Amidst all the big new releases that are coming out right now, there are also a few gems being released that previously saw daylight on other platforms. We’re looking at three of them right now, with Roguebook, REKT! High Octane Stunts and Fluffy Cubed.
If you’re a videogamer and have never heard of Richard Garfield, we understand. You’ve probably heard of Magic: The Gathering though, and even if you don’t have any hands-on experience you probably know at least one person who at some point was really into it. It’s possibly the biggest collectible card game out there for deckbuilders, and Garfield designed it. When we became involved with Roguebook, it automatically made it something to look forward to. After all, the deckbuilding genre has grown in popularity on digital platforms, and Roguebook also adds roguelike mechanics – another popular genre. It was very well-received upon its PC launch, so even though we’re not usually deckbuilders we couldn’t wait to see what all the fuss was about.
As players with only a casual interest in the deckbuilding genre, we often feel like games in the genre tend to blend together. Roguebook’s biggest credit? It feels like stands out from the rest, even to casual players like us – both in terms of game mechanics and presentation. To start with the latter, this is one of the best-looking deckbuilders we’ve seen yet, with a sprinkling of fantasy magic to both backdrops and character designs.
It’s the gameplay that matters most though, and Roguebook quickly introduces its main elements when you choose your character and sidekick and set off on a journey together – which is quickly revealed to be of the roguelike variety. You can try to tackle a big fight right away, but it’ll only serve as a vivid reminder that you have a long way to go. Across a hexagon-filled game world, you slowly but surely start to uncover what lies beneath each hexagon, from rewards to enemies to battle – and you’ll need ink and paint to uncover them.
It’s a system that creates potentially endless paths towards victory, with a ton of risk vs reward moments and a lot of replayability. You can opt for a direct approach, explore a bit to balance out your deck, or even try to uncover the entire map and all it has to offer. Chances are, no playthrough will be the same, and the rewards you receive will shape your choices and vice versa.
Rewards can be won or bought in stores, and include powerful new cards as well as artefacts and gems that act as boosts and modifiers for your characters and cards. It brings a wonderful sense of diversity to the deckbuilding aspects of Roguebook that we loved tinkering with – even though it’s usually the least favorite part of a deckbuilding game for us.
The combat encounters are a bit less innovative in nature and resemble fights in games like Slay The Spire with their turn-based nature and visual depiction, but there are worse examples to draw inspiration from. Because it ties into your deckbuilding work so well, it’s extremely rewarding and fun, and when it’s too challenging you’ll notice what the roguelike elements in the game do.
Unlike games that level up your character after a run ends, Roguebook makes sure that the world you’re about to explore becomes richer in terms of the rewards it can offer you. This is a great twist on the roguelike formula in that it makes sure you’re not battling through the same paths again and again with a slightly stronger character each time, but instead finding new avenues to follow. We completely get all the acclaim that this game got when it released, and are excited about having it on PlayStation to enjoy now.
REKT! High Octane Stunts
REKT! recently arrived on PlayStation, but it has had quite a journey before it got there. It originally launched as a mobile title from developer Little Chicken Game Company and graced a few other platforms in recent years, but now No Gravity Games has finally made it available on PlayStation.
I remember hearing about REKT! a few years ago, and the title made me think it was something a bit like Destruction Derby, Flatout or Wreckfest. When “High Octane Stunts” was added for the PC/console launches, things stated to make more sense – REKT! is more like a blend of Rocket League and Tony Hawk than a copycat of those crash-centric titles, and it’s better and more fun for it.
A typical run in REKT! is a time-limited affair where you try to score as many points as possible inside a pre-designed arena that has a few set pieces that are designed for stunts that involve spinning, barrel rolls and flips. Do the stunts and stick the landing, and you’ll score points – with additional rewards if you manage to complete the optional objectives you’re given before each run or are able to string a few tricks together as part of a combo.
You can gradually unlock additional cars and arenas by performing well, giving you access to a wide roster of vehicles while also providing players with an incentive to keep coming back. The various unlocks are also where you can see the game’s mobile origins though, because even though the arenas are often well-designed the cars all handle in more or less the same way. If it’s depth or nuance you’re looking for rather than plain fun, you won’t find it here.
The gameplay itself also isn’t as deep or satisfying as (for example) the recent Tony Hawk reboot, but REKT! High Octane Stunts does offer plenty of fun. It’s perhaps not more than a fun diversion for a few days to play all the arenas and unlock the various cars, but it really comes alive in local multi-player mode, which is supported through split screen. With easy to learn gameplay, this is a great party game to have on PlayStation.
Naoka Games’ Fluffy Cubed first appeared on Steam back in June of last year, but now QUByte Interactive has brought the game to consoles as well, where it’s available for the super low price of just $3.99/€3,99 What do get for that?
As you’d expect from the title, Fluffy Cubed is a rather cute little game, where you take control of little kittens that are represented in a cube-shaped body. It’s a rather minimalist approach that also carried over to the rest of the visuals and the soothing soundtrack, making it a mellow kind of puzzle game where you can easily just play a few puzzles and put it down again when you have a few minutes to spare.
Gameplay-wise, this is a clear Sokoban clone that has you pushing blocks into places in order to complete its 120 levels. That may sound like a lot of content, but the first batch of puzzles are truly a breeze that you’ll get through in mere seconds. What’s nice, however, is that the game does make you complete the whole thing before it hands you its platinum trophy, with a set of trophies that nicely spread out to give you a constant sense of progression.
The mellow soundtrack is accompanied by soothing visuals as well, with soft colors and a slightly isometric point of view rather than the classic top-down Sokoban point of view. If you enjoy classic puzzle games and don’t mind a lack of innovation, this is a great way to fill a few ten minute gaps in your schedule.