3: I was a Teenage Exocolonist
A game I played while doing IGF judging, this was a visual novel choose your own adventure mixed with some deck building. You play a child heading to humanity’s first colony, over the course of 10 years, you’re going to see a lot, experience a lot, and have a role to play in who lives or dies. There is a lot of variance going on here in terms of what endings and routes you can go down. Every life experience you get will earn you cards, and your deck is literally made up of all the good and bad things that shape your life.
While not for everyone, if you’re a fan of visual novel/RPG games, this is a must play for you.
2: Last Command
What happens when bullet hell and snake team up? We get Last Command. This game has you exploring the digital space in the future where there are no more humans left to figure out what is causing malfunctions. All combat is based on you controlling a snake that has to gather data in order to use it against enemies. Meanwhile, enemies attack you with a variety of bullets and patterns that would be right at home in a bullet hell shmup.
This is not an easy game to play, and I ran into some issues with some of the advanced challenges. This is a great game if you’re looking for something different and challenging.
1: The Case of the Golden Idol
After Return of the Obra Dinn I was hoping we would see more investigation-styled games, and The Case of the Golden Idol fits that category with multiple challenges to your critical thinking skills. Each vignette involves the golden idol and a murder, and it’s up to you piece together how it all happened by examining the scene and putting the clues together one dialogue box at a time.
While the game starts off easy enough, soon it grows to multiple screens of people and situations to parse thru and the complexity of the cases grows fast. This is the perfect game for someone wanting to flex their critical thinking skills and I hope between it and Obra Dinn we start seeing more of this style.
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”