Summer officially arrived a week ago but I’ve been out of school for over a month already. Yes, I’m extremely bored when I’m not making video games. But for some reason (I don’t know, maybe it’s the heat) I’m also extremely lazy…which is why the casual puzzler seems so much more attractive than a run-and-gun FPS at the moment. For those of you who share my need for something more relaxing, here are three great games you may not have heard of:
Gravity Rush (PS Vita): Not the best story, not the best graphics, but play it and you’ll see why many are in love with this game. Like the title says, gravity’s got a major role; turns out your character can manipulate its direction, enabling her to fly in crazy loops, land on ceilings, and run circles around enemies. It’s a gameplay mechanic few have even considered, and here it’s done to near-perfection.
Fez (XBLA): Straight out of the pages of Flatland. You’re a cute little marshmallow-looking thing that lives happily in a 2D world…that is, until you encounter a hexahedron and get a magical hat that drop-kicks you right into 3D. This might be a bit too old-school for some people to stomach, but I loved the puzzler idea of switching between 2D and 3D in a style not unlike Paper Mario.
Journey (PSN): You might remember Thatgamecompany for their Flash hit Flow, but here they tackle something much bigger and way more thought-provoking. The ambiance kind of reminded me of the Gerudo Desert in Twilight Princess, except here you’re controlling a cloaked Zelda instead of Link (okay, not really). The stunning landscape, amazing musical score, and emotional experience of doing co-op with another player all make for one of the most satisfying video games I’ve played in a long while.
Until the real big titles start coming out later this year I’m content with digging around for these lesser-known gems. You should try it too, one time: you never know what you’ll find.