It’s almost New Year’s, which means that December is coming to an end, and it’s time to talk about the hottest new items of this month. Games vary widely by genre, and the publishers and developers behind them will definitely be familiar to the average gamer. At the beginning of the month, there were quite a few high-profile releases (hello, Cyberpunk 2077), so there will be something to play during the January holidays. Most pleased with Riot Games, but I’ll talk about this a little later. I left the most interesting part for last.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Koji Igarashi is best known for creating Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (ported to smartphones this year). Ritual of the Night is the spiritual successor to Symphony of the Night so that it can be safely dubbed the Metroidvania genre. Only now do we play as a girl named Miriam, who has crystals on her body. They allow you to take abilities from defeated enemies. She received the crystals in the course of magical experiments carried out on her by alchemists.
After 10 years of coma, Miriam must go to Demon Castle where the fiends of Hell live; destroying them, she will be able to collect the crystal fragments. This will help remove the curse. As the game progresses, we collect costumes for Miriam, which affect both her appearance and performance in battle. Developers from NetEase Games say that you can develop your own fighting style, which will come in handy for defeating bosses; there are more than 120 of them.
Bio Inc. Redemption
Virus simulators have exploded in popularity in 2020 (I’m looking at you, Plague Inc.). But if you want some alternative, such as the ability to treat patients, Bio Inc. comes to the rescue. Redemption. Here, from the very beginning, two paths are proposed – illness or doctor. And honestly, I was immediately carried along the path of a healer. The campaign for him was done well: we are going through training to show all the basics. At first, the eyes run up from the abundance of icons, diagnoses, tests, and prescriptions. Fortunately, the internship is not the most disastrous patient. The plan is always this: we address the patient’s complaints and carry out the necessary tests. If the result is positive, then we save up points and then prescribe treatment. To make the course of the disease easy, we can force the patient to do physical. Culture or eat salads (only sometimes he still takes up a cigarette, which we cannot prevent). In case the situation is out of control, we send the patient to the emergency department and carry out the necessary manipulations.
If we talk about The dark side of the Force, that is, about the Virus’s path, here we are trying to ensure that our patient perishes. By the way, here you can choose smoking in the “Risk Factors,” that is, the disease regulates our patient’s bad habits. The cool thing is that you can make the patient mentally ill or give him a stroke – the ways of development are the sea. Another thing is that even after a minor cough, our victim runs to doctors who conduct tests and prescribe treatment. And we see all this in real-time, which increases the level of immersion. The virus’s main task is to destroy one of the victim’s organs, preventing doctors from curing him or her up to 100%.
The RPG sandbox inspired by games like Stardew Valley, Terraria, and Zelda’s Legend is hardly a no-no. In Forager, we are offered the freedom to choose: dig gems, chop down equally valuable trees, or catch big fish. Don’t get fooled by pixel art because arcade elements don’t belong here – you can bargain with NPCs, go on raids and even expect night intrusions from intruders. There are enough biomes too, so if you always wanted to settle near the cemetery, then with Forager, it is possible.
The developers strongly encourage the exploration of the local world because you can find rare exhibits that the museum will be interested in. You will even receive rewards for complete sets. When you get tired of adventure, you can always return to your home to engage in cattle breeding and plant cultivation (by the way, you can even grow minerals and stones here, but only in special cases). But capitalism is in the yard, so if you suddenly find an extra coin in your pocket, you can always start the conveyor or buy products in bulk. Well, if you want to become heroes again, then more than 30 hidden chests are waiting deep in the dungeons.
MARVEL Realm of Champions
After the not very successful start of Marvel’s Avengers, we got isometric action on smartphones. The Realm of Champions features some of our favorite characters from the Marvel Universe: Spiderman, Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and so on. The list is not the largest – only seven heroes at the time of launch, two more are still classified as “Secret.” In this game, fights are held in the “3 on 3” format, where both live opponents and artificial ones can act against us. There are four modes to choose from Arena Capture, Arena Deathmatch, Fortress, and Onslaught. For beginners, the developers recommend the “Fortress” mode, where we fight off five enemy waves.
Each player starts with Iron Man, but the Hulk and Doctor Strange open up in the first hour. Each Champion has a role to play, so play as each. Particular attention should be paid to pumping and new armor, which changes its appearance and characteristics. Excess items can be sold. It is better to constantly move on the battlefield, looking for the right moment to attack, because each Champion does not have a specific role assigned to it. Combining allied attacks will create the most unusual combinations for colossal damage.
