Obscure Game Recommendations!

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Trippzen
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Obscure Game Recommendations!

Postby Trippzen » 03 Apr 2014, 16:59

It's easy to recommend great games that everyone knows. Bioshock Infinite, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Minecraft, these are easy recommendations. What about the games people don't know about? Games like Braid, Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons, Dust: An Elysian Tail, etc. These are indie games and may be varying degrees of less well known, but they're not really obscure either. The "Name That Game" thread is all about the older, obscure, and/or hard to remember games, so how about recommending some of those games? New or old, it doesn't matter, as long as it can be enjoyed.

If I'm making this thread, I might as well mention a few, so here's two (and a half):

1. Evoland
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxBjDGc4YCg

Evoland is simple, short, and extremely clever. It's also not the most obscure but, I think, just obscure enough to be the first recommendation. This and the next game should also give you some idea of what I mean by "obscure" (as well as the style of games that I like). The central mechanic of Evoland is reliving all of the graphics and gameplay advancements that have been made in RPGs or, to quote the Steam page:
Evoland is a journey through the history of action/adventure gaming, allowing you to unlock new technologies, gameplay systems and graphic upgrades as you progress through the game. Inspired by many cult series that have left their mark in the RPG video gaming culture, Evoland takes you from monochrome to full 3D graphics and from active time battles to real time boss fights, all with plenty of humor and references to many classic games.
This is a nostalgia game through and through and having played RPGs since the NES first came out, it hits me exactly as such. Despite the not perfect (61) Metacritic score, this is a favorite of mine and sits on my Steam favorites list alongside games like Spec Ops: The Line, Dishonored, The Stanley Parable, and Portal (and soon, Goat Simulator). That said, it's not without its issues. The problems with Evoland are described well in the Steam and Metacritic reviews, and it amounts to: Evoland outlives its welcome once the gameplay and graphics advancement unlocks come to an end and the puzzles and combat system are perhaps a little too simple.

Bottom line: Is it worth $10? Maybe. Is it worth checking out? If you like the older Zelda games or games in a similar style, definitely. Take a stroll down memory lane and hopefully you enjoy it. Evoland, it's an homage to gaming and that's about it.

2: Skyborn
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVVVq2ZMfoo
Life under the rule of the winged Skyborn race isn't so bad for Claret Spencer, the star mechanic of an independent repair shop. She can patch up just about anything...but when a certain cravat-wearing customer turns her life upside-down, she finds herself pulled into an epic, city-wide conflict that's going to take a lot more than elbow grease to fix! Join Claret on her journey through a tale of magic, metal and mystery as she unravels the secrets of the Skyborn!
Skyborn is a relatively new (Feb 2014 on Steam) game, an RPG Maker game, an obscure enough game that it doesn't have a metacritic reviewer score yet, and is another game that I love. It's also a bit of a short game, with older (read: classic) graphics. There's no hiding that this is another game in the same style as the earlier Final Fantasy games, but the characters are easy to like, the story, artwork, and graphical style are nice and very well done (in my opinion), and the music is exactly what you should find in a classical RPG. The combat system is very simple and maybe a little too easy, but I think the rest of the game makes up for it and the optional content can provide enough of a challenge. I'm always a little skeptical of RPG Maker games, but this one gives me a lot of faith in what can be accomplished with RPG Maker and I would play 1000 games like this.


Bottom line: How can you say no to this face?
Image


And the half: I'm currently playing The Book of Legends
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Axk_PJoj1Uk

This is another RPG Maker game and I have mixed feelings about it. It's not bad by any means, but it's irritatingly not quite as good as I want it to be. It's very frustrating trying to play without a guide (I broke down and bought the guide from the developer website); however, I can put a chicken, a cow, a bear, a wolf, a fox, a raccoon, a falcon, or a horse in my party. How could that not be awesome? Fair warning though: the human characters have skills but the animals, while awesome, have no skills, which is unfortunate. Essentially, it's another RPG Maker game that has a great sense of humor backing up a decent story and O.K. combat but I haven't finished it and I'm not quite certain that I can openly recommend it.

