So, it’s been kind of a slow month. Yeah, there was that whole Xbox thing, but on the games side, not so much. What was lacking in quantity was made up with the quality of a few games released towards the end of the month. The number of incredible games isn’t dwindling by any means, however. Next month we’re getting two of my most anticipated titles of the year. Also, I’m not going to break my rules and include an older title in this month’s featured games, but please, please, please go check out The Black Heart. It’s a game from 2009, but it’s easily one of my favorite games I’ve played this year. But this is 2013, and that junk is old news.
With the Internet’s sheer lack of NIDHOGG availability, kind developer, madgarden, gave us the pleasure of the next best thing. I’ve gushed about it here, but suffice it to say that I like it quite a bit. EGGNOGG is a parody/clone/rip-off of one of the most popular local multiplayer games around, but the catch is the actual game doesn’t exist in any public format. EGGNOGG does the world a favor by spreading the joys of the most enjoyable local multiplayer around, and it doesn’t cost a cent.
I know, right? This came out of nowhere. The best Call of Juarez game by a mile, this is a first person shooter for people looking for something a little more interesting. The story is front and center, as the entire game is narrated, Bastion style, by a cutthroat cowboy. Silas Greaves narrates his own adventures through the wild west as you shoot through an arcadey, points driven slaughterfest. An unreliable narrator in the best of ways, the narration leads to some interesting gameplay that I haven’t seen better executed anywhere else. The quality writing kicks this game above and beyond what other genre hallmarks have become, while the shooting feels great with every pull of the trigger. For every score multiplier you earn for sweet headshots, you’ll be laughing along with the storyteller and his endlessly entertaining ways of embellishing the truth. The fourth Call of Juarez game is an excellently inventive way to change up a genre so desperate for a dose of creativity.
3. The Swapper
Independent puzzle games aren’t hard to come by in 2013, but ones with that excel in style and smarts are tougher to weed out. The Swapper is an atmospheric puzzler in space, where the ability to rapidly clone oneself has become a new reality to the inhabitants of the station. The story delves deeper in the philosophy of defining intelligence and the like, while the puzzles stay tricky and rewarding. All of the art in the game was either molded by hand, or created using real life objects and put into the game, giving everything you see a distinct sense of personality. The puzzles are crafted to work around the two base mechanics of the game, cloning yourself and swapping places with clones, and some will force you to stretch your brain to its limits. The music is also standout, effortlessly making the game feel melancholy without instilling hopelessness. The Swapper is a beautiful game that asks you to use all parts of your brain in order to solve mind bending puzzles, engage in philosophical quandary, and soak in the incredible atmosphere presented at every turn.
Save the Date: A game that is most certainly not based around going on a date. A quick glance at this game won’t give you an inkling about what you’re getting yourself into.
Resident Evil: Revelations: A port of a good 3DS game, Revelations brings one of the best Resident Evils in years to consoles.