The summer months are traditionally pretty dry for video games, to my pleasant surprise, I had no trouble at all finding 10 games for my July 2020 list, there is a lot that has me personally excited this time around.
As always, I don’t list the big heavy hitters. If you are reading a list of video games on the internet, you already know Ghost of Tsushima is coming (Woohoo!). I instead focus on games that may have slipped under your radar.
The Otterman Empire
If you can excuse the pun, The Otterman Empire is a neat looking party game featuring Otters with water-powered jet packs. The game is perfectly playable solo, but you can also play with friends in the campaign or in versus multiplayer. Split-screen is available too, which is nice.
The water concept is kind of neat, if your jet pack runs out you have to run to a water source to refill it and the combat looks like good old shooty tooty fun.
The amount of cosmetic options also looks to be otterly ridiculous. I’m so sorry about that. I otter be ashamed of myself. Good news though, if you’re reading this, the game is out and you can pick it up. That otter make up it.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t experiencing hero shooter fatigue, but Rocket Arena slapped me awake. The combat looks incredibly fluid and the concept is super cool. Everyone has some kind of rocket launcher alongside their hero abilities.
What actually sold me on the game was how you defeat your opponents. A Rocket based game would be frustrating if you simply got insta-gibbed by a single shot. Rocket Arena takes a page from Smash Brothers instead. You defeat your foes by knocking them out of the arena. This opens up a lot of potential tactics and chaotic shenanigans that simply exploding on contact would lack.
Furthermore, Rocket Arena features cross-platform play so you can play with your friends no matter what. I think the game looks super cool and I hope it attracts a solid player base.
Neon Abyss releases on Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on July 14th, 2020.
My monthly lists have probably revealed that I favor roguelikes and roguelites or games that have high replay value in general. Neon Abyss ticks that box nicely and looks ridiculously snazzy doing it.
Neon Abyss is a beautifully animated platformer shooter with over 400 items that can synergize with each other. An evolving dungeon system for high replay value and you can play some mini-games for loot, like a dance competition!
You can also hatch and evolve pets, because why not. I also can’t get over just how fancy the visual effects look and I’m not a person that really cares about graphics in the first place. Honestly, I really enjoy the bright-colored palette.
Aeolis Tournament releases on Steam and Nintendo Switch on July 16th, 2020.
Aeolis Tournament is a party game for up to 8 players locally or online. The whole game is based on a simple premise, a one-button mechanic where you vacuum and expel air with a handheld cannon.
How the game uses this simplicity in a wide variety of ways is what makes it interesting. Push and pull opponents, fire projectiles, or you can blast yourself across the ice for example.
There are various game modes that utilize the mechanic, an array of power-ups and dynamic and destructible arenas. The simplicity should make the game easy to pick up. That’s important for a party game, yet there seems to be a lot of hidden depth that the developer is shooting for which I really appreciate.
The Underground King
The Underground King enters Steam early access on July 16th, 2020.
Scrolling through the cesspit of Steam’s upcoming release list not only damages my soul, but the blood pouring from my eye sockets can make finding the good games difficult in spite of the fact that I’m specifically looking for them.
Sometimes a game stands out simply because of how unique it is. How about a side-scrolling Mad Max style racing rogue-lite? The Underground King is exactly that.
It has driver types based on popular RPG archetypes, loot, world laws that you can carry into your next run, skills, and more. The game looks to be pretty fleshed out for an early access release and the concept of rogue-lite racing is pretty rad.
Drake Hollow releases to Steam and Xbox One on July 17th, 2020. (Drake Hollow has been delayed since this article was written)
Fun fact. I bought and loved Fortnite Save The World before battle royal shook its ass and caused Epic to toss me and whole five other people who bought it to the curb. Business is business, but getting dumped on still stinks.