Finally: These are by no means the most obscure games, nor the best games, they're just games that I like and I think are obscure enough to be worth mentioning among other people who enjoy video games and who may not have heard about them or, if they have, may not have considered trying them.

I hope to hear more obscure games worth trying and I plan to recommend more that I have tried.


tl;dr Unless otherwise stated, the text wall contained herein is made available to the public. Do not operate text wall while under the influence of alcohol. Neither the chicken, the cow, the bear, the wolf, the fox, the raccoon, the falcon, the horse, nor any other animal assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the above information. No animals were harmed in the making of this text wall; however, the above mentioned animals were all harmful to humans and other creatures when commanded to attack. The contents of this text wall is intended for the unnamed recipients only. If you received this text wall by mistake, please contact the sender immediately and disclose the contents as confetti. Bonus points may be awarded to the most obscure game as determined by the committee of the Goat, Tidus, Raiden, Good Guy Corvo, and Dixbutts.

Future Recommendations (that have been scrambled): Hstpeapewr and Mhttonoeo
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Re: Obscure Game Recommendations!

Postby Merrymaker_Mortalis » 05 Apr 2014, 02:50

Here's mine. It's my first ever full PC game I ever played (I played those crappy/notcrappy Sharewear games on Catalogue CDs or Demos). Oddly enough I played it because I was looking for this game (Balder's Gate 2) which I played once at a Culture Festival and saw the screenshots to this game's Demo and thought this was it. It sucked me in.

Magic & Mayhem

Everything about this game is beautiful and magical.

It's a Fantasy Real-Time Strategy Game with RPG elements to it. Nearest comparison would be a cross between Warcraft 3 and Balder's Gate.

You play as a Magic Caster (there are Wizards, Warlocks, Enchantresses, Witches etc...). You have a selection of spells* (I'll expand on this later on). Your job is to murder the enemy Wizard on the map. In the storymode there are certain bonus objectives that give you extra "EXP points" or an Item*.

To kill the enemy wizard, you need to cast spells that will either damage the Wizard or Summon Minions to attack the enemy Wizard. Minions can also scout or roam to pick up items. You both have a resource called Mana. Mana does not regenerate by itself. The only way to recharge Mana is to have you or one of your minion standing on a specific spot known as a "Place of Power". The game fundamentally revolves around the battle around acquiring control of these places of power. When the enemy unit/wizard leaves/dies and is unable to physically stand on the spot, they no longer have access to its mana regen. The more "PoP"s you control, the faster your mana regenerates, which means you can summon creatures more often or cast more spells.

If a creature you control kills/fights enough enemy creatures and survives, they get "promoted". There's two promotions in total denoted by a floating Circlet/Crown above the creature's head. This basically means they're stronger. Doesn't say anywhere in what way.

There are plenty of different creatures who have their own strengths. Flying creatures, creatures that are fast, creatures that have ranged attack, creatures that do bonus damage verses Undead, Tanky Creatures, Vampires that heal themselves when they attack, Basilisk that poisons etc...

There are different spells too. Damage spells. Weird CC meets Damage spells. Spells that buff or debuff. Spells that turn your creature into a Living Bomb. It's quite broad the amount of spells.

*So lets go back to that Spell and Item thing I mentioned before.

You can choose what spells you take into battle. But the system is quite... ingenious.

You have a UI which has three jars across the top, and seven jars down. So you have up to 21 jars in total. The Left Most column is Red (Chaos), Middle is Green (Neutral), and Right is Blue (Law).

You also have up 21 Magical Ingredients. They are acquired in the campaign mode over time (or they're all unlocked in quick-battle mode).

You drag one ingredient and put it in any jar. However, the ingredient gives you a different spell depending on which jar it is placed in.

