Imagine “Minecraft”. OK. Now imagine it is in 2D and you have pretty much imagined what “Terraria” is all about. Now, hear me out: even though the game places you in a randomly generated world each time you boot it up, and even though you are given a sword for fighting, an ax for wood cutting and a pickaxe for digging, “Terraria” is, dare I say, much better than that… other game. This is one of the titles on this list that has benefited from its art style choice the most, as it looks much more lively and colorful than its famous competitor. Plus, the game is not a 1:1 clone. The story is much more character driven, there are boss battles and so on. The game doesn’t have a tutorial and goes hard at you from the very start, but any gaming veteran worth that title will manage just fine. You could call “Terraria” by its subgenre name and say it is a “sandbox survival world building game” or you could drop the classification and simply say it’s fun.
If this is your first time hearing about this game: hi, how was life for you underneath that rock been going? Joking aside, “Shovel Knight” is like a lovechild of “Duck Tales”, “Megaman” (two tracks on the game’s soundtrack were even written by Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae) and “Castlevania” games of old. The original game has had many sequels offering a different perspective on the same events from another character’s POV, with the latest “King of Cards” coming April 2019 along with “Shovel Knight Showdown” being released on the same day. Each new title/DLC changes the gameplay just enough to rope you back into this fantastic world. (Trivia: even though the art looks like it’s an exact replica of the NES palette, the games feature a shade of brown that the vintage console was not able to produce. Don’t tell me that I’ve never shared any useless knowledge with you).
Just like so many games on this list, “Stardew valley” takes a great deal of inspiration from the titles that came before it, namely the “Harvest Moon” franchise. Just like in those games, you grow your farm, expand it, and help your fellow neighbors. But, again, like many other titles included here, “Stardew Valley” goes beyond the titles that were used as its inspiration, and not only when it comes to expanding the scope of the activities you can take part in at the Stardew Valley (crafting goods, tending to cattle and so on). Another very important aspect of the game is the social interactions and the romance. But, perhaps the best feature of them all is the game is open ended – you can play the game and organize your time in any way you see fit. So far, only the PC version has multiplayer support, but the other variants of the game (OSX, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Switch) will be getting it soon.
We wrote about this game not too long ago (you can check out the full review HERE ). Sure, this title is not as well established as some titles on this list (for instance, “Terraria” was released in the ancient times of 2011) but we do think that this relative newcomer is worth your time. To put it briefly, “Dead cells” is a roguelike Metroidvania game, one that can stand next to its predecessors from the glory days of 16-bit games, a title that requires a new set of tactics each time you start the game again after you die. And you are going to die. You will be dying a lot. But, it’s fun!
What’s there not to love about “Undertale”? A quality blend of old-school top-down RPG games with a combat system akin to bullet hell shooters, monsters that you can try to kill right away or try and solve the conflict in a peaceful manner, different story branches, and outcomes that depend on your in-game choices… Its art style is so unique that it has influenced many artists in the years after its release. All in all, “Undertale” is clearly a product of love, and that is apparent in every step you take on your journey through the Underworld.