ENCODYA’s occasionally clunky mechanics and obscure puzzles are more than compensated for by its intricately created cyberpunk world, gorgeous aesthetic and array of interesting characters.
The Longing uses isolation, open space and freedom of choice to send players on a year-long exploration of loneliness, identity and meaning in real time. It won’t be to everybody’s taste, but those who commit to seeing it through will find a surprising, poignant and rewarding experience unlike anything else out there.
The frustration of one or two ambiguous puzzles can’t dampen one’s spirits for The Hand of Glory, a love letter to traditional point-and-click adventure games with its own sense of fun and wit.
While its story relies on well-worn clichés, Call of the Sea is an otherwise compelling supernatural tale of self-discovery that will dazzle your eyes, delight your ears, and delightfully rack your brain.
Sporting improved visual and audio quality, the remastered Sam & Max Save the World lovingly updates the episodic classic, though a few tweaks and changes may leave it just shy of being the definitive version for some longtime fans of the original.
Visage drapes over you like some ghastly blanket, smothering you with unsettling ambiance and high-quality scares. Though it fumbles a certain stretch of gameplay, its otherwise meticulously designed structure, head-scratching puzzles, and creative manipulation of level design more than pick up any slack.
If you like Leisure Suit Larry games, you’ll love Wet Dreams Dry Twice for hitting every mark you expect from the series, accompanied by a strong story and modern-day identity all its own.
While it doesn’t do anything new and even scales back its pure horror atmosphere, Little Hope greatly impresses in other ways with a more intriguing narrative and incredibly tense – and fun – interactive sequences. If you’re new to Supermassive’s games, this may be the best jumping-in point so far.
Other than falling fowl of having too many unnecessary mini-games, Chicken Police intrigues with its eye-catching visuals, superb voice acting and peck-uliar film noir-style story.
An investigative adventure that actually makes you feel like a detective, Paradise Killer blends surreal world-building, vibrant art, clever writing, and rock-solid open-world gameplay to create an experience you won’t soon forget.
Transference is a solid, polished experience that plucks equally at your tension wires and heartstrings. Though it seems to end almost as soon as it has begun, it makes the most of its quick pace with some impressive production values and an intriguingly atmospheric narrative of a troubled family.
Although neither as scary as the original nor as disturbing as SOMA, Amnesia: Rebirth is a more personal, emotional tale with plenty of horror to spare.
The thoroughly unique Paper Beast can be a real monster to get through with its whip-like controls and occasional difficulty spike, but those who welcome unique gameplay experiences and value memorable moments over a detailed narrative are encouraged to give it a try.
There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension takes the rulebook for what a game can and should do and sets it on fire, practically reinventing the entire medium in the process. Unceasingly hilarious, ludicrously entertaining, and utterly unique, it will remind you why you play games while forcing you to reconsider every aspect of what that means.
From simple magnetism and gravity mechanics springs the fiendishly challenging Relicta, a highly polished environmental puzzler through a lunar space station with your every move being watched.
The Last Campfire is a wonderful way to while away a few evenings, pondering your own mortality while having a fun time doing it by solving puzzles in a lovely fantasy world.
Managing six different detachable body parts takes some getting used to, but Helheim Hassle is a consistently fun, creative blend of narrative adventure and puzzle-platformer with an amusing spin on Norse mythology.
Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town’s mystery fizzles with a rushed ending, but it’s perky and pretty and packed with puzzles and peculiar characters.
A surreal trip through an Alice in Wonderland-like dreamscape, Superliminal delights and surprises with level after level of inventive, bizarre puzzles.
On its surface, Röki delightfully explores a rarely visited branch of Scandinavian folklore, but delve deeper into this thoroughly charming fantasy adventure and you’ll find a beautifully told, emotionally engaging narrative that’s sure to resonate with players of all ages.
The House of Da Vinci 2 challenges you to match wits with the master in this sequel that, despite a few hiccups, builds upon the fun recipe of puzzles and mechanical systems that the first game established so well.
Creaks has beauty, creativity and invention to spare, but don’t let its flighty facade fool you: there’s challenge aplenty here too.
It’s not a perfect game, but Beyond a Steel Sky is a perfectly joyful experience and a faithful sequel for anyone who loved the original game, while bearing the standard for what a modern science fiction adventure should look and sound like in 2020.
Delightfully creepy and packed with content, Someday You’ll Return will keep you on the edge of your seat with its exploration of a dark forest and darker forces and leave you pondering what it all means when it’s finally over.
Old Gods Rising provides a spirited boost to those who prize spectacular scenery, a gripping mystery, and slow-burn horror without mind-bending puzzles to stall the journey.
Though it never really rises above its simple premise, the gorgeously immersive Beyond Blue may just be as close to deep-sea diving as you can get without a wetsuit (or the stress).
In Other Waters guides players through the visualization of an alien oceanic ecosystem and invites them to share in the exhilaration of discovering new life, all while telling a complex, original story with memorable characters through the medium of a diving suit’s display monitor.
There were moments early on when I began to feel a sense of missed opportunity from VirtuaVerse, but as with any good slow burn sci-fi, the stakes ramp up with the action in a much more satisfying second half to complete a beautiful, challenging point-and-click adventure.
Short but very sweet, A Fold Apart is a hug in game form that’s sure to warm even the hardest of hearts.
Arise uses creative level design, gorgeous visuals and challenging environmental puzzles to explore the length and breadth of a full lifetime. A few presentation issues aside, it’s a moving, thought-provoking experience that tells a complete story with scarcely a word.
A murder mystery set in a rich, fictional setting, Disco Elysium is told with sweeping profundity and hilarious absurdity. With no combat to impede story progression, this is a choice-driven role-playing adventure that deftly raises the bar of quality for the medium.
Though definitely not aimed at impatient or directionally challenged gamers, Woven’s splendidly fashioned locales, likeable heroes and amusing transformations are tailor-made for a unique experience.
Once The Complex enters full-on thriller mode, this compelling choice-driven tale of a trapped scientist facing terrorists and moral decisions doesn’t let up and even provides enough prompting and interesting options to weather multiple plays.
The Brotherhood had a tall mountain to scale when delivering their follow-up effort to STASIS, but Beautiful Desolation succeeds admirably on most fronts. It may be a little too big for its own good, but an intriguing new world beckons, ready to amaze even as it provides lots of choice in shaping its stories.
Lair of Clockwork God blends adventure and platforming to mixed effect, but it’s a very accomplished game overall, bursting with enough variety, style and humour to keep you surprised and entertained throughout its surprisingly generous play time.
Kentucky Route Zero’s short, elegiac coda sweetly and sadly puts a pin on this drawn-out but richly rewarding magical realist episodic series.
Although scouring Dark Fall: Ghost Vigil’s haunted Harwood House for supernatural signs can be tedious at times, the puzzles that lurk within its genuinely dark and spooky walls are anything but.