If you haven’t played Yoku’s Island Express yet, don’t miss out — it’s charming as hell
I try not to oversell the promise of any given month for any given subscription service, but I think that Xbox Games with Gold is bringing out some surprisingly good stuff in May. It helps when you’ve heard of most of the featured games, and the “wild card” under-the-radar title actually looks cool. That’s the sort of mix I’m looking for most months.
For May 2022, Xbox Games with Gold is giving out:
- Yoku’s Island Express (May 1–31)
- The Inner World – The Last Wind Monk (May 16–June 15)
- Hydro Thunder Hurricane (May 1–15)
- Viva Piñata Party Animals (May 16–31)
As usual, you’ll need an Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription to redeem these games, and you can follow those links directly to their Xbox store pages when the time comes. Claim ’em, and keep ’em. That’s the Necromonger way.
The highlight for May is definitely Yoku’s Island Express, a cheerful metroidvania-meets-pinball game starring a dung beetle. If you’re kind of burnt out on the genre due to sheer repetition, the pinball mechanics are a nice shakeup. It’s very unique — in a good way.
Hydro Thunder Hurricane is an extreme boat racing sequel. I feel like I enjoyed it at the time, but it’s been a dozen years, and it’s hard not to just pine for the original arcade classic.
Then there’s The Inner World – The Last Wind Monk, a more family-friendly adventure game about the “flute nose dynasty.” I’ve never heard of this before, but the screenshots seem cozy enough. I see a lot of things I’d try to interact with. It’s worth noting that this is a sequel, but “you don’t need to know the first part,” according to developer Studio Fizbin.
As for Viva Piñata Party Animals, this is your reminder that there was once a Viva Piñata kids show. This is a mini-game romp, not a serene garden-building ecosystem simulator, so don’t get your hopes up. You know, it sure would be nice to see Xbox revive this series one day. Even now in 2022, there’s still nothing else like Viva Piñata. It bums me out!