Welcome to the first “Games of the Month” of 2023! Our monthly round-up features the games we believe are most deserving of your time in January. This month, we have a diverse selection of RPGs, action games, strategy games, and puzzle games. There’s something for everyone on this list. Without further ado, let’s dive into our top picks for the best games of the month! (Sorted by release date, not rank)
One Piece Odyssey (PC) – Jan 12 | (PS5, XSX, PS4) – Jan 13th
A new RPG game based on the popular manga and anime series ONE PIECE is being released to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the series. The game follows the adventures of Monkey.D.Luffy and his crew as they voyage across the New World in search of the next island and adventure, but are shipwrecked on a tropical island surrounded by constantly raging storms. Separated from his crew, Luffy sets off on a new adventure to find his friends and escape the island, encountering dangerous new enemies and forces of nature along the way. Players can play as various members of the Straw Hat Crew in a classic RPG set in the world of ONE PIECE.
Fire Emblem Engage (Switch) – Jan 20
The Divine Dragon awakens is a new story in the Fire Emblem series where players must collect 12 Emblem Rings and bring peace to the Continent of Elyos in order to seal away the Fell Dragon, an evil being that was previously defeated in a war 1000 years ago but is now about to reawaken. Players can team up with iconic heroes from past Fire Emblem games and engage in a new style of combat using the Engage system, which allows players to use weapons and skills from these heroes during battles. Explore Somniel, your base of operations, located in the sky above the continent of Elyos, where players can prepare for upcoming battles and strengthen bonds with various facilities and activities.
Monster Hunter Rise (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)-Jan 20
In Kamura Village, a ninja-inspired land, players can explore various environments and battle monsters to become the best hunter. A new monster has emerged and threatens to cause chaos again after 50 years of peace. Players can hunt alone or with friends to earn rewards to craft weapons and armor. The game also introduces new gameplay systems such as the “Wire Action” and a canine companion called the “Palamute” that enhances the combat in the game.
Forspoken (PC, PS5) – Jan 24
Forspoken follows the story of Frey, a young woman from New York who finds herself transported to Athia, a beautiful yet dangerous land. As she searches for a way home, Frey must use her magical abilities to navigate the vast landscapes and fight off monstrous creatures. With her unique powers, Frey is able to effortlessly traverse the environment, climbing walls, vaulting over gaps, and running across long distances. She can also use her magic to defeat the numerous enemies that stand in her way. Overall, Frey’s magical abilities, including her “magic parkour,” allow her to explore the treacherous terrain of Athia and confront the dangers that lurk in the corrupted region known as the Break.
Dead Space (PC, PS5, XSX) – Jan 27
Dead Space follows the journey of Isaac Clarke, a humble engineer tasked with repairing the massive USG Ishimura starship. However, upon arriving at the ship, Isaac finds that something has gone terribly wrong: the crew has been killed and infected by an alien plague, and Isaac’s loved one, Nicole, is nowhere to be found. With only his engineering tools and expertise to rely on, Isaac sets out to uncover the disturbing mystery of what happened on the Ishimura. As he delves deeper into the ship, he finds himself trapped with hostile creatures known as “necromorphs” and must fight for survival while also struggling to maintain his own mental stability in the face of mounting horrors
Inkulinati (PC, XSX, XBO) – Jan 31
Inkulinati is a strategy game inspired by medieval manuscripts, where the unconventional tactics of ink-based creatures can decide the outcome of a battle. As the master of Living Ink, you will build your own bestiary and defeat medieval champions, collecting perks to unleash powerful abilities. With a history spanning 700 years, this game brings to life the strange and humorous illustrations from medieval times, showcasing that even in the past, people enjoyed the same kind of silly humor that we do today. You’ll encounter rabbits wielding swords, dogs with spears, snails that eat humans, and much more in this unusual and entertaining game.
Season: A Letter to the Future (PC, PS5, PS4) Jan 31
Estelle is a young woman from a mountain village that has been isolated from the outside world for generations. However, she decides to venture out into the unknown in order to capture the unique moment in time that her world is experiencing. As she travels through a world that is both strange and familiar, Estelle witnesses life on the brink of a mysterious change. The gameplay of this game focuses on exploration, recording, interacting with people, and unraveling the mysteries of the world around Estelle. Using different recording tools, players can uncover different layers of the culture, history, and ecology of the world, including the sounds, music, art, architecture, and stories of the characters who are living through this pivotal moment. Ultimately, players will be led to ask the big questions: what is happening in this “season”? Why is it coming to an end? And what will the next season bring?
We Were Here Forever (PS5, XSX) Jan 31
You and a partner awaken to find yourselves imprisoned in the mysterious Castle Rock. Betrayed or simply outwitted? Find out as you play through the newest co-op puzzle adventure in the We Were Here series. In We Were Here Forever, you must use teamwork, communication, and observation to solve puzzles and escape the medieval castle you are trapped in. As you navigate through different parts of the ancient structure, you will rely on your walkie-talkies to communicate and figure out how to escape. This online first-person adventure is all about cooperative discovery and immersion, challenging you and your partner to use your skills and wits to overcome the dark forces of the realm and avoid being trapped forever.
That wraps it up for Games of the Month! If there’s a game you think we missed that you’re confident others should know about feel free to let us know why in the comments. If you want to see more gaming content with no ads you can support us by going to the Heavyshelf Patreon or even tuning into our the Heavyshelf Twitch Channel where we stream throughout the week.