Eight Of The Best Games In Itch’s Bundle For Ukraine Fundraiser

This week itch.io based Set for Ukraineorganized Necrosoft Games has already raised $4 million for International Medical Corps as well as Children’s voices and there’s still a week to go. It’s damn wonderful! It also brings everyone to 992 video games, physical games, books, and albums, which is a pretty daunting prospect. So let’s help.Itch.io charity kits are an unusual thing. Last year, Alanna Linaire organized a bunch who raised $900,000 for Palestine, and a year before, itch.io themselves hosted Racial Justice and Equality Package which grossed a mind-boggling $8.1 million. Now it happens over and over again in response to the atrocities in Ukraine, and hopefully, the millions of dollars poured in will make a real difference.

But each time, the result for the gracious giver is an avalanche of games under which one can all too easily be buried. Would anyone think of people who have too many games?

To help, I’ve browsed and selected a few absolute gems among the 573 games you now own to at least give you a chance to get in. I don’t want to spend too much time on the most obvious choices, because I assume you already know to check skateboard, Travel Song, VERY HOTas well as Baba is you. Instead, let’s dig deeper.

Inlet

One of best games of last year, Inlet (from the immaculate developer Nifflas) reimagined platforming as a form of swimming and then placed it in a minimalist world of colorful joy. It’s a deep dive into a satisfying movement and such a smart platforming exploration that offers interesting challenges while still feeling relaxed and happy. It’s damn masterful.

midnight scenes

Pixel artist Octavie Navarro, who drew art for Thimbleweed Park turned to a series of episodic adventures inspired by Twilight Zone. Each of the three released episodes tells a short mystery story with a surprise ending, and all of them are included in the package. I especially liked the second one. farewell note.

 

Sagebrush

Don’t be fooled by the weird title in the video above –Sagebrush this is actually a super low poly adventure game about returning to an abandoned former cult site. Many years ago, there was a mass suicide, and now you are wandering through the crumbling remains in a wonderfully sensual, but very heartbreaking narrative. He so deftly avoids sensationalism or exploitation, and instead offers a dark, touching exploration of a very difficult topic.

 

white door

The developers of Rusty Lake have been making extraordinarily strange Lynch games for years. I highly recommend their archive. Of it you now own the gloriously spooky Rusty Lake Hotel as well as white room, an intriguingly odd spin-off game that runs parallel to the series. Learn nothing, just play. Believe me.

 

Welcome to Elk

Just released on Nintendo Switch last month, Welcome to Elk was one of the best games of 2020, but for some reason people didn’t notice it. From a point-and-click cartoon adventure to an FMV film interview, this is an absolutely stunning mixed-media story set in a small Scandinavian town. It’s about death, grief, loneliness and friendship, and he handles it without being sullen or sentimental. Also it contains the best mini-game where you can’t help but create beautiful music.

 

Secrets of Reticon

I forgot about Secrets of Reticon! Of course, this unpronounceable name will not help here, but what a fool I am, because it’s just titrated charm. You play as a bird in a polygonal world, and your job as a bird is to fly. That’s what the birds are paid for. The most important thing here is how well he flies, which makes his puzzles and collectibles a pleasure to play among the animal kingdom. I’m so glad I was reminded to play it again!

 

Batbarian: Testament of the Primal

Do you know where many Metroidvania go wrong? They don’t want you to play with them. Of course they want to be played by Steve but god, don’t you think boastful old Steve has enough games already? batbarian is much more interested in you and doesn’t care if Steve likes it or not. Bloody Steve. It’s an “explore me” type of platform game where you can choose the difficulty level. It can absolutely feel like Steve’s hard-as-nails impossibility, but if you find boss fights getting in the way of your fun, then just set the game to slow motion, increase your attack, or make your healing much more effective. This is a game that trusts you to choose the setting that works for you. And then helpfully offers to have fun playing it.

whale

Do you know what’s wrong with so many bagels? You will never see the end! (Okay, yes, I know, but let’s just get it straight.) whale this is the rarest of things: a short roguelike. Somehow crafted in just a month by just three people, this is a manic and wonderful action-platformer where you can only carry one bullet at a time. After you’ve fired, you need to pick it up again, you know? And if you catch him before he hits the ground, then restart him, it’s a combo! It’s just great.

As I scrolled through the joyful frenzy looking for games I already know and can heartily recommend, I found so many other games that I now desperately want to play more. This is an amazing collection of games that has raised an incredible amount of money. Don’t miss it.

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