Drake Hollow reminds me a lot of it, without the loot box pinatas which is nice. You scavenge for materials to build a home for the helpless little mandrake creatures, keeping them fed and cared for. You also build defenses to help you fight off nasty creatures that will periodically raid you.
It has a nice charm to it and looks like a lot of fun with a satisfying loop of explore, build, defend. The little mandrakes are adorable too and apparently can evolve and grant you buffs. I really cant wait to play it.
Golftopia enters Steam early access on July 21st, 2020.
I have no interest in Golf, the only type of Golf I’ve ever played was minigolf and I’m awful at it, seriously. I have two modes of power, move the ball one inch or send it to the moon and get kicked out of the park for having the precise control of a silverback Gorilla getting stung by a swarm of angry hornets.
So I never could have imagined being excited about a Golf video game, but here we are. In Golftopia you create and manage a futuristic golf course with persistently simulated guests. You also build turrets to fight off encroaching weeds. I feel like the PGA would be far more interesting if that were a thing.
Since it’s futuristic, you can build all kinds of oddball obstacles and gizmos to drive your golfers insane. Silliness aside, the course building looks great and it appears that Golftopia puts a big focus on the sim aspects, giving the golfers a lot of personalities you can data mine from.
Bounty Battle releases to Steam, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on July 23rd, 2020. (Bounty Battle has been delayed since this article was written)
Take Super Smash Brothers, replace Nintendo’s roster with characters from a wide array of popular indie games, and voila. You have Bounty Brawler, and that’s pretty badass.
The game features 30 characters pulled from indie darlings such as Dead Cells, Darkest Dungeon, and Skull Girls complete with move sets and minions they can summon.
Smash Brothers is one of few games that make me regret not owning a Switch. Bounty Battle looks like it can ease that pain. I think it’s super cool that a game like this is able to be made and the cross over is legitimately awesome.
While I was always excited for Grounded, I got to chance to try the demo during the Steam Game Festival and it absolutely sold me. I love survival games as a general rule and Grounded has a super cool setting.
The world felt massive despite taking place in a backyard and the ecosystem felt alive. In my short time with the game I had a lot of fun exploring, fighting, building, and running away in utter terror from giant spiders.
For a survival game, it’s a bit too forgiving but it is an early access title and if there is demand for it, maybe we can get a hardcore mode. Regardless I cant wait to dive into the game, it’s also going to be on gamepass which is pretty sweet.
Fight Crab Releases to Steam, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on July 30th, 2020.
Hey don’t laugh. It totally looks like a meme game and that’s what I thought before I tried the demo. The game is shockingly a lot of fun to play. It’s physics based combat feels really good and the sword fighting can stand on it’s on own against other games.
There are a ton of weapons you can earn for your crab ranging from swords, axes, guns and other insainity. You can even perform anime style enregy blasts.
If it helps, controlling the crab actually feels like you are in control of giant crab shaped mech. There is a rather large variety of crab types you can unlock. You can also get crabby with a friend in co-op. Don’t sleep on this game, it might surprise you.
Sometimes games from my previous lists get delayed after I publish them. I always try and stay aware of this fact and repost them during the new month they are supposed to release in this rescheduled section.
Artificer: Science of Magic
Artificer: Science of Magic releases on to Steam on July 23rd, 2020. (Artificer has been delayed to September after this article was written)
Artificer is a single-player RPG survival game with an incredibly unique concept. As a man of science marooned on a magical planet. You have to adapt and mix your scientific nature with the arcane to survive. The game is based on the idea of learning through exploration and the crafting of consumable items and magical spells.
Artificer could have been a bog-standard survival game, but it seems to play its theme close to its heart. You can, for example, perform a dissection on fallen creatures to learn about them. I seriously can’t wait for this one.
That’s all for this months list, I really hope you all found at least one game to look forward to this month. If you made it this far, why not check out some of my reviews? You could also check out my Kofi page. Sharing my content is also always welcome, lists like this are meant to be seen after all.
I am game reviewer and fiction writer