As June prepares to fling open its door and usher in the steamy summer months, a fresh batch of Xbox Games with Gold titles are waiting in the wings for those with Live Gold subscriptions - this time including Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, Destroy All Humans on Xbox, and more.
Shantae and the Pirates's Curse, which is available to download from 1st June to 30th June, is the third entry in developer WayForward's much-loved side-scrolling platform series, and sees the titular half-genie embarks on a seafaring quest across multiple islands.
While it ditches the transformation abilities and completely interconnected level design closely associated with previous games, there's enough of the Metroidvania DNA remaining to make for an enjoyable, and gorgeously presented, adventure.
Also available on 1st June (until 15th June) is the original Xbox version of Pandemic Studios' alien invasion caper, Destroy All Humans. It's a knockabout sandbox-style adventure, in which players, cast as the extra-terrestrial Crypto, are tasked with harvesting DNA from Earth's denizens - probing bottoms, bothering bovines, and generally causing havoc along the way.
Despite its sense of humour, Eurogamer wasn't exactly sold on Destroy All Humans' rather more mundane core back in 2005, awarding it a 7/10 and saying, "We'd heartily recommend this to the rental crowd as it's a game chock-full of memorable narrative moments that you can easily polish off in a weekend, but a purchase is sadly not warranted."
Next up, then, is the Xbox 360 version of Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture's 2.5D side-scrolling shoot-'em-up Sine Mora, which is available to download from 16th June to 30th June. "Not one for casual players," wrote Dan Whitehead in his 9/10 review in 2012, "this is a heartfelt love letter to one of gaming's thoroughbred genres and one that fans of the right temperament should experience without delay."
Xbox Games With Gold's final game for June is Coffee Talk. Developer Toge Productions calls it a "coffee brewing and heart-to-heart talking simulator about listening to fantasy-inspired modern peoples' problems, and helping them by serving up a warm drink or two."
This one hasn't been given the Eurogamer review treatment, but it's been extremely well-received on Steam if that's any help. It'll be available from 16th June to 15th July.