This is an unusual game in the sense that we are not fighting monsters or robots. In the story, a girl falls from heaven and is caught by a spirit named Deemo. In the end, you need to help her find her way home, but for this, you need to remember everything and, most importantly – play a lot of tunes on the piano. This is one of the main aspects of the game, which makes it quite musical. The plan is as follows: explore locations, solve puzzles, and find sheet music to unlock a new song. I don’t think that there will be only classical pieces here. There are other genres, as well. Only we will continue to play the piano.
The musical process is built on the example of the Guitar Hero series: notes are flying at us at an angle, and we must play them correctly; we do this several times in a row, and now there is a combo. For the perfect game, we are even given a separate reward in the form of a miniature castle. In total, Deemo Reborn contains over 60 tunes that will pave the way for the truth.
League of Legends: Wild Rift
Riot Games made a splash in December with the release of League of Legends: Wild Rift in MBTs almost everywhere globally. This is a real MOBA, closer to the PC version than other crafts on the mobile market. There is no energy scale, intrusive donation, and advertising. Everything is achieved through trial and error: we level up, unlock many Champions, study guides, and get better. Local battles are short – they last about 10-20 minutes on average, but you have time to develop your strategy and give your best fully during this time.
The Wild Gulch map has been slightly changed from the PC version: the single and twin lines are mirrored, and the Nexus protects itself. Champions are divided into several categories: assassin, support, tank, mage, and so on. It depends on which line they will go to. In general, Wild Rift encourages teamwork: we are given rewards for the likes we receive after the end of the match, and statistics constantly record our play style and the number of wins/losses. I am waiting for the first eSports competition to begin.
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure
The developers of this game believe that even a small person can influence the world around him. If you’ve played the Monument Valley or Assemble with Care series before, then you can safely dive into the local minimalistic but colorful world. We play as a girl named Alba, who came to visit her family in the Mediterranean. As a result, it turns out that the local nature and animals are mistreated, which we must correct. Here you can even take pictures of animals to add them to your collection and read brief information about them.
Eventually, carefree holidays in a village by the sea turn into creating a whole organization to save the island. We have to look for volunteers and look for animals that can be hidden from view. The developers say that the game is imbued with a sense of nostalgia for “the same” summer holidays, so you need to go slowly, enjoying the scenery and Spanish music. And in parallel, you can do good deeds.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2
The second part about the adventures of the last Jedi in the world of Star Wars… The gameplay has remained unchanged compared to the previous game: it is an RPG with tactful and dynamic battles and a huge selection of dialogues. Due to the tight deadline for development, something had to be cut, but at the same time, a new psychological side of the dialogs appeared – Influence. That is, each of our party members and just meeting NPCs has character traits and moral principles. Someone is an adherent of the dark side of the Force, and someone drowns for the Jedi. Since we also choose our role in the local universe’s fate, the characters react to our words and behavior. If we have a strong influence on them, it is easier to get useful information from them or even transfer them to the other side of the Force.
Although Knights of the Old Republic 2 is a sequel, completely different people become the main characters. At the same time, you can meet old acquaintances. We take on the role of the Exile, who lost his Power due to sins. But it so happened that we are the last hope of the Republic or its destruction. We need to find the Jedi scattered across the planets and decide their fate, as well as the fate of the three main Sith.
it a card arcade where we participate in wrestling matches. We get cool characters like The Undertaker or The Rock through the popular gacha system that has become the norm lately (hello Genshin Impact). The local graphics are minimalistic and cartoonish, and during the fights, you need to monitor the energy scale. It is spent on techniques from which combinations are performed. If the scale is empty, then you cannot even defend yourself. In general, the option with a card system can be considered a winning one. Control on smartphones is unlikely to reach the consoles level shortly, and cards even add an element of strategy. Unfortunately, the game is shareware, so do not rush to collect the best wrestlers to win every match.
SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech
This project is a card role-playing game in the style of steampunk fantasy… It features cool hand-drawn graphics and turn-based battles against huge mushrooms and ogres. We are looking for chests scattered across the locations to win in them, where powerful cards can lie. Build a deck of them and search for adventures with formulaic dragons and ridicule of typical cliché moments. According to the plot, the local Gods created a huge monster that mocked the residents every possible way. As a result, a hero came and killed the monster, but fake heroes replaced him after a long time. When the world is threatened again, only we can save it. And it all started with the investigation of one small case.
The combat system is made in turn-based mode, where a group of our heroes fights against mechanical goblins, slugs, etc. We use cards to use abilities, but before the battle, you can get a small advantage by approaching the enemy from behind and inflicting a sneaky blow from the back. Puzzles are present here, and they are tied to the study of locations. There can be a maximum of 24 cards in a deck, eight for each hero. Some users notice that the local action is more like Magic: The Gathering than any Hearthstone.