Microsoft recently released a Game Preview version of Obsidian Entertainment’s new title Grounded for the Xbox One and PC. A game that’s pretty much a mix of Honey I Shrunk the Kids with the video game Don’t Starve. This was originally going to be a review but the more I thought about it, you can’t really review a game that isn’t finished.
Xbox’s Game Preview is a lot like Steam’s Early Access, which means the game isn’t quite fully conceptualized yet. However, you can pay to play it in its current state and provide developers with feedback to help shape the game’s final form. With that said, the Game Preview version of Grounded is very promising and a whole lot of fun even though it’s kind of bare-bones.
ICYMI: Played Catt Small’s SweetXHeart at Game Devs of Color last year. It’s a short but powerful visual novel that gives a great perspective on the experience of being a woman of color. Read the full piece on Black Nerd Problems.
As I arrived at the Game Devs of Color Expo, I enthusiastically accepted the event’s welcome package, including the booklet with every game and panel being showcased. While many visual novels were being showcased that day, one, in particular, caught my interest – Catt Small’s SweetXHeart (pronounced “sweetheart”). SweetXHeart is a short but meaningful game where players take on the role of Kara – a young, 19-year-old black woman from the Bronx. In the game’s description, it challenges players, asking “Can you get through a week in the life of a modern black woman?”
With the release of their game coming up, we had a nice long chat with Kahlil Abdullah, co-founder of Decoy Games about all things Swimsanity, helping other marginalized game developers, and what’s next. Visit Black Nerd Problems website or click the link below to read the full interview!
BNP: So, for all the folks that don’t know about Swimsanity, tell us what the game is all about.
Khalil: Swimsanity is a 4-player, underwater shooter with competitive and cooperative game modes where you can play with or against your friends. Basically, you control this underwater, aquatic hero called a Mooba. And he’s equipped with all these special power moves called ‘Unleashes.’ You can become a humongous shark, you can heal your teammates, you can deploy an underwater, what we call, an aqua tank. There are 13 of these, across 8 different game modes.
So, if you’re kind of a competitive guy, you can play against your friends in a typical deathmatch or elimination mode. We also flip the game on itself and let people play all on the same team with cooperative modes where you can do big boss battles or survival. There’s really something for everyone. The game is gonna have local and online play, and we just announced last month that it’s gonna have cross-play across all consoles and PC.
Ghost of Tsushima may very well be the most enjoyable game I’ve played all year. It’s almost too fun to put down. Find out my thoughts and read my review on Black Nerd Problems.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment / Developer: Sucker Punch Productions / Platform: Playstation / Release Date: July 17, 2020
It’s a bit curious to see Sucker Punch, a western studio behind titles like the Sly Racoon and Infamous series, create Ghost of Tsushima. I’m not saying that they can’t or shouldn’t tell a story in this genre but it’s interesting to see a very eastern type of fiction come from a western lens. What you end up having in Ghost of Tsushima is a very romanticized idea of the samurai tale. The game does a very, very good job of paying homage to its influences, while at the same time making the story its own thing. Even better is that Ghost of Tsushima makes it its mission to leave players in awe of its world and characters.