There simply isn’t enough time to talk about every single game that comes out. There are hundreds that we miss out covering due to the sheer volume of titles, many of which are certainly worth playing. As someone who enjoys searching the vast libraries of games on a system, I often come across some fairly obscure games that for whatever reason get pushed further and further back on my list. Here are just a few of those games, in no particular order.
Note that every game on this list was released in 2017, no early access or demos.
Kingsway is a rogue-like RPG built inside of a classic Windows OS interface. It’s just as nostaligic as it sounds, but I found myself sinking countless hours into figuring it out. Players pick a class and attempt quests, using their mouse for everything. Combat is a matter of clicking attacks and spells that move around the screen, which can get pretty damn hectic when facing multiple foes.
I certainly haven’t come across anything quite like Kingsway, making it one of the most unique games I’ve played this year, if not in the last five years. Find Kingsway on PC with more information on the official website.
This will likely be the most popular game on the list, but it was released in a jam packed window in March so many may have missed it. Nier: Automata is by far one of the most intellectually arousing games I’ve played this year and I haven’t even finished a single playthrough. From Platinum Games, Automata focuses on the conflict between machines and androids sent by humans to wipe them out. Below that though is a deep story of existentialism that often plays with expectations in ways that are wild and surprising.
Automata is such a fantastic mix of artistic expression. One minute players will be playing a shoot-em-up style sequence, only to be tossed into a 2D segment, all while a powerful music score makes every moment unforgettable. Oh, and the creator is about as eccentric as they come, even wanting to try making a pornographic video as his next artistic pursuit.
Honestly, even though it came out in March, it’s a game I still plan on doing a full review on. Find more about it on the official website. Nier: Automata is available on PC and PS4.
Hive Jump was one of the first projects I remember covering as a games journalist. Most recently, the team behind it finally brought the game to consoles with a Wii U version of all things. Those who enjoyed the movie Starship Troopers and games like Contra will likely have a bug-blastin’ good time with this one. Co-op mode is definitely the way to go with this rogue-like shooter, but I know that I had a ton of fun facing off hives of bugs on my own.
As one of the last good Wii U games, Hive Jump is definitely worth checking out for those still playing on that console. It’s also available on PC and more information can be found on the official website.
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows
Venetian fantasy with voices from the folks of Critical Role is what players will find in Masquerada, a strategy RPG that has a big focus on its narrative. Playing this one got me hooked on the unique world it presents, which actually comes from a homebrew D&D game that the creator ran and developed for years. Combat is similar to the first Dragon Age, where players can pause the action to make more precise commands.
For fantasy fans looking for a world that’s a little more unique, Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a title worth downloading. The game is fairly short, meaning it can easily be finished over a weekend, but that gives it a focus worth playing at least once. Find Masquerada on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. A Switch version is also coming soon.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Probably one of the most interesting releases of this year from an economic standpoint, Hellblade is actually one that I haven’t played, but know enough about to make a recommendation. Touted as a AAA title without all the bullocks that comes alongside it being as such, Hellblade released at half the cost of an average game and became one of the highest rated games of the year.
Hellblade is a straightforward action title that focuses on Senua as a character suffering from traumatic mental illness, which is portrayed in a way that makes it visceral. Players will hack and slash grotesque monsters that are clearly more than a physical threat and solve puzzles, all the while feeling the reality of a story set in a dark fantasy. It’s a game that I’m really surprised I haven’t played yet and one that I hope folks don’t miss out like I have.
Find Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice on PS4 and PC. More information is available on the official website.
There we have it, five obscure games of 2017 that are worth playing. Once again, the world of gaming is dauntingly vast for any one player, so there are always hidden gems to be found. This is also a good opportunity to make recommendations. If there’s a game that I missed that may have flown under the radar, please let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.
I love studying games in all their forms and if there’s something stunning that I haven’t seen I would love to discover it! Send me some interesting game recommendations!