Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition by Cardboard Computer
Genre: Point and Click Adventure
A magical realist adventure game in five acts. Rendered in a striking visual style that draws as much from theatre, film, and experimental electronic art as it does from the history of videogames, this is a story of unpayable debts, abandoned futures, and the human drive to find community.
At twilight in Kentucky, as bird songs give way to the choir of frogs and insects, familiar roads become strange, and it’s easy to get lost. Those who are already lost may find their way to a secret highway winding through underground caves. What lies beneath the mysterious caves of Kentucky? Go on a magical-realist journey across a secret highway where ghosts, robot musicians and a child and his giant eagle companion are just but a few of the strange denizens you’ll encounter.
Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition is full of surprising moments, unusual characters and heartfelt encounters, all set to a backdrop of haunting electronic music and bluegrass standards.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, Mac, Linux
Fires At Midnight by Persona Theory Games
Genre: Interactive, Narrative
One of my personal favourites from last year Fires at Midnight is a story that’s stayed with me. Whether you’re in a relationship, are single or somewhere in-between we all think about and look for love. When you find it however how do you know that it’s real?
Set in dystopian Malaysia, with the world on the cusp of Y2K and a deadly ‘love-bug’ going around we’re introduced to the relationship between Yun and Chitra. In this world, if you have sex without being in love with someone then your bodies will combust from within. And you’ll die a pretty terrible death, what with being set on fire and all. An interactive narrative masterpiece, the game has three alternate endings each with more thoughtful feels than the last.
Phasmophobia by Kinetic Games
Genre: Surivial Horror, Co-Op
4 player online co-op psychological horror. Phasmophobia makes ghost hunters out of you and your friends. Investigate paranormal activity and investigate abandoned facilities and other haunted locations for signs of ghosts. Utilise a grab bag of EMF readers, UV flashlights, and crucifixes to gather evidence on the supernatural.
You can choose to support your team by monitoring the location with CCTV cameras and motion sensors from the safety of the truck or head inside and get your hands dirty with the ghostly activity that will get increasingly hostile as time goes on. There are over 12 different types of ghosts for you to encounter, each with their own unique traits, making each investigation different. The realistic graphics and sounds as well as having minimal user interfaces will ensure a totally immersive experience that will keep you on your toes.
Phasmophobia is one our ‘Top 10 Games To Scare Yourself Silly With’ to check out the rest be sure to read our article here.
GTFO by 10 Chambers Collective
Genre: Survival Horor, FPS, Co-Op
GTFO made our list for the ‘Best Co-Op Games for Serious Squads’. GTFO is marketed as a hardcore 4 player cooperative game. It’s all about working together as you make your way through high-intensity combat and team-based puzzles. Using nothing but firepower and tools, gamers will have to rely on coordination along with communication to survive the nightmare that awaits their arrival. Just remember to stay quiet, keep calm and maybe you’ll all live.
Unlike the other games on this list where you can jump in guns blazing, GTFO requires you to be sneaky to find the best way to progress. Every expedition in GTFO’s underground complex is meticulously crafted with exploration and communication in mind. There’s an interesting array of tools for you to choose from. Your loadout, in this case, won’t be limited to just weapons but will include other types of tools to help you stay alive. There’s a scanner that can help you map the tunnels ahead, a motion detector. There’s also a placeable gun turret for defending areas from enemies, and even a glue gun for setting sticky traps. Is this the combination of tools you’ll need for the mission ahead? You won’t know for sure until you’re down there.
Orwell’s Animal Farm by Nerial Limited, The Dairymen
Genre: Choice-Driven Narrative
If you’ve never read Orwell’s Animal Farm, well you should. It’s a decades-old allegory based on the Russian Revolution but really its political themes remain poignant to this day. The story tells the tale of farm animals fighting off the exploitation of their human masters, putting themselves in charge. The game revolves around a text-based choice-driven narration where all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
How will you lead? Will you head down the same tragic path of the book, find new ways to suffer, or perhaps rise above and deliver prosperity to the herds? With multiple endings and an excellent audio mix of original music and the narration of Abubakar Salim (Assassin’s Creed Origins), Orwell’s Animal Farm is an unfortunately timely reimagining of the corrupting influence of power over those who seek to lead.
Platforms: PC, Mac
So that’s the first part of this list! For more be sure to check out the rest of the page here.