Quick-fire April 2021, Part Three

Cozy Grove
Developed by Spry Fox and published by The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild on the 8th of April 2021, Cozy Grove is a story rich hidden object game. Welcome to Cozy Grove, a game about camping on a haunted, ever-changing island. As a Spirit Scout, you will wander the island’s forest each day, finding new hidden secrets and helping soothe the local ghosts. With a little time and a lot of crafting, you will bring color and joy back to Cozy Grove!

Cozy Grove is a life-sim that is supposed to be played in short intervals (30 to 60 minutes) every day of the week. And it will be like that, the game will possess you and you will start it up every single day. It features beautiful hand-drawn graphics that will flourish when you will help the local ghost. There are a lot of characters and spirits to find, and also to find out more about them from their background stories that you will uncover over sessions of playing. Cozy Grove has a 40+ hour campaign and also features side quests, so you will be playing for months, if you will stick to the 30 minute formula we have mentioned before. You can also go fishing (hooray!) and collect spirit animals. It is a fun game to start up each day for a few minutes that will make you addicted and craving for more, waiting for tomorrows to arrive. The writing is pretty much great, the atmosphere as well, and the overall feeling of gaming it is relaxing. For reference, people are also comparing it to Animal Crossing, but I have never played that game, so I cannot judge. Get it if you want a calming, slow-paced adventure.

Narita Boy
Narita Boy is a retro platformer developed by Studio Koba and published by Team17 on the 30th of March this year. Become symphonic in Narita Boy! A radical action-adventure as a legendary pixel hero trapped as a mere echo within the Digital Kingdom. Discover the mysteries behind the Techno-sword, lock swords with the corrupt and tainted Stallions. Save the world!

Narita Boy, a 2D metroidvania from Spanish developers Studio Koba, is an homage to the eighties that will most certainly surprise you. It is a launch title of a fictional video game console called Narita One, and it quickly becomes the best-selling video game of all time. We do not know, if that will happen in reality too (probably, or better – certainly not), but it is an action platformer that you should most likely get your hands on. The pixel graphics with hand-drawn animations are a feast for your eyes, and the retrograde synth tunes will rock your ears while you will be traversing the landscapes of the Digital Kingdom. You will slash left and right with your Techno-sword, trying to link together successful combos that will defeat your opponents. Narita Boy is an epic flashy adventure, with its biggest downside being kind of flimsy controls. The game is about seven to eight hours long, and it does not support backtracking, so you will need to play again, when you want to find stuff that you have missed on your first playthrough. It also has a great soundtrack, did I mention that? I did? Nevertheless, there are fifty different songs, and I really enjoyed listening to them while playing. The game is not the cheapest, but it is worth your money, if you are a fan of retro metroidvanias. And do not hesitate with your purchase at all, if you see it on sale. Oh heck, grab the soundtrack too while you are at it, or just buy its Deluxe Edition which includes the game and the soundtrack.

Released on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Steam, Epic Games Store, GeForce NOW, and Google Stadia (wow, that was a mouthful, I need a breather) on the 1st of April, Outriders is an action role playing game by creators of the fun hit Bulletstorm, People Can Fly. This genre hybrid was published by Square Enix and it brings you a brutal combat combined by frenetic gunplay with deep RPG systems.

Outriders is at heart an online co-operative cover-based RPG-shooter that can be played as single player as well (think the Borderlands series). You can choose your character between four different classes, from Pyromancer – manipulates fire, Trickster – manipulates time, Devastator – unleashes seismic attacks, to Technomancer – uses turrets and other devices, all with their unique abilities. All characters are customizable so you can create them the way you want to. The game features a skill tree that allows unlocks and skill upgrades, like role playing games do. A fun factor to Outriders is that your health will only regenerate if you manage to kill enemies – which are human or monster. As mentioned, the game can also be played from start to finish with multiple players (three players at most), with its drop-in drop-out co-op feature. The gameplay is fun and brutal to the core, just as you would expect from Polish People Can Fly. Game’s story is more serious than Bulletstorm’s was, and the writing is alright – do not expect anything blockbuster-worthy, though. There are tons of side quests available, which adds to Outriders’ overall length. As far as game’s performance goes, there are a few noticeable bugs present and I wish the developers take care of them with future updates. If you are not sure of getting the game at its full price (59,99€, hello!), try out the demo as it will make your decision a lot easier. In it, you can try out all of the four classes and it offers quite a chunk of the game (the prologue and opening hours).

What the Dub?!
What the Dub?! is a shared screen co-operative party game where each player overdubs missing dialogue from hilariously awful B-movies, outdated PSAs, and bizarre industrial films, with their own witty (or just plain stupid) dubs! It was published by Wide Right Interactive on the 8th of April 2021.

What the Dub?! is a multiplayer party game where players watch the other players’ dubs and vote for the best one. The player with the highest score at the end of the game wins the round. Players can use any browser enabled device (computer, tablet or phone) to enter text and vote, similar to the more known Jackbox Party Pack games. The game can be played from three to maximum twelve players, where six people create dubs and six audience members vote. There are more than three-hundred movie clips to dub. Your dubs play back via text-to-speech generator, so you write your dub and the game creates the voice-over. What the Dub?! supports twenty-nine different languages, from English to Cantonese. The video clips that are included are funny and humorous to create dubs to, and you can enter serious or stupid sentences – the game will convert them all. It is also very simple to play, so all players who know how to handle their phone can join in the fun. And do not forget it is a party game, so the more dunk you and your friends are, the more fun will What the Dub?! turn out. Oh, and please drink responsibly, we do not encourage heavy drinking.