Nothing like a few refreshing games to beat the summer heat. Julio arrives accompanied by great indies and here we discover the best.
“There is only one season, summer, so beautiful that the others revolve around”, said the writer Ennio Flaiano in his day. A statement especially valid for players, as it is usually between June and September when we have more time to hold the controller and go on adventures. The summer period, when the frenetic pitching rhythm falls asleep like someone about to take a nap, gives us a break. There are those who take advantage of it to lighten the backlog and pay off that perennial debt with the classic retro of the day or the aspiring GOTY who still has not been able to taste. Others, however, use the summer to spend time and games on smaller works, suffocated by the noise around this or that triple A. Holidays are an excellent time to cool off with more direct, daring and innovative proposals. And July 2020 comes loaded with them.
The arrival of the heat and June brought with it proposals as diverse as The Almost Gone, a puzzle game with a black novel soul, Summer of Mara, the promise of an eternally kawaii summer, and Beyond Blue, a vast simulator of underwater life. Julio has left us and will leave a marked predominance of retro aesthetics, with winks at 16 and even 8 bits. However, on the seventh sheet of the calendar there are also other aesthetics and all kinds of mechanics: from low-poly shooters to pastel city-builders. Of course, summer in general and July in particular promise dozens of hours with the remote, mouse and keyboard.
Superhot: Mind Control Delete (Superhot Team)
Although Mind Control Delete is not a new installment of Superhot, this expansion comes with various add-ins. The first, a good list of levels for a game “four times larger than the original”, as indicated by the Superhot Team itself and as they corroborate the approximately eight hours of duration completely free if we already had the original. Second, and more importantly if possible, Mind Control Delete goes one more step – or two, or three – in the playable. In our analysis we give you all the details about it.
The new version of Superhot has the vocation of roguelike. That translates to each game getting us to shoot through a selection from several of the 32 total levels while gaining random abilities along the way. If the original game could seem like something linear, Mind Control Delete is more open and aggressive. Details such as that certain enemies can only be defeated by shooting in specific areas of their body or that there are indestructible rivals that appear if we spend too much time without advancing contribute to the latter. Mind Control Delete is more and better Superhot. And there is no better invitation to vice than that.
RITE (Pond Games Pty Ltd)
Super Meat Boy generated a new platform current on a scale very similar to that of Dark Souls with respect to RPGs. Following the success of Team Meat, dozens — even hundreds — of independent developers recovered the precise, demanding, and precious platform that seemed once lost, one with fewer buttons and bits. Meat-like — somehow the subgenre has to be baptized — has given us all kinds of successors. Some more direct, as Edmund McMillen himself did with The End is Nigh, and others with the same intensity in the jumps, but with the focus on other aspects. Celeste and his attention to character development is a very powerful example. RITE, the newest member on the roster, fits better in the first group and is focused on delivering levels that smash knobs.
Throughout 160 levels that are pure pixelated craftsmanship, RITE forces us to bounce and bounce dodging circular saws, dangling axes, and other obstacles. If surviving such a pilgrimage is not enough, each phase contains multiple coins that double as collectibles and pose an additional challenge. As in Super Meat Boy, The End is Nigh, Celeste and the like, its gameplay is tremendously polished. In Daniel Freer’s work, jumps are made with watchmaker’s precision and response times are immediate. Also the retries, something to be appreciated in a game that makes deaths routine. Pure gameplay from start to finish, RITE is the most attractive proposal of July for fans of the platform. And more if possible for its price: only 3.99 euros on Steam.
Carrion (Phobia Game Studio)
In that distant E3 of 2019, when the events were still face-to-face and the Los Angeles conference shone on the calendar of every gamer, Devolver Digital opted for Carrion. Described as a reverse horror game, the Texas company invited us to put ourselves in the shoes of the monster instead of the victim. And to skin the latter, all be said, for experimenting with us.