Five Games: ‘No Man’s Sky’ And Everything Else You Need To Play This Week

Keeping track of all the games arriving each week on PC, handhelds, consoles and mobile is no easy track, but don’t worry, we’re here to help. Every week in Five Games we separate the wheat from the chaff and pick the titles you need to pay attention to.

We recently freshened up the Five Games format a bit. The Pick of the Week is now listed first, and the rest of the games are filed under headings that will hopefully be more helpful for you. Looking for the latest indie hotness? Check the Steam picks. Want to download something for your Xbox One or PS4 on a Saturday night? Hit up the Console Downloads section. So, without further ado…

Pick of the Week

No Man’s Sky (PC & PS4, Aug. 9)

Yes, the impossibly ambitious No Man’s Sky finally arrives this week after a number of setbacks. No Man’s Sky lets you explore, catalog and exploit a massive procedurally generated galaxy, containing over 18 quintillion planets. That’s 18 followed by 19 zeroes. No, really.

As with any project this high-reaching, there’s been plenty of speculation as to whether No Man’s Sky will live up to the hype. You also won’t be seeing many reviews at launch tomorrow – developer Hello Games is releasing a massive day one patch that changes the game significantly, so they opted to give out very few pre-release review codes. Despite a few worrying signs, No Man’s Sky sounds like it will be indisputably unique and boundary busting. Tread a little carefully, but definitely keep this one on your radar.

This Week on Steam

Kingdom: New Lands (PC, Mac & Linux, Aug. 9)

I don’t include a lot of tower defense stuff in these articles, because, frankly, the genre is more than a little played out. Thankfully, Kingdom: New Lands looks more interesting than your average tower defense title. You play as a king or queen who gallops through their kingdom placating peasants, setting up defenses, and searching for helpful artifacts. Kingdom: New Lands looks gorgeous, and boils tower defense down to its easy-to-understand hard-to-master essentials. Here’s the game’s Steam page.

Ray Gigant (PC, Aug. 10)

Ray Gigant presents a rather strange mix of genres, mashing-up Japanese visual novels, dungeon-hack RPGs and rhythm games. The title also features an interesting dark, sci-fi storyline about dragon-like aliens invading Earth. If you’re a fan of unique Japanese ephemera, this one may be worth a look. Here’s the game’s Steam page.

8-Bit Hordes (PC, Aug. 12)

8-Bit Hordes is a classic real-time strategy game that tasks players with collecting resources, building up bases and amassing armies to crush their opponents. Sounds familiar, but the game also features a cute, pixely art style and streamlined mechanics for people who are perhaps a bit intimidated by the complexity of titles like Starcraft. Here’s the game’s Steam page.

This Week in Console Downloads

Brut@l (PS4, Aug. 9)

Brut@l brings a new dimension to classic ASCII-based RPGs like Rogue and NetHack. As always, the dungeons are randomly generated, and everything’s made up of random keyboard letters and symbols, but now everything’s 3D and action-based. Brut@l is a little something new for the really old-school gamers out there.

Get ready to explore the galaxy for the rest of summer! Any cool games that I missed? Feel free to shout ’em out below.