For example: A Diamond in a Chaos Jar will give you the "Summon Chaos Champion" (A humanoid Insect that spits out a Virulent Pestilence [undead are immune to damage, but are carriers]). Neutral gives "Summon Dragon" (A Dragon. It flies and Shoots Fire at range). Law gives "Law Champion" (A strange humanoid thing that shoots Freeze Beams. He has a chance to shatter (instantly killing) the target if the target is frozen.)

Another example is a thing might give you a HUGE EXPLOSION in Chaos, Summon a Wall of Plants in Green, or Dispel Beneficial Buffs on all Enemies in the area.

Basically Chaos is Evil and Destruction. Neutral is Balanced. Law is Good and Righteous.

There's a spell called Judgement that will 1 shot all Chaos Units in the area and do some damage to Neutral Units. Also a spell that 1 shots all Undead units in the area.

You might think that's OP, but bare in mind Green gets GRYPHONS and Red gets TORNADO.
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Now for the none-gameplay.

The graphical aesthetic is claymation.

Image
Image
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Here's the opening intro:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwZV2xl_lO8

And here's the music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f1Dqzc5o9A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLdEhkgImSg The first 30 seconds play when you put the CD in the draw.


It's a game that has everything. I don't think I have actually played a game which I had loved with such intensity since.
I have played other games to death, but they were something else. They were different experiences. Magic & Mayhem was a unique experience.
---
Sadly it doesn't work well on modern systems. You could be bothered to fix it. Oh an it's hard to acquire a working legal copy since I don't think it was a huge game. You hear people raving about Warcraft 3, not Magic & Mayhem don't you?

There is the "sequel" which apparently happens many years before called "Art of Magic (Magic & Mayhem)". Has the same combat system. Just with primitive CGI 3D Graphics and less spells overall. The promotion system is much better since units get access to special abilities and look much better. Like you get the spider that at max-rank gain the spell "Gooey Blob" which is an AoE Snare & Damage; allowing the spider to attack freely. It's also a sexier game which conforms to those shallow Fantasy stereotypes. Expect lots of Female and Male flesh on display.
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Phailhammer
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Re: Obscure Game Recommendations!

Postby Phailhammer » 08 Apr 2014, 06:00

Conquest Frontier Wars was one of first RTS games I ever played. It was released in 2001 and is set sometime in the late 2100s, if I recall correctly. The campaign centres around the human race, or Terrans, becoming unintentionally involved in a civil war between factions of the insectoid Mantis, another other game's three races. Over the course of the campaign, the Terrans also come into contact with the energy beings who call themselves the Celareons. The Terrans and Celareons quickly become allies due to their common struggle against the Mantis.

Gameplay wise, it offers all the standard RTS features, with a few additions and modifications. One of the most obvious elements is the map layout. During a single session, the player will have access to as many as sixteen separate star systems, each connected by wormholes. A system can have any number of wormholes linking to other systems. These wormholes can be closed to the enemy by constructing a jump gate on it. Jump gates prevent hostile units from entering the system, and extend friendly supply lines to the next system. They can, however, be destroyed, and possess no defensive weaponry.

Another notable feature is the supply system. Each ship (excluding builders) and gun platform has, along with its hull points, supply points. The supply points are used in combat, and to activate special abilities (at least one of which actually steals supplies from other ships). In order for any offensive to succeed, the player must ensure there is a supply line between the player's base and the front. Supply lines begin from a headquarters building and extend to other systems through friendly jump gates. Planetary platforms need to be connected to a headquarters in order to function. If the jump gate leading to the headquarters is destroyed, it will bring any production and research in the affected system to a halt. This can be prevented by building another headquarters in that system.

The vast majority of the structures you build have to be placed on slots around planets. Each planet has twelve slots, and this number cannot be increased. Many platforms take up more than one slot, forcing you to find other planets on which to build. Gun platforms do not take up slots, but do use command points, and should be placed within the supply radius of a headquarters or supply/repair platform to ensure continuous operation.

Combat ships will come from one of two structures (technically one in the case of the Mantis; the first structure evolves into the second): a "light" and a "heavy" shipyard. Each race's tactics an weaponry differ, and the unit makeup reflects this. The Terrans posses a range of light, medium, and heavy-armoured vessels, focusing on laser cannon and missile-armed vessels. They also possess limited carrier capability, and a cruiser that fires lightning at enemies.

