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This Week In Gaming: It draws a red box, among other things

If the new Game of Thrones trailer worked you into a frenzy, but you can’t wait for season five to start in April, then episode two of Telltale’s take on the series should help tide you over. Otherwise, this week you can explore the bleeding edge of indie games with the crowd-sourced eSport #IDARB or the beautiful Apotheon.

What will you be playing this week?

#IDARB

XB1 (February 1)
It started as a tweeted image of the eponymous red box (“It draws a red box”). From there fan suggestions turned this into a frenetic, 8-player, pixelated eSport.

The product of pure community engagement and radically open development, #IDARB represents a logical endpoint of current trends toward early access and community-driven development.

Game of Thrones, Episode 2: Lost Lords

Android/iOS/Mac/PS3/PS4/Windows/X360/XB1 (February 3)
Circumstances looked dire for House Forrester when we left them at the end of episode one. House leadership is up in the air while Ramsay Snow and Lord Whitehall are breathing down their neck about the family’s precious ironwood. Beware of spoilers:

Episode 2 takes us to the far reaches of author George R. R. Martin’s world, as Gared arrives at the Wall to the far north and Malcolm crosses the Narrow Sea to bring the eldest Forrester son home from Essos. Look forward to more returning faces from HBO’s series such as Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow.

Apotheon

PS4/Windows (February 3)
Step into the world of ancient Greek mythology in the stylish aesthetic of black form vases. You ascend Mount Olympus to seize back the attention of the gods who have forsaken you.

Collect a variety of weapons to do battle with gods and humans alike in this Metroidvania-style action RPG platformer.

Cities XXL

Windows (February 5)
Cities XL scratched the city-building itch of many fans disappointed by 2013’s Sim City as a cheaper, slightly older alternative. As implied by the additional ‘X’, this sequel adds more content for the biggest cities yet.

Manage transportation infrastructure to streamline your citizens’ commutes, reduce air pollution, or build lucrative tourist destinations, all with a streamlined, user-friendly UI.

What else is coming:

  • Criminal Girls: Invite Only (Vita/Feb. 3) — Paternalistically take charge of a group of delinquent girls and lead them to redemption in this JRPG.
  • Darkest Dungeon (Mac, Windows/Feb. 3) — There’s a lot of buzz around this brutally challenging turn-based dungeon crawler, which kicks off its early access period this week and challenges players to take on both real beasts and imagined ones.
  • Grow Home (Windows/Feb. 4) — This exploration platformer was developed by a small team within Ubisoft using procedural animation for a unique climbing experience.
  • SpongeBob HeroPants (3DS, Vita, X360/Feb. 5) — This family-friendly platformer stars everyone’s favorite Pineapple-dwelling sponge and corresponds to the film set to come out on the following day.