There are a lot of games out there, and we always try to stand by our motto of finding the good stuff so you don't have to. As such, we never feature a game that we don't feel deserves it, but sometimes, games wind up being more wildly popular than we had anticipated. And no, I don't mean because of subliminal messages from the Daleks (... although I do feel oddly compelled to make a souffle...), but occasionally a game that makes us go "Hey, neat!" makes you fine folks go, "Hey, awesome!" Here are just three of our favourite surprise hits, and they couldn't be more different.
- Mamono Sweeper - Hojamaka Games was apparently playing Minesweeper one day and thought, "Hey, you know what this needs? Monsters! And RPG elements!" And because Minesweeper is boring unless you're Captain Picard, those things did indeed make the resulting fusion, a funky puzzle/strategy hybrid all the better. Instead of mines, you're hunting down the monsters scattered across the board, yet trying to do so in a way that you uncover all the lower-level beasties first so you level up to be able to contend with the stronger ones. It's such an amazingly simple concept, and yet those relatively small changes to the presentation made it an addictive, breakout success.
- Icycle - It's a game about a naked man riding a tricycle through cold places. Hey, don't look at me. You're the perverts who were all, "Yes, we love it! Finally, a game about our needs!" Kidding aside, this quirky, cute, and thoroughly silly little game about pedaling through dangerous, chilly lands is actually very unique, and very fun. No surprise if you know Reece Millidge of Wonderputt fame is behind it. Icycle might sound weird, and it is, but it's that weirdness combined with some fantastic, clean design and simple enjoyable gameplay that make it an unexpected pleasure.
- I Wish I Were the Moon - Part interactive art, part webtoy, Daniel Benmergui's sweet little gem is all wonderfulness. All you do is click anywhere onscreen to take a photo of whatever is within the frame around your cursor, and then click again anywhere else to deposit whatever was in the image there. In doing so, you can unlock different endings by causing the characters and the environments to interact with one another in unexpected ways, and maybe even give them a happy ending to boot. It's short and simple, but it's also the perfect thing to show just about anyone. Especially your mother-in-law, once and for all proving that the things you forward her are way more interesting than that video of the corgi dancing for kibbles for the eleven millionth time.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!