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Why you should play: Highlight lesser known games here

  • 03-04-2020 2:17pm
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 49,429 CMod ✭✭✭✭

    So instead of doing work I'm creating this thread.

    The purpose of this thread is to highlight awesome games that people might not have heard of, might not play or would just glance at and ignore. Or a combination of all of those. Think of it as saving people from missing out on awesome.

    Only two rules. Nothing hard and fast

    1. Only put pretty obscure stuff here. No B tier games that still sell in the millions but don't make Call of Duty numbers. Exceptions will be made for very poorly performing games but I'll leave this up to your own judgement. The current state of games journalism means that only the biggest games get attention so I think it would be good to highlight some games that get ignored by the majority of the media.

    2. Try to make sure the games are easily accessible. So available on current consoles or else easily emulated.

    So to start off:


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 49,429 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer

    Xanadu Next

    Available on: PC (Steam)


    What is it?

    A pretty ancient japanese PC RPG from Falcom who make games like Ys and Trails of Cold Steel. Falcom create unarguably the best action RPGs and Xanadu Next is no exception. XSeed have gotten the game running on modern systems and released it on steam. It plays like a cross between diablo and Ys. Diablo like controls and movement mixed with japanese action and bosses. Some Metroidvania elements as well as you open more of the castle up.


    1. Fun, fun, FUN! This game is just super fun to play and gets more so the more you get into it. Combat is great. Exploration is great. If you've played any of the Ys games it's very similar to them.
    2. Awesome soundtrack
    3. Decent length quest clocking in at around 25 hours.
    4. Great boss fights.


    1. Is an old PC game. Looks like ass
    2. Controls are a bit weird, especially if playing with a controller but you will get used to them.
    3. Port is a little janky so expect it not to play entirely nice. Didn't like being minimised on my PC. Save before you do!

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,558 ✭✭✭✭dreamers75


    7 Days to Die

    Spawn in an Zombie filled random world or play the crafted map Navez, gather what you can quickly. Level up your skills however you see fit, can be played solo or in a group. If in a group everyone should pick a skill tree/role (Scientist, Hunter, Loot gatherer etc). Build a base for on the 7th night at 10pm the horde is coming for you and your crappy little wooden bow. Altho on day 70 you will probably have a fully kitted out AK or M60.

    Longest running early access game ever (2013)
    Surprisingly for a game containing the 4 horseman (Early Access, Open World, Survival, Crafting) its very good, every new release fixes old bugs and introduces new ones.
    Modding you can mod this game to death and play it however you see fit too.

    Longest running early access game ever (2013)
    Early Access, Open World, Survival, Crafting



    Arcade/Sim type helicopter game like this centruies Desert Strike. Its 3rd person and flying easy, each chopper feels different. There a lot of choppers to unlock. PVE or PVP.

    Good feel to the choppers and a wide selection of them.
    Online players are generally sound.

    A bit grindy to unlock the Gen 4 choppers.
    No enemy AI choppers :( Coming this summer apparently in a redux version of the game (free to original owners)

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 32,417 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Football, Tactics & Glory

    Available on PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One

    • It's actually a remarkably enjoyable mix of Turn Based Strategy and Football. FIFA meets X-Com. It shouldn't work, but it does & does so really well.
    • There's two aspects, the off-the-field management, and the turn-based matches themselves; the latter is the one that'll get you hooked.
    • The matches play out over the course of a set number of turns; your team has 3 turns to move, then the opponent 3 turns - and so on. Like X-Com, any actions, basic or "special" are controlled with percentages, dictating the chances of pulling them off. Unlike X-Com, these stats are fairly accurate so you know upfront how likely that nutmeg is to pull off.
    • The management element is like a very simplified version of Football Manager, so there's no chance of drowning in statistics. It's robust enough that you get invested in your team though.
    • Last I checked the developers are constantly adding to the game, so it's a very active dev & community.

    • It's a bit of a eurojank game, with graphics that are trapped somewhere between Arcade and Realistic.
    • No real teams or licences, but you can fix this via mods. Eg, the Irish leagues consists of a team from every town in Ireland. Castleblayney vs. Tullamore is a weird one :D
    • The main Theme Tune is ear-scrappingly awful. First thing I did was turn off background music. Please do the same.
    • The tutorials could be better, but I haven't played it in a while so they may have since tightened things up there too.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 49,429 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer

    La Mulana 1 & 2

    Available on: PC (Steam), Switch, PS4, XBox One


    What is it?

