2017 has already become a year of absolutely amazing games, many of which may pan out to be some of the greatest games of all time. With so many fantastic games (many of which are also massive) coming out, there are bound to be smaller gems that fall through the cracks.
What are your current favorite overlooked games of the year so far?
For me that award easily goes to Rakuen, a lovely little non-violent RPG made by the composer of To The Moon. It is a brightly melancholic game where you play a young hospitalized boy who, accompanied by his mom, visits a fantasy world to help both himself and his fellow patients through their stories of love, loss, and change.
MiiTopia is a cute little RPG with little mechanics but comes with the charm of creating a party out of a group of Mii friends and making them (or custom ones) NCPs or Villains of the story. It’s a bit bare bones but the writing is cute and everything comes together in a really neat way. My favorite game with Mii’s in them. Surprised how little a stir it made considering it was a game with Miis in the property.
RiME is another indie 3d platformer that I feel got overlooked. Really clean art style, clever puzzles, and a surprisingly heartwarming/wrenching story.
Hidden Folks is an I Spy/Where Is Waldo type search game with a really cool pencil drawn aesthetic and tons of character. All sound characters and sound effects are clearly voiced by one person and it’s so charming. Environments of moving and people objects interact with each other. You can even click on most objects to open up, re-orient, or alter them in a way that reveals where hidden objects are hiding or lead to how you can find objects. It’s my Most Zen Game of 2017 next to Everything (the game “everything”)
The Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga remake has flown pretty under the radar, I made a thread about how much l love it because I really needed to get my feelings out and it felt like no one was talking about it.
Does Quake Champions count? It’s technically early access but I feel like no one has talked about it at all. Outside of some technical issues the game is really fun and I think it’s going to be handling it’s F2P model in a really good way. The game plays like you remember Quake playing like with the added effect that characters have an active ability and a passive. It does the cosmetic loot boxes thing well with most of the time being able to get one box at the end of a match assuming you completed one daily quest and the game is very generous in giving you daily quests. Devs are active and listen to the community and pro players with updates coming out at a nice pace.
If you’re looking to play a classic arena shooter then I would keep your eye on it.
Hollow Knight dropped quietly in February and it is one of the best Metroidvanias I’ve played, with a little bit of Souls game sprinkled in there, but WAIT, let me explain: it’s the parts most Souls-influenced games don’t take, like that feeling of being lost and in danger but wanting to risk it to the next checkpoint and a world full of characters and locations that give you hints at lore but are never specific. The stuff it does with the map, in particular, is really smart.
Little Red Lie is the most challenging easy-to-play game I’ve played. It’s a visual novel from the developer of Actual Sunlight, and it is a really tough look at money troubles, romantic and familial relationships, and untimely death, to say only a few things. I found it to really draw me in, though it confronts the player with a lot of things they probably don’t want to think about and may not agree with.
Tacoma, but wait, you’ve heard of this game! Yeah, it’s been talked about a lot, and it’s pretty good, but it’s come out that astoundingly few people have purchased it, so this is just a little reminder to not forget to buy Tacoma if you’re interested in it!
I don’t know if anyone heard about it, but there is one cool game called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild… :)
I’m not sure if it was overlooked or not (there was Denuvo debacle, tho), but I would recommend it too.
Yeah, there seems to be a ws fatigue or something. But if you want more, I can suggest two.
The Fidelio Incident is a traditional walking simulator with a small amount of puzzles and a touch of survival. It’s not breaking any grounds, but it’s very beautiful and story is pretty good.
The Wild Eternal goes farther. There is almost a light metroidvania there. Exploration; open world-ish; upgrades; “organic”, for a luck of a better term, quests; enemies. I can’t tell you how good representation of eastern religion/philosophy is, I don’t know it well enough myself to judge, but I liked it. And you playing as a grandma, how cool is that!
And Tacoma is good, obv.
Also, We Were Here. You need to communicate with another player (preferably, a friend, but there is built-in voice chat) to solve puzzles. That’s what I like cooperative games to do, rather than just doing the same thing as in singleplayer, but together. Rough around the edges, sure, but it’s free on Steam. And we gonna have sequel ”We Were Here Too” soonish.
Finally, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. I didn’t like it that much in the end, because of a busy work and roughness of interactions with stuff (basically, UI). But if you want to see a pretty big, open world and beautiful game without any combat in it, you can’t miss that one.
