenging parts are more frustrating than fun

4/10 – Dual Shockers: If you’re looking to play something like ActRaiser, you might be able to wrangle some fun out SolSeraph. But, as a counterpoint, I would probably suggest just going and playing ActRaiser again. It’s still really great.

Doughlings: Invasion

8/10 – Xbox Tavern: Doughlings: Invasion shows what a talented developer can achieve with the right mindset and tools. Not only does this game bring back a much loved classic, but like Doughlings: Arcade, it revitalizes the dated concept through the use of implementing fresh mechanics, heaps of variation, and a solid all-round pace. Sure, the audio is still very hit and miss, but in the midst of how fun the game is, this is easy to forgive.

3/5 – VideoChums: If you like the idea of an indie version of Space Invaders with nifty power-ups then you’re sure to have fun with Doughlings: Invasion.

2.5/5 – The Xbox Hub: Yes it’s okay for a couple of hours of game time, but unfortunately this is one Space Invaders wannabe which will ultimately be left forgotten.

Grass Cutter – Mutated Lawns

4/5 – Xbox Hub: Grass Cutter – Mutated Lawns is a fun and inviting arcade puzzle game with an appealing gameplay design. The graphics are pragmatically simple to keep the gameplay responsiveness engaging, and the soundtrack is filled with fun and uplifting tracks which explore a variety of genres with very joyful and catchy rhythms. 

7.5 – Xbox Tavern: Simple by concept, yet tough by design, Grass Cutter – Mutated Lawns is an ideal puzzler for those that enjoy reflex-based challenges that encourage logical thinking. There’s a great deal of variation across the board as far as progression and core content is concerned, and although things can get visually repetitive before long, and perhaps overly difficult, for everything it gets right, you’re certainly getting your money’s worth.

New digital multi-format releases

  • Grass Cutter – Mutated Lawns
  • Streets of Rogue
  • SolSeraph
  • Blazing Chrome
  • Redeemer: Enhanced Edition
  • Aggelos
  • Bouncy Bullets

New on PSN

  • Lethal League Blaze
  • Brain Breaker
  • Pic-a-Pix Color 2
  • Penn & Teller VR
  • FOCUS on YOU
  • Rain City
  • Rise of Insanity

New on Xbox One store

  • Doughlings: Invasion
  • Duck Life: Battle
  • Fishing Planet

New Nintendo retail releases

  • Hollow Knight
  • God Eater 3
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2

Next week: Must Dash Amigos, Growtopia, LOST ORBIT: Terminal Velocity, Initial2: New Stage, and Welcome to Hanwell.