The lights are on
Last year saw a host of high-profile downloadable titles, but some amazing games may have slipped past your notice.
If we’ve been doing our job, hopefully you already know about many of the best downloadable games that came out last year, including The Walking Dead, Journey, and Mark of the Ninja. However, especially with the rush of big retail games that came out in the latter third of the year, we bet you may have missed out on some other awesome DLGs. We’ve gathered some of our favorites that we think deserve some more exposure, along with links to our reviews if you want to learn more.
BotaniculaDeveloper: Amanita DesignFormat: PC, Mac
The makers of Machinarium (which you should also play) bring us this whimsical adventure game which stars five friends on a quest to thwart evil. It just so happens that all five friends are strange little botanical creatures. Mr. Twig, Mrs. Mushroom, and the rest of the gang must get a precious seed planted before the dark spider-like creatures consume it. The point-and-click adventure that ensues is filled with strange locales, funny side characters, and great puzzles. Sometimes quiet and thoughtful, and sometimes funny and weird, Botanicula is a treat from beginning to end. Read our review
DyadDeveloper: Right Square Bracket Left Square Bracket GamesFormat: PS3
Dyad is one of those games that is hard to describe until you try it for yourself. Part racing game, part shooter, and part psychedelic drug trip, the game defies easy classification. You zip down a multi-colored corridor filled with obstacles, and try to get moving at faster and faster speeds as you blast away at the objects in your way. Eventually, the pumping trance music combines with the warp-speed colors to elicit a Zen-like state in players. Strange, heart-pumping, and unique from any other game on the market, Dyad must be played to fully grasp. Read our review
FTL: Faster Than LightDeveloper: Subset GamesFormat: PC
Already nominated for the IGF’s 2013 Seumas McNally Grand Prize, FTL is described by its creators at Subset Games as “a spaceship simulation real-time roguelike-like.” Players take control of an interplanetary starship on a desperate mission for the Federation. As you traverse the galaxy, you investigate nebulas, teleport down to unknown planets, and upgrade your ship. You also engage in one battle after another against an increasingly difficult set of enemy ships, during which you shift power to your shields, vent oxygen into space to put out fires, and repel boarding parties. It’s the classic sci-fi space fantasy brought to life, in a simple but unflinchingly challenging way. Read our review
[Next up: Return to a karate classic, and the joy of burning things in a fireplace]
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.