Where We Find New Games

The Faffin' Five

Our Favorite Games this Month

August 2017

Fidel Dungeon Rescue

Released: Aug 01 2017
Developer: Daniel Benmergui, Jeremías Babini, and Hernán Rozenwasser
Price: $8.99

I guess this is the only way I’d be able to put a cute dog in a dungeon without a letter from PETA. This is a fun puzzle crawler. I love that the game is centered around finding the optimal route through each floor, and lets you take back moves to get closer to it. But the game has no patience for anyone that lets Fidel’s health reach zero. A ghost will appear, following your trail to consume your adorable doggy soul. Every time it happens, I start tripping over myself to get to the exit. Every run ends with the tension suddenly going from zero to sixty, and it’s a really fun end to a really satisfying core loop. 50% of my time on each floor is just Fidel sitting at the starting point as I try out all the possible paths in my head, and it’s really fun to try and kill even one more spider than your last run. Each floor has something new up its sleeve, and it’s fun that you don’t get anything besides the enemy designs to try and decipher what a new trap does. There’s always a tension against experimenting on a good run because the new enemy might just kill you instantly when you run into it. That’s why the first room before floor 1 is my favorite element of the game. It’s the closest thing Fidel has to a tutorial. It sets you up with an enemy without the risk of it ending your run, and if you can figure out how to bypass it, you start floor 1 with a little extra gold or xp. I love being able to figure things out at my own pace, and being able to ignore the help if I just want to get back in the game.


Like Roots in Soil

Released: Aug 18 2017
Developer: SpaceBackyard
Price: Free

This game is mechanically barebones, but the atmosphere and aesthetic of it kept me hooked through to the end. Like Roots in Soil was made for Post-Apocalyptic Jam 2017. The game view is split between the past and the future. You can choose how much of each is visible by rotating the camera as a parallel narrative unfolds in each timeline. I really loved the emergent moments in this. There was this point where I was looking at the post-apocalyptic future as the character walks past this busted down monorail. Rotating it back around to the present I was just able to catch that same monorail, now pristine, racing away. I really like that there’s not too much to the experience, it gives you room to really think about what’s going on and ask questions (I completely ignored the exposition at the bottom of the screen). It’s a great game to run through while pondering things. There’s something really nice about playing a game with a cool concept, in that it makes you start thinking about where you would take the idea next, and that often leads you to think about your own games in a different way.


Subsurface Circular

Released: Aug 18 2017
Developer: SpaceBackyard
Price: Free

This game is mechanically barebones, but the atmosphere and aesthetic of it kept me hooked through to the end. Like Roots in Soil was made for Post-Apocalyptic Jam 2017. The game view is split between the past and the future. You can choose how much of each is visible by rotating the camera as a parallel narrative unfolds in each timeline. I really loved the emergent moments in this. There was this point where I was looking at the post-apocalyptic future as the character walks past this busted down monorail. Rotating it back around to the present I was just able to catch that same monorail, now pristine, racing away. I really like that there’s not too much to the experience, it gives you room to really think about what’s going on and ask questions (I completely ignored the exposition at the bottom of the screen). It’s a great game to run through while pondering things. There’s something really nice about playing a game with a cool concept, in that it makes you start thinking about where you would take the idea next, and that often leads you to think about your own games in a different way.


Supernode

Released: Aug 02 2017
Developer: Dustyroom
Price: Free

Supernode was made for Ludum Dare 39, with this year’s theme being “running out of power”, and it’s something I’ve been playing in very short bursts some nights while waiting for dinner to cook. This is a game with minimal elements that is executed very well. You have to combine factory nodes to create the right amount of energy and direct that to an outlet. If an outlet goes without power for too long you lose. There’s the fewest amount of rules and mechanics necessary to create an engaging experience, the only change being ever increasing energy inputs and outputs. Where Supernode excels is in the execution. It explains all the mechanics confidently without using any words or tutorials, the visuals are clean and easy to understand, and there’s a tranquil sound design that amplifies all the interactions. These are all welcome additions, because the game gets away from you very quickly. Being able to look at the tangled network you’ve built and understand it at a glance so you can swap out a few nodes for something more efficient hasn’t gotten old yet.


The Wolf's Bite

Released: Aug 02 2017
Developer: Eric Bernier, Karen Teixeira, Dave Coughlin, Fat Bard
Price: $7.99 ($5.99 until September 4th)

I’m always on the lookout for games that I would enjoy playing with non gamers. The Wolf’s Bite is a competitive choose your own adventure game. You either take on the role of the Big Bad Wolf, in his first outing as a restaurateur, or the Three Little Pigs, out to sabotage the wolf’s culinary ambitions. Each turn you will take steps to either help your own character’s interests or sabotage the interests of the other player. The tone and art are right out of a kids book, and often I’d find myself forgetting the actual game and choosing outcomes based on what shenanigans I imagined would befall the characters. The main complaint I could see with this is a lack of online co-op, but this game definitely loses a lot of its charm without another player reacting alongside you. I could see this being something parents play with their kids every night before bed. I definitely want to play a round with my girlfriend soon.