(Winner) I Am Setsuna
I am Setsuna takes home the July game of the month accolades for good reason. The game embodies the passion that RPG gamers hungrily seek. Created from a team who, when interviewed, knew nothing of Tokyo RPG Company’s connection to Square-Enix, the game vibes of an indie classic RPG love letter. But not only does I am Setsuna treat our nostalgia nicely, it creates an emotional and solid story (along with classic gameplay carefully crafted with minimal issues) that stands better than most RPGs. Set upon a snow-trodden world, I am Setsuna boasts gorgeous updated old-school graphics while maintaining a style of its own. I am Setsuna is a game that I highly recommend for RPG enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
(Runner Up)Pokemon GO
Pokémon GO has taken the mobile gaming world by storm and you should believe the hype. We can finally lace up our shoes and go on an adventure: catching and battling Pokémon. This game brings the lore to life through the use geocaching and augmented reality. Players walk around (in real life) gathering items from pokestops, capturing Pokémon along the way, and racking up steps to hatch their eggs. Pokémon GO’s pokedex currently has 151 slots to fill and with a plethora of gyms to take over there’s plenty to do. Of course the game hasn’t been without its criticisms: mainly technical issues, such as Pokémon tracking problems and app crashes. But for me none of that is a deal breaker. Because nothing beats the excitement of walking to my local café, seeing a wartortle appear, and catching it after several failed attempts; I live for those sweet nerd victories.
Honorable Mention- Song of the Deep
Song of the Deep tells the story of a young girl who journeys out to sea to find her missing father. Using a homemade submarine, players explore a vast underwater ecosystem, composed of elaborate and beautiful scenery. The story is sweet and simple, perfect for gamers of all ages, melded with a soundtrack that perfectly captures the essence and majesty of the ocean. The game falls snugly into the Metroidvania sub-genre, with a focus on exploration, narrative, and puzzle solving. The gameplay is well-balanced, remaining fresh as the game introduces new mechanics and challenges at a perfect pace. The combat can be a tad simplistic, and the boss battles lack impact, but for all of its strengths, this journey to the depths is well worth the price of admission.