    A hard game to describe. It's labelled as a metroidvania and while it has those elements it has a very different feel. Quit frankly there's nothing else like it. It's a love letter to japanese 8-bit platform adventure games on the MSX that Konami made. What I'd describe it as is an Indiana Jones archaeology. There's platforming, there's death traps but there is also a lot of very obscure puzzles to solve, more like a point and click adventure.


    1. Platforming and movement is super tight
    2. Excellent boss fights
    3. Amazing soundtrack
    4. Sense of adventure. No other game comes close to the feeling you get when you uncover a new item or open up a new area to explore. Each one is hard earned.


    1. Not for everyone for the reasons below
    2. Bring a Notepad. Seriously, you will need to bring a notepad to take down clues if you want to beat the game legit.
    3. Hard as Nails. While the actual action is fairly challenging it's harsh but fair and there are plenty of save points. The puzzles can be very obscure and involve thinking outside the box or piecing together clues across a massive play area. Don't be ashamed if you have to use a faq.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,009 ✭✭✭✭Zero-Cool

    RopeDrink wrote: »

    One of the scariest experiences ..

    That looks and sounds class!! It's 15 on ps4 but dropped to 7.50 twice in the last 2 months so will wait for another drop and add it to the backlog. Looks right up my street though.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 32,417 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Mark of the Ninja (available as Remastered)

    Available on: PR, Switch, XBox, PS4

    I know this thread leans towards "obscure" games, so not sure Klei Entertainment count as that. That said I don't feel this game gets quite the plaudits it deserves. But am totally open to correction!

    Honestly I consider this one of the best stealth action games I've ever played. Like, I say this with a straight face: it's up there with Thief or Hitman. For me anyway. While it lacks the Pacifist option that I know is a preference for some sneakers in shadows, this is a game that really nails the feeling of power in being a ninja. The actual stealth mechanics are really well balance: using sight & sound expressed with clear, organic - and importantly, utterly fair - systems. And like the Hitman series, while you can blast through the level in murderous chaos, you're rewarded for being sneaky; using the shadows and popping out of (say) an air-vent to stab an unsuspecting guard.

  • Registered Users Posts: 996 ✭✭✭TheRepentent

    That really is a great game ^^^

    If anyone fancies some old skool Dungeon crawling , can't recommend Legend of Grimlock 1 & 2 enough where removing 20 years of site functionality is considered an upgrade.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,932 ✭✭✭YouSavedMyLife

    Great thread idea Retro


    Available on: PC (Steam)


    What is it?

    A sidescrolling action roguelike is probably its best description. It has RPG progression with level ups and skills and spells to unlock, as well as randomized loot to discover. There are 5 classes to choose from each with 5 "talent trees" to progress through, so each run through the game after a death feels different. It's also multiplayer! You can play through the game with 3 other people, but i never did. I'm sure it makes the game much easier.


    1. Platforming and movement is super tight
    2. Combat is quite skill based as your character is squishy so avoiding damage as much as possible is a priority
    3. Character building and progression feels different each playthrough even with the same starting class


    1. It's a very difficult game
    2. Art style might not be for everyone
    3. Hardcore style game. If you die your character is wiped and you start over. Some may not like this
    4. It's a very difficult game, i can't stress this enough. I have 38 hours played so far on steam and i have yet to clear the game once, and im no stranger to playing "difficult" games. I had to uninstall it so i could get on with playing other games

  • Registered Users Posts: 182 ✭✭Arcadeheroes

    Ghost Of A Tale

    Platforms: Xbox one , Ps4 , Switch, Pc

    Pros: Gorgeous animations by Lionel Gallat, a veteran DreamWorks and Universal Pictures animator and animation director who worked on films such as The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado and Shark Tale.

    Incredible Music and the dialouge is so well written

    So many charming characters.

    Cons : Ending is kinda weak.


    Think of Ghost of a tale like if Brian Jacques Redwall book series meets The legend of Zelda , Ico and a glimpse of Metal Gear Solid. The game oozes with charm and Tilo (The main character is so charming). I strongly reccomend everyone to give this game a try .

