Catch up on a selection of hidden gems that might have flown under your radar in the last six months.
Developer: Cardboard Computer
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
What lies beneath the mysterious caves of Kentucky? Go on a magical realist journey across a secret highway where ghosts, robot musicians and a child and his giant eagle companion are just but a few of the strange denizens you’ll encounter.
Played across five unforgettable acts, Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition is full of surprising moments, unusual characters and heartfelt encounters, all set to a backdrop of haunting electronic music and bluegrass standards.
Developer: Typhoon Studios
Publisher: 505 Games
Players: 1 - 2
Joining the fourth best interstellar space exploration company has its perks – it’s just up to you to find them. As the newest recruit to Kindred Aerospace, it’s your job to explore the rather strange and sticky planet ARY-26 and assess its suitability for humans. Oh, and stay alive, too…
Explore an uncharted world, catalogue a variety of alien flora and fauna, and craft items such as jetpacks and grappling hooks to help discover previously inaccessible and hidden areas. Your trusty laser and other items are on hand to fend off any hostile lifeforms, but you’ll need your wits about you to uncover ARY-26’s secrets in this comedic first-person adventure.
Developer: Two Point Studios
Genre: Strategy / Simulation
If you’ve ever fallen for the temptation of searching the internet for answers to your strange medical questions, this wacky hospital sim is sure to put a smile on your face.
Start a fledgling healthcare firm as you place wards, build treatment rooms and hire staff to tackle any goofy ailment that comes through the door – from curing people with lightbulb heads to convincing aspiring rock stars that they’re not the next Freddie Mercury…
Developer: Developer: SEGA
Play as a gun-wielding witch or a rocket-powered space marine in this thrilling collection of remastered cult classics.
Hack, slash and shoot your way through Bayonetta using the Umbra Witch’s gun-strapped heels and Wicked Weave. Ripping apart enemies with your ponytail truly takes a good hair day to a whole new level.
In Vanquish, take on the role of Sam Gideon, a DARPA agent equipped with a powerful AR suit, and experiencethe joy of rocket-sliding across hostile territories while gunning down your foes in slow-motion.
Developer: JAPAN Studio
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Become the mighty deity ruling over the Patapons, a tribe of cheerful, spindly-limbed eyeballs shipwrecked in a strange new land.
Slam your magical war drums to the beat to command your Patapon troops to march, attack, defend, retreat, use magic and more. It sounds simple, but you’ll soon be upgrading your soldiers, experimenting with battle formations and nailing complicated drum sequences.
Developer: Paper Cult
Publisher: Paper Cult
The Weird West of Bloodroots is jam-packed with ultraviolent combat, makeshift weapons, memorable characters and fantastic storytelling.
Take on the role of Mister Wolf, a murderous lumberjack hell-bent on getting revenge against his former gang members who left him for dead. Find creative ways to take out your enemies using everything around you, including axes, ladders and even carrots. They might be dead, but at least they had their five a day!
Developer: Fireproof Games
Publisher: Fireproof Games
Genre: Puzzle / Adventure
Fireproof Games has entered the virtual reality realm after years of creating successful mobile hits. in the result is a well-crafted, immersive puzzler that both new and returning fans can enjoy.
Don your detective hat (aka your PS VR headset) and put your puzzle-solving skills to good use as you investigate a missing person case. Explore cryptic locations and discover incredible contraptions in an otherworldly space that blurs the line between reality and illusion.
Developer: id Software, Nightdive Studios
Players: 1 – 2
Experience one of the DOOM universe’s most unique and elusive entries as the 1997 classic vaults two decades of gaming and lands in full HD on PS4.
A one-off iteration of the classic DOOM formula – and the first fully-3D DOOM experience – it’s all the blood-soaked pandemonium you’d expect from the long-running franchise, now with razor-sharp presentation and blistering performance.
Explore maze-like levels teeming with all manner of hell-spawn, load-up on oversized weaponry and do your best to make it out in one piece.
Players: 1 – 12
Join up with a team of rugged bounty hunters and descend into the brooding depths of the Louisiana swamps in search of truly nightmarish creatures.
As a gun for hire, your job is to banish these creatures from our world. Succeed and you’ll collect lavish rewards to invest in ever more gruesome and powerful weapons. Fail and death will strip you of both character and gear (though the experience you’ve accrued will remain within your bloodline).
