I’ve created a new category to give more spotlights to games. For this one, I’m honoring the games that didn’t blow up as a revolutionary take on the genre but were all around great games that did what they set out to do.
Honorable Mention: Drainus
Drainus was a great shmup that was released to little fanfare as the latest game from Team Ladybug. I really like the pixel art and the ability to modify your ship and shots on the fly. What keeps it from scoring higher is that while it was a good game, it didn’t really stick around as a memorable one. I would love for someone to take this concept of ship modification further in a future game.
#3: Shadows over Loathing
The latest game from the king of dry wit and humor is Shadows over Loathing. We’re trading the wild west and horse-related puns for Lovecraftian mysteries…and puns. This not-so-spooky sequel to West continues the series’ design of puzzle, adventure, and wacky RPG hijinks. At this point, you are either all in or all out for a Loathing game, and I enjoyed my time slinging cheese at fish people.
What if we take a traditional 2D action-adventure and cover it with all the blood? We get Infernax. This challenging modern retro game had some of the most shocking NES-styled cutscene around with meat on the bone in the form of multiple endings. As with the other games on this list, while the game doesn’t stand out among the modern retro classics I’ve played, it’s still a solid game for action fans.
Swordship is one of those games that I feel deserves more praise than what it has gotten. A smartly designed arcade-style game. The hook is that while you must dodge and fight against drones trying to stop you from delivering contraband, you are never able to directly attack. You need to maneuver around to get enemies to take out each other.
Owner of Game Wisdom with more than a decade of experience writing and talking about game design and the industry. I’m also the author of the “Game Design Deep Dive” series and “20 Essential Games to Study”