Mike - For the gamer who just wants to have fun
Super Mario Odyssey by Nintendo - Nintendo Switch
It may not provide the most in-depth gaming experience, but Mario Odyssey is the most entertaining game I played in 2017. It brings back the magic that Mario 64 had an is a platforming masterpiece. Loaded with Easter Eggs, intuitive gameplay, and a wedding, Odyssey more than lives up to the hype and makes me a very happy Switch owner.
brian - For the gamer questioning the meaning of life
NieR: Automata by Square-Enix - Playstation 4, Microsoft Windows
NieR: Automata asks a lot of questions. It'll start with "can an android be alive?" and goes from there. You'll have to get over spending most of the game as a sexy anime lady, but NieR: Automata will go places that games don't go. Even if you're no good at games, you can dial down the difficulty and automate the combat. The game won't hinder or judge you. It just wants you to play and experience what it has to offer. It's a desolate, sometimes grim, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking game that has few equals.
Zhaoyun - For the gamer who wants to get a little weird
Torment: Tides of Numenera by Techland Publishing - Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Xbox One, Playstation 4
Everyone loved Planescape: Torment, and if the game-obsessed in your life don't already own this loose sequel (or at least, a similar and quite fun game with very similar rules), chances are good that they'll like it as well! Is it as good as Planescape: Torment? Probably not...but then, what is? On second thought, why not just get the gamers in your life another copy of Torment!
brian - For the gamer with great headphones
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice by Ninja Theory - Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4
Hellblade does a lot of things right, but the thing it does right the most is the sound. A great pair of a headphones goes a long way as Senua battles the Norse men and the demons that haunt her as she seeks revenge for the death of her lover. Hellblade won't break your bank account either, as it's only $30 and well worth every dollar.
The G - For the gamer who can't get enough Stranger Things
Stranger Things: The Game by BonusXP - iOS, Android
Did you love Stranger Things? How about The Legend of Zelda? If you answers were "yes" and "hell yes," as they should be, then Stranger Things: The Game is your dreams come true. It is, after all, an 8-bit Zelda clone set in Hawkins, Indiana. You play as Hopper, Nancy, Lucas, Mike, Will, Dustin and Eleven, each with their own peculiar strengths and weaknesses. Hopper has a super punch; Lucas has his slingshot; Nancy's bat with nails on it can bash through fallen tree trunks; Mike can ride his bike to escape various baddies; and so forth. The game is reasonably difficult, but never cheap; and it's oozing with old school retro charm. Oh, did I mention it's also free?
brian - For the gamer who wants to solve space mysteries
Tacoma by Fullbright - Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Xbox One
You could spend all of Tacoma watching a loading bar fill up. Instead, why not watch scenes from the past as the crew of Lunar Transfer Station Tacoma try to survive imminent death and learn why they abandoned the station? These scenes play out in an innovative AR interface which allows for rewinding, following particular characters, and getting more insight into the events than your typical cutscenes. It's an evolution of the "walking simulator" genre that shouldn't be missed by anyone.
POSTED BY: brian, sci-fi/fantasy/video game dork and contributor since 2014