The third and final episode of a short series on games I discovered at WASD 2024.

Sol Cesto

Over the front gates of the Roguelike Temple is the Latin phrase Vincere Casum, Vincere Timorem. And we all know what that means. And although Sol Cesto pitches itself as a roguelite, it definitely meets this extremely official Latin definition of roguelike.

Sol Cesto is from the same developer that brought us Buissons, a game about farting bushes, and it couldn’t be more different. You are descending into a dungeon and, in each stage, you’re presented with several rows as demonstrated in the screenshot. You choose a row and then the game chooses one of the chambers of that row at random. If you end up with a creature with more magic or strength than you, it will cost you health. But maybe you’ll be lucky and end up with with a treasure chamber instead?

You have to do this enough times to complete the stage. Visited chambers cannot be revisited, so if you choose the same row again, you will visit one of the remaining rooms. Sol Cesto will even show you the probability associated each chamber because, spoiler, there are upgrades to alter the probabilities. And there are other ways to cheat this system. First, using any item will count as an action. Second, if you have enough sun power stored, you can use deploy that to choose columns instead.

Upgrades are awarded between stages. You might visit a merchant who can offer useful items in exchange for gold, if you’ve accumulated enough to afford something. Or you might come across an idol with repulsive magical teeth that you can… substitute for your own and receive special favour. Watch out: these teeth will sometimes have both positive and negative effects.

I never got further than the fourth stage at WASD – which means I just needed more practice. Nonetheless, this one went straight onto my wishlist.

Sol Cesto has a demo on Steam. It will be released on Windows sometime this year.

Summerhouse

Summerhouse was previously featured on Crashbook and has been out since March. I got a chance to sit down with it in the Curios section at WASD last week.

What can I say? It is as lovely as it looks. You select a backdrop and then proceed with making a little building there out of the elements at your disposal. Everything from windows and walls to corrugated sheets, balconies and vending machines. You can flip between day and night; you can also switch on the rain.

There’s a natural depth imposed on the elements, so walls are at the back of the picture and windows will always be in front. And while you can make something like a ruin, your creations do not have to be lifeless. You can drape ivy over walls and depict nature claiming abandoned dwellings a la Cloud Gardens. But you can also paste in people just chilling out. The pixel art lends it an almost Proteus quality but it has more in common with Townscaper.

Summerhouse is available now on Windows and Mac.

Tiny Terry’s Turbo Trip

Many years ago I lamented on Twitter that there wasn’t a “GTA” game for children. An open world sandbox with missions and mini-games would have been perfect for my two little ones, just without the prostitutes, carjacking and bullets in the head, you know. Lego CITY Undercover was apparently close but it had its own issues. Things are somewhat different today and there are more open-world options that children can enjoy. My daughter still plays the Totally Reliable Delivery Service beta with her friends.

Tiny Terry’s Turbo Trip is precisely the kind of game I was looking for. It’s a child-friendly environment but also with strange, quirky humour that adults can enjoy. Terry wants a car to launch himself into space, but he’s told a job will come with it. When Terry says he just wants a car and doesn’t care about the money, his new boss suggests they’ll get along real well.

Once you’re given the car, a bright yellow taxi, you can be on your way across town and that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t look for jobs or missions, I just drove around to see what was out there. I found a vertical road, the kind of thing I’ve often experienced in nightmares, and a criminal who wants to recruit Terry for strictly nonviolent crime. They don’t actually have any ideas for nonviolent crime – he delegates that responsibility to Terry.

Terry was also suffering from “demo mode” preventing him from entering buildings. Love it.

Tiny Terry’s Turbo Trip is not yet released.

The Deadly Path

The Deadly Path builds on the card clicker structure of Cultist Simulator to make something new. While the brief seems similar – help out a bad deity to curry favour – cards are now locations. Flip over a card to find out what is there. Then more cards will appear, allowing you to move further out from your throne room to discover new card-locations.

There are multiple resources you need to maintain to stay healthy such as bone, meat and gold. You’ll need them for upkeep because all these dark minions aren’t working for free. Yes, you’ll have to assign minions to sites to harvest resources. But these locations do not offer infinite resources – you’ll eventually exhaust them and be forced to relocate your minions to new harvest sites.

Thus, the map continues to grow as you work to keep your dark engine on course. Once you advance to the second age, you’ll uncover an Entrance which will invite raids to attack your throne room from Elsewhere.

The limited demo on the WASD floor wasn’t difficult to beat but the full game will have plenty more in it.

The Deadly Path is still in development. It will be released for Windows and Mac.

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