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As is customary at the halfway point of the month, Microsoft uses the escape rope on several games, yanking them out of the Game Pass library. 

There are five of them this time round: Boyfriend Dungeon (Cloud, Console and PC), Curse of the Dead Gods (Cloud, Console and PC), Library of Ruina (Cloud, Console and PC), Starmancer (PC) and Train Sim World 2 (Cloud, Console and PC).

The majority of these games are indie titles that weren’t particularly long; hopefully that means that you’ve had a chance to play them to completion, instead of feeling a sense of loss that they’ve gone. 

Two of the games really stand out to us, so excuse us while we lament them. The first is Boyfriend Dungeon, which managed to cross-pollinate dating sims with rogue-like dungeon crawlers, and – bizarrely – it kind of worked. The dating sim side in particular had a fizz to it: you could freely befriend or date your choice of man, woman or cat (yeah, cat), and they are all memorable enough for us to reel them off with ease, even though we played it a year ago. 

The dungeon-crawling was somewhat weaker. The idea behind it was great: your date would transmute into a sword for you to use, and your relationship with said sword would make you more powerful in the dungeon. And then you’d be wading through weird creatures, like musical notes and giant lips, in an effort to beat your personal best and defeat the dungeon’s bosses. But it was less good in concept, as the combat was lightweight and the moves limited. Still, well worth a play. 

The other major loss, in our view, is Curse of the Dead Gods. It’s a roguelike hack-and-slasher, which are two-a-penny nowadays, yet the cel-shaded art-style and the savage-but-fair difficulty earned this little indie a lot of plaudits. 

We didn’t get to play this ourselves, but our reviewer handed it a 4.5/5, saying “the gameplay is complemented well by the overall design; the enemies are great, the Temple looks amazing and the mechanics of the corruption and the light is very well-realised. While it won’t be to everyone’s taste, if a challenge is something you seek, Curse of the Dead Gods will provide it”. 

The rest of August is a little more up in the air. Microsoft hasn’t announced what will be arriving or leaving in the back-end of the month, but we expect that announcement some time soon. And you can be sure that we will pass on that news when we have it. For now, we have a couple of early confirmations: Midnight Fight Express will be coming on the 23rd of August, while Sam Barlow’s Immortality will be joining it on the 30th August. Expect more to join them (Saints Row on Game Pass? Go on Microsoft, you know you want to). 

Are you sad to see these indie starlets go? Let us know in the comments or on our social channels.

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