Situated at the intersection of Bit Generations:
Orbital, Hohokum, Sound Shapes, Flow and Electroplankton, this abstract platformer (oh, Ynglet, too) has you negotiating its world via soundwaves. Your avatar resembles a deepsea organism with four eyes representing the face buttons: you tap these to create sounds that radiate outward, though you’ll perish if you don’t find another to latch onto before its resonance fades. It’s strange and at times hypnotically beautiful, but after a while its central mechanic doesn’t add up to much more than a cumbersome way to get around.
Sol Cresta PC Conceived by Hideki Kamiya as a belated sequel of sorts to Nichibutsu arcade favourites Moon Cresta and Terra Cresta, PlatinumGames’ vertically scrolling shoot-’em-up has clearly been a labour of love. The main gimmick is a good one: collecting power-ups grafts additional ships to your craft, which can be docked for focused power or arranged into formations for special attacks. Kamiya may not be in the director’s chair, but it bears his fingerprints: like The Wonderful 101, it’s visually busy, and its systems are poorly explained. Yet it’s bright and energetic, too, with a similarly rousing score – this time courtesy of Streets Of Rage and Actraiser composer Yuzo Koshiro.
Letters PC This cutely presented word puzzler takes place within handwritten missives and chat windows as a young woman communicates with her distant pen pal. As she pours her heart out about future plans and potential romantic interests, you must guide her avatar down the page, breaking words up into pieces and throwing them at obstructions (‘Iceland’ becomes ‘ice’, which can freeze a waterfall) to progress. Appealing presentation enlivens this simple hook, while the time we spend chewing over the odd Big Decision speaks volumes about how quickly the story invests us in the protagonist’s journey.