Lockdown has allowed plenty of time for cleaning, tidying and DIY. This week, itâ€™s possible to extend that cleanliness to the virtual realm â€“ House Flipper entails buying rundown properties and giving them a makeover before turning a profit at auction. It may sound drabber than budget wallpaper, but itâ€™s actually quite therapeutic, and the presence of pop culture references helps give it personality.
We gave the Xbox One version 7/10 back in March. â€œIt really gets under your skin, making you mull over which property to take on next â€“ perhaps with a certain client in mind â€“ before setting about completing tasks in the most efficient manner. Seeing a property transform from a grubby frat house to a wholesome family home is rather satisfying. All thatâ€™s missing is a TV-style â€˜before and afterâ€™ cut-away with a wind chime sound effect,â€ we said.
1971 Project Helios is another one of this weekâ€™s bigger releases, flying under the radar somewhat â€“ itâ€™s due both at retail and on the eShop. This turn-based strategy game â€“ set in a frozen world â€“ takes cues from XCOM and entails a plot to find a scientist who may be able to save mankind.
â€œWhile the gameplay is solid, we came away more impressed with the art direction and sound design than expected. The lightly stylised, cel-shaded look works for 1971, with the organic environments looking especially nice,â€ said Push Square, who dished out 7/10.
Then thereâ€™s Project Warlock, a retro throwback first-person shooter with chunky pixels. PlayStation Country was left impressed: â€œProject Warlock is a welcome surprise. Buckshot Software have pulled off a rare feat by making a retro inspired game that is not overburdened by modernised elements or oversimplified for the sake of a pixel art style. The gameplay is familiar yet refined and the overall package is sure to tick the boxes of many a classic FPS fan thanks to the inventiveness of the levels, creatures and RPG-Lite customisation.â€
From Warlock to Warborn. This too is a turn-based strategy game, this time featuring anime-style mechs and being hex-based. Digitally Downloaded compared it to both Advance Wars and Wargroove, claiming that it has different merits to the latter. â€œIt’s a sharper and more dynamic tactics strategy game, and what initially seems like limitations with a small number of units and game modes proves to be this game’s great strength by allowing it to deliver the kind of balance that even the best tactics games struggle with.â€
Evanâ€™s Remains has gained mixed reviews, meanwhile. Noisy Pixel enjoyed the puzzle/platform/visual novel hybrid. â€œEvanâ€™s Remains is a beautiful game that blends puzzle and visual novel elements together to tell a gripping narrative,â€ they said. Nintendo World Report found it too light, however, settling on a 6.5. “If youâ€™re looking for a light puzzle-platformer with mostly attractive pixel art, Evanâ€™s Remains might be worth considering. If you want a more thrilling or satisfying narrative experience, keep searching,â€ reads their verdict.
Noisy Pixel also gave Demonâ€™s Tier+ – a randomised dungeon crawler with twin-stick shooting â€“ the review treatment. â€œUltimately, Demonâ€™s Tier+ is a charming twin-stick shooter that doesnâ€™t take a whole lot of skill to get into. Its entry-level mechanics make it approachable to new fans of the genre, but skilled players will quickly discover how to take advantage of the gameâ€™s systems and get through it without much trouble,â€ they said.
We cast our critical eye on it too, resulting in a 7/10. â€œSome of the more typical RPG elements feel a little too light, but as a more arcade-like approach to the genre it is hard to dislike. The controls are fluid and responsive, and the shooting â€“ whether youâ€™re flinging fireballs or translucent ghost swords â€“ always feels precise. Tiny but mighty, this is an ideal casual dungeon crawler for anybody unwilling to commit to a 50+ hour opus,â€ we said.
A handful of other games catch our eye this week, including a conversion of the Middle Ages RTS Ancestors Legacy, magazine management sim Magazine Mogul, challenging vertical platformer Jump King, and the swish looking Super Toy Cars 2.
Thereâ€™s Arcade Archives Sunset Riders too â€“ Konamiâ€™s curiously colourful cowboy shooter is much-loved around these parts. Yeehaw!
New Switch eShop releases
Ancestors Legacy – Â£31.99
Ancestors Legacy is a history-inspired real-time strategy game influenced by historical events in the Middle Ages. The game combines resource management and base building with large-scale, squad-based battles across vast battlefields. Experience medieval bloodshed like never before, thanks to the cinematic action camera that puts you right in the middle of the battle at the press of a button.
