Cataclismo and four more games

The midsummer festivities are in full swing, and I am here playing games instead of following the traditions that come with it. Yes, I might be keeping an eye on the ongoing Wagner versus Russia situation as well. I think most are, given the implication it has. But I digress. How about you, is midsummer part of your cultural heritage and something you celebrate? That reminds me!

I got the opportunity to celebrate when I found the exit in Presences: Dark Awakening by Cozy Marshmallow. No, I did not celebrate because I felt at risk. I celebrated because it was the end of me having to pick up things for no apparent reason. That is correct. Aside from the usual notes, I could pick up cans with paint, hammers, and other random things that added nothing to my advancement in the game. But I will say this. The game looks good and has a great atmosphere.

On the subject of atmosphere. Verne: The Shape of Fantasy by Gametopia delivers on that as well, albeit in a more colorful and light-hearted environment. Well, as light-hearted as a shipwreck and you being stranded on an island can be. The fact is, if I had to choose between being stranded on said island, even in real life, or having to deal with the fixed camera position in Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles, I would pick the former. So please, Tomas Sala, unlock the camera.

You might not see it right now. But there is a tie-in to the camera reference above that will make itself known before the end of this article. But first, let us have a look at the highlights of week 25!

Aliens – Dark Descent by Tindalos Interactive


Game: Aliens – Dark Descent
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Tindalos Interactive
Publisher: Focus Entertainment
Release type: Full release
Release date: June 19, 2023
Platform: Steam, Epic, Xbox, PlayStation

Cataclismo by Digital Sun


Game: Cataclismo
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Digital Sun
Publisher: Humble Games
Release type: Next Fest Demo
Release date: TBA
Platform: Steam

Ugly by Team Ugly


Game: Ugly
Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Team Ugly
Publisher: Graffiti Games
Release type: Next Fest Demo
Release date: TBA
Platform: Steam

Chicken Police – Into the HIVE! by The Wild Gentlemen


Game: Chicken Police – Into the HIVE!
Genre: Adventure
Developer: The Wild Gentlemen
Publisher: Joystick Ventures
Release type: Announcement
Release date: TBA
Platform: Steam

The Bookwalker – Thief of Tales by DO MY BEST


Game: The Bookwalker – Thief of Tales
Genre: Adventure
Developer: DO MY BEST
Publisher: tinyBuild
Release type: Full release
Release date: June 22, 2023
Platform: Steam, GOG, Epic, Xbox, PlayStation

It is in the eye of the beholder

Let me explain the fixed camera position I mentioned above. You are free to move the camera view, but only in relation to the node you have selected on the map. This makes it feel like you are playing a VR game with stepped camera movement. If that was what the developer was going for, goal achived. But it just feels strange to me. I much rather deal with free-form camera movement. You know, the type of movement that are found in most FPP games.

One of those games are Viewfinder. But the developer, Sad Owl Studios, decided to take it a step further and let you manipulate your surroundings with in-game photographs. Yes, that is how you progress throughout a level—you move through photos. To make matters worse, you are limited to x number of photgraphs per level as well. So you really need to be mindful of what you use and when. If not, you might find yourself in the middle of nowhere with a bottomless pit as your only way out.

Bottomless pits aside. If you have time to spare, try the demo of this game before it is to late. It is one of the more interesting entries in this edition of Steam Next Fest and it would not surprise me if it ends up on one or more GOTY lists at the end of the year. Yes, it is that good.

Take care, and remember to hydrate!

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