There was a feeling earlier in 2021 that we could be in for a slow year with regards to games being released, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. The reality is that a lot of fantastic games came out every month, they just got overlooked. This is why we tried our best to come up with five games from the previous year that may have flown under the radar for one reason or another.
Whatever the reason, these games deserved a little more mainstream attention than they received.
Lost in Random
Lost in Random is a game where the player may as well be taking part in a fairy tale. The player controls Even as she goes on an adventure in a world very much inspired by Tim Burton to discover the fate of her older sister, Odd. In this world, the toss of a dice determine’s ones fate because random is fair, random prevails, and random rules. This also happens to apply in combat, where a roll of the dice and a deck of cards decides what weapons Even is able to use against enemies. This may sound like a deck building game, but it’s much more a third-person action game because the deck building is fairly basic. Where Lost in Random truly shines is the writing. It’s funny, witty, and will pull at your heartstrings every once in a while. It’s a game that deserved far more attention and recognition than it got. Unfortunately, it released in a fairly packed September and got lost amid everything else, but it’s very much worth your time.
Overboard! has a really unique premise: It’s a murder mystery game, but instead of trying to solve the mystery, the player is the one trying to get away with murder. They’ve just killed their husband on a cruise shop and now they have to use the little time they have left on the ship to map out a getaway strategy. Framing someone for murder means that they get to collect his life insurance check, which is the ultimate goal of the game. It’s a really great time, we enjoyed our time with it thoroughly, and want everyone to play it. A big reason it didn’t get more attention was it came out in June, which is the same month as E3.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
Ace Attorney is one of the best visual novel series of games out there. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to wait a little bit longer for them here in the U.S. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a good example of that. Set near the end of Japan’s Meiji period, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a fun spin off that explores the ancestors of series protagonist Phoenix Wright. Both games in this setting came out in Japan years ago and it felt like we were never going to get them in the United States, but that’s no longer the case. This meant a whole new opportunity to solve murders, read hilarious dialogue, and explore fun environments for us Ace Attorney fans. Since the game came out in July and wasn’t technically “new,” though, it got missed by a lot of potential new fans. Anyone that’s a fan of murder mysteries and has wanted to give Ace Attorney a try should give this a spin. It’s well worth the time.
One of the best stress relief games to come out this year was Dorfromantik. While the game is still in early access, we felt that there was enough of a game in it to not only review it, but love it. The game is very simple: play like tiles together to build a world. By gathering enough resources together, the player will earn more tiles and will be able to continue playing the game. The entire time, relaxing music plays and creates an atmosphere that melts any worries away. Unfortunately, not only is Dorfromantik not a genre that’s going to get much notoriety, it also came out as an early access title, so most of the buzz around it came from word of mouth. We want more people to have a chill and relaxing time, and that’s why we want more people playing Dorfromantik.
The Artful Escape
The Artful Escape is as much an experience as it is a video game. It is designed to push the player forward. Failure is easily rectified and there are no real game overs. It’s not meant to challenge the player, it’s meant to put them on a journey. Through that, the player is able to go at their own pace. Enjoy the visuals and think on the story. It’s an experience that we enjoyed ourselves, but it didn’t gain as much buzz as we expected when it was released. Perhaps it was overshadowed, or maybe it fell through the cracks, but we hope that as time goes on, more people experience this delightful game.