The world of gaming moves at a breakneck pace these days. We barely have time to digest lists of upcoming games before they’re in the rearview mirror and we’re getting excited about new titles. Particularly for those who game in different mediums – online, via mobile, and on consoles, for instance – this can lead to a few games being passed by every now and then. To help you avoid that pesky little problem, this post will look at five games across the spectrum of devices and styles that came out this summer, and which are worth a closer look.
1 – Earth Atlantis
This is a mobile game described as being set in the sunken cities of a planet Earth ravaged by global warming, and if that doesn’t grip you the visuals will. The game is presented in a sort of copper-tinged black-and-white that’s for some reason delightfully retro, and yet an almost hand-drawn quality to the graphics adds some punch as well. You control a tiny submarine that basically represents humanity’s last hope as you churn your way through the aforementioned sunken cities, battling creatures of the deep, upgrading your weaponry, and so on. Controls are intuitive, gameplay is enjoyable, and the look and feel of the game are intoxicating. It’s the best and most original mobile game to come out in months.
2 – Nishan Shaman
I can’t possibly say enough about the visual and sensory quality of this game. It was supposedly developed by a handful of college graduates in less than a year, and that makes it all the more impressive. The gameplay is a little bit bizarre. You tap the screen to “drum” in rhythm in order to propel your character (Nishan) along a journey. The goal is to traverse mythical landscapes and rescue a young boy from the underworld. But the process of getting there, through gorgeously rendered settings and against all kinds of interesting foes, is simply a delight. This is Monument Valley-level beauty for a mobile game.
3 – Jumanji Video Slots
While not quite as mainstream as mobile or console games, the online casino slot genre has become incredibly popular, so I want to dedicate one place on this list to it. NetEnt, one of the more prolific developers in slot gaming, designed this Jumanji slot to honor the 2018 remake of the classic film, and the result was very well-received. In terms of gameplay it’s a fairly ordinary slot, but sharp, film-related graphics and fun features like “Wild Stampede” and “Monkey Mayhem” add a little bit of loosely organized jungle chaos to the experience. For fans of this style of gaming, or of Jumanji for that matter, it’s a fun, fresh new title.
4 – Mario Tennis Aces
Mario’s on a little bit of a roll. Between the release of Super Mario Run to mobile and the introduction of new, core franchise games on the Nintendo Switch, gamers’ favorite plumber is flying higher than he had in several years, if not a decade previously. Accordingly, Nintendo decided to put out a fresh Mario sporting effort, and Mario Tennis Aces doesn’t disappoint. One review put it quite nicely, saying it’s as delightfully Nintendo as they come – and I’ll trust that most modern gamers understand the use of “Nintendo” as an adjective. It’s a game full of weird little challenges, abilities, and boss battles, on top of some pretty satisfying tennis gameplay. And of course, many of your favorite characters are in the mix.
5 – The Crew 2
With most of the year’s action and adventure games having come out in spring or been scheduled for fall, there isn’t a lot in the way of major franchises to talk about for the summer. I want to acknowledge The Crew 2 as another awfully impressive console racing game. While reviews are mixed, this is an open world game designed by Ubisoft and featuring all of the high-octane action and beautiful graphics you expect from a modern racer. It’s a lot like the first edition of the game, but one feature in particular, which allows you to switch which vehicle you’re driving mid-race, in a split second, makes it feel like something new.