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,994 ✭✭✭Taylor365

    Knights of Honor

    One of my all time favorites. Got it on release way back when and still play a game here or there!

    What is it?

    RTS on a medieval map of Europe where the player strives to survive and build his kingdom among many other lords. Conquer, spy, negotiate and trade your way to prosperity! Join the crusades, unite an empire, sell your daughters!


    1. Living, breathing map where events are constantly happening.
    2. Plenty of replay ability.
    3. Has plenty of mods.
    4. Great voice acting.
    5. Superrrrb soundtrack!
    6. Perfect graphics for the type of game imo.


    1. It's a very easy game.
    2. Mods need to be installed the old fashioned way.
    3. No decent HD resolution without modding.
    4. The total war style battles aren't great. (I usually auto them)

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 49,429 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer

    Earth Defense Force 5

    Available on: PC (Steam), PS4


    What is it?

    Long running series about mowing down wave after wave of alien scum. Started as a low budget title before becoming a fully fledged.... low budget series. Don't let the lo fi visuals put you off. This game is insanely fun. You start off by killing waves of giant ants before things start to get really out of hand with giant weapon wielding humanoids, ufos and Godzilla sized monsters. Has excellent loot mechanics as well.


    1. Insanely fun gameplay. Levels are short and the shooting mechanics are really easy to grasp.
    2. Loot is great. Weapons are usually vastly different from each other ranging from useless, insanely powerful to completely impractical. There's always fun to be had in trying out new weapons. Its way better than the likes of Borderlands
    3. 4 classes to choose from all of which are very different. You have standard solider who plays like a normal TPS character. Wing Diver who can fly but whose weapons eat into backpack energy. Fencer who can dual wield and controls like a tank but can be the fastest character once mastered. And the Air Raider how can barely attack directly but has stat boosting items, can call in air strikes and call in vehicle air drops
    4. 4-player co-op. Its great in single player but because something else entirely once you add friends.
    5. Laugh out loud hilarious. The localisation is a fantastic and plays on the utter silliness of the situations. The game is set in a world where people don't know what insects are and get upset because the giant frog soldiers look too human.
    6. EDF! EDF! EDF!


    1. Looks cheap and can be a little janky. Slow down can be chronic on Console due to the sheer number of enemies. Slows down even on PC as it's CPU limited due to the number of enemies.
    2. The EDF song you and your troops can sing isn't as good as the EDF 4.1 song

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,244 ✭✭✭recyclops

    RopeDrink wrote: »

    One of the scariest experiences you will find in pixel format without resorting to obnoxious jumpscares or lound strings. Delicious atmosphere, great lighting and amazing sound. However, it won't hold your hand and the pacing will depend more on you than it does the game. You can even kill all the NPC's if you wish - it's that type of game. Can grab it via Steam (KB/M or Controller) as well as another platform or two. Anyone who considers themselves a fan of survival and/or horror should be ashamed if they haven't tried it. I grabbed this back in early access and reinstalled it for streaming many years later. Even after all that time, it remains the most tense experience I've had in gaming.

    this has gone down to 9 euro on xbox live so i picked it up there

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,428 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    Manifold Garden

    Available on PC (Epic) and Apple Arcade, PS4 due soon

    An Escheresque puzzle game along the lines of Antichamber, Portal etc... You're dropped in an abstract world and tasked with restoring life and colour to its brutalist, gravity defying infinite cityscapes.

    Stunning art design that keeps offering new surprises
    Smart, self-contained puzzles that gradually teach you how to upgrade your typical perspective
    Has that difficult to achieve balance of puzzles that are challenging but rarely frustrating
    Environments become increasingly large-scale and awe-inducing, while ramping up the size of the puzzles in the process

    Quite short - a pro in many ways, but does feel like there was perhaps scope for one or two more puzzles
    Design somewhat over-reliant on moving blocks around, even if there are a lot of great ideas using that concept
    You won't know which way is up and down occasionally :pac:

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,428 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    Available for PC, PS4, Xbox One

    A small-scale open world game that splits the difference between Skyrim and a walking simulator, you play a painter who arrives on an inhabited island with the goal of seeing and painting a few of your late mother's favourite landscapes.