Choosing one of the four available nations â€“ Viking, Anglo-Saxon, German, Slav â€“ you will be tasked with more than just conquering, raiding and pillaging enemy camps, villages and towns. Only by utilizing the full range of available tactical options, taking strategic advantage of the environment, and managing your temporary bases and settlements, will you emerge victorious.
Project Warlock – Â£12.99
One man and his guns. Become a mysterious Warlock who embarks onto a dangerous mission to eradicate all evil. Put your finger on the trigger and travel through time and space to wreak havoc like in the golden days of fast paced, adrenaline-pumping first person shooters, hooking you for hours of super fun carnage. Letâ€™s rock and roll!
Explore 60 vast levels in five settings, from frozen Antarctic base to the sands of Egypt to the medieval castlesâ€™ courts and graveyards. Find keys to unlock passages, reveal secret caches with ammo and gold, use lifts and hidden buttons to access new areas. Finally descend to hell to face the ultimate challenge and emerge victorious.
Combat tons of enemies from flying demons to five-storeys robots, splashing walls and floors with their blood and chunks. Dodge bullets and projectiles, figure out strategies and weapons that work best against each of the nasty villains. Learn their moves and stay one step ahead to survive through the levels. Face megabosses in vast final arenas to complete each world.
Cosmic Defenders – Â£8.99
Cosmic Defenders is a 2D fast-paced revolving shooter about a group of unconventional heroes who use the powers of nature in order to stop chaotic aliens from taking over the universe. Cooperate with other guardians, protect the galaxy from the wicked, and restore peace in three game modes: Story Mode, Survival Mode, and Versus Mode.
Take on these spaced-out invaders by yourself, or with some friends! Choose from 4 different characters, each with their own unique abilities! Can you bring peace to the cosmos?
Warborn – Â£19.99
Rise up and deploy for battle in the Variable Armour, a technologically advanced suit of war. As the political climate between factions is thrown out of balance and the solar system is engulfed in conflict, lead your strike force of deadly mecha towards victory in turn-based tactical combat.
Arcade Archives SUNSETRIDERS – TBA
“SUNSETRIDERS” is an action shooting game released
by KONAMI in 1991.
The game takes place in the American Old West during the 19th century. Four gunmen are out to claim the grand prize linked to SIR RICHARD ROSE.
Enjoy this exhilarating Western with simple controls.
“Our guns say as much as our mouths.”
HALF DEAD – Â£4.49
Half dead is a multiplayer sci-fi game about a violent TV show. The players’ goal is to survive in a network of rooms full of traps.
Rogue Robots – Â£12.59
The fate of the whole mankind is in your hands. Are you brave enough to take on the mission?
New, action-packed, adrenaline-filled rogue-lite shooter to blast your mind of the planet is here!
From the makers of legendary Drunk-Fu and Spareware, weâ€™re here to introduce to you the sequel of Spareware.
But wait. Wasnâ€™t Spareware quite… Quite…
â€œExtremely simple game with limited mechanics and highly repetitive play.â€
â€œAn ok shoot-em-up, no more no less.â€
â€œI quickly found myself becoming bored… the presentation of the game is relatively basic.â€
And THATâ€™S why it no longer even Spareware! Dear people and aliens, here comes Rogue Robots! Build up your annihilating robot and blast your way through the humanity thatâ€™s destroying the wonderful planet of earth.
Dots 8 – Â£1.79
Dots 8 is an abstract strategy game, played by two or more people. The game is superficially similar to Go, in that the goal is to “”capture”” enemy dots by surrounding them with a continuous line of one’s own dots. Once an area containing enemy dots is surrounded, that area ceases to be playable.
Pew Paw – Â£6.29
Luckily, you have a third teammate: an old machine gun that you can upgrade for more twin-stick shooting frenzy! Youâ€™ll need to search the infested city for items required to craft new parts for your weapon and improve its damage, precision, firing speed, ammo capacity…
The map is randomly generated each time you play, but always full of zombies with different abilities and equipment. Some shoot rockets, some try to intoxicate you, some place nasty mines on the ground…and then there are the final bosses as well, but we’d rather not spoil you that.
Remnants of Naezith – Â£8.99
Feel the acceleration in this fast-paced grappling hook platformer, Remnants of Naezith.
It focuses on having freedom of movement, solid character control and not having any speed limitations. The fun of swinging with grappling hooks and the amazing feel of acceleration makes a great combination in this game.
