No Man's Sky (XONE)
Action Tuesday, 24 July 2018
A science-fiction, sandbox action game with a focus on multiplayer mode. It was created by Hello Games, company known for the colorful arcade production Joe Danger. The game is set in the distant future in the yet uncharted parts of the cosmos, and the gameplay is presented in two forms. We explore the successive corners of the universe piloting a spacecraft, like we do in typical space-sim productions. Upon landing on a newly discovered planet, the game switches to first-person view. The authors emphasize the complete freedom given to the player during exploration. While visiting places featuring different animals, plants, or even varying composition of the planet's atmosphere, we can focus on exploration, acquisition of raw materials, or the combat against various predators. An important element of the game is the system of procedural generation of worlds, which creates their virtually every element, from the smallest features of the surface to the entire star systems and galaxies.
What Remains of Edith Finch (XONE)
Adventure 19 July 2017
What Remains of Edith Finch is a unique adventure game developed by Giant Sparrow, which focuses on the evanescence of life. The game tells a set of short stories about the fate of the members of a certain American family that has been cursed. The history told in those episodes takes place over a span of one hundred years in Washington state, a place filled with forests and mountains, a location that resembles a little the cult TV show Twin Peaks. In terms of gameplay mechanics, What Remains of Edith Finch is your typical first-person adventure game. The climate and gameplay mechanics change depending on which family member we are currently controlling. What connects every story told in the game is the fact that in each and every one of them our protagonist dies. Another common ground between them is the titular character of Edith, who tries to discover her family's dark secret and find out why she is the only surviving member.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (XONE)
Adventure 19 January 2018
A dark, first-person adventure game developed by The Astronauts - a Polish team led by Adrian Chmielarz, the co-founder of People Can Fly. The player is put in the shoes of Paul Prospero - a detective who has developed certain paranormal abilities. The protagonist tries to solve the mystery behind the vanishing of a young boy. The player traverses an extensive, open world - the game is non-linear and the player is free to explore and look for subsequent clues. The game offers many unique mechanics related to making links between different pieces of the puzzle. Walking around the grim areas of Red Creek Valley, the protagonist makes use of his extraordinary abilities, making contact with the dead, experiencing various visions and visiting alternative realities. Utilizing the Unreal Engine 3, the game stands out with its high-quality visuals supported by technologies allowing to convert photographs of real-existing places into digital pictures.
The Long Dark (XONE)
Action 01 August 2017
A first person survival sandbox game, developed by independent Canadian studio Hinterland. The team includes veteran game developers, who previously worked for Relic Entertainment, Volition, and BioWare. The game takes you into a post-apocalyptic world after a massive geomagnetic storm. With all electronic devices disabled and water and food supplies running low, the player has to struggle to survive the incoming winter. The game’s sandbox mechanics and its open-world structure give much freedom of gameplay, whose biggest challenges are survival and making difficult moral choices. The game features a compelling narrative written by Marianne Krawczyk, the author of scripts for such titles as God of War and L.A. Noire. The game’s unique character is emphasized by its unusual graphics, designed by Hokyo Lima (known for League of Legends).
The Witness (XONE)
Logic 13 September 2016
A first-person adventure game with logic puzzles, developed by the creator of Braid – Jonathan Blow and his independent studio Number None. The game takes you to a large, mysterious island, whose all inhabitants vanished without a trace. Gameplay has you explore this vast world, solve logic puzzles, and search for clues that will help you solve the mysteries of this place. Game mechanics resemble the cult Myst series. As you play, you have to display remarkable patience, observance, and the ability to connect different pieces of the story. Many things here have secret meanings, and the key symbols, hints, and markings were cleverly hidden within the game’s environment. The Witness features simple, but charming, 3D graphics and supports the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift.
Adventure 21 September 2016
An indie FPP adventure game and the debut production of the American Campo Santo studio. The team comprises of veteran developers, previously working on such titles as The Walking Dead, Mark of the Ninja, BioShock 2, and Brutal Legend. The story of Firewatch takes place in an enormous forest in the American state of Wyoming, where our hero is trying to escape his day-to-day problems by becoming a ranger. This seemingly calm profession turns into an extremely complicated one, when various unexplainable events take place in the area that our character is charged with patrolling. The incidents are directly connected to our hero’s boss – Delilah, with whom we constantly keep in touch via radio. Building up relations with our superior is one of the key aspects of the game, as she is the only NPC featured in the production. The gameplay revolves exclusively around the single player mode; the popular Unity engine powers the game’s visuals.