The Celareons utilise gracefully-designed, but powerful, ships armed with laser cannons and beams. Unlike the Terrans, they possess no carrier capability, but can lay minefields in open space. The Celareons are also the only race not bound to the static wormhole network; one of their platforms is a wormhole generator that can connect with any discovered system on the map.

The Mantis are numbers-focused, and thus are the race who make the greatest use of carrier vessels. The also utilise several plasma-armed ships that are capable of holding their own. Where other races' structures are built separately, many Mantis structures are not built, but evolved from other ones, giving access to new capabilities, and sometimes retaining the old ones as well.

The game, in my eyes at least, possesses enough unique features to stand on its own, while still retaining the principle element of an RTS. I have seen a few games like it, such as Sins of a Solar Empire, but nothing has come along to completely supplant it in my eyes; I still go back to it from time to time, particularly after I found the Conquest: Frontier Wars Forever mod.

tl;dr: Conquest: Frontier Wars is a decent space RTS which you should check out if that;s your thing. Here's a gameplay video from the campaign.
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Hiramas
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Re: Obscure Game Recommendations!

Postby Hiramas » 16 May 2014, 14:31

I dont know how obscure this game is in the english speaking world, but its not that popular afaik, so it might fit here.
I would like to suggest an older, but really fun game with really good dialogue, nice characters and a good story: Gothic!
Graphics are really outdated, but the game is fun!
there are not a lot of videos or lets plays, so:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suZ3sO7A5I0
A LRR play of this game would be awesome. Again the dialogues are really funny.
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Re: Obscure Game Recommendations!

Postby Robo4900 » 16 May 2014, 20:19

1. Tyrian/Tyrian 2000 (Freeware DOS game)
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In my opinion, one of the best games of all time; it's a 2D, vertically-scrolling shmup. Play this game -- it's freeware, you have no excuse.
Anyone who has an account on GoG will have this automatically in their library to play, so for those people, download it and play it!
For those who don't have a GoG account, here's a link to the game, although you'll need to set up DOSBox or OpenTyrian, OpenTyrian being the easiest option(Since it's just an EXE that you put in the game folder).
Chances are, you'll think "Yeah, sounds cool, I might play it later..."
But seriously, play this game. Today. It's freeware, there are a ridiculous number of ports(Including windows, Nintendo DS, Dreamcast, every version of Linux, Android, and more), and setting it up(Either via DOSBox -- my favourite option, since you get the Tyrian 2000 content -- or using one of the source ports), so -- as I have previously said -- you have no excuse not to.

2. Jazz Jackrabbit (DOS game with a windows sequel that I also recommend)
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In my opinion, this game and its sequel(Jazz Jackrabbit 2) are two of the best platformers to come out of the '90s. Also, the music is amazing! Seriously, can't stress this enough -- these soundtracks are AWESOME!
The first game is near-impossible to get ahold of these days(Although if you can find it, it's usually cheap, and definitely 100% worth the wait), but the second game is really easy to find, and most of the time, it's dirt-cheap.

--

These are not only games I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone with a PC, but these are -- in my opinion -- some of the best games of all time(In fact, at one point very recently, my dad started playing through Tyrian on his DS!). So, if you get the chance to play either of these games, go for it! :D

EDIT: Fixed a broken image.
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Re: Obscure Game Recommendations!

