Since we’ve already focused on the great AAA video games set to come out this year, it’s time to give a little joystick love to some of the titles that you might not be aware of.
Now, if you are a serious gamer, you’ve probably heard, seen, or played the games below. But for those with limited time who are only exposed to the Call of Duties of the gaming world, let this list open your eyes to quality games that don’t necessarily get the same marketing muscle.
Here are five games to look out for along with the odds of which one will sell the most copies in 2016, followed by some new and exciting virtual reality titles.
Underrated Video Game Sales Odds
The Witness (Genre: puzzle) – 7/3
Platforms: PC, Mac, PS4
Metacritic Score: 87
This game took eight years to make and it will probably take you ten years to finish. Now that it’s finally available to play, it’s been getting rave reviews! Creator Jonathan Blow, whose team (Thekla, Inc.) was behind another indie game called Braid, has created an island mystery that will remind you of classic puzzle games like Myst. This game is very in-depth and reportedly has 650 puzzles that will take the average schmo around eighty hours to complete.
Firewatch (Genre: 1st-person adventure) – 3/1
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PS4
Metacritic Score: 81
Firewatch is a first-person adventure video game that takes place in the Wyoming wilderness in 1989. Players take on the role of Henry, a fire lookout who is assigned to a tower in Shoshone National Forest. As Henry, you explore the surrounding wilderness and try to solve a mystery with only a woman’s voice on a walkie-talkie helping you along the way. Players have to make choices in how they interact with “Delilah” as it influences the overall tone of the game. Firewatch has received fantastic reviews and it’s really one of the most underrated games of 2016 thus far in terms of public exposure.
Stardew Valley (Genre: role-playing simulation) – 4/1
Platforms: PC, Mac
Metacritic Score: 88
Personally, I love these build’em-up simulation games where you have to create your surroundings. In Stardew Valley, your little player inherits a farm in a run-down village and you have to start from scratch and live off the land. The game is divided into weekdays, months, and years, and you can only do so much in a given day, which means you have to prioritize what you deem important. It’s a slow burn (in a good way) for people who love simulation-style games.
Cuphead (Genre: run and gun) – 4/1
Platforms: PC and Xbox One
Metacritic Score: NA
This game hasn’t been released yet, but I’m still including it on this list because I already know it won’t get the mass exposure it deserves. All you have to do is look at the artwork. While aesthetics can only take a game so far, the painstaking love that went into this games’ look and feel will be appreciated. Will the gameplay be at the same level as the artwork? We shall see, but I’m confident this game will be underrated by the public when it finally drops this year.
Hyper Light Drifter (Genre: action role-playing) – 19/1
Platforms: PC, Mac, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Ouya
Metacritic Score: 85
Heart Machine has taken the pixel artform to new heights with Hyper Light Drifter. Not only does it look fantastic, it has a killer soundtrack. Add in tight gameplay and it will have you playing for hours.
Virtual Reality Game Sale Odds
No Man’s Sky – 7/13
Platforms: Oculus Rift and PS VR
Metacritic Score: NA
I couldn’t help myself. Although this game is being released in June, it makes the list because of its ambitious nature and its fun look. No Man’s Sky is an adventure/survival game that involves exploration, combat, and the bartering system. It take place in an open universe made up of many different planets with their own flora and fauna. Players share information on new planets to The Atlas which can be accessed by all players online.
This is one of those games that has been in production for many years thanks to its grandiose scale. It’s getting a lot of hype so you can expect big-time sales dollars.
EVE: Valkyrie – 3/1
Platforms: Oculus Rift, PS VR (Oct.2016), HTC Vive (TBA)
Metacritic Score: 69
For those who have already experienced EVE Online, now comes EVE: Valkyrie where you get to experience being in the cockpit of a fighter. Fly around a massive universe and dogfight for your survival as you navigate a treacherous battlefield. From what I hear, this game is not something you just pick up and fly. Although early reviews have been good, some critics are saying that the gameplay is overly challenging. So kiss your friends and family goodbye if you’re going to give it a try.
P-O-L-L-E-N – 17/3
Platform: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive (VR); also available on regular monitors on PS4
Metacritic Score: 72
P-O-L-L-E-N is a first-person, sci-fi exploration game that takes place in a space station (Station M) on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Because it’s virtual reality, players interact with the environment all around them and follow the story by solving puzzles.
Photo Credit: SG FT (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHOXpBVqh9w)