The forward march of time never ends. And uh neither does my propencity to juggle a bunch of games at once. I like to say that I have ADHD as much as Shane Dawson likes to say he's an empath, but it's true! You can tell because I'm playing 4 entirely different games from last week. Oops! Let's get into them.

Atlas Fallen

Atlas Fallen Cover Art

This game. Oh baby this game. Atlas Fallen is everything I love about videogames. It is by all accounts, not going to sit well with most people. I have skipped pretty much every cutscene out of boredom, the voice acting is genuinely terrible in a way that I didn't know voice acting could be in 2023, and I doubt anyone will pay full price for it.

But none of that shit matters to me because Atlas Fallen shmooves. There's a shocking amount of mechanical depth in this game, where I'm pretty sure you're saving the world from an evil God or Queen or Something. You have two weapons assigned to two face buttons which can combo into each other, and use them to damage enemies. Doing so increases your Momentum Gauge. The higher the gauge builds, the more the various perks and skills you have equipped can be activated, and the more damage you do. Subsequently though, enemies can do more damage to you in turn. A giant, AOE-esque Shatter will drop your momentum gauge down to zero

Momentum is super cool because it causes you to think on your feet as you fight. Knowing when to build it up or cash it out based on the abilities you need and the survivability of your character is demanding in a very Spectacle Fighter sort of way. It helps that the moment to moment combat also feels great, especially the parry. When you're not killing monsters, you're sliding around on honestly beautifully rendered sandy dunes, platforming for armor and resources, and finding new skills you can equip to your Momentum Gauge.

I'm pretty confident that Atlas Fallen is gonna be a game you hear about in a year or so as an "underrated gem." It's cool that I'm on the ground floor for that!


Adore cover art

Another sleeper hit of a game that came out of nowhere. I grabbed Adore on a whim because it seemed interesting. I was surprised by how good it ended up being!

It's an action creature collecting game where you summon and control creatures to fight enemies, coupled with some roguelike elements. You summon creatures by holding one of the four face buttons and then launching them out. They'll do a few attacks, and then either automatically or manually get recalled to your character. When using one creature, the energy bars for the other creatures fills up, and at 100% they can do their special moves, which differs from critter to critter.

It's a very simple and intuitive combat system that reminds me a tiny bit of everyone's favorite Capcom game that they definitely remember, Chaos Legion. The depth of play here comes from all of the various subsystems stacked on top of the game slowly over time so as not to overwhelm you.

First there are synergies. Each creature is a particular type - beast, mystic, nature, etc. You can equip synergies to a creature so that they get a buff when they're with another type of creature. So if my beast creature is in a party with a mythic creature for example, it might do more damage to enemies with armor. Choosing synergies carefully is important because if one of your monsties goes down in battle, they have to take a rest back at your sanctuary for a while, which might deplete you of some utility the next time you go dungeon diving.

On top of this, each monster can get leveled up at shrines, further diversifying their buildouts. Then you have the runes, artifacts, and staff you can equip to the protagonist to change his loadout as well - I'm focused on increasing his stamina so he can keep throwing out creatures as often as possible, but you could also use equipment that adds explosions whenever you use a specific type of monster, or increases their damage every time you dodge roll.

All of this depth is buoyed by what might be my favorite implementation of a roguelike system to date. The randomization of your dungeon crawls surface as expeditions - you have different areas you can go to that will have different drops at any given time. One area might have shrines to level up your creatures and cooking ingredients you can use to heal during battle, but another area might have a rare creature and a key to open a chest in the future. These levels expire over time with each run, requiring you to think carefully about where you go and when to gather resources so that you can build your team further and progress the main campaign.

There's a ton of depth to the game loop, and I haven't been able to stop playing all week. Pretty much my only qualms are that it can be a bit buggy trying to get my controller to work on game start, and the dialogue is a little stilted / poorly translated (the game is made by a Brazilian team). But none of this truly detracts from the experience. I'm thoroughly impressed by what this team has managed to put out and play it for a couple dozen more hours.


Woah-wow another roguelike. Unlike Adore, 30XX mostly plays it straight with the genre, but it stands apart because other than its predecessor, there's no other game like it I can think of.

30XX is a Mega Man X roguelike. You play through 8 randomized stages as one of two different characters, gathering power-ups and fighting progressively stronger bosses until you get to the end. I'm actually pretty tired of roguelikes personally, but 30XX got me with how good the game feels and how unique the concept is. I'm not a Mega Man expert by any means, but jumpin and shootin and slashin through these levels has been a blast. The augs you can use to craft builds all feel impactful, which is always important for a game in this genre. But at the same time, you could ostensibly run through the entire the game using only your primary starting weapon - in fact, there's a whole achievement for doing so!

That's extremely cool to me, because I feel rogue-style games can often feel impossible depending on the hand you've be dealt during a run, and that's a bummer. In 30XX I always make substantial process with each run just because I'm beginning to see the different enemy boss patterns. But that doesn't mean I'm suddenly going to get Ws left and right, because each boss gets progressively stronger and learns new moves depending on what level you meet them in.

And if you don't want to deal with all the dying, there's a "Mega Mode" that generates a campaign seed that lets you attempt any level over and over again until you beat the whole game, just know. It's an awesome addition for anyone craving a more classic experience. And it has co-op! It's sick, play it.

That's it for this week! What about you? Let me know, here or on cohost!