RedRooster Posted January 1, 2022 Share Posted January 1, 2022 On the back of @Devon Malcolm's excellent Film thread, I thought I'd try my hand at a videogames equivalent, if only to spout on about the overlooked, slightly obscure indie wank I've played this year, to encourage more of you to try it. I'm going to be sharing my top 10 games, but don't feel obliged to take the same format when it comes to your list. In terms of criteria, I've decided to include games provided the version I played released this year (meaning it may have released for a different system before 2021) - ultimately these threads, for me, are about finding recommendations, so I don't want to get too pedantic about that. In reverse order... 10. Eastward I'm not sure why, but Eastward seems to have slipped under the radar for a lot of people in 2021. The best way I can describe it, is "it's a bit like Earthbound, if Earthbound was more like Zelda". First of all, the game has an excellent story. You may be a silent protagonist, but it doesn't really matter, the animation and game art is so vibrant, it never really feels like that's the case. The gameplay is a lot of fun - if you like RPGs, or Zelda-like games, I can't imagine that you won't have a good time with this. If you like good stories, ditto. 9. Toem: A Photo Adventure Look at those graphics. I'm not one for emoji use, but 😍! If you enjoy games like A Short Hike, you'll love this. You're tasked with taking photos for people, to earn enough stamps to get a free bus ticket to the next town. It's a simple concept, but thanks to the creativity of the tasks you're given, it never feels repetitious. It's a very relaxing game to play, yet there's still a level of challenge to it. While no game is "for everyone", I'd argue that this comes pretty close. It's a very joyful game, and, frankly, we all need a bit of that right now. 8. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! (Switch) This game has been out on PC for some time, but I played the Switch version, that was released in the summer. If you haven't played this game, despite the cheery visuals, it's actually a horror game, and an incredibly disturbing one at that. It's best played knowing as little about it as possible going it, although I will say, if you've dealt with mental health issues, thoughts of self-harm, or suicide, approach this one with caution. It's a strong, visual-novel style game, but it comes, quite literally, with a trigger warning slapped firmly on the title screen. 7. There is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Switch) Another game best experienced blind. I played the Switch version of this, and absolutely loved the creativity on show. It's an adventure game...kind of. When you load up the game, you're told there is no game, and to go away. It's on you to find the game, through a series of creative puzzles. And then you find the game, and it gets even more creative. I don't want to say much more - but trust me on this, it's worth your time. 6. Littlewood You're a hero, who has just defeated the Dark Lord, and saved the world. It's now your job to rebuild it. It does the game a bit of a disservice to say it's "like Stardew Valley", but at the same time, it kind of is; if Stardew had an obvious end point. You rebuild the village, attract new villagers, adventure a little bit and build relationships with your community. The better you do, the more the world around you opens up. It took me around 25-hours to complete the game, and I loved every minute of it. If you're looking for a Stardew-like game without the time commitment, this one's for you. 5. Picross S: Mega Drive & Master System Edition This kind of is what it says on the tin. It's Picross, with Sega characters. There are loads of puzzles to solve, all based around Mega Drive and Master System games, and it balances a hefty dose of nostalgia, with Picross. Lovely stuff! 4. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (multi-format) It's an action-adventure game, but really, you're playing this one for the Telltale Games level-story. The gameplay is perfectly fine, but the plot pisses all over most recent Marvel films. It's surprisingly strong, and kept me gripped right till the end. You can pick up this game relatively cheaply now, given how recently it was released, and I'd highly recommend that you give it a go. 3. Unmetal A parody of the Metal Gear games that manages to nail both the gameplay, and the humour that you'd want in a parody game. I had fun sneaking my way around the game world, and laughed out loud at almost every cut scene. 2. Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars In 2021, Square Enix released a number of slightly experimental, download-only RPGs. Voice of Cards was one of them. If you're looking for a deck-building game, this isn't it. It's essentially a standard RPG told through a world made out of cards; and in being so, manages to be quite unique. The story is compelling, and the gameplay loop is very addictive. It's also fairly short, which is a big selling point for me, these days. I enjoyed the hell out of it. 1. The House in Fata Morgana (Switch) This visual novel is packed with odd Japanese tropes, and means it'll lose some people quite quickly. I urge you to persist with it, because if you do, you'll experience one of the best videogame stories ever written. Again, it's best experienced relatively blind; but in short, you wake up in a mysterious mansion, unsure of your own identity. You attempt to discover this, by hearing the story of the mansion throughout the years from an equally mysterious maid. There's little in the way of gameplay here, it's a visual novel after all, but the story is incredible. It's moving, disturbing, gripping and horrific all at the same time. It's also quite bold, and explores issues that you might not expect it to. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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