Hello! Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie Games Release Roundup!
This week, Disney, D&D and driving, among other things.
Apologies for the lack of a roundup last week. There were some unfortunate circumstances last week that meant I wasn’t in the right headspace to write much. As such, this week is a collection of games from the past two weeks. In fact, confession time, the Game of the Week this week is, in fact, from last week.
My personal recommendations for interesting looking titles this week include Venba, Flutter Away, Let’s School and The Banished Vault. And of course, my Game of the Week, which we’ll get to. And of course, these past two weeks have been dominated by the presence of Remnant 2 and the full release of Baldur’s Gate 3, which are both proving to big successes all round.
Super Space Club (PC, Xbox) is Asteroids with vibes. Developed by a solo Jamaican developer, this colourful, lo-fi take on the space shooter genre is trying to take the genre to interesting places.
Super Catboy (PC) is a retro 2D platformer throwing back to the animals with attitude trend of the 90s. Starring a cat in a Marty McFly jacket, you have to run, jump and shoot your way through a series of levels in order to defeat his own creator.
Flutter Away (PC, Switch) is a game about taking photographs of butterflies while hanging out with a capybara. The dream, basically.
Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox) is a 3D platformer set in the world of life sim Summer in Mara. You play as a young girl on a journey to stop a group of pirates from disrupting the peace of her island home. The game appears to be built specifically to appeal to speedrunners, so there’s clearly a bit of Sonic influence in here somewhere.
Arcadian Atlas (PC) is a tactical RPG about a kingdom at war. Boasting 12 fighter classes, the story promises to be full of devastating choices.
The first game from the new publishing arm of Thomas Was Alone developers Bithell Games, The Banished Vault (PC) is a strategy game set in a harsh universe. You guide a team of Exiles as they cross space trying to escape a cosmic force known as The Gloom.
Let’s School (PC) is a school management sim with a goofy twist. You are tasked with being the new headmaster, so you have to manage student morale to ensure a successful class of graduates.
Venba (PC, PS5, Switch, Xbox) is a narrative game centred around cooking. You play as an Indian mom who has moved to Canada, and the story revolves around the family adjusting to the different culture and using food as a way to bond and find comfort.
Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox X/S) is a return of the classic beat-em-up franchise, now returning with roguelike elements (oh no!). One unique element of this throwback is the ability to select two characters as a tag team.
The Expanse: A Telltale Series (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) is the new game from the revitalised Telltale, who are applying their specific brand of choice-based narrative gameplay to popular sci-fi show The Expanse. You play as Camina Drummer in a story that takes place before season 1 of the show.
F1 Manager 2023 (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) is the second annual release of Frontier’s Formula 1 management sim. No, this one’s not a racing game. Instead, you’re a team manager keeping the drivers and their vehicles in top working order. It’s Football Manager with cars, basically. If you’re into that sort of thing.
The sequel to Remnant: From the Ashes, Remnant 2 (PC, PS5, Xbox X/S) is a looter shooter crossed with a Soulslike, designed with co-op at its heart. You and your friends will do battle against a multitude of horrors in order to save the fabric of reality. This one’s outselling expectations, so there’s quite a buzz around it.
Baldur’s Gate 3 (PC) is the biggest release of the week, as Larian’s take on the classic Dungeons & Dragons inspired RPG finally leaves Early Access. Choose your class, go on adventures and romance a bear. Wait what?
Game of the Week
Game of the Week this week is Disney Illusion Island (Switch), a 2D platformer starring Disney’s classic characters.
You play as your choice of Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy, each of whom has their own unique abilities. The four of them have been lured to the mysterious island of Monoth, where the local people have instructed them to find the stolen Tomes of Knowledge that protect the island. The game is effectively a Metroidvania, as the group can unlock new abilities as they progress across the island. It also has the quirk of not being able to fight enemies directly, so you have to use your wits to survive.
Honestly, as a fan of classic animated shorts, I’m always up for new games with Disney’s Golden Age bunch, so this appealed to me from the get-go. On top of that, the art style is excellent, similar to the 2010s Mickey Mouse series, while the gameplay looks a lot like Rayman Legends. This looks like a real fun time, so Disney Illusion Island is officially Game of the Week.