Tomorrow, Christmas will be upon us! Whether you are someone who lives in a more temperate climate where you find yourself wanting to crowd around the television with the air-conditioning set to max or a colder climate where going outdoors for long periods of time isn’t practical or even possible – the idea of ending the year with some gaming is appealing. While there is no shortage of advertising around the latest and hottest games on the market from major publishers, I would like to take the time and showcase a handful of lesser known video game series, alternate options for those who enjoy niche – or otherwise at least less mainstream – gaming options.
The three games listed below are all available via digital platforms, so you can add them to your cart on the respective digital platform when you so wish.
Developed by the small team at Matt Makes Games, Celeste was released on various platforms in 2018 and has since received many accolades for not only its addictive action-adventure / puzzle gameplay which see’s you tackle a mountain using superhuman parkour, but its brilliant soundtrack from Lena Raine and storyline which tackles the issues of mental health.
With a game of its age, it is possible to nab yourself a copy of Celeste very cheaply, especially during end-of-year sales. For that price, you get a tremendous amount of content, including a multi-hour story mode with more than 700 screens of 2D platforming challenges, B-Side chapter challenges to unlock and, to be frank, a downright addictive experience.
Trial and error is key to completing this game, and while the difficulty can ramp up on the challenge stages, Celeste finds that perfect balance between rewarding experimentation and planning but not seeing you trapped on a screen for half an hour.
Celeste is now available on the Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Google Stadia platforms.
At first, Cooking Simulator from the development team at Big Cheese Studio felt like a game that would immediately become a hit with Youtubers and then slowly pitter off into obscurity. I have been surprised that the game was not what I first expected, instead proving to be a quirky and eccentric cooking simulation game where you fill the shoes of a chef who has to cook increasingly varied dishes, adequately enough, to meet the needs of customers outside the kitchen.
I don’t personally enjoy cooking, but with the rapid pace, almost puzzle like way of creating dishes, I quickly enjoyed making dozens of unique dishes that I know I will never cook in real life. Sure the physics can be janky and not everything looks realistic (or nice) when served on the plate, but the journey to getting a good score is a fun one!
Plus, Cooking Simulator continues to receive active downloadable content updates to date, including a collaboration with Cooking Network, the ability to open a patisserie, pizza making and more. Give it has been out for more than a year and a half now, you should be able to find good deals on the game during End-of-Year sales.
Cooking Simulator is now available on Windows PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.
3Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
While thousands are likely to have downloaded the game from Mediatonic for free as part of the PlayStation Plus promotion a few months back, if you have yet to check out Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, then you are missing out on one of the most entertaining battle royale games of this year – perhaps ever.
In recent years, battle royale games have typically seen players pitted against each other in violent, Hunger Games-esque, combat environments until one stands victorious. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is the same in principle, but instead of violence, pits up to sixty players against one another in a range of randomly selected platformer experiences more akin to TV shows such as Wipeout! or Takeshi’s Castle.
Each session in Fall Guys is comprised of multiple rounds, often between 4-5, with each featuring one of the two-dozen or so included games. As each round passes, more and more players will be knocked out, until a final round where the remaining players will either need to clear an elaborate obstacle course in first place or be the last one standing to claim the victors crown. The games range from a race to the finish, completing a team challenge or survival until X number of players have been knocked out of the stage.
There is a lot of variety on offer, with each in-game season offering new games to tackle, and I found myself easily losing track of time for hours after becoming immersed in bettering my progress from losing in the first round to being able to (someone routinely) reach the final stage.
Developed by Mediatonic and published by Devolver Digital, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is now available on the Windows PC and PlayStation 4.