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Nov 14, 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.
Wonderful World of Video Games
1 - Resist the Third Reich
A heart-stopping and historically accurate game, Through the Darkest Times, 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.
2 - Greek Mythology & Teenage Rebellion
Hades, 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 - Honor, Allies, & Betrayal
Just to head off your disappointment: You do not play a dragon in Yakuza: Like a Dragon. 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.
Board Games Better Than Monopoly
1 - Monsters in Paris
Cooperative and spooky tabletop game Greenville 1989 has an even classier follow-up. In Paris 1989, 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.
2 - For the Bird Lovers
You don’t have to be into birds to love this beautifully illustrated board game, Wingspan, 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 - The Hungry Game
As he Shares the Inside Story of ‘Between the World and Me’ on HBO
Card Games for the Ages
1 - A Mouthful of Fun
P is for Pizzais 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.
2 - Cops or Crooks?
It’s weird to describe a card game as action-packed, but Never Bring a Knife 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 - Satisfying Your Curiosity
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.
Next Level VR Gaming
1 - Trapped in the Office
In a brilliant take on corporate office culture, Budget Cuts, a 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 - A Goat in a Mousetrap
Danger Goat 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 - Become A Bond Villain
Everyone wants to be a spy. We have no idea how I Expect You to Die 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.
Quote of the Day
“Life’s more fun if you play games.” -- Roald Dahl
What are your favorites? Share your thoughts, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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