January has been oddly busy the past two years for myself and the team at Gaming Access Weekly. With the New Year, we are all, of course, busy setting our individual goals and plans for the year, but we are also getting ready to meet up for our yearly biggest team gathering, PAX South. Most of the team gathers at the event in San Antonio and it is always a blast to get to see each other. Before and after the event those are theoretical crunch time for us all, scheduling meetings, pushing content out before and after to the best of our abilities. That hasn’t stopped us from doing what we love, gaming. The past few weeks I have been enjoying a ton of indie games and one not so indie game. Three of those games I hope to give more light into with some Indie Spotlights in the weeks to come after PAX South but I still couldn’t help but bring them to your radar a little early. Sea of Thieves (Xbox One, PC) Sea of Thieves is one of those gems that requires players to sort of make their own fun. Not that the game is lacking content. In fact, it has a ton of it. The best parts of Sea of Thieves comes from the journey and mishaps that happen along the way. Take for instance the first time I was in the game, my friend and fellow streamer Scarlett Hellion was showing me the ropes when her internet cut out. The game is stunning to look at and I was busy staring off at the sea, so I had not noticed she had disconnected. What I had noticed, however, was that the boat had started taking a hard left and we were drifting back to the island. As I turned to tell Scarlett I noticed she was gone and the panic finally set in. I began to sprint to the anchor in an attempt to save the ship. I was a little too slow and we hit rocks hard. As the ship began to sink Scarlett blipped back into the Discord talk and was greeted by my laughter as I explained what happened. It’s moments like that that make the fun for this game. There’s so much to do in this game! Quests are just a message in a bottle away. There’s looting and sinking other players ships, treasure hunts, you can get drunk and throw-up on your crewmates, customize your pirate, etc. There are treasure island raids, and skeleton ship raids, players can also go hunting for the Kraken and Megalodon. You can always do what I like to do and launch yourself out of the cannons at different people. Grab some friends and set sail for around thirty dollars. Infliction (PC) Horror games have been my jam for as long as I can remember, but Infliction is one that stands out from the crowd. The game follows the plotline of a man who killed his wife and as a result created a vengeful spirit of her. The amazing part is, he doesn’t seem to remember it. As players go along and piece together what happened leading up to her death you realize the story is kind of heartbreaking as you watch how everything fell apart. I don’t want to give it away but the sadness of the story hits close-to-the-heart hard. The game does horror wonderfully. It kept me on edge the entire time I played it. It also does something a horror game has never done for me. It hit a chord with a childhood fear of mine. I was irrationally afraid of the woman from The Grudge movies. The noise she makes has always made my skin crawl and the vengeful spirit in Infliction makes a similar noise, and while I am nowhere near as skittish of it as when I was a child, it did make my blood run cold the first time. I was minding my own business in a hallway and that slow blood stopping, hair-raising groan filled my left ear. It sounded like she was right behind me and it made me spin around expecting to see her there and the wave of relief when I saw nothing was indescribable. Comparing this game to PT is a pretty apt one. The levels of the house all change each time the player completes a cycle. The house layout stays the same but the game shows it at different stages of its’ life cycle. It makes each level of the game that takes place in the house unique. There are a few levels that take place outside of the house as well. The police station has some memorable moments in the game. The asylum is also an interesting additive. As it explains some more of the tragic life the spirit had before here gruesome demise. If you want to experience arguably one of the best horror games to ever release, I highly recommend dropping the twenty dollars on this game. Day of Infamy (PC) Have you ever wanted to take the tactics based gameplay of Rainbow Six: Siege and implement it into a bigger scale team based shooter? Day of Infamy does a pretty solid job of doing that. It doesn’t have all the fancy gadgets of Siege but it does implement leaning, limited spawns, and teamwork in a lot of the same manners. Teams have limited spawns in each round and can gain more by capturing objectives or successfully pushing enemies out of their holding points on the map. The casual mode is where I have been spending most of my time. It mixes in a capped amount of players and bots in a similar manner as Titanfall but still keeps the games unique WW2 feel. The only main problem I came across was the fact that there were no kill cams so there were many times that I would be flanking or just trying to rejoin the fight then my character would fall over dead. No clear indication as to who shot me or what had happened. Thankfully that seems to be the only major problem with the game. There was a brief moment where the game had a problem balancing and I was the only live player on a team of bots and when the game tried to balance the lobby the players would switch back to the winning team. Which was extremely aggravating. That being said for fifteen bucks the game is worth the price and still is a blast to play. Never being sure if you have actually killed off an enemy is kind of refreshing and keeps players on their toes. Pick of The Month: The Blackout Club (PC Early Access) The Blackout Club is a game that oozes creativity and originality. The basis of the story follows a group of kids in a small town that realizes things aren’t quite right. They have been waking up in the middle of the night in random places, with no memory of how they got there. Weirder still is the fact that all the adults seem to be affected by the same entity, but with no memory or after effects shown. All of it ties into this sort of demonic entity known as The Shape. Each level is wonderfully crafted and can be done either with a full team or solo as the game features drop-in/out co-op. There is so much thought that goes into this game both by the development team and by the players. Need to break into a house but out of lock picks? Grab a foam grenade and launch it at the door to deafen the sound of the door breaking. Tools like that can be used to stop enemy traps that will give away your position, beware though because some of them, such as the flashbang only stop the trap temporarily. This game is well worth the twenty dollar price tag as it features a ton of replayabilty, fantastic customization options, full skill trees and offers a very intriguing setting. 2019 is going to be a great year for video games and PAX South is going to help kick that off. If you’re like me and you are trying to save up for all those heavy hitter releases that are spread out this year but are still looking for something good to spend your money on the list above is sure to be worth your time and hard earned money. Give them a shot and sound off in the comments below!