Past Featured Games

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The topic of "games as art" has interested me for quite a while, particularly the idea that gameplay itself can play a role in communicating meaning. Rez was developed with this concept in mind.

The rail shooter gameplay was designed to synchronize with the trippy audio and visuals in order to emulate sound-color synesthesia. As someone with that particular neurological condition, I'm amazed by the fact that Rez is actually fairly successful in living up to its ambitions. The graphics and audio suit each other well, and enemies show up and must be shot in time with the music. The result is an intense audiovisual experience that takes advantage of player input to meld separate sensory experiences together, and it works fantastically.

The unusual visual style and use of the glitch genre of music emulate the synesthesia experience on a more symbolic level, since they are both as abstract as the imagery synesthetes experience, albeit not quite in the same way.

Jul 22, 2016, submitted by Harmony♥ (9440)


The Ar tonelico series is a hard one to recommend. The gameplay is rather bland, especially in the combat department. The heavy use of sexual innuendo and elements of moe culture may be off-putting to some, & the English localization ranges from flawed at best to a downright mess at worst.

Despite these numerous imperfections, I honestly love the series for what it does get right. Ar Ciel is an impressively detailed setting. Particular care is taken in regards to the intersections between its language, mythology, and magic system, which form the core of the Ar tonelico experience. The main Reyvateil characters have complex personalities and character development, and the way in which these are explored ties pretty well into the dating sim elements.

Lastly, the music is the best I've heard in any video game, particularly the vocal tracks. Often fitting into the neo-ethereal genre the featured singers are known for, these songs fit into the series' overarching storyline while also sounding amazing on their own.

Jul 15, 2016, submitted by Harmony♥ (9440)


System Shock: Enhanced Edition is a very welcome addition to many older gamers' collections. It revamps a true PC classic and cleans it from much of its original problems – particularly the clumsiness of the controls, allowing the player to feel less bogged down by the frustrating gameplay of the original.

Visually, the game now looks "stunning", if we're to compare it to the 1994 original. With new resolutions available, and the incredible design that sets the dark cyberpunk mood the game is known for, System Shock has never looked better.

All-in-all, this rendition of the game is the definitive version everyone should play – System Shock marked the start of an era, having influenced other countless classics down the line, like Deus Ex and BioShock, and is a must for gamers who truly care about gaming history.

Jun 29, 2016, submitted by リカルド・フィリペ (47022)


Ever wondered what it's like to be a quest-giving NPC in RPG games? Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim connects elements from RPGs and RTSes into a unique mix.

Hiring heroes in their specific guilds, you do not control them directly - instead, you merely shape the town to their needs and assign quests for scouting or defeating a specific enemy monster or building. Just as they profit from these quests, so do you.

A nice breath of fresh air in terms of design and gameplay, Majesty is proof that genre hybrids can be fun.

Jun 19, 2016, submitted by Plokite_Wolf (973)

Frequently making its appearance on gaming lists all over the world, and hailed as one of the top CRPGs of all time, Planescape: Torment is a game that every gamer should tackle at least once in their lives.

The deep story it conveys through brilliant exposition, supported by a very imaginative and unorthodox setting, puts it apart from all its contemporaries, exuding a truly foreboding feeling that will leave most players coming to grips with what just happened before their eyes.

The amount of freedom given to the player is also noteworthy, particularly for its time, along with the wonderfully crafted characters that fill the world of Torment, making it feel that much more alive.

Jun 11, 2016, submitted by リカルド・フィリペ (47022)


You might know Yume Nikki as that weird RPG Maker game about dreams. It's a cult classic among fans of obscure freeware games.

I couldn't have been much older than 11 or 12 when Yume Nikki started making waves on the Western internet. I found myself completely engrossed, not in spite of the minimal gameplay and complete lack of dialogue, but because of how those limitations are used to craft an eerie atmosphere and explore Madotsuki's psychological state.

Yume Nikki isn't always "fun" in a traditional sense, but it is beautiful, unsettling, and sometimes just plain weird, and that was more than enough to be captivating. It was a huge gateway for me, not just to new genres and platforms, but to the potential of gaming as a narrative medium.