Postby Mowinckel » 18 Aug 2015, 19:25

Dominions 4
Have you ever wanted to play D&D with entire armies?
Dominions is the game for you. A DEEEEEEEP Turn based strategy game
The graphics are... non-existent, and the gameplay takes some getting used to. Expect to spend a few hours learning how to play the game fast without reading every box to know what you are doing. (finding a experienced player to teach you for the first hour is a big help)
You are essentially a powerful being, leading a nation in a quest to beat the other players, and become God.
The main feature is the amount of freedom and options. You can play Norse Icegiants, Mayan were-Jaguars, Japanese demons, African spider-riders, Egyptian Lizards. Lovecraft based mindflayers or Greek mythological creatures and many many more. Ever wondered who would win, Ra, the god of the sun or Odin? What about Chutulu vs Athena? Well now you can find out.
There are 2000+ different units, 300+ items and 700+ spells. And yet they manage to make this quite easy to use (you are not required to know 2000+ units to play the game well) and solutions are actually quite intuitive. Want to counter armor? Think of a solution that would work in a RPG, and it will probably work. Lightning, poison, crossbows, sleep spells are all options for this problem for examples.
There are no elves, dwarfs. This is old mythology, and you will probably learn some mythology you have not heard about before.
It is on steam, and quite a few other platforms.
http://www.illwinter.com/dom4/
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Re: Obscure Game Recommendations!

Postby brothernature0 » 24 Aug 2015, 18:17

Hopefully these are obscure enough

1. From dust A relatively short game about helping grow and nurture a small civilization to the point were they are large enough to move to the next area of the world. Very stylistic and cool.

2. Interloper Area capturing RTS with a spacey biological theme. Tons of depth with relatively simple mechanics.
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Re: Obscure Game Recommendations!

Postby unpronounceable » 24 Aug 2015, 19:57

SteamSpy is really helpful to figure out how popular a game is if it has been out for a while.

One game I discovered in January is Trace Vector. It is an arcade action puzzle game with an early 80's aesthetic. Everything in the game is drawn with vector graphics and lots of bloom, emulating the feel of games like Tempest on a crt.

From a design perspective, I like the difficulty curve. It introduces new obstacles at an easily digestible pace, and utilizes them to great effect. It also has a good opt-in difficulty for lack of a better term. There are easy routes you can take with few obstacles, or you can take harder routes to try to collect the fuel cells, and go for a high score.

I think the best thing about it, though, is that it is very tightly scoped. It doesn't try to do too many things, and what is does, it does really well. The way the branching paths appear before each level is both functional and cool to look at. The way the music builds up within the stages of a level is a nice touch to give a sense of progression. Even the colour of your path shifting from red to purple is a nice thematic touch showing your progression.

One of the main criticisms of the game is that you can't simply play the later stages of a level. You have to play through the earlier ones first.

Even with that caveat, it's a disappointingly overlooked game, and deserves to sell more than ~7.2k copies.
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Re: Obscure Game Recommendations!

Postby SAJewers » 25 Aug 2015, 11:07

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - Very Fun Platformer, though quite hard

Copy Kitty - A Run & Gun Platformer with elements of Kirby. Kinda hoping Paul or someone from LRR plays it on Stream when it comes out on Steam (It was Greenlit a few months back)

Sapphore A PC Engine Shooter that's visually amazing.

In fact, most TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine games might qualify.
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Re: Obscure Game Recommendations!

Postby Bunnyrabbot02 » 27 Aug 2015, 02:59

Little Big Adventure.

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Wystling!
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Jeezy
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Re: Obscure Game Recommendations!

Postby Jeezy » 27 Aug 2015, 14:34

Robo4900 wrote:2. Jazz Jackrabbit (DOS game with a windows sequel that I also recommend)
Image Image
In my opinion, this game and its sequel(Jazz Jackrabbit 2) are two of the best platformers to come out of the '90s. Also, the music is amazing! Seriously, can't stress this enough -- these soundtracks are AWESOME!
The first game is near-impossible to get ahold of these days(Although if you can find it, it's usually cheap, and definitely 100% worth the wait), but the second game is really easy to find, and most of the time, it's dirt-cheap.


I used to love Jazz ...wow almost 20 years ago... but you can get at least the first episode (shareware) for free and run it in Dosbox. I did this last year in fact, but never got around to it - I hardly ever play or have the desire to play platformers any more, but I should try it out again!

Free dos games!

Also I noticed Hocus Pocus on that page, it's a pretty cool platformer too!

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