If the letters R, P and G awaken something inside of you, then today’s Game Pass offering is going to be quite the treat.
On the visual novel and puzzling side is Zero Escape: The Nonary Games (Cloud, Console and PC). Kraken Academy!! (Cloud, Console and PC) goes the bizarro JRPG route, while – finally – we have a traditional RPG and card-battler crossbreed with Tainted Grail: Conquest (Console).
Now, we offer no apologies that Zero Escape is one of our favourite series of all time. A pre-cursor to the Danganronpa games, the Zero Escape series used the structure of the Prisoner’s Dilemma – two players choose independently: do they save themselves or save each other, only as long as that player chose to save you too – to create a morbid, fascinating visual novel. With puzzles scattered about the decision-making and branching narrative, it’s an exhilarating and hugely unusual series.
Even better, this release offers the first three games in the series – Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward – as one bundle. If our maths is right, that’s close to seventy hours of gameplay, so clear the decks.
As for Kraken Academy!!, we can tell you less about it, but everything we can say is roundly odd. This is a JRPG-style game that has you enrolling in the titular academy along with your sister, but it’s immediately clear that the school has gone to pot. Cultists keep undermining classes, your only reliable source of information is a sentient broccoli called Broccoli Girl, and a traitor named – yes – Traitor, is looking to collapse the whole operation. Your job, given you by the kraken of Kraken Academy is to find Traitor, expose them, and do so across multiple time loops. Yep, this is another time loop game.
A little more traditional is Tainted Grail: Conquest, but only moderately so. This is a roguelike deckbuilder in the Slay the Spire mold, but the emphasis is playing with multiple classes multiple times, so that you can piece together a larger scale storyline. This is an adaptation of the Tainted Grail board game, and it has an old school Baldur’s Gatey vibe. Reviews have been good on PC, so we have some decent hopes for this one.
What else is due on Game Pass in March? Xbox revealed that on March 24th we’re getting Norco (PC) and F1 2021 (Console), on March 29th, we have Crusader Kings III (Xbox Series X|S), and Weird West (Cloud, Console, and PC) on March 31st.
Have an eye on any of these RPGs? Let us know in the comments below, or drop us a note on our social channels.