We’ve finally made it into 2018 and we’re in the part of the year where anything feels possible. Sure nothing changed but the date when the clock struck midnight on the 31st but that doesn’t mean we can’t make changes this time around the sun. If for some reason your 2018 resolution was to play more games (or you just want some rad new projects to check out) we’ve got a really promising group of games that released over the past month. Read on for malls, Santa, and isolation.
The team behind Zodiac Mall Ball is the closest thing I’ve seen to a video game supergroup. Sure the team is only made of 4 people, Teddy Diefenbach and Akash Thakkar worked on Hyper Light Drifter, one team member is artist extraordinaire Ethan Redd, and the last is friend of the site Jenny Jiao Hsia. So logically Zodiac Mall Ball should be incredible, right? Well it is.
Originally done as a part of Drawfee’s first gamejam Zodiac Mall Ball tells the tale of children battling in the cutest abandoned mall to gain the favor of forgotten gods via sacrificing awesome pins. If the premise alone doesn’t thrill you know that you can use the game’s 4 player rollerblade-em-up as a radical way to both solve and cause problems with your friends.
I feel bad for missing out on Mateusz Skutnik’s Where Is series. Every year since 2009 Skutnik has crafted an absolutely gorgeous puzzle adventure that is immediately striking. Mechanically the games are equally platformer and point and click adventure but their charm stretches beyond their literal appeal. It’s hard to describe but Where is 2018 but everything works in service to crafting a fun little adventure that makes me excited for Where is 2019.
I also want to take this chance to recommend all of Stutnik’s other projects on itch.io. They’re all beautiful and have a level of polish that makes me ashamed to admit I had never heard of his work before this week. They’re available at a variety of price points so there’s something in there for just about everyone.
We talk about aesthetics a lot here on the itch.io Blog. Partially because I’m a human being with eyeballs who likes looking at pretty things but also because distinctive visual art is one of the most effective ways to make potential buyers take note of your project. Example: The World Begins With You, a game I wanted to check out after seeing a single screenshot.
Absolutely brilliant visual art aside, TWBWY is a solemn and solitary adventure that explores the life of a character who wakes up in a prison cell in a strange world. I won’t talk too much about the specifics of the game for fear of ruining the magic, but I highly recommend taking your time and exploring all that TWBWY has to offer.
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