Technology

A few cool things to play and watch over the long weekend

Thanksgiving is a time to spend with friends and family, and also a time full of periods where you definitely don’t want to move from the couch. You could spend that time mindlessly scrolling on your phone, or you could squeeze in a game or streaming show that fits nicely into a long weekend. If you aren’t planning to catch up some of the big recent TV shows or video games, here are a few things that I’ve been digging lately.

This show manages to be silly, scary, and strange all at once. It’s a story about a group of humans stranded on an alien planet, but it’s the latter that’s really the star here. Each episode of Scavengers Reign is packed with absolutely bizarre alien life, from hypnotic killer monkeys to aquatic egg-eating monstrosities. Not all are dangerous, though; there are odd little critters that somehow double as gas masks or flashlights. And it’s all rendered in a gorgeous art style that makes the show feel like a classic pulp comic brought to life. All 12 episodes are streaming now.

It’s not the straight adaptation that some Scott Pilgrim fans were probably waiting for. Instead, Takes Off remixes the story, switching things up in dramatic ways, allowing characters beyond Scott to get some solid screentime. It’s a great companion piece to the original comics and live-action film. It also looks (thanks to anime studio Science Saru) and sounds (thanks to chiptune rockstars Anamanaguchi) absolutely incredible. The whole eight episode season is streaming now.

A role-playing game typically isn’t a weekend project, but Super Mario RPG isn’t a typical role-playing game. Yes, it has turn-based battles, equippable gear, and an epic quest, but it’s also very welcoming to new players. That’s partly due to the goofy Super Mario humor, but also because of how the game streamlines the typical JRPG into something much more approachable. I beat the main game in around 13 hours, which means you could squeeze it into a weekend if you really tried.

If you have a little less time, I highly recommend The Invincible, a hard sci-fi adventure that plays out a bit like Gone Home or Firewatch. It’s a first-person exploration game where you explore a harsh alien world; at first you’re just trying to survive and get home, but eventually you’re pulled into a much bigger — and stranger — mystery. It’s sort of like the gaming equivalent of an engrossing sci-fi short story, offering six-or-so-hours of gameplay that don’t overstay their welcome.

OK, you won’t be able to finish this one, but that’s only because it’s not finished yet. We’re three episodes into this Godzilla spinoff series, which means that if you haven’t started yet, now is a good time to catch up. Monarch has a terrible name, but it also does a lot of things right; not only does it have some cool monsters, it’s the rare kaiju story to make the humans interesting, too.

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