You play as Kayra, a human who shares his body with the soul of Naezith, the ancient thunder dragon. With the powers granted to him by the dragon, Kayra will destroy the Remnants of Naezith, enchanted fragments of the dragon’s body, to prevent anyone from exploiting their power for evil.
Super Toy Cars 2 – Â£9.99
Super Toy Cars 2 is a fast paced arcade racing game where you control miniature cars that speed through amazing tracks made of supersized everyday objects.
In Super Toy Cars 2 you will race cool toy cars, alone or with friends, across crazy table top tracks made of everyday objects that take on a new dimension. In this world a sausage is the size of a bus, a burger is the size of a small swimming pool and you may encounter dangerous toy scissors cutting their way through the middle of the track.
Outrace your opponentsâ€¦ or crush them to scrap! You can fight them up close or use one of the many power-ups scattered throughout the race. Unlock and collect the 20 toy cars, each with their own statistics, by playing through career mode and then improve them by installing upgrades or changing their paintjobs.
In the end this game is sure to do one thing for you: revive that crazy larger than life feeling of playing with toy cars when you were a kid.
House Flipper – Â£22.49
House Flipper is a unique chance to become a one-man renovation crew.
Buy, repair and remodel devastated houses.
Give them a second life and sell them at a profit!
Spacejacked – Â£9.99
Spacejacked is a super fast-paced ARCADE TOWER-DEFENSE. Play as Dave, a lone technician tasked with protecting his spaceship from being overrun by aliens while it prepares to warp into hyperspace.
Players who seek to experience a blend of action shooter and tower defense will enjoy this game!
Magazine Mogul – Â£11.69
Take charge of your own magazine! It’s up to you to turn heads and help your community grow through the power of the press!
It all starts with compelling coverage. Brainstorm story ideas and angles with your editorial team, then deploy staff to put those ideas into print. Hit the streets for info and you just might snag the hottest scoop of the year!
Wider circulation means better publicity and tourism for your town, so win new readers over with fresh and interesting features! Keep it up and the mayor may headhunt you to assist with urban planning, relying on you for advice on public projects, events, and even what businesses to invite into town.
A small local magazine can make a big difference! Do you have what it takes to become a magazine mogul?
Evan’s Remains – Â£5.59
Evan’s Remains is a mystery-thriller puzzle adventure about finding a missing boy: Evan. The game combines logic-based platform puzzles with visual-novel style narrative inspired by Japanese graphic adventure games.
1971 Project Helios – Â£35.99
1971 Project Helios is a turn-based strategy game which combines modern warfare military tactics and close combat. Firearms and vehicles are scarce, conflicts and hostilities have no end, and the terrible freezing cold annihilates friends and foes in its path.
The campaign sets in a frozen world, in which eight people â€“ each one with its own problems and interests â€“ join in a sort of temporary alliance, to find one particular person: Dr Margaret Blythe. Along their way they will have to avoid raider attacks, investigate military headquarters, and infiltrate into the territory of a dangerous anti-technological religious sect. On the trail of her whereabouts, they will travel and fight shoulder to shoulder, and they inevitably get to know the others. Depending on some strategic and personal decisions, you will guide this characters right to one of three possible endings.
Demon’s Tier+ – Â£8.99
Enter the dungeons of King Thosgar and destroy his demonic minions!
Combining the best elements from Xenon Valkyrie+ and Riddled Corpses EX, this is the latest game in the Diabolical Mind trilogy!
Jump King – Â£10.99
â€Tactical Leaping Adventure – Jump King: There is a Smoking Hot Babe at the Top!â€ is a platforming challenge about struggling upwards in search of the legendary Smoking Hot Babe! This lonely adventure to reach The Top will demand your full mastery of the technique of jumping. Just try to remember that with each fall there is a lesson to be learned…
Jump King includes two free expansions – â€New Babe+â€ and â€Ghost of the Babeâ€!
Next week: Burnout Paradise Remastered, Descenders, Railway Empire – Nintendo Switch Edition, Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition, NAMCO MUSEUM ARCHIVES Vol 1 and Vol 2, The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters, Radio Squid, Summer in Mara, Colt Canyon, I dream of you and ice cream, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout â€“ Anniversary Edition, Hakoniwa Explorer Plus, Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio, One Way Heroics Plus, Aery – Little Bird Adventure, and Polandball: Can Into Space.