The catch-up coffee: March 11, 2023

A great week for new trailers!

8 mins read
Dee Dee the mascot of DDNet

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)!'s Discord banner. You click on it to be taken to the Website's Discord server

Creature-collecting game Home of the Yokai announced

Home of the Yokai is described as a creature-collecting, Easter fantasy, adventure RPG with a semi-open world and an auto-battle combat system. That all sounds great, of course, but I’ll be honest – it’s the game’s cuteness that caught my attention. The Land of Ancients is home to over 300 unique Yokai. Humans and creatures become close thanks to the efforts of humans and the Divine Jade Tree they worship. Traverse through the uncharted lands on a journey to become a Yokai Keeper. Encounter new creatures, expand the village, and form friendships. But be wary: a looming evil is spreading and Yokai are becoming corrupt. Their peaceful lives are in jeopardy.

The game’s locales vary from lush forests to eerie valleys. There are various school of Yokai Keepers to challenge (hello, Pokémon games) and a Yokai Scroll to record your adventures (hello, Pokédex). Each Yokai has its own characteristics and traits, and their evolutions are full of surprises. Yokai are great for adventure but they’re also great at helping your village become larger by helping with gardening, mining, cooking, crafting, and more. Charms will be helpful: some heal or enhance your Yokai, some damage and debuff opponents, and some are for sealing and capturing.

Developed and published by Rayka Studio, Home of the Yokai will be released for PC via Steam in July 10 with language support for English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese.

Valiant Hearts: Coming Home now available for consoles

The first Valiant Hearts game, The Great War, first launched back in 2014. It was nearly a decade until sequel Valiant Hearts: Coming Home launched for iOS/Android via Netflix in early January 2023. It follows in the footsteps of the original game, telling stories of ordinary people thrust into the extraordinary circumstances of World War I. It’s easily one of the best war-themed series.

Two brothers are fighting to survive in the trenches and find each other again. They will encounter new heroes who share in the joy of reunification and surviving wartime horrors. In the game, players will solve puzzles, fly above chaos, and heal the wounded. The story is fictional but historical locations and battles will be revisited, including the Jutland naval battle, the Meuse-Argonne offensive, and the relief of the Armistice.

Developed by Old Skull Games and published by Ubisoft, Valiant Hearts: Coming Home is now available for iOS/Android, PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. It launched on March 7. A collection is also available that includes both Valiant Hearts: The Great War and Valiant Hearts: Coming Home.

I finally understand what playing The Alters entails

I’ve been interested in The Alters since it was announced, but I didn’t entirely understand what the game mechanics would be until the Gameplay Reveal trailer was revealed last week. It’s very This War of Mine but alone on a desolate planet. Jan Dolski needs to find a way to escape while searching for the answer to the age-old question of “what if?”

Jan’s only way to avoid the murderous conditions is taking refuge in a cutting-edge mobile base. But it’s meant to be run by a skilled team and… it’s only Jan? After discovering a mysterious substance exclusive to this planet, Jan is able to use the Quantum Computer to manipulate pivotal decisions from his past – alternate versions of himself aptly called Alters. They are indispensable allies with diverse skills needed to repair the base, sustain life, crafting tools, and mining resources. But they aren’t robots: each is a sentient being with unique emotional, goals, and existential doubt. Expect chaos.

Developed and published by 11 bit studios, The Alters will be released for PC via Steam/Epic/GOG, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series sometime this year.

Standalone sequel The Sinking City 2 announced

The Sinking City launched back in 2019, and I’d honestly forgotten about it until the below trailer started up and it all came rushing back to me. I loved the story, but I wasn’t so fond of most of the gameplay. It was also the centre of a dispute that ended with developer Frogwares getting the publishing rights back for it, which is why I’m so surprised I’d forgotten about it. (To be fair, I realized today I’d forgotten about a massive Corrie storyline that is about as old, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised at all.) The Sinking City 2 is a Lovecraftian survival-horror game set during the 1920s in the United States. Arkham is an infamous city that is now plagued by a supernatural flood, bringing with it decay and Eldritch monsters. Explore the nightmarish city as the rising waters change its landscape, discovering what brought you there to begin with. The story is not a continuation of the first game’s, so it’s a pretty standalone title.

The semi-open world is filled with decaying mansions, flooded markets, and abandoned hospitals. Scrounge for resources, balance your inventory, and solve optional puzzles to learn more about secrets, alternate options, and more lore. The story is morally grey, set around the Lovecraftian mythos of cults, mutant creatures, and incomprehensible gods. The Sinking City 2 is described as pivoting Frogwares to a horror-first focus with gameplay built mostly around combat, exploration, setting, and story. It was originally known for detective games (that I adored until combat became a big thing) so we’ll see if the change in direction succeeds.

Developed and published by Frogwares, The Sinking City 2 will be released for PC via Steam/Epic/GOG, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series in 2025. A Kickstarter campaign for the game should begin soon.

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Lindsay picked up an NES controller for the first time at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love. She began reviewing GBA games 20 years ago and quickly branched out from her Nintendo comfort zone. She has has developed a great love of life sims and FMV titles. For her, accessibility is one of the most important parts of any game (but she also really appreciates good UI).

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