5 games you probably haven’t played but should. Vol 1.

Many might take a glance at the list of games below and scoff at the graphics, titles or concepts and may never add it to your wish list. I mean almost all the games here look pretty basic. Where are the guns? Realistic graphics blah, blah and shame on you.

To be fair, with all the games releasing every month these days, the average gamer does not have the time for the smaller titles and prioritizing which games are worth your time and money are crucial. If you played these already then you already appreciate unique and fun games and we can definitely be friends. If not, come with an open mind and try and give at least one of these a chance.  

1.”Yoku’s Island express” Developer – Villa Gorilla

This indie game is Villa Gorilla’s first project published by Team 17. In this game, you play as a dung beetle who pushes his (dung?) ball around the island visiting other creatures and delivering mail. It has cutesy 2D sprite graphics on a 2.5D map. The art does not do anything bold and looks like a typical kid game or like something that belongs on mobile but it features a very competent Metroidvania style map traversal. The gimmick here is that the maps are widely pinball tables and your dung is the ball. You can control the beetle to navigate the world but when bouncing around it’s up to you to knock yourself towards fruit and other triggers to progress. The flippers are controlled as you’d expect with shoulder buttons. It reminds me of much better Sonic Spinball.

You should try this game because the level design is great and you do unlock skills that open up the map. It’s charming and fun to knock around through many pinball maps and explore. You can unlock additional flippers that give you access to other sections by paying with fruit as well so you’re always doing something worthwhile when exploring. Play if you’re into pinball and adventure.   

2. “Just Shapes and beats” Developer – Berzerk

This game might look uninteresting due to the simple shapes you take control of. It looks like a shoot’em up but all you do in the game is dodge and dash so there is no way to attack. In screenshots, the game may look boring. There’s honestly not much to the game but it is worth your time for the awesome EDM soundtrack! If you’re like me you’re probably over chip-tune music. This game has some of that but they take more liberty with using modern electronic sound. I would not call this a rhythm game however you don’t actually get to time your movement to the beat. The background elements and enemies DO move and morph to the epic EDM music while you try to survive for your life screaming to avoid having to restart the song. The “bosses” are very cool how they animate like a sound equalizer. If the gameplay isn’t enough for you, get it for the music and experience it in party mode. You can have it in the background at a party and people to enjoy. Totally worth it for the music alone.

Play if you like EDM    

3. “Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon: Everybuddy” Developer – H.A.N.D

I played the original release – Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon which was a July 2008 game but this is an updated version of that game which I have not played but I chose this one as it simply adds more content released in March of 2019 for Switch and PS4. This game looks for lack of a better term, downright kiddie. That’s what I thought before I played it anyway. It is the mystery dungeon gameplay that makes it fun. Mystery Dungeon games use a surprisingly underutilized mechanic that features procedurally generated dungeons with enemies that are frozen only to move only when you move. You attack by pushing against the enemy and avoid their attacks based on how many movements it takes before they hit you accordingly. Similar to Crypt of the Necrodancer you have to think about how to defeat the enemies versus just bashing against them and might side step to a different tile to avoid taking damage. It is really fun but this game also has a collection of many classic Final Fantasy songs from different games in the series which was a huge selling point. I ended up playing because of that and the reception it received. I highly recommend it for its addictive gameplay. You will level up and unlock skills and it can be challenging at first.

Play if you like Final Fantasy music and strategy games..

4. “Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon” Developer – Ronimo

Easily the most addicting game on the list. The first Swords and Soldiers came out on the original Wii and I had put it off for a long time before finally playing it back then. I was mostly only interested in the 2D flash animation style which was big and pretty at the time. The animated sprites still hold up however and the game is terribly addicting like many RTS (real time strategy) games. It reminds me of a Nintendo game in its simplicity and depth. It is an RTS sidescrolling where you still purchase units that work towards their goal on their own as your funds gradually increase. You can buy units to increase resources and build towers with various abilities and mana management but it is as simple as tapping the unit and observe the fight. The only other controls are placing certain builds and using spells on units directly like a god. Leaves time to plan out and react to the opponent. This may not be for the RTS veterans but for someone with little experience, it is a nice taste of the addictive RTS gameplay. I would not consider myself a fan of RTS but this hits the spot. The animation and humor are excellent.

Play if you are a rookie and always wanted to try RTS.  

5. “Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime” Developer-Asteroid Base

This was previously a free download on PS Plus so that is the only reason I got to enjoy this game. It was released on Switch October 2017. It is a great 4 player local co-op party game. You and friends control a character that

operates a single ship. You can see inside the ship and run around to control thrusters and weaponry used to travel to planetoids and collect creatures. The graphics are simplistic but clean and the variety is not great but it is a unique play style fun for multiple players arcade style. Easy to understand but it is challenging because it’s all about reaction time and figuring out what to operate. In co-op one player can work the thrusters to navigate while another can manipulate the canons. You can also pick up other weapons to add to the variety. It’s like a mini-game. I wish there was more to the look but it is charming and simple making it easy to identify your small avatars.

Play if you like Mario Party

As always remember to never judge a game by its cover (or graphics) and be open to new ideas. Till the next collection of underrated games…

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