Welcome to Digitally Downloaded’s weekly catch-up news feature, the catch-up coffee. With each issue I will bring you the best news that you may have missed. Grab the biggest mug you’ve got, fill it with your favourite brew, and catch up with us (and our favourite news anchor, Dee Dee)!
Build a Chinese paradise in Pathless Woods
Take a journey through ancient China in Pathless Woods. Construct your own paradise – including fend shui –and become a farmer. It can’t be that easy, though, so pesky cultists are on the prowl ready to take over your land if you falter for even a moment. There are some familiar popular elements here, from city-building to cults, but Pathless Woods sets itself apart with its locale and timeframe.
Construct a variety of structures that embody ancient Chinese architecture, from traditional wood houses to magnificence bridges and ornate towers. Grow crops using traditional Chinese farming techniques. Control water irrigation, fertilizers, and temperature. There is also a survival aspect, so gather enough resources to create essential tools, stay nourished and hydrates, and maintain your temperature (and sanity). Each game presents a new locale with different biomes to explore and friendly NPCs. Watch out for the treat of the cult, though, as they’ll stop at nothing to pillage your village (rhyming, ha).
Developed by Aniya Games and published by Spiral Up Games, Pathless Woods will be released for PC via Steam later this year.
Arthouse game Unleaving announced for PC
Unleaving is an experimental game where art meets interactivity, using a blend of traditional art and animation to tell the story of a child’s surreal journey. The game is a puzzle-platformer that uses grounded physics and skill-based challenges to create an abstract narrative about the meaning(s) of life. The use of “real-life” art (I don’t know what that means, sounds like a dig at other games?) grounds players in the world and encourages appreciation of virtual and real beauty (again, how is virtual not still real?).
The game’s announcement says a lot about its style and very little about its actual story. The aesthetics combines impressionist-styled hand painting, pencil illustration, and animation. Every frame is a painting. The visual style was brought to life with paint animation technicaques involving altering acrylic painting on canvas paper while capturing frames. Basically: stop-motion painting.
Developed and published by orangutan matter (hello fellow Ontarians!), Unleaving will be released for PC via Steam. A release date (or even a window) wasn’t announced.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is being re-released
What is this, 2010? Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective first launched in Japan for the DS in, yes, 2010, with a western launch the following year. Now, the game is being remastered with new features including high-definition visuals (1080p, 60 FPS), newly-arranged and recorded music, and exclusive images. It’s optimized to be played comfortably on a controller and a touch-screen.
Sissel is a ghost who is mysteriously stranded in the afterlife on Earth. Players will decipher puzzles, crack clues, and channel supernatural abilities to find the truth behind Sissel’s death. There are three different puzzle modes: 3×3, 4×4, and 5×5. The aforementioned exclusive images can be unlocked in the Extras menu.
Developed and published by Capcom, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective will be released for PC via Steam, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One on June 30. It is digital-only in the west, but there will be a Japanese physical release.
Rune Factory 3 Special launching in the west this September
It’s only March. September seems like a lifetime away. That being said, it will probably be here in the blink of an eye. Like Ghost Trick, Rune Factory 3 Special is returning more than a decade after its original launch with a remaster that includes some new features. Micah is a young man with amnesia and the ability to transform into a wooly. He’s on a search for a way for humans and monsters to co-exist. Players will master magic, swords, spears, hammers, and more. Recruit townsfolk and monsters to explore dungeons. Take a break from all the fighting with activities like farming and fishing. Finally, meet 11 bachelorettes, the most in series history. Learn about them through daily interactions, fall in love, propose, and get married.
While the game will be released digitally and physically in both North America and Europe, so far there are only details on the European versions of the game. Physically, there’s a standard edition and a limited edition that contains a notebook, stickers, pin badges, a patch, a poster, access to the in-game Swimsuit Mode that lets characters wear swimsuits year-round, and a collector’s box. Digitally, there will be standard and deluxe editions; the deluxe edition includes Swimsuit Mode access. Pre-orders will include Ryuker’s outfit from Rune Factory 5, which Micah can wear.
Developed by Marvelous, and published by XSEED Games in North America and Marvelous Europe in Europe, Rune Factory 3 Special will be released for PC via Steam and Nintendo Switch on September 5.