Adventure 15 August 2017
A psychological first-person horror from the Polish developer studio Bloober Team, known best for another horror game, entitled Layers of Fear. Observer is set in a cyberpunk universe, in Cracow of 2048. In the game you play as Daniel Lazarski (starred by Rutger Hauer, known from the film Blade Runner), a detective able to hack into people’s minds. The game’s story starts when the main hero gets a letter from his missing son, who turns out to be a high-ranking engineer working for a powerful corporation. The protagonist picks up an investigation that takes him to the slums of Cracow and forces him to relive dark memories and nightmares of both criminals and their victims. When it comes to gameplay, Observer is a first-person adventure game with survival horror mechanics. Most of the time the player explores grim locations and interacts with characters encountered on the way. An important aspect of gameplay are sequences in which the protagonist hacks into the minds of suspects and becomes part of their worst nightmares.
Adventure 09 June 2017
A first-person survival horror game developed by Polish development studio IMGN.pro. The game's story is inspired by true events that took place in 1959 at the Dyatlov Pass in the Ural mountains, where the dead bodies of nine Russian hikers were found, and the cause of their death remained unclear. We only know that most of them died of hypothermia, and evidence indicates that they were forced to flee from an unknown danger. In the game we explore an open, icebound world, having only a map and a compass at our disposal. On our way to reach the goal, we have to deal with many dangers lurking in the mountains. There is no combat, and the only way to survive is by escaping. A special system called "fear manager" has been developed for the game. Depending on the player's actions, it adequately handles all the factors responsible for building an eerie atmosphere, which makes each new game a bit different.
Arcade 26 May 2017
A third-person view adventure game developed by Tequila Works studio from Spain, which successfully debuted in 2012 with a post-apocalyptic platformer Deadlight. You assume the role of a boy who is trying to escape a mysterious island that conceals a sinister past. During the course of the game you will solve numerous puzzles, using a magical artifact that allows you to manipulate the environment and time. The title, despite being an action game also includes many platformer elements. The hero travels through an open world, climbs craggy cliffs, and jumps over chasms. Apart from being skilled, you also have to be perceptive, as light, sound, and touch (thanks to the technology offered by PS Vita and DUALSHOCK 4) play a vital role in Rime. The game features a 3D environment, colorful visuals, and a comic book-like visual style.
Outer Wilds (XONE)
Adventure December 2018
An exploration adventure game, in which you play as a recruit of the new space program called Outer Wilds Ventures. Your task is to study a mysterious solar system functioning in a time loop.
The Turing Test (XONE)
Logic 30 August 2016
A sci-fi FPP logic puzzle game by Bulkhead Interactive, a studio founded by the creators of Pneuma: Breath of Life. The story takes place an unspecified number of years in the future, when scientists discover a seemingly harmless alien life form on Jupiter's moons. You play as an astronaut named Ava Turing, whose task is to examine the new species, and who ends up finding more than she expected. The Turing Test is a part of the FPP logic puzzle genre, popularized by the Portal series. There's no combat in the game, and the gameplay is entirely focused on solving puzzles. To do this, you mostly use a special device that allows you to manipulate energy and transfer if from object to object. You also have to operate various mechanisms and intelligent machines, as well as complete occasional platform challenges.
Gone Home (XONE)
Adventure 12 January 2016
An original exploration adventure drama with first-person perspective. Gone Home is a debut project of an indie developer The Fullbright Company, whose members previously worked on a successful DLC for BioShock 2, Minerva’s Den. Gone Home is set in the United States of 1990s. You play as a young woman named Katy, who returns home after spending a year away in Europe. When she gets home, instead of her family she is welcomed by an empty house. In order to find out where have her close ones gone to Katy explores the house in search of notes, documents, recordings and other traces that reveal the game’s story step by step. Despite the relatively low tempo of gameplay and complete lack of supernatural events, Gone Home effectively creates and keeps an atmosphere of anxiety and motivates the player to keep searching for more and more clues. Because of its low budget, the developer decided to base the game on the popular Unity Engine, therefore it offers decent 3D graphics at low system requirements.
