The Weekender is a special collaboration between OZY Tribe members near and far to provide delicious recommendations for your valuable weekend time.
Saturday, January 02, 2021
In a year that felt like everything was coming at us at once, games have been an escape, a distraction and a way to socialize when we’ve felt most alone. Whether you’re glued to a Nintendo Switch or more of a board game enthusiast, we’ve got you covered with 15 fantastic games you might have missed out on — but should really go back and get into.
This heart-stopping and historically accurate game takes you back to the rise of the Third Reich in Germany. The good news is you’re part of the resistance against the Nazis. The bad news? You don’t have much of a chance. This game makes you confront your own responsibilities — and your own helplessness — in ways that are uncomfortable, but also educational.
This is a game about Greek mythology and damnation, but honestly, it’s really a game about teenage rebellion against your dad. Of course, in the game, your dad is the god of hell. Your mission is to escape hell by fighting beasts along the way — but the real fun is in the writing and personalities of the characters.
3. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Just to head off your disappointment: You do not play a dragon in this game. Instead, you play grizzled ex-con mobster Ichiban Kasuga, who, along with a colorful cast of sidekicks (including the game’s first playable female fighters), finds himself implicated in a counterfeiting conspiracy.
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Cooperative and spooky tabletop game Greenville 1989 has an even classier follow-up: You have to go back to 19th century Paris and try to defeat monsters. With a vibe similar to all-time favorite game Mysterium, you and other players have to pool your knowledge of nebulous clues in order to win the game.
You don’t have to be into birds to love this beautifully illustrated board game, which has won basically every possible award. But you might be more interested in our feathered friends once you’ve played a few times. The object is to lure the rarest and most beautiful birds to your refuge instead of losing them to your rival ornithologists.
3. Edible Games Cookbook
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Auto-complete is a harsh mistress. This game offers you the beginning of a common Google search phrase, then asks you to guess the top 10 most searched endings for it. It may make you lose faith in humans (or at least their common sense), but you might also find that your idle wonderings aren’t as weird as you always imagined.
2. Never Bring a Knife
It’s weird to describe a card game as action-packed, but this one feels like it is. All the players are either cops or criminals, with weapons and other assets dealt out (and some cards kept hidden) until the guns go off. That’s when you find out who hasn’t survived the shoot-out.
3. P for Pizza
This card game is sure to be a family favorite as it centers around food (and the opportunity to use your outside voice). It’s a pretty simple premise: You deal a card with three categories on it, then some letter cards. Be the first to think of something in that category that starts with that letter, and you win. It’s also easy to play over Zoom with a little camerawork, but we recommend you order a real pizza to eat while you play.
After Animal Crossing had its moment, this has become the iconic game of the pandemic. You and a group of friends (or strangers), stranded in outer space, have to figure out if there’s a mole in your midst. Online or mobile play has been a great way for teens — and adults, ahem — to stay in touch with friends during the second wave of lockdowns.
2. Song of Bloom
Winner of this year’s Apple Design Award,Song of Bloom is one of the most artistically beautiful games you may ever encounter, with ever-changing art styles, high-minded themes and narrative puzzles galore. Prepare for a true surprise.
3. NBA 2K Mobile
NBA 2K is easily one of the most coveted console games that have come out in the past decade, but the mobile version has only been around for three years. If you can’t get your hands on a PS5, just carry Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball and others in your pocket.
In a brilliant take on corporate office culture, this game from Swedish indie studio Neat Corporation sets you up as an employee who must stealthily find a way out of your office building after realizing the automatic budget-cutting robots may be taking things too literally. Sneaking around in VR turns out to be way more fun than going in guns blazing.
2. Danger Goat
This game is a little bit like Mouse Trap if you were in VR inside of the mousetrap … and if there were a goat involved. With clever, almost cinematic animated graphics and a Pixar-worthy hero (the titular goat), this game presents you with a 3D map through which you must meander, beating puzzle traps along the way.
3. I Expect You to Die
Everyone wants to be a spy. We have no idea how this game got out of being sued for using Bond villain Goldfinger’s most famous line, but we also don’t care because it’s a fast-paced puzzle madness that allows us to try our (virtual) hand at espionage missions.