Cult of the Fiver | October 2014

## SteamWorld Dig

Cult of the Fiver: Steamworld Dig

SteamWorld Dig follows the adventures of Rusty, a steampunk robot who inherits an old mine from a missing relative. As Rusty explores the mine, he finds both danger and riches. What lies beneath Tumbleton? What happened to the mine’s former owner? Dig deep and find out…

SteamWorld Dig is worth your $5 because… it combines the 2-D mining sensibilities of a game like Terraria with a more clear set of goals and upgrade progression. The game also echoes classics like Lode Runner and Dig Dug. Playing in the mine and buying upgrades for Rusty keeps the game fresh.

But don’t pay full price for SteamWorld Dig, since… it’s relatively short, and the runtime is padded somewhat by a fair bit of backtracking. These are pretty minor complaints, though, SteamWorld Dig is really one you should play.

Store page(s): Amazon w/Steam DRM | Steam

Quick Tips:

  • There’s a limited amount of currency in the game, but it’s plenty to afford all the one-time upgrades plus the occasional teleporter or other consumable.
  • Breaking a block will break any objects placed on that block, like torches.
  • There are certain areas of caves that you can’t get into on your first visit, but there are other secret areas that just take some careful jumping. Don’t lose sleep if you can’t fully explore a cave’s map.

Luftrausers

Cult of the Fiver: Luftrausers

Luftrausers is a 2-D 360 degree scrolling shooter, pitting your single attack plane against wave after wave of enemy air and sea craft. Multiple different engines, bodies, and weapons can be combined to form tons of different plane combinations. The game also throws various challenges at the player to achieve high scores, defeat certain combinations of enemies, and so forth.

Luftrausers is worth your $5 because… it’s a fun entry in the bullet hell shooter genre. The various combinations of weapons, bodies, and engines produce some very unique, interesting, and sometimes challenging variants on the core formula. The challenges shake up each run, and often I found myself mashing the “try again” button over and over for hours on end.

But don’t pay full price for Luftrausers, since… there’s not a lot of depth past the challenges and the various ship combinations. Once you’ve unlocked everything, the game can get a little stale if you’re not up to the difficulty of killing some of the larger boss enemies.

Store page(s): Steam | Humble

Quick Tips:

  • Experiment with various combinations of bodies, weapons, and engines to unlock new ways to play.
  • Various challenges can be harder or easier depending on what ship parts you’re using.

Tiny and Big in Grandpa’s Leftovers

Cult of the Fiver: Tiny and Big

Tiny’s grandpa left him a pair of underpants. (What ever happened to a birthday card and a $5 bill, guys?) Unfortunately, his nemesis Big has stolen them. Jump, slice, and rocket your way through a half dozen desert environments to catch Big and reclaim the mystical underwear before they can be used for nefarious purposes!

Tiny and Big in Grandpa’s Leftovers is worth your $5 because… the rock slicing and moving elements are an interesting take on the physics platformer. The soundtrack is really quite excellent. Frequent checkpoints remove some of the frustration of making a mistake moving rocks or jumping from platform to platform.

But don’t pay full price for Tiny and Big in Grandpa’s Leftovers, since… it’s a relatively short game, and you’ll probably blow through it in a few hours. The game tends to be pretty one note – the powers you have at the beginning are all you get, and the challenge doesn’t really ramp up or change much from the start to the end.

Store page(s): Amazon w/Steam DRM | Steam | Humble

Quick Tips:

  • There are secret arcade machines lying around, and these hold optional bonus stages of various difficulty.
  • The rocket is probably the trickiest of the tools to use, and it’s mostly useful for pushing things that are far away from you. Just be careful not to fire it for too long and overshoot.

The Wolf Among Us: Season One

Cult of the Fiver: Wolf Among Us

Life for storybook characters in the Fables universe is far from a fairytale. Exiled from their ancient homes, they now live in hiding in New York City. When a murder rocks the Fable community, Bigby “the Big Bad” Wolf is tasked by Snow White and Ichabod Crane with investigating. The deeper into the web of lies and intrigue he goes, the more risky things become for him and all the Fables.

The Wolf Among Us: Season One is worth your $5 because… it’s the next evolution of Telltale’s award winning adventure game formula. The game’s noir setting is executed well, and the mysteries are deep and interesting. The characters are well developed and interesting. The game’s plot is brilliantly executed, and each individual chapter feels meaty on its own while clicking neatly into the overall narrative.

But don’t pay full price for The Wolf Among Us: Season One, since… like most recent Telltale games, it’s a bit light on interactivity. The QTE’s come fast and furious. Also like recent Telltale games, the overall plot is linear, with a few key choices to be made during each chapter that give you the illusion of a larger amount of choice. Those things aside, it’s really worth full price and you should play it.

Store page(s): Steam | Humble

Quick Tips:

  • Be nice to people, and try to resolve things without getting excessively violent. The final chapter shows these choices coming back to haunt or help you.
  • It’s not possible to get all the grimoire entries on a single playthrough. Many of the choices that unlock them are mutually exclusive.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes

Cult of the Fiver: LEGO Marvel

While visiting Earth, the Silver Surfer is intercepted by Doctor Doom and Loki, who steal his surfboard to harness the Power Cosmic. They’re heading a team of all-star Marvel villains to undertake some sort of despicable act. An equally all-star roster of Marvel superheroes team up to stop this evil alliance and restore the Silver Surfer before Galactus arrives to, y’know, eat… everything.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes is worth your $5 because… have you found yourself lately wanting to play a good Marvel game? Like, fly around an open world as Iron Man, or charge down the street trashing cars as the Hulk? Maybe hang out with the X-Men and fly the Blackbird? It seems like there have been very few Marvel games worth the price of admission recently. This is the game, guys. It’s a ton of fun from start to finish if you can get past the cutesy LEGO exterior.

But don’t pay full price for LEGO Marvel Superheroes, since… the challenge level for most of the game is squarely aimed at a young audience. It’s still fun, and at times challenging, but it’s not going to be the hardest game you play this year.

Store page(s): Amazon w/Steam DRM | Steam | Humble

Quick Tips:

  • Doing stuff in New York gets a lot easier once you finish the main quest, so focus on that first.
  • While playing the bonus missions on Free Play mode, you can find Deadpool’s Red Bricks. These have a variety of useful effects, so finding them early should be a priority.
  • When doing vehicle races, it’s possible to “park in” the AI so it can’t get out, which makes these races a heck of a lot easier.
  • Try to unlock Silver Surfer early once you’ve cleared the main quest, as he’s the fastest air character in the game.

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