The Best Hidden Gems on Xbox Game Pass

Published: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 11:00 | By: Jackson Wery
There's Gold in These Hills

In any collection of things, sometimes the eyes will glaze over at the abundance of options. So many things to pick and choose! The Xbox Game Pass features a large library with dozens of ever-changing titles. Of course, there are plenty of hidden gems to get lost in the shuffle, but TechRaptor has done the work and sifted through its offerings to bring you a few real treasures.

Moonlighter

If you love the idea of dungeon-to-shop economics, consider Moonlighter. Delve into dungeons to acquire treasures, then sell it to people at your shop. Players use their profits to upgrade the town, their character, and equipment.

 
 

Compared to a typical roguelike, players only defeat a boss once before it vanishes from the world. This serves as more of an indicator of narrative and gameplay progress as opposed to the core challenge. Moonlighter also features procedurally-generated dungeons.

The gameplay loop is a simple yet satisfying one, accompanied by gorgeous pixel artwork. Fight your way through one of four dungeons, each with their own aesthetic and enemy design.

Moonlighter is a great pick if you want an accessible roguelike. Our review gave it a 8.5, praising it for its charming visuals and gameplay.

Vambrace: Cold Soul

If you've played Darkest Dungeon, you have a basic idea of how Vambrace: Cold Soul works. Explore Icenaire, a frozen Dwarven city. Evelia Lyric follows the trail left by her late father to Icenaire, but finds it controlled by the King of Shades and his spectral army.

Lyric can recruit up to three allies for her party and must balance utility, damage, healing, and so on. While fights are quite short, the expeditions Lyric and her companions take are long and grueling. Party members can and will die.

Lyric will need to change out her companions frequently, as encounters will not raise their strength. Instead, progression is gated behind doing several runs to acquire more resources, as the player can call off an expedition as needed. Thankfully, events and rooms shuffle around, though routes remain better than others for doing specific tasks.

To learn more about Vambrace: Cold Soul, be sure to check out our review, which scored it at a high 9.

Children of Morta Bergson Family 1920x1080
The Bergsons make fighting evil a family business in Children of Morta.

Children of Morta

The family that slays together stays together in Children of Morta. Play as the Bergsons, a tight-knit clan of badasses who cleanse evil. Featuring ARPG gameplay and upgrade mechanics, build the ultimate family of heroes and push back the darkness.

 

The dungeon changes each time you load it up, ensuring that every run has something a little bit different to offer. Every family members contributes to their mutual success through shared bonuses, so there's an incentive to level each of them up.

They're also depicted as a loving, close family and provides plenty of feel-good moments. We also reviewed this title at TechRaptor and gave it a 9, so be sure to check our review for a more thorough analysis. And if you want to learn more about Children of Morta, we spoke with developer Dead Mage about the influences behind their game.

Pathologic 2

Combat a deadly outbreak in a tiny town. Pathologic 2 is a narrative thriller where your choices have a big impact on how the story plays out. Survival mechanics require you to manage hunger, thirst, and energy, and the player has less than two weeks to save as many people as they can.

Pathologic 2 features a weird, almost phantasmagorical, setting and cast. Despite its strong aesthetic and world, though, there is some clunkiness to the mechanics. Naturally, TechRaptor has elaborated on the good and not-so-good in its review here.

 

Wargroove

This neat little tactical RPG features rock-paper-scissors combat. Chucklefish, perhaps best known for titles such as space explorer Starbound and farming simulator Stardew Valley, brings fun depth into the tactical RPG arena with Wargroove.

Like with Advance Wars and Fire Emblem, certain setups and tactics work better on characters and situations than others. Players will shuffle around their units to acquire the best tactical edge, then strike.

Fans of the aforementioned series should definitely give Wargroove a look, and its colorful design will appeal to newcomers to the genre as well. For a more complete look at Wargroove, peruse our review here.

My Time at Portia Screenshot
If you would like to replace your drab, gray world with bright, vibrant colors, consider My Time at Portia.

My Time at Portia

Speaking of farming, have you tried My Time at Portia? It features a cute cartoon aesthetic, and you can explore, mine, and craft all sorts of goodies. An in-depth social system lets you befriend numerous townsfolk. If you're lucky, you may even snag a partner to help out on the farm.

In our review, we remarked that the social dynamics were easily one of the best parts of My Time at Portia. If you're looking for something wholesome, you could do worse than to sink some hours into this cute farming simulator.


Are there any other hidden gems on Xbox Game Pass you think we may have missed? Be sure to let us (and the world) know about that really awesome game you discovered in the comments below, or on our social media pages.


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Head, shoulder, stinky toe I'm the diviner your GM warned you about.