A smouldering, Southern-Gothic spin on the monster hunting genre, Hunt’s competitive, match-based gameplay mixes PvP and PvE elements to create a uniquely tense experience where your life, your character, and your gear are always on the line.
Developer: Pixel Reef
Publisher: Pixel Reef
Paper Beasts drops you into a living, virtual reality ecosystem that blends world shaping, intricate puzzles and exploration.
Navigate a dynamic sand-swept world teeming with papercraft creatures as you change your environment to overcome obstacles. Interact with the animals and watch how they respond to changes in their surroundings. You might get lucky and discover quirky new behaviours.
Developer: Capybara Games
Publisher: Capybara Games
Embark on a visually sumptuous and atmospheric adventure to The Isle. Explore a lonely and ever-shifting subterranean world filled with lurking monstrosities, cunning traps and an ever-present sense of dread.
Below is a challenging, procedurally-generated dungeon crawler where exploration, tools and crafting are your key to survival. Test your nerve in tough-but-fair combat and perilous level design, or if you’d rather just drink in the atmosphere, Explorer mode dials back the brutality for a less uncompromising experience.
Developer: DeadToast Entertainment
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Genre: Arcade / Action
Bananas are a good source of potassium, taste great in smoothies and give you excellent advice on how to kill people. Wait, what?
Under the guidance of a ruthless, sentient banana, you’ll run and gun your way across hazardous score-attack levels. Pull off wild stunts like wall-running, shooting baddies mid-air and ricocheting bullets off objects. It might take a bit of practice, but you’ll feel unstoppable once you start getting the hang of things.
Developer: NExT Studios
Publisher: META Publishing, NEXT Studios
Players: 1 – 2
Grab a friend and get ready for a truly one of a kind adventure as you unravel the quirky puzzles and platform challenges of Biped.
Designed specifically with two-person co-op play in mind, Biped puts you in control of one of two bipedal robots in a quest that will take you through forests and ruins, across wild rivers and even into canyons and deserts.
Each new area provides a series of challenges that combine contraptions, physics and hidden secrets to keep each player on their toes as they work together to conquer the world before them.
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Genre: Action RPG
This HD remake does a wonderful job of marrying its classic JRPG roots with modern 3D graphics, revamped combat and improved levelling and skill systems.
Form a party of three characters from a selection of six unique heroes and engage in real-time combat as you switch between the party members at will. Each character has their own storyline and upgradable abilities, making Trials of Mana the perfect match for those of you who love a re-playable game.
Developer: DotEmu, Lizardcube, Guard Crush Games
Genre: Beat ‘em up
Players: 1 – 4
The golden era of the side-scrolling beat ‘em up enjoyed a timely revival this spring as the long-awaited fourth entry in the Streets of Rage franchise arrived on PS4.
Combining the classic punch-up action of the original series with sleek modern visuals and a stack of new innovations, Streets of Rage 4 works not only to recapture the charm of a bygone era but reimagine it for a modern audience.
Hit the streets with classic characters and new recruits, each sporting their own fighting style and special moves, tackling the mobs single-handedly or joining with up to three friends in local or online co-op to tackle the criminal underworld together.
Developer: Bithell Games
Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment
Genre: Action / Strategy
From the creator of Thomas Was Alone and Volume, John Wick Hex combines the balletic ‘gun-fu’ of the movie franchise with crisp comic-book visuals and challenging action-strategy gameplay.
Become ice-cold professional hitman John Wick – the Baba Yaga – and refine your playstyle and strategy as you unleash hell in a brand-new story from John Wick’s gritty cinematic universe.
Sporting a unique style of strategic, momentum-based combat, each level is combination of sleek combat and exploration that marries brutal action with precision execution.
Players: 1 – 4
One of the last generation’s overlooked gems, PlatinumGames’ The Wonderful 101 made the jump to current generation consoles this year following a successful crowd-funding campaign by the original developer.
Brought to life with Saturday-morning cartoon stylings and a one-of-a-kind combat system, The Wonderful 101 puts you in charge of not just one hero but dozens of them, as you fight off an extra-terrestrial invasion.
Build your own bustling team of heroes, each with their own special quicks and travel the world to protect Earth’s last of line of defence.