I haven't been console or even PC gaming as much as usual lately, mostly because I've just been so busy! As such I've ended up going for less time-consuming stuff like picking up Pokémon Black for my Nintendo DS Lite or my iPad on breaks and just playing anything. Since I've been trying out a lot of things lately, I thought I'd make a quick hot list.
Outwitters (by One Man Left) is a fantastic strategy game with a ballin' soundtrack (stream free and/or buy here). It's got a kind of shipwrecked pirates feel to it, except you play as pirate sharks and shrimps and such. You could also unlock or buy other types of players and maps. There's a pass-and-play mode, friendly game mode and tournament mode (all asynchronous).
The object of the game is to get your team across the map and destroy the other player's base. Except it's not as easy as it sounds! It all really depends on your planning ahead and working around whatever that player throws at you.
Needless to say, I'm having fun with it and I'm glad that one could have up to 10 games active at a time. The best part is that if a player decides to just ditch and idle, after four days they forfeit (if it's their turn). If you have an iOS device, I highly suggest you try it. It's free.
The Big Big Castle!
Ron Gilbert is one of my biggest gamer heroes ever. He has been ever since I fell in love with The Secret of Monkey Island and subsequent games in the series. And then he created this free game called The Big Big Castle! together with Clayton Kauzlaric (this bit added after he sneaked into my comments!) in which you get to build things and then destroy them.
Every stage, you're asked to meet a new height challenge on a castle-like building, or cathedral, or something. It sounds pretty simple, but the laws of physics apply, and before you know it, you'll find your towers swaying precariously halfway up to your goal.
I haven't figured this part out yet, but Ron keeps talking about destroying friends' castles. I see some text about that in the Destroy menu, but as of yet I haven't been able to access his or anyone else's castles to blow them to bits. More on this whenever I do figure it out...
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
Ok, so SB:S&S isn't relatively new like the others, but it took me a while to actually get down to buying it and playing it. I've only played through the first stage of the EP, but I am definitely enjoying it. I like the ambiance and the snippy dialogue that goes with it.
While the game play itself is rather simple (your general hack-and-slash tactics), it's much more than just that. It's a game that you need to put on the headphones and fully enjoy the music as you go through; fully immerse yourself. There are also some interesting mechanics involving moon phases and stuff I don't understand yet, but for now I'm just enjoying the ride.
That's it for my quick list. There are other games I play often, such as Bee Cells, Plants vs Zombies, Dragon Flight, and Bejeweled Blitz, as well as others that I haven't had a chance to start up yet like 2-Bit Bub (Para-Norman movie tie-in), Oscura and S.Morning RPG. There's a lot of fun to be had out there, so I'll keep on posting about these games as I get my hands on more of them.
In case you're trying to learn some Japanese, by the way, I also went hands-on with a new game called Character Chowdown you might be interested in. It's aimed at folks who want to learn how to identify Japanese characters, starting with katakana (the alphabet for foreign words), then hiragana (regular "cursive"), and finally hundreds of kanji.