Despite everything happening around us this year, many amazing games were still able to finish production and make it to our homes to help keep us busy. Major titles like The Last of Part II and Spider-Man: Miles Morales captivated and entertained us for hours upon hours, and we couldn’t be more thankful. While these titles deserve all the praise they can get, we thought now would be a good time to highlight some of the lesser-known titles that were released this year and shine a spotlight on some of the games you might have missed in 2020.
The trailer above showcases both the silliness and brutality of Bloodroots, a tough beat-’em-up style game where the world is your weapon. On your hyperviolent quest for revenge, you must use your surroundings to take down rooms full of enemies, whether that means using the power of a sword or the pointy end of a carrot to eliminate your foes. While you have the ability to take down a fair amount of people over a short amount of time, the real challenge is knowing when to be aggressive or defensive as it only takes a single hit from an enemy to end your game. This action title runs great and is sure to make you laugh on your way to a blood-filled conclusion.
2. Murder By Numbers
Before releasing the hit Fall Guys this year, the developers at Mediatonic released something quite different from its competitive battle-royale title; a single-player puzzle game. Combining the sleuthing mechanics of Phoenix Wright with the addictive gameplay of Picross creates an engaging narrative full of heart and interesting characters while also providing hundreds of puzzles to relax and solve whenever you see fit. In Murder By Numbers, we follow Honor Mizrahi as she goes from the side-character on a hit TV show to an ambitious detective with the help of her recently discovered friend, SCOUT. This game has you covered if you are a veteran of the Picross series of puzzles or a newbie with its difficulty settings, allowing anyone to hop in and start solving Los Angeles’ greatest mystery.
3. Yes, Your Grace
While reading or watching Game of Thrones, did you ever wonder what it feels like to have an entire kingdom depend on you for their success and health? Well, now you can! In Yes, Your Grace, you will play as Eryk, the King of Davern, and must make important choices such as: how much to tax local business, where to spend the kingdom’s gold, and deciding how to form alliances with other kingdoms. While each of these mechanics and decisions has a ripple effect across the game and could lead you to either success or an early game over, the story of Yes, Your Grace is what kept me coming back for more. If you have always been curious to play Crusader Kings but felt overwhelmed by its scale and ambition, this title acts as a much lighter and more accessible version of those types of games.
4. If Found…
After beating this game early last week, I still can’t seem to get this emotionally driven coming-of-age story out of my head. If Found…only takes a couple of hours to beat, but those hours are so full of creativity and melancholy that when the credits started to roll, I felt like I had just gone through my own personal trauma, only to come out stronger than I was before. If Found…follows Kasio as she struggles to find herself during the early ’90s in Ireland while telling a surprisingly realistic story about growing up and discovering who you really are. Relying on the player to use an eraser to move from scene to scene is a simple gameplay mechanic, but this game finds a way to make that act feel both devastating and relieving.
Helltaker doesn’t take long to beat, but it leaves one hell of an impression. This title was released for free on Steam back in May and has built quite a strong following of fans since then. The game’s goal is to cross nine levels of brain-scratching puzzles to try and seduce demon girls to join your harem. After solving each of the deadly puzzles, you will have the chance to recruit one of the demon girls to your party, but if your flirting skills are not good enough, then she might send you back to resolve the obstacle before her. Full of surprises, interesting characters, and catchy beats, this was one fun ride that had me wanting to play more as soon as possible.
Helltaker is currently available for free on Steam.
6. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2
The team over at Inti Creates has been crafting nostalgia-filled, retro-inspired titles successfully for the last few years. While the original Curse of the Moon was a great surprise for fans of the original Castlevania series of games, Curse of the Moon 2 offers tighter gameplay, a story worth playing multiple times, and one of the best 8-bit soundtracks since Shovel Knight. COTM2 also offers a co-op option for people looking to slay demons together. One of my favorite aspects of this game is the variety in character selection. Over the course of the game, you will be able to play as eight unique characters, one of which is a corgi in a colossal mech suit with magic armor. Intrigued now?
7. The Last Campfire
It can be overwhelming sometimes when five major AAA games are released, and you’re not sure how you will play them all. The Last Campfire, the latest title from No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games, was the perfect game to balance out that feeling. This ambient adventure-puzzle solver feels like playing through one of the short stories you would hear before falling asleep as a child. Only a few hours long, we follow a little Ember who has lost their way and must help others who are adrift to go home. The world you explore is peaceful on the surface, but sadness lingers throughout this reflective and thoughtful experience. The entire game is carried by the soothing voice of a narrator played by Rachel August, who could read the phone book aloud, and I would still be intrigued by what she say’s next.
Less of a game and more of an amazing toolbox, Fuser launched the same week as the PS5 and Xbox One X and may have been lost in the shuffle. Developed by Harmonix, the team behind the popular Rock Band and Dance Central series gives players a massive sandbox of music to mix and provides everything else you will need to feel like a DJ. By combining the vocals, bass, percussion, or rhythm from your favorite songs together, you can make incredible mixes that will have you tapping your feet to the beat almost immediately. Featuring over 100 different songs and counting as weekly DLC drops, ranging from Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” to Lizzo’s “Good as Hell,” you are bound the find songs you like and then mash them together to create a song you love.
That is our list of eight amazing games you possibly missed in 2020. Did you play any of these games, and what did you think? Are there any other fantastic games from 2020 that we missed? Comment below to let us know.