The Y Geek Squad rounds up four games that break the norms and pave the way for an exciting month of gaming.
It’s gearing up to be a month to remember for gamers eager to make up for the largely forgetful year they’ve had. August cranks the ante all the way up to a hundred as it beckons the long-awaited arrival of what we geeks like to claim for ourselves: gaming season.
The flurry of releases for the month covers everything from the world of the mystical, to more realistic titles in sports, and turn-by-turn action-adventure releases – meaning, there’s plenty and more for us to hibernate with (indoors) through for a month or two… or at least until summer’s strong grip lets go.
Here, we round up our top picks of the month that are worth every penny you (probably) saved not buying games since the spring.
A gripping card game that made its way onto the consoles long enough for it to have a stand-alone cult following; ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ blends the best of turn-by-turn card games and adds to it the joys of modern animation and design. This rendition of the game adds a 9,000-plus-strong card library, complete with the latest mechanics that allow it to feature the likes of link summoning – a new law to play the game. Getting to grips will be a trial, as we all know: subtlety is hardly the game’s strong suite. Add to it the challenges of switching through various plotlines and characters from previous games, and you’re left with what could possibly be the best card-based game on console.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
‘Rad’ takes up the worst of modern gaming – the hackneyed post-apocalyptic story-line, zombies and mutants, and slash-and-hack gameplay – and turns it into a refreshing update that’s worth playing. The plot follows an Earth that has ended… twice… to a nuclear holocaust and throws you – the human who survived the ordeal – into the heart of it. Where things take a turn for the better is when you realise you’re exposed to radioactivity that slowly results in your mutation. Far into the gameplay, you’re less human as you are mutant. This allows you to gain super-strengths that you can then use to go save what’s left of the planet.
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Think of this game as a modern take on the brilliantly-scripted yet failed title, ‘Spore’ (from 2008). While ‘Spore’ gave players an opportunity to control everything – from the evolution of single-celled organisms to more complex forms of life – ‘Ancestors’, like its name suggests, gives you control over the evolution of humankind. We’d like to imagine there’s more to it than just eating, sleeping, and exploring new areas. The developers say that the game relies on you to sustain your clan of apes (in the early days) and then take control of the eight-million-year-long journey to humankind (or something similar) as we know it today. Oddly, the final form of humans may vary depending on the evolution path you take – so you’ll get to know how life would actually turn out if you played creator.
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Everything about this game is worryingly spooky – from the title, all the way to the gameplay and storyline. Inspired from the (forgetful) ‘Blair Witch’ movie from 2016, the game tightens up on loose ends and adds a touch of graphical dexterity to package the final product on a high note. The first-person view, alongside the dark environment and lack of any characters to interact with makes this one of the hardest games to sit through. Also, the addition of a camcorder and a torch light to record and proceed through the woods and the cabins makes for some compelling jump scares.
Platforms: PC, Xbox One