Everyone’s played BioShock Infinite and Tomb Raider. But what about an immigration office simulator? What about a steam punk horror game? What about a completely audio based jousting game? These 10 Best Games You Probably Haven’t Played in 2013 come from the furthest corners of the indie sphere. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you should, because only the indie gaming community can bring you magical snipers, mind control office cubicles, and auto-cannibalism.
Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine
First up on our 2013 list is Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine. This game is co-op stealth where you and group of other gamers team up to pull off an outstanding heist. It’s essentially Ocean’s 11, the video game. This makes it feel awesome when your red-head distracts a bystander, your hacker disables a security system, and your mole digs into a safe to empty out its contents, but it also makes you feel really stupid when your lookout basically runs past enemy security in a Leeroy Jenkins moment.
Want a new fighting game but don’t have time to learn a bunch of fancy schmancy new mechanics? Try the one true fighting game: Divekick! Eight button controllers? Screw that! Try two button controllers and no stick! Combos? Psssh that’s kid stuff. Who needs combos when each of your Divekicks deals one billion damage. Frame data? Special moves? Fatalities? All useless when you can choose the YOLO gem and go man mode on your opponent, proving that he is a fraud. Real men play Divekick. Everyone else is just a scrub.
Sports Friends is probably this year’s finest mini-game compilation. It includes games like Bari Bari Ball, a combination of sword fighting, Smash Bros. and soccer, and Super Pole Riders, a strange combination of hockey and the pole vault. However, the most interesting and most fun game of the Sports Friends compilation is Johann Sebastian Joust, the world’s first audio game. It’s played with the PlayStation Move controller against several people in the same room as you. Your goal is to get the opponent to move his or her controller faster than the tempo of the music, without you moving yours in the same way. When the music is fast it’s like a frantic game of tag or even full contact wrestling, but when the music is slow you have to stalk up on your friends and get them to move their controller without even noticing it, like some sort of musical ninja.
If you only have enough time to play one video game this year… you need to slow down buddy. Still, the Stanley Parable wouldn’t be that bad of a choice for your absurdly overscheduled life. It’s a game about choice and consequence. Every action alters the game’s outcome, even if it’s just choosing between too doors. Then again, it’s also a game about defeating an evil mind control computer and sticking it to a snarky narrator who thinks he’s better than you. It also doesn’t really matter what door you go through as long as you get the secret ending where you get to screw around in Portal and Minecraft for a little while.
Papers Please is one of those indie games that makes a statement while still being fun to play. You are an underpaid immigration worker whose only duty is to check the credentials of immigrants entering the country. It’s pretty easy to tell when someone is up to no good, so if you want to do your job well all you have to do is turn away dangerous and sketchy people from the border. There’s only one problem. You don’t get paid enough to feed your family. So you have to make a choice. Do you let your family starve, or do you accept bribes and let possibly dangerous terrorists into the country? Your goal is to survive your own hunger, but at the end of the game you tend to have to survive fire bombings instead.
Spy Party is an interesting take on the shooter genre. You either play a sniper with one bullet and a sniper rifle which is guaranteed to not miss, or a spy who is trying to blend in at a party and avoid getting detected by the sniper. The party guests are all controlled by A.I. and the spy looks exactly like them but is controlled by a player. The spy has to complete tasks like bugging people and objects or gathering rolls of microfilm with hidden intelligence, but doing so makes him stick out like a sore thumb. So the player has to do his best to act like a dumb A.I. party guest and only make moves to complete his objectives when the near godlike sniper isn’t looking. Fool the sniper and you win. Get shot, and you lose.
The Wolf Among Us gets on our list of the 10 Best Games You Haven’t Played in 2013 because it’s far more obscure than the previous Telltale IP, The Walking Dead. Make no mistake though, it’s just as awesome. The Wolf Among Us takes place in the world of Fables, where every storybook character from Ichibod Crane to Snow White has been exiled to New York City. This may sound like a children’s game to you, but the fact that you get to play as the big bad wolf, who has a habit dismembering thugs who look at him funny, says otherwise.
2D platformers? Awesome. Metroidvania style open world 2D platformers? Super awesome. Rogue-like Metroidvania style open world 2D platformers with randomly generated enemies and dungeons? Unfathomably awesome. Rogue-like Metroidvania style open world 2D platformers with randomly generated enemies and dungeons and a huge helping of RPG elements including secondary weapons, classes that inherit the aspects of prior generations, and a fort to build up using fund stolen from demonic enemies that you have slain? Now we are talking about Rogue Legacy.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
If you played the original Amnesia: The Dark Descent then you know that it’s sequel, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, is going to be pants shittingly terrifying, and you would be right. Gone is the ancient castle laden with Lovecraftian horrors. Your new haunted house of choice is a cold industrialized factory that seems to be processing men as so much bloated meat. It’s symbolic! It’s also scary enough to give your heart attacks heart attacks.
The goal of Don’t Starve is, appropriately enough, not to starve. This is easier said than done when you are marooned on a deserted island with nothing other than a few twigs and your own insanity to keep you company. If the hungry beasts of the wild don’t tear you apart limb from limb as you sleep, you’ll likely find yourself eating your own legs just to survive for one more day… or perhaps you’ll manage to find an ancient temple of a lost civilization and fall into a fate worse than death. It’s a surprisingly morbid and hardcore game for its cartoony graphics scheme and that’s why it’s at the top of our list of the 10 Best Games You Probably Haven’t Played in 2013.