Five Games You Might Have Missed In January, 2021

While we’re still in a relatively slow period for big-name games, smaller games still release every week and usually with very little fanfare. Many great gems can be uncovered by submerging yourself in the slop trough that we call, Steam’s new release list.

Understandably, not everyone has the patience or mental fortitude to spend hours digging through that trash heap to find the good stuff, but that’s why you have me! For the low cost of permanently staining a piece of my soul, I have uncovered five cool looking games you might have missed in January, 2021.

Lethal Running (Early Access)

  • Publisher: Voodoosoft
  • Developer: Voodoosoft
  • Release Date: January 15th, 2021
  • Platforms: PC
  • Genre: Action RPG, Survival, Rogue-Lite
  • Links: Steam Page

Lethal Running reminds me of the Hunger Games and Battle Royal, actual Battle Royal, not the weird bastard version that’s currently popular. By that I mean, Lethal Running is set on a reality show where the contestant has to survive a harsh environment and other people.

That means eating, surviving the elements for an extended period of time, and potential negotiation with NPCs. Not just picking up weapons in a glorified deathmatch and hiding in a bush for 20 minutes.

Lethal Running is completely single-player and looks to incorporate a lot of choice in how you approach different situations, and it offers a lot of replay value with its permadeath and rogue-lite nature. It’s in early access, so do your research, but a lot of the core game seems to be ready. It’s set on being in early access for just a year, which does seem to imply that the developer has some confidence in what they are doing.

You Arrive in A Town

  • Publisher: Bunny Box Games
  • Developer: Bunny Box Games
  • Release Date: January 26th, 2021
  • Platforms: PC
  • Genre: Action, Party Game
  • Links: Steam

I bet no one would have ever guessed, that I, a game reviewer, would be pretty introverted. Please contain your shock for a moment. Despite that, I direly miss board game night and tabletop games with more than just my partner and dogs. Try as they might, they just aren’t very good and just want to chew on the pieces. The dogs are pretty bad at them too.

You Arrive in a Town isn’t really a tabletop game, but it looks like one so I’m in. I think it falls more in line with games like Overcooked. You have timed stages where you and some friends have to work together and accomplish tasks

You Arrive in a Town is pretty unique though. You aren’t chefs, you’re adventurers gathering resources, slaying monsters, and obtaining loot all set to the backdrop of a snazzy looking tabletop aesthetic. It’s also narrated by popular gaming personality Runesmith. Sure, Runesmith is no Gideon, but his performance is acceptable in this desperate time of isolation.

(For the sarcastically impaired that was a joke. I am well aware that Runesmith’s voice is as a smooth creamy butter while mine is like the sound of vigorously brushing your teeth with a toilet scrubber.)

Main Assembly

  • Publisher: Team 17
  • Developer: Bad Yolk Games
  • Release Date: January 26th, 2021
  • Platforms: PC
  • Genre: Crafting, Sandbox, Creative
  • Links: Steam, Nexus Store (Buying from the Nexus Store directly supports me)

When I saw that Main Assembly was having its 1.0 release this month, I desperately wanted to pitifully beg Team 17 for a review copy. But seeing as the game is all about being creative and using your imagination, I decided that I’m probably too stupid to fully utilize it and didn’t want to be obligated to publicly shame myself. Instead, I’ll pick it up myself and shame myself on my own schedule.

You can build pretty much anything in Main Assembly, cars, robots, even spaceships as of the 1.0 update. You can program your creations and use them in all sorts of challenges, alone or with friends. I’m personally intrigued by the Bot Brawl aspect.

There’s a little game mode about building bots and making them fight. I loved Robot Wars as a kid and, I even tried to build some and failed. I’m looking forward to reliving childhood disappointment digitally. If that isn’t your thing, you could always create something and launch it off a cliff, if that doesn’t amuse you, do you even game?

Curious Expedition 2

  • Publisher: Thunderful Publishing
  • Developer: Maschinen-Mensch
  • Release Date: January 28th, 2021 (Console versions to come later)
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Rogue-lite, Turn based
  • Links: Steam

Games are largely about escapism. So it really makes you wonder why games about survival, resource management, and the potential for catastrophic failure are so appealing. What could possibly be so horrendous that our mental escape could involve such dire circumstances. Oh, right, Capitalism, duh. The wagie-slavey would like to go on one Curious Expedition full of danger and disease, please! I can at least ride a dinosaur there!

Curious Expedition 2 is a rogue-lite story generator about sending a team of explorers on various adventures. It incorporates a lot of procedural storytelling to make every run unique and the combat is dice-based.

The game is all about resource management and player choice about how you choose to solve different situations. The game was in early access for a bit but just recently reached its 1.0 release. The first Curious Expedition was a neat game that just needed more to it and it seems like the sequel added just that. It’s currently sitting at Very Positive, via user reviews on Steam.

Bonkies

  • Publisher: Studio Gauntlet
  • Developer: Crunching Koalas
  • Release Date: January 29th, 2021.
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Party Game
  • Links: Steam, Microsoft Store

Team Building exercises are the worst. I’d rather get paid to lick sandpaper than ever take part in another one. So, can a Team Building Game work? Probably. My favorite game in 2019 was about carrying heavy loads, tripping over rocks, and pissing on ghosts. So I try not to judge anymore. Also, Team Building Game was just a play on words anyway, because you work as a team to build things, get it? Please clap laugh.

Bonkies is a physics-based party game, which is basically combining two frustrating and hilarious genres together. Double the chances of a laughing fit or ruining friendships. You control monkeys wearing jetpacks with oversized robotic arms to manipulate various blocks and equipment that are in no way going to cooperate with you.

Buying games from my Creator Store directly supports this content.

Bonkies is also friendly to the new normal, you can high five in-game, no gross human skin to skin contact is required. Bonkies looks like the kind of game where it’s just as fun when everything goes wrong as it does when it goes right.

Hopefully you found at least one new game worth picking up. If you enjoy this content consider checking out my Creator Store via the button on the right, my Kofi page or even my relatively new YouTube channel, since I’m still finding my footing there. Thanks for reading, and you can look forward to another list like this at the end of February.

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