Jun 05, 2016, submitted by Harmony♥ (9440)


The Walking Dead series by Telltale started a new way of presenting adventure games - basically a movie-like presentation, with limited interaction and lots of choices which branch the story. Sort of what visual novels did two decades ago only with limited voice-acting and almost no animation (with occasional interactive animes, which are similar to this but 2D).

The first two Walking Dead seasons were powerful in story and frustrating in choices and consequences, always leaving you thinking you could've done something better. Michonne is a great game that delivers the same thing the first two games did, with more action, and just as powerful, but gives you a chance to actually say "hey, I did get a good ending because of my choices, didn't I?" instead of leaving you cursing whatever ending befell you.

May 22, 2016, submitted by MAT (132780)


This game manages to achieve the unsurmountable task of being a breath of fresh air amongst current-generation RPGs by bringing back an old-school feeling to the table. The gameplay, having a bit of Grandia influence, is able to brighten up the traditional turn-based combat, keeping things interesting, & accompanied with a beautiful, heart-warming soundtrack.

The plot is also fairly engaging, with all dialogue written in old English, in a very poetic and rhyming style. All-in-all, it is the game turn-based RPG purists have been craving for in the last decade.

May 15, 2016, submitted by リカルド・フィリペ (47022)

As someone who doesn't like Witcher-like RPGs, but very much like Witcher 2-like RPGs, this was beyond expectations a pleasant surprise that satisfies on all fronts. In story, in choices it allows the player to shape it to his/her liking, in graphics, in score, and in the setting. Gameplay may have minor issues, but it is to be expected from an RPG since they're not known for fluid action-like gameplay anyway.

The world in itself is so dynamic and atmospherically well done that just watching different weather affect it is a joy in itself. Truly a masterpiece, and a great game to conclude the trilogy. I dunno about books, but so glad this isn't linear with story following the books leaving you no choices at all.

May 06, 2016, submitted by MAT (132780)


As a someone who dislikes multiplayer and even more so online-only games, this was a huge shock and a thrill to play.

Multiplayer matches a are often centered around capture-the-flag or destroying your opponents in as quickest as possible as is the case with all those FPS games, but this requires tactic, planning, and real thinking. And a little bit of luck as well. Featuring five classes of tanks which let you play the game in entirely different way and force you to use new strategies, this adds to a great variety.

Hundreds of tanks and even more upgrades keep this fun and interesting after many hours of gameplay, and each match is a fun challenge on its own. What's best, is that the game is 100% free without any subscription requirement. This game is a true indicator how a good online-only game should be made.

Apr 27, 2016, submitted by MAT (132780)


In 2011 the Space Shuttle has seen Earth from orbit for the last time, as the space industry started to focus on cheaper means of travel. Now, Murders in Space features a different kind of shuttle--it's of European make, powered by an Ariane 5 rocket and piloted by a British astronaut. This is science fiction at its finest, of the extremely optimistic kind.

There were plenty of reasons for the French at Hitech to celebrate space travel back in 1990: two years earlier Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first Frenchman to visit space, and Discovery was about to launch Hubble.

The reason why all of this is relevant lies in the nature of the game. Is it really a mystery/detective game? If you really expect to solve all the crimes and problems it throws at you, I will tell you, and this is not much of a spoiler, that you already start at a disadvantage. Murders in Space finds delight in showing off all of its gadgetry, be it the manual docking of a shuttle, taking a walk in the EVA suit, or playing with cryogenics. (However it's very cranky when you start playing the detective.)

Apr 16, 2016, submitted by CalaisianMindthief (7150)


Here we have a game that is probably the best definition of the "one more turn" problem outside Sid Meier's Civilization series. HoMM III took everything that was right about its predecessors and then increased the quality of every aspect infinitely.

A content-heavy sequel with a lot of interesting and fully distinct towns (factions) and specialized heroes, countless situations where you'll sit and calculate statistics in your head before even considering your next move, brilliant gameplay, powerful map editor, random map generator and awesome soundtrack will keep you welded to your chair for long.

Add the Armageddon's Blade and The Shadow of Death expansion packs (both include a trillion new maps and campaign missions, and AB adds the ninth town, Conflux), and you'll next be seen by relatives in a few years. Hopefully. Maybe.

Apr 01, 2016, submitted by Plokite_Wolf (973)