Two more games hit Game Pass today, one oldie-but-goodie and one newie. The oldie is Shenzhen I/O, an excellent Zachtronics puzzle game from 2016 where you design circuits and program hardware. The newie is Turbo Golf Racing, which looks like Rocket League for minigolf and is hitting Game Pass on the very day it launches. Shenzhen is absolutely worth a go if you enjoy Zachlike puzzlers, and Turbo Golf looks like one of those “could be fun, sure I’ll give it a try” Game Pass games.
Though I coined the officially sanctioned genre name ‘Zachlike’, I have never finished one of their puzzle games and likely never will. I do not have the brain/patience for these but I respect the hell out of them. I know big-brain boy Brendy was a fan of Shenzhen I/O, calling it “a polished and compelling puzzler”.
This is the second Zachtronics game to hit Game Pass, after the studio’s final game (which might be a hazy term) debuted on the service at launch in July. That one’s based around pirated software downloaded from a fictional BBS, and our Rachel called it “a tour through a decade of Zachtronics indie development”.
Shenzhen I/O’s in-game desktop computer also includes a version of Solitaire so good that Zachtronics released a standalone version. That standalone, sadly, is not on Game Pass. I’d far prefer Shenzhen Solitaire to the Microsoft Solitaire Collection included with Game Pass.
In case you can’t tell, this trailer isn’t for ShenzhenAs for Turbo Golf Racing, it’s hitting Game Pass on the same day it launches on Steam with a £13 price tag. It’s an arcade-y multiplayer game where you’re racing to complete a round of golf, bashing the ball with your car, while fending off violent interference from other players. As much as it looks like Rocket League (a lot), it’s no relation to Psyonix’s game. Did any of y’all play its open beta in late April, early May?
Microsoft this week also detailed the rest of August’s first wave of Game Pass games, though many of these were already known. Coming up we have:
Two Point Campus (August 9th), the university-building follow-up to Two Point Hospital, from some Theme Hospital fellas
Cooking Simulator (August 11), a PlayWay-lookin’ chef sim from PlayWay
Expeditions: Rome (August 11), “a gripping, ambitious historical CRPG” according to Nate
Offworld Trading Company (August 11), the 2016 space-capitalism bonanza from a team led by the designer of Civilization IV, and one of the best strategy games
Ubisoft’s open-world imperialism ’em up Ghost Recon: Wildlands hit Game Pass on Tuesday too, but bleh. “After years of seeing the same thing, it has become clear that Ubi games cannot function on the strength of their formula alone,” Brendy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands review said back in 2017. Does have co-op, mind, and co-op antics can save many games if you and your pals bring a strong enough desire for shenanigans.