Action 31 July 2018
An action-adventure game offering a surrealistic atmosphere and developed by Bedtime Digital Games. Figment is set in a world which depicts the subconsciousness of a 40-year-old man. When his calm mind got attacked by nightmares symbolizing everyday frights, two friends stood up to them. Dusty is an embodiment of courage; as for Rusty, she manifests optimism and bears a resemblance to birds. The game is played from an isometric view and the experience is based mainly on exploring locations filled with traps and fighting enemies and bosses encountered. Interestingly, the stronger enemies sometimes are not eager to fight and only through backing them into a corner can the player confront them, which requires finding the weak spots of the adversary and taking advantage of them. The game world is filled with sounds and music, which illustrates the player's actions. The in-game environments are presented with thr use of colorful, hand-drawn graphics reminiscent of the works by Salvador Dali.
Among The Sleep (XONE)
Adventure 03 June 2016
A first-person horror adventure game. Our hero is a two years old child, with all the physical and mental traits of this age. He gets woken up from sleep by a mysterious sounds and realizes that his mother is missing, so he decides to search for her together with his teddy bear. The gameplay focuses on exploring the gloomy household distorted by the child's imagination, while solving simple puzzles and searching for a way to reach subsequent locations. Additionally, you have to avoid imaginary monsters and find family memories, which are the only way to tame our hero's imagination. Since you are playing as a little child, most of the time you will be crawling or walking slowly, only occasionally running, for short period of time.
Adventure 05 December 2017
An exploration-focused adventure FPP game by indie studio Hangonit. Rememoried is set in a surreal land, where memories turn into dreams and forgetting fragments of your life is the only way to get to deeper dream levels. At first you have no idea where you are and why you got here, but step by step you find hints that come together and eventually reveal the truth about the whole situation. The gameplay of Rememoried focuses on exploring various locations and solving easy logic puzzles. Since there are no clear instructions, you have to discover the mechanics and construction of the land on your own. This knowledge becomes useful when you have to overcome increasingly more difficult obstacles. Rememoried features attractive surreal visuals, usually in black and white. For better immersion the game utilizes a first-person view.
Adventure 17 March 2017
A first-person adventure game featuring survival elements. It is the first major project of the Canadian Parabole studio. The story is set in the northern regions of the Quebec province, in the 1970s. The game tells the story of a conflict between the owner of the most profitable copper mine in the region - a rich man called W. Hamilton, and the native local community accusing him of devastating sacred sites in search for more profit. The player is put in the shoes of a detective hired by Hamilton after his chalet in the mountains has been devastated. After his arrival, the protagonist discovers that his employer as well as the entire local community went missing. The gameplay focuses on exploration, finding clues and solving puzzles. However, the game features survival elements as well - the player has to tend to the protagonist's health and face many different dangers, such as low temperatures, predators, etc.
Adventure 24 August 2016
An FPP action-adventure game featuring sci-fi elements and focusing on exploration. It was developed by Blue Isle Games - a Canadian team popular for Slender: The Arrival. The player is taken to the titular valley, which is a mysterious place located somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Assuming the role of an unspecified character, the player traverses a set of diversified locations, trying to discover the secrets hidden in the area. The protagonist makes use of the L.E.A.F. exoskeleton, which belongs to the latest inventions in technology. However, thanks to the possibilities the exoskeleton offers, the exploration is very dynamic, for the protagonist can access locations an ordinary human being would not be able to reach. One of the most important uses of L.E.A.F. is control over life and death - the player can both deprive organisms of their lives or literally breathe life into them. There is a price to be paid for this ability however, because each death of the protagonist causes the entire valley to decay gradually.
