Six Hot Downloadable Games To Help You Stay Cool This Summer

August 8, 2013
Normally when the summer rolls around, the video game industry slows down, and lets its fans take some time off to head outside and spend some time at the beach (or whatever your summer activity of choice is). However, over the last couple of years there has been an uptick in solid summer releases that give gamers a reason to stay inside, tethered to their console(s). This summer seems to be no different, with some of the best digital-only offerings of the entire year being released between June and September. If you need an excuse not to go outside, here are six good excuses to avoid the heat, and stay inside.

Platform: Wii U
Release Date: 7/18
Earthbound is one of the hidden gems of the 16-bit era that, since its original release in 1994, has developed a cult following in the States. While the series has seen two other entries in Japan, under the moniker of Mother, Earthbound was the only one to ever get released in the States, and until a few weeks ago, was one of the hardest games to procure, with prices for the original Super Nintendo cartridge release exceeding $300 on eBay. Now that Ness' tale can be told via the Wii U's Virtual Console, gamers of all ages can appreciate this 19-year-old RPG that still holds up.

Ducktales Remastered
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC
Release Date: 8/13 (PlayStation 3, Wii U, PC), 9/11 (Xbox 360)
Capcom has resurrected one of the most beloved licensed games of all time, and updated it for the current generation of consoles. Ducktales, originally released in 1989 tells the tale of millionaire Scrooge McDuck as he travels the world (and even goes to the moon) in search of treasure to expand his wealth. The game has been completely worked over, adding in new art and music, with developer Wayforward Technologies even going so far as to get the original voice actors to reprise their roles from the cartoons. The game is a love letter to Duckburg ... and should be played by anyone that's now humming the show's theme song in their head.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: 8/7 (Xbox 360), 8/29 (PC), 9/3 (PlayStation 3)
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is the harrowing story of two boys who set out to find a cure for their father's terminal illness. The brothers need to travel across a mystical world of giant trolls, flying phoenixes, and archaic rituals to make it to a single tree to extract their father's panacea. The interesting thing about Brothers is that it's a single-player, co-op game. As you progress through the story, you control both brothers with one controller, with the movement and actions for Big Brother on the left side of the controller, and everything for Little Brother on the right. If you brain can adjust to controlling two characters at once, you're in for one of the best games of the summer, and maybe even of the whole year.

Cloudberry Kingdom
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC
Release Date: 7/30 (PlayStation 3), 7/31 (Xbox 360, PC), 8/1 (Wii U)
In Cloudberry Kingdom you step into the shoes of Bob, a retired hero, who has to go on one more adventure to save his kidnapped princess one last time. Bob will need to run, jump, bounce, roll, and jet-pack his way through hundreds of randomly generated platforming levels to save his damsel in distress. Cloudberry Kingdom is one of those rare games that you can play for years and never experience the same thing, since everything is randomly generated, making no two levels are alike. That goes for the game's arcade modes as well, where players are challenged in all new ways from the story mode. Added bonus: everything is four-player co-op, so you can tackle some of the most ridiculously difficult levels ever devised with three of your friends, and then you can blame them when you die for the 100th time.

ibb & obb
Platform: PlayStation 3
Release Date: 8/6
Sometimes you need a little help to beat a game, and such is the case in ibb and obb, the beautiful new game from Sparpweed. The 2D platformer is both a single-player and co-op adventure (it’s better with a friend), where adorable little blobs, ibb and obb, try to navigate their world which has a very strange, binary pull of gravity. The characters must work together to solve platforming puzzles and vanquish enemies, all while trying to figure out which way is up.

Platform: PlayStation 3, PS Vita
Release Date: 8/20
Building an entire game around one, simple mechanic can be quite a challenge, but the teams at One True Game Studio and Iron Galaxy Studios seem to have done a good job of it. Divekick is a fighting game where players only really get one move: the divekick. Whomever lands the first hit wins the match, and the fighters reset to go at it again. There is a lot of genius in the simplicity of the game, and even more strategy in the actual gameplay.