Bleed 2 is a fantastic action game that combines shooting, slow motion and sword parries into something really phenomenal. the parry system ended up way more fun than like, Metal Gear Rising.
plus it’s very dense and gives you several ways to replay the game with characters that totally change your approach. reminded me a lot of the feeling of Noitu Love 2.
Spark the Electric Jester is a high speed action game that takes influence from games like Kirby Superstar, Sonic, and Dynamte Heady.
it’s from the creator of some of the best Sonic fan games and has great music, with one of the audio team even being credited on Sonic Mania.
Super Hydorah is a tough horizontal shooter from the people who brought you Cursed Castilla. if you loved shooters like Gradius or RType you’ll find a lot to love here.
Senko no Ronde 2is one of the most unique fighters out there , combining bullet hell shooters and arena fighting into a sweet mech battler. it’s from the team that worked on games like Ikaruga and Border Down. definitely a cult classic
Gundam Versus is another really cool fighting game that’s more like an aerial dogfight than a brawl. it has unique movement systems and tons of big robots but the universal controls make it a lot easier to learn than most fighters
speaking of which, ARMS is probably one of the best fighters of the year and is fun both for casual play and competitive. there’s a real satisfaction to landing a punch and tons of nuance to learn. i agree with Eurogamer when they say it basically does for fighting games what Mario Kart did for racers.
Children of Zodiarcs is a very cool tactics and tabletop game with a fantastic aesthetic and the best dice physics ever
on mobile Missileman is a charming game where you control a man surfing on missiles. fills the same space something like Jetpack Joyride does.
Strange Telephone is also a strange surreal game where you explore spaces made by calling telephone numbers.
Necrosphere is a metroidvania that limits the controls to 2 buttons and is my favorite indie platformer since VVVVVV. The limitations create some great moments and generous checkpoints make its high difficulty manageable.
Flippy Knife is a mobile game where you unlock a huge variety of knives to flip/throw in a bunch of different modes and it’s great. Nice art and some ridiculous stuff to unlock, everything from a switchblade to an assault rifle with a bayonet to a toucan with a particularly sharp beak. Super fun.
Trackless. A weird little cyberpunkish first person adventure/walking sim where you interact with the world & solve puzzles using a text parser. It’s’ a really cool ~2 hour experience.
The Botanist is a super chill little thing where the conceit is that you make money by growing different plants using words (each word is associated with a procedurally generated plant) and taking photos of it for different clients.
Witchway is an adorable combat-free (from what I remember) witch themed metroidvania with some super good puzzle design and art by the dude who did the art for Titan Souls
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap. This game is a remaster, but good lord is the treatment gorgeous. They kept the gameplay and layouts faithful to the original (you can hot swap between the art styles at any time), but the amount of detail and animations they’ve added to everything are beautiful and exude so much charm. I definitely feel like this game didn’t get talked about nearly enough.
I remember looking up Rime in the early days of the Switch and a release seemed imminent and I was pretty excited. Still no sign of it as yet though. I have Wonder Boy on my Watch List as well as someone else here mentions it.
It’s not really overlooked, but I have been amazed how much I adore Golf Story. It just seems so, nice? I can’t help but smile whenever I pick it up.
Omegaland is a simple platformer by Jonas Kyratzes, who is known as a writer for The Talos Principle as well as for making quite a few strange adventure games like The Sea Will Claim Everything. It’s 3 bucks normally, and a buck fifty until tomorrow. It does some clever things with the shareware/Flash-game aesthetic. Also, as you can tell by reading between the lines of the store copy, there’s a twist. It’s not a terribly surprising twist, when approached with a little genre savvy, but there’s good stuff behind the twist. Stuff like fierce political allegory, and an exploration of the aesthetics of broken video games. Did I mention it’s a buck fifty? I enjoyed it.
IMO, Oneshot, although it was relatively received during 2016, was tragically overlooked when the Solstice Update, or essentially the true end/sequel-in-an-update of the game, dropped in 2017. It’s really a shame because for me it elevates it from a really nice metanarrative with some fun ideas to one of the most genuinely touching games I’ve ever played. It expertly closes off its emotional arcs, cohesively explains its core beliefs, and leaves everyone completely satisfied even though the ending is rather bittersweet.
Seriously, drop everything you’re doing and play this game. Don’t stop playing until you get to the end of the Solstice part of the game. It absolutely blows a lot of attempts at meta I’ve seen out of the water.