Take that, Nintendo 3DS! The Xbox rubs salt in the Nintendo wound today, as a previous handheld exclusive gets the Game Pass treatment.
Rune Factory 4 Special (Cloud, Console and PC) was originally intended to live solely on the 3DS, but now we get to experience its alchemical goodness for free* with a Game Pass subscription.
The other game out today is Stacking (Cloud and Console) which, and do forgive our memories as they’re getting hazy, has been on Game Pass before. It’s a Double Fine joint, and Double Fine have – as we’re sure you know – been recently acquired by Xbox, so its reappearance on Game Pass was almost a certainty.
What can you expect from Rune Factory 4 Special? Well, you are in for an absolute treat. We don’t hand out 5 out of 5s for any old rustic little life sim, but we did for Rune Factory 4 Special.
We said “All in all, Xbox owners are in for a treat with Rune Factory 4 Special. A masterwork of an RPG, this is a game you can easily spend real-life days playing away. A perfect fit for fans of Rune Factory and Animal Crossing, as well as an exciting action JRPG for fans of old-school Zelda, there is something in this game for everyone. While the port from 3DS to Xbox isn’t exactly the most graceful, after a few hours, it’s unlikely you will care”. High praise indeed.
A little older, a little creakier, is Stacking. For all of its old-school, slightly cumbersome controls, it’s still got all of the trademark Double Fine and Schafer charm. You too can play as a matryoshka doll, as you hop into other dolls and gain their powers. Those powers allow you to trick your way past guards, woo unsuspecting dolls, and generally masquerade your way to an overall objective. It’s really rather lovely, and – fully against procedure here – we would have handed it a 4 out of 5 if it hadn’t launched before the existence of TheXboxHub.
In terms of the first-half of the month, there’s still one announced game to come. On June 13th, you can play the rather lovely watercolour narrative-adventure Dordogne (Console, PC, Cloud). That will take us up to the next Game Pass announcement when more games will inevitably be coming in the second half of the month. Do we have an idea of what they might be? We only know that Conan Exiles: Age of War (Console, PC, Cloud) on June 22nd will be among them. The rest, as they say, is a mystery.
We should also warn you of games leaving the service. On the 15th of June, we lose the joys of Bridge Constructor Portal (Console, PC, Cloud), Chorus (Console, PC, Cloud), Maneater (Console, PC, Cloud), Mortal Shell (Console, PC, Cloud), Serious Sam 4 (Console, PC, Cloud) and Total War Three Kingdoms (PC).
Are you going to be playing with runes or dolls? Let us know in the comments or on our social channels. Adios!
* Clearly not free, unless you’ve scored your Game Pass subscription with Reward points.