    Lovely, gentle game (no combat!) with clear goals but no major rush to get your destination
    Beautiful picturesque environments, with carefully judged fantastical flourishes
    Plenty of secrets to find, characters to meet and worthwhile upgrades to discover
    Genuine sense of accomplishment as you reach the island's various locations
    Just the right length - enough to keep you occupied for 6-10 hours without overstaying its welcome

    Obviously very small-scale so you can definitely feel the limits of the budget in areas like character animations
    Puzzle and quest design can be pretty straightforward - more complex tasks combined with standard fetch-quests
    Voice acting something of a mixed bag
    Painting mechanics are basically 'take a screenshot' - handy but limited

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,598 ✭✭✭storker

    "Now for something compleyely different" :)

    What is it? Another U-Boat sim. What's different about it is that in addition to getting a walkable 3D-view of the interior, you also get a cutaway view from the side (like the board game on which it's based). Some nice touches but still in early access so slightly raw in spots.

    Pros: High in immersion and historical accuracy. Lovely depiction of water. Nice skies and a good variety of weather, sunrises, sunsets. If it's raining you can even hear it on the hull.

    Cons: Some control quirks. Also, stalking anything in a WW2 submarine is an exercise in patience, as is trying to get away from surface ships stalking you. You can spend a long time doing nothing but ducking and weaving and hoping that the escorts will give up and go away, or that you can slip out of range unnoticed. No surfacing for a spectacular fight - unless you want the game to end quickly. Of course, if you're into the subject matter, these aren't cons at all. :)

    What is it? Big battles of the American Cival War played out with tiny 3D soldiers.

    Pros: Reasonable historical accuracy which does not slow down the game. Intuitive interface. Maps that are pure art.

    Cons: Real-time, but whether this is a pro or a con depends on POV. You can't zoom down as close to the action as you can with the Total War games, or even as far as FOG2 (next).

    What is it? A PC-port of a miniatures set that covers battles from ancient Egypt up to medieval times (i.e. when most weapons were powered by muscle). The PC version (including DLC) currently covers Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Persia, Byzantines and Vikings. Nothing yet for 1066, Hundred Years War etc onwards.

    Pros: Good historical accuracy. Nice-looking maps and gorgeously-rendered 3D figures. Wide ranges of campaigns/battles. Plausible outcomes based on what we know of the periods. Simple mechanics and quick to learn, but hard to master.

    Cons: Like the miniatures game on which it's based, figures represent a much larger number of actual men, usually 1:60 but this can vary. Some while this game covers Total War territory, but looks very very different. Movement and combat are on a grid of squares, which can look unnatural.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 49,429 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer

    Disaster Report 4

    Available on: PC (Steam), PS4, Switch


    What is it?

    A sequel to a series that was last seen on PS2 (and a PSP game that never came to the west). It went under the name SOS final escape and Raw Danger! in the West. The original developer Irem got out of games development but the original developers moved to Granzella who obtained the rights to the game.

    Basically a huge earthquake has occurred in the city and you have to try and survive while helping, or hindering other survivors. The choice is yours.


    1. Totally unique concept. There's really no other game like it.
    2. Linear progression but questions and dialogue has multiple choice and it's fun to mess around with different scenarios and to role play a character.
    3. Feels like a B-tier PS2 game, a type of game that is sadly very rare these days. It's ambition and inventiveness outstrips the budget constraints of the team but as a result you get a unique experience that traditional publishers would never release.
    4. Actually a quite convincing portrayal of how different people and personalities respond to a cataclysmic natural disaster. Interacting with different characters in the main part of the game and their personalities and behaviours are refreshingly grounded.


    1. Janky as all hell. I would say charmingly janky but it might put people off.
    2. Dreamcast level graphics
    3. The survival mechanics aren't well implemented. You need to go to the toilet and to eat but they never become an issue. Could be a positive as if they were intrusive they would be annoying.
    4. Poor sign posting. There's a bit of point and click adventure to this game and I've spent a lot of time in areas looking for the one NPC to trigger the next story progress trigger or not recognising I could climb geometry to progress to a new area.
    5. Shaky inconsistent performance on PC. Poor performance on PS4. Criminal frame rates on Switch.