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Tags Recommends: cults and relaxation, jungles and islands

This week’s recommendations are an unlikely duo. One is a tense exploration of faith and cults, the other is about chilling out in the woods. See what I mean? The thing that unites them both is just how good they are: The Church in the Darkness is an interesting fusion of stealth and narrative and A Short Hike feels like a game that I can come back to whenever I’m stressed. Read on for the full recommendations.

The Church in the Darkness

I’ve been following The Church in the Darkness for quite a while and I’m excited to report that it’s finally out. The game promises a story of infiltrating a cult in the jungles of South America and stealth action gameplay to go along with it. It’s an interesting setup that I haven’t seen a lot in games. 

What really carries Church through is its writing which keeps the plot tense while also surprisingly human. The chief antagonists of the game are a pair of charismatic leaders who I had no trouble imagining being successful in real life and provide a strong incentive for you to continue your jaunt through the compound. If you have any interest in cults, sneaking, or game narratives, this is one that should be on your wishlist.

A Short Hike

For complete tonal whiplash we have A Short Hike. I’m always excited to relax and A Short Hike is ticking all the boxes. The whole game takes place on an island park and you’re able to explore in any way you want: strolling, hiking, or flying. Yep, flying. You play as an anthropomorphized bird so you’re able to traverse the island in more game-y ways than a normal walk-em-up. There are a lot of different things to find on the island from fishing spots to friendly hikers, which adds to what might be my new favorite relaxation game. Your journey ends when you climb up the mountain in the center of the island but at no point does A Short Hike force your hand. You can take your time exploring the island at whatever pace feels most comfortable for you and I really appreciate it. A short hike is a bite-sized delight that snuck up on me in all the right ways.

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Mentioned in this post

Infiltrate a cult in 1970s South America to try to find your nephew, Alex.
a little exploration game about hiking up a mountain