Game news Xbox Game Pass: 10 games to clear your mind in an amazing way
Are you an Xbox Game Pass subscriber and enjoy puzzle or exploration games of all kinds? However, it is difficult to navigate the large list of Microsoft subscriptions that everyone now knows. That’s why today we offer you a selection of games that will test your brain in an original way. And because the interest here is to discover new games, we will focus on the independent scene.
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The following titles are available on Xbox Game Pass Console and Xbox Game Pass PC.
- 10 indie games with original puzzles
- Chinatown Detective Service
- Donut County
- Genesis Black
- The Pedestrian
10 indie games with original puzzles
Chinatown Detective Service
We are in 2032. The world is in a bad state. The world economy has collapsed, creating unprecedented misery that translates into more and more street violence. It is in this infamous world that Amira Dharma, an rising INTERPOL star, decides to change careers to become a detective. To meet the demands of its various customers, it must use a great discount spirit and gather the right indications. If some of them are introduced to you in the game, you will have to explore the real world to find others. The Chinatown Detective Agency really does offer you an information hunt that combines the virtual and the real. Between the innovative and the old-fashioned game, the title is a tribute to Carmen Sandiego games, a timeless classic of the research genre. However, in view of her its mixed ratings (68 in Metacritic), does not seem to be able to match his model.
Do you know what is left of Edith Finch and Unfinished Swan? A priori, these two narrative experiences have little to do with our subject other than a man: Ben Esposito. Designer of these two games, the guy tried a completely different genre in 2018 with a puzzle eccentric and colorful: Donut County. In the latter, you play as BK, a raccoon capable of controlling a hole that swallows everything around him. If the gameplay is generally about taking all the surrounding objects, there are still some crazy little puzzles to solve. By combining specific objects or spitting others, you can reach other properties, to swallow the whole world in your endless hole. If Donut County is a short title, it’s no less refreshing and it was picked up for it the beautiful score of 75 on Metacritic.
In Genesis Noir, you are None. It is indeed the funny name of your protagonist, a watch dealer stuck in the heart of a very special love triangle. The stakes of this seemingly commonplace romance are high: prevent the Big Bang and the destruction of the universe. To do this, No one will have to go on an enigmatic adventure in black and white, between storytelling and reflection. Away from the classics puzzle, Genesis Noir looks more like an interactive graphic novel. However, behind its long stages of exploration lies the à la walking simulator tactile puzzles that, while not difficult, allow themselves to play with the codes of the genre. However, it was not at this point that it stood out during our test, after which we gave it up a small 13 in 20.
In 2017, a small unpretentious independent game came to energize its routine puzzle : Gorogoa. Posted by Annapurna Interactive, one of the kings of indie games, this is a title with a rather special idea in which to move thumbnails to have a new vision for the world and solve the puzzles you face. Unique in its kind, Gorogoa is not enough to present handmade and very well made tiles. It is also a clever game that is both intuitive and amazing. For all these reasons, we gave it to him a nice 17 at 20, recognizing the work done. An even more remarkable work that is that of a single man: Jason Roberts. After six years of reflection, the developer imagined the game and designed all its graphics. As for the music, we find a well-known composer in the industry, who worked mainly on The Unfinished Swan: Joel Corelitz. The two of them collaborated to offer us a dream experience outside, which we can only suggest.
In 2020, Cyan surprised us by releasing a classic of its kind puzzle : Myst. Since the original game dates back to 1993, it is likely that some of you missed it. And yet Myst is a reference to the subject, so much so that he was entitled to a beautiful 19 in our columns. As a reminder, in Myst, the player is immersed, through a book, in an unknown world that he must learn to tame and understand. Combining exploration and research, Myst laid the groundwork for many games after him, appreciating research and taking notes to move forward. Only problem, the game had aged quite badly. But since then the 2020 version offers us a review of the basic game with new graphics, redesigned interactions and updated sound design, this obstacle is now overcome. The title is even compatible with VR to enhance the sense of immersion. If there is one title you should try, it is this one.
Pikuniku is one of those titles that has a name that fits them perfectly. The game released by Devolver is at least as eccentric and cute as its title. Very colorful, Pikuniku could just as well come out of the mind of an inventive toddler as it is clogged. Full of humor, the title obviously stands out for its irrational nature and its spicy artistic direction. But that does not stop it from being a good game at game level as well. Combining a skillful platform and puzzle with a good Metroidvania bite, the game had marked many players. The difficulty was certainly not completely there, but it still made Pikounikou one puzzle interesting and accessible for the whole family. That’s why we gave it to him a decent 14 out of 20.
Announced at E3 2019, Superliminal was able to intrigue with its somewhat special idea. The game Pillow Castle Games really offered us puzzle based on perspective. If the structure (a room, a puzzle) was rather classic, it was therefore its game that stood out from the others puzzle. Unfortunately, its short duration and sometimes risky technique had pushed us to give it up. a small 13 in 20. This did not stop us from welcoming a refreshing and well-thought-out idea, combined with a working atmosphere. Superliminal is therefore one of those games full of good ideas that nevertheless strive to offer a compelling experience. But playing with the codes of the genre (and perspective) earned him a place in this small selection.
We are going through a genre that has long been accustomed to research of all kinds: FMV games. For a long time they fell into oblivion, sometimes even old-fashioned, gradually beginning to regain the letters of their nobility. And this is especially due to a man who knew how to reinvent the species: Sam Barlow. In 2015, this English developer created a surprise with the revelation Her Story, an innovative FMV where you have to use interrogation sequences to find evidence and, one leads to the other, to solve the case presented to us. Unfortunately, Her Story is not in Game Pass. But that’s the case with another Sam Barlow: Telling Lies game. Even on FMV, this title invites us to delve into the videos on a hard drive to understand what prompted the NSA to steal the four key characters we discover there and your connection to them. With spin-offs and tracking keywords, Telling Lies has enough to keep your brain warm for hours.
We return to a little more classic puzzles with The Pedestrian. However, the latter does not lack originality after you incarnate a small character that moves from table to table. To continue on your way, you will have to arrange the various panels in the right way, otherwise you will be excluded. Intelligent and easy to learn, The Pedestrian is not stingy with the challenges and dangers that knot in your brain. Add to this the highly successful graphics and you will have a nice little independent game to discover. So the title was acquired score 83 on Metacritic. If we had not tried the game when it was released, you can still find a Live Gaming from Carnbee and Indee.
It’s not impossible to have heard of this latest game. And yet, aside from its masterful artistic direction, Unpacking was not intended a priori to become an event. And despite its minimalist idea and the special aspect of the game, the title of Witch Beam and Humble Games has just exploded, especially from a critical point of view. We must say that the title deserves the reception it received. Because behind the “storage simulator” aspect, Unpacking hides a real life lesson. Through successive movements, this small independent game invites us to watch the changes in our protagonist’s life, from studies to painful separations. If the game is about finding the right position for each object (hence the aspect puzzle), The unpacking does not stop there and offers us a surprisingly moving and pleasantly relaxing experience. This is a must if you enjoy playing games like this. He had also collected a nice 84 on Metacritic.
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