Microsoft have laid out their PC Game Pass plans for the second half of August, adding another eight games to the subscription service across the remaining weeks then removing eight at the end of the month. Additions include Zachtronics hacking game Exapunks and Ubisoft's child-friendly open world 'em up Immortals Fenyx Rising. Alas, games going include the wonderfully sad What Remains Of Edith Finch and wonderfully wonderful Hades.Many of these Game Pass launches have been announced before, but Microsoft have now rounded them all up into one convenient blog post. But here I'll tell you about the games, rather than whoever writes the PR blurb. Onwards!
Coffee Talk - Available today
Released in 2020, Coffee Talk is somewhere between barista simulator and visual novel, a bit like a fantasy take on VA-11 Hall-A. Sin was pleased, affectionately calling it "mellow" in her Coffee Talk review. "It could have been longer, it could have been more substantial and dramatic," she said. "But it's a good way to relax for a few hours." Sadly, lead developer Mohammad Fahmi Hasni passed away in April.
Midnight Fight Express - August 23 (hitting Game Pass on day one)
It might initially make you think of Hotline Miami, what with the animal masks and ultraviolence, but Midnight Fight Express seems way more of a 3D brawler. I'm interested!
Exapunks - August 25
The third Zachtronics game to hit Game Pass recently, Exapunks is a programming puzzler first released in 2018. Resident hackerman Brendy was a fan. He said, "if your measure of a good puzzle game is that it makes you use paper to figure some things out, then please take comfort from the number-filled grids and nonsense algebra I have scribbled down at 1am. They are full of errors."
Opus: Echo Of Starsong - August 25
All I know about this visual novel adventure game is that our Katharine said it was one of her favourite games of 2021 (in a post for RPS Supporters). Good enough for me!
Commandos 3 HD Remaster - August 30 (hitting Game Pass on day one)
The real-time tactics game from 2003 returns to once again sabotage and murder Nazis with a squad of highly skilled classes. For folks who missed Commandos for whatever reason, I'll say it's one of the series which inspired the excellent Shadow Tactics: Blades Of The Shogun, if you know that.
Immortality - August 30 (hitting Game Pass on day one)
The creator of Her Story and Telling Lies returns with another game about watching women who are pretty yet sad. This time, we're learning the secrets behind a missing actor and the three unreleased films she starred in by watching lost footage. It has a neat trick of jumping between different clips by match-cutting to elements you pick, which does sound great fun. I would very much like mod this game with Star Trek: The Next Generation footage so I can click eternally through a supercut of Reg Barclay's troubled face.
Immortals Fenyx Rising - August 30
Released in 2020, Immortals is Ubisoft's take on a Breath Of The Wild sorta gentle open-world game built upon Greek mythology (so, like, also, kinda Assassin's Creed Odyssey with less ultramurder). In our Immortals Fenyx Rising review, Alice Bee called it "a fun, family-friendly, imaginative action game that can get a bit grindy, but is still here to save your Christmas." Or your September.
Tinykin - August 30 (hitting Game Pass on day one)
It looks an awful lot like Pikmin inside a giant house, bossing about a mob of wee alien critters to solve puzzles. Pikmin is nice, so that's nice.
Leaving PC Game Pass on August 31
As Madonna almost sang: games may come, and games may go, and that's alright, you see. The next round of games to leave PC Game Pass includes some you might not want to miss, so do have a go while you've time. What Remains Of Edith Finch is one of the best first-person explore-o-dramas of the mid-tensies, a magical realist tour of a family home to witness their many deaths (see our review). Supergiant's action-RPG Hades is also excellent; we called it our favourite game of 2020. And Spiritfarer is great. And.. ah heck, two weeks isn't enough time to properly play all these:
- Signs Of The Sojourner
- Twelve Minutes
- Two Point Hospital
- What Remains Of Edith Finch
- World War Z