November 2013 – October 2020
50: Overcooked 2/Moving Out
Starting with a dual one as they’re so close to each other, and both great for similar reasons. Both Overcooked and Moving Out turn simple tasks into a hilarious co-op challenge, causing arguments and blaming each other as you mess up. Both are great fun and failing massively is funny more than frustrating.
Overcooked has you preparing food in a restaurant, chopping and combing ingredients. In a lot of levels you are separated and have to pass stuff back and forth. It’s hectic and requires good communication so you’re on the right track. Later levels are crazy, with lots of moving platforms and having to throw stuff over gaps.
Moving Out puts you in charge of moving parcels and furniture into your van. Each level has extra optional objectives that lead you in playing in different ways. Sometimes you have to be careful, sometimes objectives can be stuff like smashing all the windows (the quickest way to get a bed out if a bedroom is thought the window). Again, levels get crazier further into the game.
A shooting game where the focus isn’t on killing opponents (although that’s sill important), but more on covering the arena in your team’s colour. The brilliance of the game is in how all parts of its gameplay work together, as while you opponents ink hurts you, your own colour ink allows you to zoom through as a squid, or stay still to be hidden. You can also use this to move up walls.
Each arena has multiple routes, and your spawn point is protected, you can also perform a superjump to an ally (which is telegraphed so is dangerous to jump to someone near enemies), so you never feel cornered, just find another route and start covering the arena from there.
There’s also a singleplayer mode which, while simple, is still good fun and has some cool uses of ink that weren’t seen in multiplayer until free levels came out later on.
48: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
The end of the 3DS still falls into the time set, so I can include Layton Vs Wright. A fun an humorous game that includes characters and gameplay from both the Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright games, making for a very amusing and fun mixture of them both.
Professor Layton is a game where you solve many puzzles, riddles and conundrums. Making great use of the touch screen on the 3DS, some can be extremely challenging, and some make you feel stupid as the answer is obvious. You can unlock hints to help you out by finding hint coins.
Phoenix Wright is about being a defence lawyer in a courtroom, a kind of visual novel where you have to submit the right evidence at the right time. Both games have a humorous style and crazy antics that work well together.
47: Rocket League
Football, but miles better. You drive around an enclosed arena in a crazy car that can jump (and sort of fly if you’re good enough), trying to knock a ball into your opponent’s goal. It’s a very simple concept, but is pulled off extremely well.
The game is a lot of fun even if you’re awful at it. Luckily, the matchmaking system is usually pretty decent so in most games you won’t be destroyed by the people that can do all the fancy flying and flips. There’s a very high skill ceiling, but it still great just to pop on every so often for a bit of fun.
46: Mad Max
Set in a desolate apocalyptic Australia, Mad Max is an open world game with a crazy looking car and lots and lots of people wearing spikes. While it doesn’t to anything particularly unique, it’s a very solid game with plenty to do and a devastated yet oddly pleasing landscape to drive around.
The combat is a mix of guns and melee weapons, with occasional places where you can be stealthy if you want to be. It’s a solid combat system that keeps you entertained throughout most of the games – although if you decided to do everything, some side missions can get repetitive.
The dialogue between the two main characters is interesting, although the rest of the people in the game are fairly forgettable, but (up until the terrible last missions) Mad Max is still a game where you will feel oddly invested while playing. One highlight are the crazy dangerous sandstorms in the game, which look fantastic and feel dangerous without being frustrating.
45: Ring Fit Adventure
I should probably play this more, but for a fitness game, I was very impressed with how much “game” there actually is. The main gameplay has you jogging down a path, opening doors, jumping and when you encounter enemies, it’s like a turn based battle system, except you need to work out (sit ups, press ups, yoga poses, jumps) to cause damage.
This is spread across multiple chapters, where you’ll play through a cheesy (but entertaining) story across many levels, with some bonus mini games thrown in for good measure. The device itself also feels extremely sturdy, like a real piece of gym equipment which is surprisingly difficult to push or pull, giving you a proper work out.
44: Prison Architect
A game where you have to manage a prison. You have to keep the inmates inside the prison, but also attempt to keep them safe and try and avoid breakouts and riots. There’s also a “story” mode with different scenarios which add a bit of variety.
You’ll get new shipments of new inmates as you play the game, some can be more dangerous than others. You can create some more “casual” sections of the prison for more behaved inmates, complete with adding entertainment, exercise and other “luxury” items. For the more dangerous criminals, however, you will need to build more secure cells.
The balance of keeping inmates happy so they’re less inclined to try and escape vs making the prison more secure so it’s harder to escape is definitely an interesting choice.
43: Sonic Forces
People seemed to absolutely hate this. I thought it was a good continuation of the Sonic Colours/Generations gameplay. The modern Sonic levels were a ton of fun, and the levels as your own character allowed for a few different approaches based on your selected options – and as you could create multiple, you could try them out in different ways.
The game also had Classic Sonic levels, but these were just fine. They didn’t really fit the rest of the game and Classic Sonic just seemed out of place, both in gameplay and in the oddly serious story starting with Sonic defeated and Robotnik taking over the world, and the rest of the cast forming a resistance. The serious tone adds to the cheesiness of Sonic, especially with people talking to your mute crazy-looking character.
42: Two Point Hospital
A modern Theme Hospital, this game manages to keep the spirit of the original while also doing its own things along the way. The many different challenge hospitals lead you on specific paths, but you still have a bit of leeway to do your own things on the side as there’s not really a “fail”, just keep trying until you succeed.
Patients will arrive to your hospital with a manner of strange illnesses, most of which require special treatment rooms. You have to try and efficiently use the space you have, but also keep in mind that larger rooms make for happier patients. You’ll also have to manage and train staff members to be able to tackle issues quicker, with less deaths.
The different levels encourage you to focus on different areas, but once you have three stars you are free to maintain your hospital how you wish (or you can just ignore the objectives and do what you want).
41: Thimbleweed Park
A new point & click adventure game, going back to the classic pixelated look. Thimbleweed Park is right at home with games like Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle. Made by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, the creators of Manic Mansion, Thimbleweed Park gives you a cast of interesting characters to control and solve puzzles with.
The puzzles are challenging with some strange solutions, however the game manages to stay away from the realm of “moon logic” – solutions that just make zero sense (like using a monkey to use a pump – especially in a game that came out before the song “Monkey Wrench” came out in the UK, as we don’t use that term) – and you can understand why a solution worked.