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Best Games You’re Not Playing: End of Year Edition

by on January 12, 2014 11:18 AM 6

2013 was a great year for gaming. The year ended with the usual dog pile of  great games that will ultimately end up on your backlog because there are only so many hours in a day. Add the launch of the new consoles I can totally understand if you missed out a handful of more awesome games.

Does that make you a bad person? Only a bit! Thankfully I’m here to remind you of the best games you didn’t play just to rub salt on the wound.

On the last Best Games You’re Not Playing, I discussed my love affair with Rogue Legacy, Papers, Please and Gone Home. This time around I decided to add a few more games to the usual list of three to account for games that came out earlier in the year that deserve your attention.

Divekick

Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios

Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Vita

Price: $9.99

divekick
DiveKick takes the best part of every match of any fighting game — the final hit — and makes a whole game about it. It’s a fighting game with one hit KOs and the only thing you can do is jump and dive kick. Somehow this two button game manages to capture the same excitement and competitive spirit than any top tier fighter on the market.

Why You Didn’t Play This Game
A game where you only kick doesn’t sound like a real game.

Why You Need to Play This Game
DiveKick’s two button combat makes it accessible for anyone. There’s a character who wears sneakers on his hands and he is pretty cool.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Developer: Starbreeze Studios

Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3

Price: $14.99

Brothers
This emotional gut punch of a journey was recommended to me pretty late in the year and boy do I feel like a fool for not having this on my radar. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a heartfelt story of two brothers trying to find a cure for their sick father. There are these grand sweeping vistas that make you want to venture deeper into this fantastical Nordic-inspired world.  The puzzles are challenging and well conceived.

Brothers manages to tell a beautifully dark tale even though all the characters communicate in elegant gibberish. That’s right, even with no subtitles to be found yet you can still piece together what’s happening through player action, body language and tone.

Why You Didn’t Play This Game
Microsoft initially did a piss poor job of promoting this game when it first released on XBLA. Thankfully the Steam and PS3 releases have been showing more promise in actually acknowledging the game’s existence. Oh yeah, the fact that you control both brothers with both joysticks AT THE SAME TIME might be impossible for some brains to process (at least it was for me at first).

Why You Need to Play This Game
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons solely exists to punch you right in the feels. The tragic epilogue is reason enough to play through. It’s art style and moody music pulls you right in and you’re instantly emotionally invested in the brothers’ adventure. Its a must-play that you should not ignore.

State of Decay

Developer: Undead Labs

Platform: PC, Xbox 360

Price: $19.99 and $6.99 for the Breakdown DLC (worth getting)

State-of-Decay-4

A zombie open world game where you have to build a community to outlast the zombie apocalypse. You’ll play the role of numerous survivors who have to scavenge for supplies during the day and protect the homestead once the sun sets. To make matters worse characters will get fatigued the more you use them and once they die, that’s it for them.

State of Decay does a great job of forcing you to make decisions that could get everyone killed. Assigning tasks to the right people is paramount for living to fight another day.

Why You Didn’t Play This Game
It suffered a rough launch on Xbox Live with numerous bugs and framerate issues. Thankfully the Steam release had no trouble and is totally playable.

Why You Need to Play This Game
State of Decay manages to make the pressures of scavenging and surviving a worthwhile time. It also has RPG elements, super zombies and base building. Its hardcore, yo.

The Stanley Parable

Developer: Galactic Cafe

Platform: PC

Price: $14.99

Stanley Parable

Do your choices mean anything? This the question The Stanley Parable asks, makes fun and answers this very question. You’re Stanley, an office nobody, who finds himself all alone in his office and needs to figure out what sinister plot is afoot. The narrator narrates and criticizes you’re every action questioning your motives and calling you a fool. Do what your told or be a rebel. There’s no right way to play this game.

Why You Didn’t Play This Game
You hate jokes and British accents. Other than that I couldn’t tell you.

Why You Need to Play This Game
It’s the only time a game and the player are actively trying to troll each other. You should read my review in case you need more convincing.

Honorable Mentions

Ridiculous Fishing: A Tale of Redemption (iOS)- You fish with explosives and machines. So yeah, its great.

Gun Point (PC)- An espionage puzzle game with great humor by former games journalist-turned-game developer Tom Francis.

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The best part about these titles is that they are usually on sale every other month. Like I mentioned earlier, 2013 was an amazing year for gaming with a variety of unique and most importantly fun gaming experiences.

I have the utmost confidence that 2014 will deliver some killer games that will make you cry, laugh, or shout curses at the screen.

So are there any games you played in the last year that your fellow Shockers should get their hands on? Let us know in the comments below!

Join the Discussion

  • islan

    Funny story: I actually enjoyed the demo for the Stanely Parable much more than the actual game (though I still enjoyed the game).

    I personally wouldn’t recommend Dive Kick to anyone. It had an awesome premise for a fighter without any flash and only skill, but then they went and undermined that entire premise with characters like Baz and S-Kill. Also, no one seems to be playing it online on PSN anymore, so not even the fighting community it was born from seems to be adopting it.

    • Jorge Jimenez

      I wish more game demos would be treated more like a prologues instead of just a random level. Dead Rising Case Zero is a great example of a great demo/prologue.

      I think Dive Kick is a great local fighting game if you have a bunch of friends over who don’t play many fighting games. I also agree with you 600% on Baz and S-Kill aka game breakers. Aside from that, people are on even footing at the start of the match.

  • Boerewors

    Buying “Brothers” was for me the worst gaming decision in my live. Didn’t read the reviews all too well and it sounded like great fun. I actually have this thing called synkinesis, where my one hand copies the movement the other makes, so the game is completely unplayable for me. With other games it isn’t a huge handicap, but when my wife caught me playing this game she couldn’t stop laughing :)

    • Jorge Jimenez

      Sorry to hear that. You’re not the first person to say they had issues with the controls. I’ve heard Brothers be described as a single player co-op game. It sorta makes me wonder why they didn’t make a two player game? Just outta curiosity, what other games can’t you play because of sykinesis?

      • Boerewors

        I used to have trouble with fight night and more recently Resogun. Everything that requires twin-stick movement is hard, but I can handle myself in FPS’. The copying of the movement gets worse when I’m in pain or fatigued, so I usually don’t play more than 30 minutes at a time. PC shooters are hard as well: whenever I shoot, I also press the “D” :). Okay, that didn’t came out right ;)

  • safeword

    Stanley Parable was the best! Iffy on Brothers as it had some really negative things about it.

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