One recurring theme in our "What to play this week" column at Tom's Guide is that the newest games aren't always the best games to play right now. In this week's lineup, for example, the latest game in the roster came out in October 2020. (The oldest came out in April 2017.) There's also quite a bit of variety on display, as we jump from side-scrollers, to strategy, to space sims.
This week, our trainee news writer Denise Primbet dives into Little Nightmares, our automotive editor Tom Pritchard straps on a VR headset for Star Wars: Squadrons and our staff writer Richard Priday puzzles his way through Wargroove. If any of these games sound appealing, you can pick them up yourself. And feel free to jump into the comments to share what you're playing.
- Play the best Xbox Series X games
- Also try the best PS5 games
- Plus: After Siege of Paris, I think I'm done with Assassin's Creed
This week, I’ve been replaying Little Nightmares for what I believe to be my fourth or fifth time. And yet, somehow, it still gets my blood pumping just like the first time. I first came across the adventure puzzle-platformer when it was just released in 2017, just before I first acquired a taste for the horror genre. And what an introduction it was.
From the long-armed Janitor and the cannibalistic twin Chefs to the big bad Lady, the game has some of the most terrifying villains I’ve ever come across in video games. So forget about the misleading impression that some may have of Little Nightmares — it's not any less scary because it's more ‘cartoonish’ than other horror games. Even after the long-awaited 2021 release of Little Nightmares 2, the original game and its DLCs are still unmatched in terms of the harrowing nautical world that the small raincoat-clad protagonist named Six (whom you control) has to survive.
Having experienced Little Nightmares on a PS4 Pro the first time round, it was a pleasure now being able to relive the experience as a PC user on my trusty Razer Blade 15 laptop. Of course, the game isn’t nearly as graphically intensive as say other notable representatives of the horror genre such as Resident Evil Village. However, the smoother movements and noticeable bump in shadow quality added a whole new layer of spookiness to an otherwise unchanged experience.
If you’re looking for a short and sweet horror adventure to try out during the weekend, there’s nothing I’d recommend more than Little Nightmares. With a story that lasts around three-to-four hours, you’ll have more than enough time to beat the game and still have half a day remaining to take on the DLC and perhaps even the sequel, provided you’re brave enough. — Denise Primbet
Star Wars: Squadrons
While I’m still dashing through the fields of Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, this weekend I’ll be spending a chunk of time zipping around in a galaxy far far away. Most of the new Star Wars games haven’t felt hugely inspiring, but Squadrons was one that I got excited about as soon as it was announced - especially since it’s compatible with the PSVR headset.
I haven’t had enough time to get started yet, but the timing seems right as I’ve just finished reading the Alphabet Squadron books. And frankly what kind of Star Wars fan hasn’t dreamt about strapping into the cockpit of an X-Wing, and shooting down some TIE Fighters?
I just wonder how long I can last in VR. I don’t have the best experience with motion sickness and headsets, and I have not been feeling so hot this week. So I’m not entirely convinced that I won’t have to give up pretty early on. I’m just glad that I don’t have to clear much space first, seeing as how it’s basically a glorified flight sim. The only challenge is making sure my dog doesn’t trip over the PSVR’s gargantuan cable when I’m otherwise occupied. — Tom Pritchard
This 2019 strategy title had been resting on my digital shelf of Nintendo Switch games since I gave up in frustration a month or so after it launched. However, memories of the fun times I had playing it started worming their way into the front of my brain over the past month, brought on by the announcement of Advance Wars 1 and 2: Reboot Camp. And so I have been playing the game for an hour or so each day since.
Just like Advance Wars and Fire Emblem, this game is a turn-based strategy game in which you must produce different units and send them into battle across a square grid filled with different terrain and properties to capture. Unlike those games, though, Wargroove takes your chosen commander and makes them a unit on the battlefield, with a unique power you can use to turn an engagement in your favor.
I've managed to keep my cool for longer this time around by better understanding the nature of the campaign. The missions are not meant to be fair fights, but puzzles pitting your superior human brain to a limited AI armed with far more resources. I still don't like how long the game keeps introducing units as part of a drip-fed tutorial process, but taking my time and looking up tips and guides online, I'm enjoying the experience a lot more.
I can foresee myself dipping in and out of this all the way up to the release of Reboot Camp, perhaps even sampling the online content or the Double Trouble DLC pack depending on how long it takes me to beat the campaign. If you've not tried it yourself, I'd recommend it just for the detailed and charming pixel sprites alone, but it's also a good low-intensity palette cleansing game if you're getting fatigued with something else. — Richard Priday