Die Young (XONE)
Action December 2018
An independent exploration game with survival elements from an in-house team of the Indie Gala company. We play as a heroine who found herself on a Mediterranean island, not knowing how, why, and by whom she was kidnapped. She must uncover the truth behind this event and escape. Die Young employs first-person perspective and focuses on exploration. Aside from that, the protagonist must fight for survival, gathering food, water and useful equipment. Because she can’t use any weapons, our heroine is forced to run from dangers and climb on her surroundings to avoid danger – otherwise, she will meet a horrible end at the hands of opponents, with decapitations with axe being common scenes. What makes Die Young stand out from other games from the genre are its high-quality visuals, with detailed, moved by wind plants.
Adventure 30 January 2018
An episodic psychological thriller exploration game, the first one by Nilo Studies, founded by Niles Sankey—formerly a member of Bungie for ten years, the creators of e.g. the Halo franchise and Destiny. The game was inspired by American TV series such as The X-Files or The Twilight Zone, as well the British series Black Mirror and video games like The Stanley Parable or P.T. (the playable teaser of the ultimately cancelled Silent Hills). In Asemblance you play as a mysterious protagonist trapped in a machine capable of memory simulation. To escape, you need to delve deep into the protagonist's mind and recover memories which would be better off forgotten. You journey through various—and at times surreal—fragments of the protagonist's past. The game utilizes the first-person perspective, and the gameplay is focused on exploration and limited interaction with the environment.
Adventure 07 August 2015
A third person action adventure game that combines a post-apocalyptic setting with fantasy elements. The game was created by Uppercut Games, a developer studio founded by industry veterans who previously worked on such classics as Fallout Tactics and the BioShock franchise. You take on the role of a young girl, who brings her wounded brother into a submerged city. Gameplay is based on exploration (on foot or by boat) in search of any items that could give the boy some relief. Instead of traditional puzzles, you have to figure out how to reach seemingly inaccessible places. While playing you also find upgrades for your boat, as well as pictograph that reveal the story of both the siblings and the mysterious, submerged metropolis. The game is powered by Unreal Engine 4.
Action December 2018
A children-friendly sandbox and a debut of Lightbulb Games, a studio established by former employees of Press Play. The players enter a vast world inspired by desert areas of Colorado in a quest to choose the greatest explorer alive. The game sees us explore the vast depths of the available world and engage in various activities, from discovering oasis, through scaling mountains, up to taking part in wild racing. The means of transport are created from scratch using a set of tools and ready-made elements. The used vehicle can be modified and upgraded to suit the needs at hand, as well as repaired after wearisome journeys. The game offers both single and multiplayer modes, but as could be expected, the online features are especially interesting, offering multiplayer racing or joint exploration. Trailmakers is characteristic for its detailed visuals, mixing post-apocalyptic environments with pastel colors and friendly atmosphere.
Dear Esther: Landmark Edition (XONE)
Adventure 20 September 2016
A remake of Dear Esther, a popular narrative exploration game from 2012 that started a whole new genre – the so-called walking simulators. It was developed by the independent studio The Chinese Room. Contrary to the base version of the game that was powered by the Source engine and released only on personal computers, this edition is powered by the Unity technology. This enabled the developers to release their game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well. The new version introduces completely new sounds, including the developers’ commentary that can be played during the game. In Dear Esther: Landmark Edition the player calmly travels through locations (the action is presented in a first-person perspective) and gradually discovers new pieces of the story. The plot is presented in the form of letters to the titular Esther, which are read by a mysterious male voice. Since the game lacks any interactions with the environment, it caused many discussions about whether it is still a video game or simply an interactive experience.
The Town of Light (XONE)
Adventure 06 June 2017
First-person adventure game in the form of a psychological thriller and the debut of an independent Italian studio Lka.it. The game's plot is set in an mental institution located in the Italian town of Volterra. Creators of The Town of Light decided to depict in their game the history of an actually existing place, focusing on dramas of its residents, treated by facility staff like animals. In the game we play the part of a 16-year-old girl named Renee who comes to the asylum in hope of recovering her lost memories. Her task is complicated by the fact that she suffers from schizophrenia, and during exploration she is constantly accompanied by her various fears and other symptoms of her condition. During the game we explore subsequent, carefully reproduced rooms of the asylum, slowly discovering all of its dark secrets. Depending on our actions, story can develop in a nonlinear way.