We’re back with the second episode of our new PC-focused show, Hot Keys! If you missed the first episode, watch it here.
Every Friday at noon, Hot Keys will take a look at the five PC games you should check out this week. We’ll be finding you the diamond in the rough games you may have missed, as well as letting you know when a game you might already love has something exciting going on.
We’ll also dive deeper into our top pick of the week for a hands-on Let’s Play to show off exactly why we like it so much. Watch the latest episode above, and read on to see our key picks this week.
Our top pick this week goes to Space Pirates and Zombies 2, a real time space shooter with a huge tactical map and a whole bunch of other supporting systems to discover. This game has been in Early Access for a while now, but finally left with its 1.0 launch last week. It’s a complex game that gives you a bunch of freedom to decide how you want to play, especially in its sandbox mode.
Be sure to watch the episode above to see me and James play SPAZ 2.
Blazing Beaks is a top-down twin-stick shooter that just hit Steam Early Access. You delve into procedurally generated dungeons as a variety of different bird characters (and a platypus), shooting monsters and collecting unique loot along the way. It’s charming pixel art reminds us a bit of the excellent Nuclear Throne, though it also has up to four player local co-op, as well as a PvP mode to help settle any grudges between friends. The Steam Page says it expects to be in Early Access for at least 6 months, but Blazing Beaks is already a fun little shoot-em up.
Next up is a mind-bending puzzle game called Sorry, James. In it you have to “decrypt” files by solving tricky puzzles that the developer describes a cross of Minesweeper and Sudoku, but there’s also a more adult themed narrative stringing the puzzles together. Sorry, James also does some fourth-wall breaking stuff similar to Pony Island, with the entire game taking place on a fake computer OS. For example, to even start playing the game you may have to do a little bit of a Google search. Hopefully that hasn’t stopped too many people from trying it, because it’s puzzler worth playing.
StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty isn’t a new game, but it did just got a very exciting update. Starting earlier this week, the legendary RTS became entirely free to play – meaning you can now play through Wings of Liberty without paying anything, including its multiplayer modes, co-op, and ranked ladder. You’ll still have to buy the Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void expansion packs separately, but the base Wings of Liberty campaign is a large game in its own right.
The serene story game Far From Noise mny not be for everyone, but it’s polish and writing has more than earned it a spot this week. You play as a person trapped in a car teetering on the edge of a cliff, and have to make branching dialogue choices as you come to terms with your very precarious situation. It’s a fairly simple and short game, but Far from Noise’s lovely art style and clever morbid comedy make it stand out as one to try, especially since it has multiple endings depending on what you do along the way.
Finally, our honorable mention this week goes to Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy. It wouldn’t normally make this list as Sphinx was originally a PS2 classic from 2003, but it’s cool to see it’s finally made it’s way to Steam and GOG for $15.
Tom Marks is an Associate Editor focusing on PC gaming at IGN and writer of Hot Keys. You can follow him on Twitter.