Welcome to 2016! A Happy New Year to you from all of us here at OnlySP!

If one of your resolutions is to play more video games then you’ve definitely come to the right place. As always, we’re offering three new games to look out for in the upcoming 31 days. With the Holiday season now behind us, the train of releases starts to speed up again. Here’s some of the most exciting:

The Witness

(Release: January 26 on Playstation 4 and PC)

Braid was an enormously successful surprise hit from the mind of Jonathan Blow involving time-bending physics along a 2D platforming world with a touching, multi-layered story. Next up from Blow comes The Witness, a 3D open-world puzzle exploration game.

Inspired by Myst, Blow has assembled a larger team this time around to work on a much bigger project, set on a mysterious island full of mazes and puzzles that will also form the layered story which the unnamed protagonist will unravel. With a reported 650 puzzles (not all of which need to be solved), there is plenty to keep the mind whirring, and if Braid is anything to go by then the heart may get a workout as well. Personally, Braid is one of my favorite games of all time so The Witness is very high on my to-do list.

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Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

(Release: January 22 on Nintendo 3DS)

Everyone’s favorite brothers are back in their latest adventure, this time in a unique crossover with the Paper Mario world. The game released for Nintendo 3DS in December for most of the world, but comes to North America this month after gaining very positive feedback on the other side of the ocean.

The player will control Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario, all of which with the differing abilities including Paper Mario’s ability to slip through small gaps, as well as creating copies of himself in battle. Along with the famous plumber, paper counterparts of all the characters and residents of Mushroom Kingdom are spread among Mario & Luigi’s world, including of course Paper Bowser, who teams up with his fleshier doppelganger to cause double the amount of terror.

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Oxenfree

(Release: January 15 on Xbox One and PC)

The debut game from Night School Studio arrives in January, mixing the troubles of teenage life with a supernatural ghost story. Night School Studio are made up of former Disney and Telltale staff, so their pedigree and experience is second to none, and Oxenfree is shaping up to be an exciting 2.5D platformer.

Playing as Alex, a rebellious teenage girl with a radio that picks up mysterious signals while away with her friends at an island party, you unknowingly open a ghostly rift and must deal with the events, your friends, and the strange creatures that have spawned in whichever way you feel best. The game is heavily reliant on choice with a strong Life is Strange vibe and a stunning soundtrack. If you want to know more about the game, check out Night School Studio’s official website and have a look at the reveal trailer below:

Honorable Mention: Gone Home

(Release: January 12 on Playstation 4 and Xbox One)

Finally releasing on Xbox One and Playstation 4, the honorable mention this month is a re-release (I know, I know…), but for good reason. A whole new set of players will be able to experience this incredibly unique adventure through a creepily empty mansion in search of answers to what happened to the main character’s sister.

The Fullbright Company’s classic is seen through the first-person view of Kaitlin and with no real goals or target markers, the player is left to discover the mansion’s secrets by themselves. Exploring as much as you can is incredibly rewarding, as long as you have the nerve for it. Knowing as little as possible going into the game will serve you greatly in the long run, hence my obvious lack of story elements!

Don’t believe me? Read our review. (More story information is included, but the score alone should convince you!)

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Rhys Cooper

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