I wanted to take a moment to talk about Cloudpunk, which is available on most/all of the platforms. And it's brilliant.

I'm a bit of a sci-fi nerd. I don't think I go deep down the rabbit hole, so it's easy to catch me off guard with a book or series I've not caught. But I do love it. I loved Fifth Element as a youngin', and Blade Runner 2049's deep aesthetic. I could languish in that vibe for many more hours than Denis Villeneuve would allow me.

I picked Cloudpunk up on the PlayStation later than release. I've historically been averse to voxel style games. I don't know why, but it's not something that I've felt spoke to me. But Cloudpunk, my god, was stunning.

The world presented is gorgeous

Graphically it's beautiful. Genuinely shockingly beautiful. But the kicker is the vibe. Sure, you drive around in a flying car, doing deliveries and discovering new tidbits about your AI dog and the main character (and the cast of dodgy folks around her). Which is very Fifth Element. But the vibe, space to explore and world presented is extremely Blade Runner. Not just because it rains a lot in the grimy future. But because something's presented as just feeling off. What that is, is more than the story arc.

A small team built the world of Nivalis, and it stacks up against much bigger titles for both looks, feeling and story.

But what makes me come back to it is the city. The vibe (again), the exploration available and how it feels to be there makes a spin around Nivalis worth doing. Much like the good old days of offline GTA, when you just grab a car and spin around the countryside. I can, as an adult, grab an actual car and take a spin around Dublin today. And I do! But I would find it difficult to take a spin in a flying car in a densely populated future city.

The team are now working on a follow-up, named after the city in Cloudpunk, Nivalis. Honestly, I barely know anything about it because it's in early development ("coming soon") but it seems to be set in the same world, grounded in a harsher reality and based on business sim stuff. I'm imagining it being like GTA in some ways; you start small and build an empire in the gritty, cyberpunk city of Nivalis.

Nivalis is in development now