When the seas boil into the red giantess of our sun, one grand monument will escape the ravages of solar apocalypse. Secure in the Humanity Memorial on Titan, future civiliations will find an ancient leatherbound tome with a thousand pages. It is the Crashbook.

A new page beckons, containing eleven more games I have not played.

334/ The Invincible

Rethink human’s dominion in The Invincible: a story-driven adventure set in a hard sci-fi world by Stanisław Lem. Discover planet Regis III as scientist Yasna, use atompunk tools looking for a missing crew and face unforeseen threats. Make choices in a philosophical story that’s driven by science.

Crash notes: Sounds like the experience is something along the lines of Firewatch.

Windows | Steam Link | Released Nov 2023

335/ The Voidness

The Voidness is a SCI-FI psychological horror game where it takes place inside the void where it’s filled with just gloom – the only way to see is by scanning the environment with your range finder device, however you are not alone. Don’t breathe … as they are listening.. and watching.

Crash notes: Thanks to Gregg for bringing this one to my attention. He called it a Scanner Sombre-like…

Windows | Steam Link | Released Oct 2023

336/ The Signal State

Set in a post-apocalyptic future, The Signal State puts your logic skills to the test with complex puzzles inspired by modular synthesizers. Repair machines, rebuild an abandoned farm, and be part of a revolution that will change the fate of agriculture once and for all.

Crash notes: Saw this on Amicable Animal’s Twitch stream. Build a synth, solve a puzzle. Not sure the story is going to win awards, but this is a Zach-like. My favourite Steam review: “I know it’s an effective Zach-like because after binging the first third of the puzzles and getting high on the buzz of riding the early part of the learning curve, it starts getting super hard and I get really pissed off and ragequit, but then write a positive review and talk all my friends into playing it anyways”

Windows, Mac | Steam Link | Released Sep 2021

337/ Quasimorph

Take on a role of a hardened PMC fighter in a dark turn-based extraction RPG. Engage in unforgiving combat, manage your ship and pile up the bodies of your clones to unravel the dark mystery behind threat to all life.

Crash notes: They’ve got a roadmap of updates that extends through 2024 and beyond. It sounds tough to the point of unfairness according to some of the Steam reviews. In contrast, other reviews are glowing.

Windows | Steam Link | Early Access

338/ Asterism

Asterism is an interactive music album. A digital series of playable music videos that allow exploration and interaction within hand-crafted worlds that relate to the narrative of each music track. The narrative follows themes around personal expression, self-acceptance, anxiety and mental health.

Crash notes: Developer Claire Morwood is running a dev blog on her site with monthly updates. She was also worked on Before I Forget.

Windows | Steam Link | Unreleased

339/ SiCK

Embark on a chilling journey that blurs the lines between reality and illusion and a mystery shrouded in darkness. Featuring beautiful pixel art, a bespoke soundtrack and a story that will leave you … sick.

Crash notes: I’m encouraged that the developers write “the focus isn’t on jump scares” even though the trailer seems to lean into them. With a pregnant protagonist and a dead woman laid out on a bed in one scene, I’m wary that it might be exploitative. However, the visuals are high quality, so into the Crashbook it goes.

Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam Link | Unreleased

340/ Repunk

Explore abandoned outposts on the surface of Mars, driving a nuclear powered vehicle built in 1942. Find books, discs and artifacts while you uncover the mysteries hidden under the red Martian sand.

Crash notes: God damn Joel catnip, that’s what this is.

Windows | Steam Link | Unreleased

341/ Lunacid

Lunacid is a first person dungeon crawler inspired by old FROMSOFT games like Shadow Tower and King’s Field.

Crash notes: I saw Tom “nullpointer” Betts reference this on Bluesky and he “really liked it”. Seemed wise to make a note.

Windows | Steam Link | Released Oct 2023

342/ Apsulov: End of Gods

In this future viking horror you awake in a sanctuary of steel and concrete, built to research and exploit the worlds of Yggdrasil, and to house an artifact, buried in the earth aeons ago. First person with a futuristic Norse mythology story. Horror adventure in the realms of Yggdrasil.

Crash notes: The studio just won back their ownership of the game across all platforms so it popped onto my radar. Some people seem to love it – others, less so. It’s a bit of a Dead Norse Space?

Windows, Switch, Xbox, PlayStation | Steam Link | Released Aug 2019

343/ Cobalt Core

A sci-fi roguelike deckbuilder with a deep new single-axis spin on tactics games! Dodge missiles, line up your cannons, and blast ’em out of the sky… Then get to the bottom of these time loops, before it’s too late!

Crash notes: Reviews are really positive.

Windows | Steam Link | Released Nov 2023

344/ Holstin

A psychological survival horror game set in an eerie, isolated 90’s Polish town consumed by an ominous presence. You’ve come looking for answers, but everyone seems possessed by something foul. Explore the festering town, interrogate locals and fight ungodly manifestations to get to the truth.

Crash notes: Fascinating how this switches between third-person shooter and isometric explorer. Holstin has a demo.

Windows | Steam Link | Unreleased

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6 thoughts on “Crashbook #22

  1. I’ve played Lunacid last year, and it’s an interesting one. The style, if it appeals to you, is absolutely there, in the visual and audio department both. If I wanted to summarise in a single sentence, I’d say weird fantasy passed through a vaporwave filter.

    Like its inspirations, it can be obtuse. Some interactions with the environment that are absolutely necessary to progress are also never even suggested – it seems like the game wants you to try stuff out and see what happens. It’s not always negative, of course. Many times wandering around and trying things out can be delightful, maybe even most times. But a couple of times I was absolutely stumped, and not in a fun way.

    I wanna reiterate: I had a good time overall and I’d recommend the game, generally. It’s decently easier than older fromsoft, also, which is a-ok to me. But it can also be as obtuse and obscure as older fromsoft, so buyers beware

  2. i want to play The Invincible, because the reviews suggest the story is really good.

    The Signal State sounds exactly like Amicable Animal’s sort of thing. probably not mine though; i never got on with any Zachtronics games.

    i dont have any idea of what Repunk is actually like from that description. but the concept is interesting enough for me to click through to the steam page for more info.

    Cobalt Core got on my radar from Tom Francis’s video about it and the design choices in it that he likes. but i wish more of these games skewed a bit further away from the Slay the Spire formula.

  3. Thanks for the Lunacid counterpoint, Lorenzo. Sounds like I could dig some of it 🙂

    vfig: I don’t think I’ve dedicated enough time to Zachlikes to determine whether they’re my thing or not. I find them interesting and I can get a little obsessed but… there’s always a point where I go: I can’t get any further, this hurts me. But I haven’t played enough to know for sure.

  4. Lots of very interesting stuff here as usual! I picked up Lunacid just before it released because a few people I know were speaking very highly of it in all the right ways. Alas, I’ve not played it yet!

    I fear The Voidness might lean into the jump scares a bit compared to what I played of Scanner Sombre. It does look really creepy though with that mechanic.

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