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While they might not immediately grab you – if you’ve heard of them at all – there are very good reasons to be interested in both of today’s Game Pass releases: Valheim (PC) and Let’s Build a Zoo (Cloud, Console and PC). 

Let’s make the case for Valheim. There was a time, in early 2021, when it seemed like every PC player was playing, or going to play, Valheim. It was a new breed of survival sim, pitching you and up to nine others into a Viking playbox, where your aim was to hold back grim hordes while constructing an encampment that would protect you from them. This was the 10th Realm, a kind of purgatory for vikings, and you would complete and unlock biome after biome.

While reviews recently have been Very Positive on Steam, the overall tally is Overwhelmingly Positive. This is one of those games that a lot of games will likely copy – they just haven’t had the time to turn around their copycat games yet. So get in there with nine friends, and experience what might be the next big genre in video gaming. 

The case for Let’s Build a Zoo is slightly easier to make. Look past the slightly lo-fi, pixel graphics, and you have the true heir to the Zoo Tycoon series (sorry Frontier). You only have to read our recent review to know why we think you should be playing this one. We gave it a 5/5, saying “I’m practically overflowing with positively for Let’s Build a Zoo and it’s absolutely deserved. Once you become accustomed to the controls, as well as the basics, everything flows brilliantly. Creating an animal empire is addictive, with so many options in terms of buildings, decorations, and animals to ensure variety. The Research tree constantly throws fresh unlockables at you, while the game gives you a purpose for hours on end with tasks. It’s really the DNA splicing and moral choices which just elevates Let’s Build a Zoo to another level though”. Quite the glowing praise.

There is still one more game to grace Game Pass, but it’s coin-flip about whether it will interest you. PAW Patrol Grand Prix may be a Mario Kart-beater, you never know, but it’s out on the 30th September as a day-one launch. Pup pup boogie. 

Then there are the Game Pass leavers, all departing on the 30th September too. They are AI: The Somnium Files (Cloud, Console, and PC), Astria Ascending (Cloud, Console, and PC), Dandy Ace (Cloud, Console, and PC), Dirt 4 (PC) EA Play, Dirt Rally (PC) EA Play, Going Under (Cloud, Console, and PC), Lemnis Gate (Cloud, Console, and PC), Slime Rancher (Cloud, Console, and PC), Subnautica: Below Zero (Cloud, Console, and PC), The Procession to Calvary (Cloud, Console, and PC), Unsighted (Cloud, Console, and PC) and Visage (Cloud, Console, and PC).

Announcements are still to come, but October already promises to bring us some pup treats. Coral Island (PC) and Eville (Cloud, Console and PC) are out on October 11th; Dyson Sphere Program (PC) is out on October 13th; A Plague Tale: Requiem (Cloud, Console and PC) graces us on October 18th, while Persona 5: Royal (Cloud, Console and PC) and Scorn (Cloud, Console and PC) launch on October 25th.  Finally October 27th is when we get Gunfire Reborn (Console) and Signalis (Cloud, Console and PC). 

Planning to build a longhall or a zoo? Let us know in the comments and on our social media channels.

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