Top 10 unusual games you have to play

Join us for ten unforgettable adventures; some will freak you the hell out, others will have you in tears, and one will remind you that, we’re all, always sometimes monsters. Here are the 10 unusual games you simply have to play.

1. Stasis

  • Genre: Graphic adventure
  • Platforms: PC exclusive

Stasis is first because it was home-brewed in South Africa. It’s hardcore to the bones of the skulls that fills my mind I can’t stop thinking about oh my god that blood and the morals of men don’t apply to gods, f@k the voices that won’t stop someone help … my thoughts when I watched the launch trailer, naturally, I proceeded to give the review to someone else. Here’s a peek at his experienced the game.

From our spoiler-free review: Horrific in all the right ways

Stasis is a point and click game that has you dying, wishing you could teleport to another dimension, and requires that the grey matter between your ears operates at above normal capacity. I really don’t think it’s fair to cover the story of a game like Stasis. It relies so heavily on what is in the next room at times that mentioning the horrors and people you will come across would detract from your own experience of the game which wants to catch you unawares at your own most vulnerable time.

2. Gone Home

  • Genre: Adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

From our review: Gone Home – will remain with you

GONE HOME is one of those works of creativity it feels insulting to classify, as if pinning it down would injure what it achieves. This is a game where tracing the lines that make up someone is the adventure. It plays on the tropes of thousands of haunted house, mystery-solving games then quickly does away with them. It’s not about ghosts or evil, despite the hints of it throughout the game (the house was owned by a madman, you’re a new family in a new small town, etc.)

So few games make me proud to have played them; so few games make me enjoy happiness. But this did. To call this a game is a disservice. Instead, I put down GONE HOME as a beautiful memory that I hope you will share.

3. To The Moon

  • Genre: Adventure
  • Platforms: PC, mobile

To The Moon enchanted me with its heart wrenching story and alluring music. It cured me of my obsession with AAA titles, mindless shooting games and repetitive gameplay. It left me a changed gamer, forever searching for games that are able to touch me on an emotional and deeply personal level.

It took me to the moon and left me there. To the Moon is the bittersweet tale of a dying man’s wish to reconnect with his childhood sweetheart. This is made possible by science, a love that refuses to let go and origami rabbits. The game is filled with moments of dry humour, peculiar experiments and music that makes the world stop with the magnitude of its beauty.

And the music, oh god, the music …

4. Always Sometimes Monsters

  • Genre: RPG
  • Platforms: PC, mobile, PS4

From our review: Bloody brilliant torture

The dialogue is brilliant, the narration gorgeous. This is what would happen if Chuck Palahniuk did games. Indeed, violence might be something you find yourself doing. Might. Maybe. I don’t know. It’s something everyone should play. It’s a reason why video games do more for me than film and, lately, books. If it is showing us the realities of adulthood in us, it is also showing us adulthood in gaming. And that is the only adulthood we should perhaps long for.

Adulthood means we’re running unsupported in an open landscape. And that’s exactly Always Sometimes Monsters.

5. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

  • Genre: Adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PS4

I can’t play this game for longer than about one hour at a time; it’s too gruesome, too dark and too difficult. Our review convinced me to purchase the game, not sure if I’m happy or mad.

From our review: A hauntingly beautiful masterpiece

The overall story is exceptionally well told, right up there with a tale from horror writers such as H.P. Lovecraft or H.G. Wells. However, the game shows amazing constraint in the amount of horror delivered. Instead of scaring the living daylights out of the player around every corner, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter employs a tactic that is even more nerve wrecking. It involves giving the impression that something horrific is about to happen, yet only throwing out a big scare in a timely fashion when the player starts to feel at ease.

6. Ether One

  • Genre: Adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PS4

One of the best puzzle games I’ve ever played. I love how destructoid described the game; “Ether One deals with mental breakdown with a sort of reverse Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind approach.” 9/10

From our review: The dark caverns of the mind

Ether One is a masterpiece, a love letter to the pen and paper genre, an anthem to puzzle games. Once you step into the world of Ether One and start unraveling the tangles of your patients’ demented mind, you will struggle to tear yourself away.

Ether One orchestrates your mood through its visual and audio splendour. The gentle caress of the waves against the dock, the tinge of pain that surfaces as you walk into a room filled with forgotten sounds of joy, or the feeling of impending insanity as you get thrown into the deafening turmoil of a mind in pain.

7. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

  • Genre: Adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PS4

From our review: Quiet Violence

There is a quiet violence through this town. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a game about refusing to let go. It’s a game that wants you to not necessarily remember, but to not let anyone forget. Lives here are not recreated, but pieced together by fragments – literally ghosts made of mysterious light, vaguely humanoid in shape. This is a beautiful, empty game that has a broken story it’s not willing to tell and doesn’t care whether you’re listening. That’s refreshing but can also be isolating.

8. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die

  • Genre: Adventure
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One

From our Xbox One review: Fifty Shades of Weird

D4 is looking at Americana through the lens of a drunken foreigner. A foreigner who adores America, certainly, but someone whose memory is hazy, drug-fueled and oddly fascinated with wardrobe. If you’ve read Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, just add the strangest anime you’ve ever seen, and that’s the way the story is portrayed. It sounds like the plot of a comic book and it certainly looks that way. Using a stylistic, hard-edged design, the characters are presented in wacky blocks and poses, their gestures inhuman but recognizable in their intention.

For me,  then, this is something I’d quickly ignore. For others, I can easily see them loving their experience with a weird, non-shooty game, that actually attempts something unique, something different, something special.

9. That Dragon Cancer

  • Genre: Adventure
  • Platforms: PC, iOS

Before that Dragon Cancer is a video game it’s the true story of a family’s struggle to cope with a terminally ill child. The game is classified as “art” and it’s not perfect, but it will rip your heart out and leave you with a renewed appreciation for life and your loved ones. Play it.

From our opinion article: Are we seeing the rise of a new video game genre?

The game so acts as an invitation to explore one’s own history with the illness that kills 7.6 million people each year. At other times, it is distinctly ‘Joel’. Giving reason for the extensive use of animals characters throughout the game, Green explains that ‘Joel adored animals’ and that the addition of animal characters in-game went far to ‘express Joel’s immense joy within their presence…even in some of his lowest moments’. Though he adds that this narrative decision also ensures that the game would ‘share the way that specific kind of joy was able to transcend pain.”

10. The Stanley Parable

  • Genre: Interactive fiction
  • Platform: PC

And finally, The Stanley Parable, the one game we didn’t review, but that everyone should play. Polygon’s review; The Soul of Wit, is all the convincing you’ll need.

“Like the best comedians, The Stanley Parable is both hilarious and insightful. It respects quick, cutting observations over a padded experience that would be deemed more valuable by some. For a small commitment in terms of time and money, it delivers a ton of laughs and just enough thought-provoking commentary on the nature of narrative in games. Getting everything you need out of a game in a few hours might just be the ideal format for comedy.”

This article has been republished and facts edited to reflect correct dates and prices.

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Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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