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Consoles Gaming

The 20 Best Games Like ‘Clash of Clans’

If you spend a lot of time with Supercell’s mega-hit game, then you’re probably hankering for more games to play like Clash of Clans that hits that sweet spot of free-to-play mobile strategy goodness. It’s a great, challenging game to take with you on the go (and who can beat the fact that it fits in your pocket?) but now the game is looking a little long in the tooth.

So it might finally be time to branch out and try a little something else. Or maybe you just want to expand your horizons a bit. Whatever the case may be, if you’re looking for more games like Clash of Clans to add to your collection of mobile games, we’ve got 20 different games here for you to try out to see what you vibe with the most next. And the best part? Most of these games are free!

Check out 20 games like Clash of Clans that we’ve carefully curated for you below.

1. ‘Hero Sky: Epic Clash’

If you’re looking for something exactly like Clash of Clans, you can’t go wrong with Hero Sky: Epic Clash. Arm up with your buddies and fight through guild wars by first choosing a hero and diving into battle. Grow your modest starter village into a veritable fortress and claim the Sky World for your own. Save up gold and build additional structures to defend your base from potential invaders, and train up your followers for some seriously exciting battles.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.innospark.herosky&hl=en_US&gl=US
2. ‘Lords Mobile: Tower Defense’

Lords Mobile: Tower Defense is all about finding a new Lord to unite the Kingdoms, which have fallen into disarray since the Emperor was taken out. You’ll be tasked with recruiting new heroes, including dark elves, mermaids, dwarves, steampunk robots, and just about everything else you can think of as you fight on and establish a new empire. Raid castles with your massive armies and go down in history, all in this castle-building, army-fortifying strategy game.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.igg.android.lordsmobile&hl=en_US&gl=US
3. ‘Total War Battles: Kingdom’

If you’re a fan of the Total War series, there’s plenty to love about Total War Battles: Kingdom. Shape the land you rule over by building your own medieval kingdom, recruit members of a growing, formidable army, and defeat anyone in your way as you rise up, create a bustling economy, and rule your devoted people. Create alliances with Vikings and other groups of people to expand your influence even further until you eventually become a legendary medieval lord. All this, and the game fits right in your pocket. Plus, you’ll have something of an edge over other players if you come from a Total War background.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sega.twbkingdom&hl=en_US&gl=RU
4. ‘Cookie Run: Kingdom’

If you like a little more story baked in with your Clash of Clans-like games, Cookie Run: Kingdom checks all the boxes. Guard against the Cookies imbued with Soul Jam against a shadowy Harbinger of Darkness and help the five Cookie heroes battle those who would see the Kingdom fall. Build up your own cookie land, ally with delicious creatures, collect relics, and engage in flashy cookie battles where you can use special toppings and treasures to bolster your team. Think of it as Clash of Clans if everything were edible.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.devsisters.ck&hl=en_US&gl=US
5. ‘DomiNations’

DomiNations looks and feels like one of those throwback RTS games from back in the day. Its civilization simulation elements and wars with competing nations should feed your inner ruler since they’re both so strong. Each nation has its own strengths and weaknesses, which therein lies the fun as you figure out which one best suits your playstyle. The fact that you can obtain sage advice from historical figures, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Catherine the Great, and King Sejong, lends this mobile strategy gem an extra air of legitimacy in the way it handles ancient history.

Play Now, Free
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/dominations/id922558758
6. ‘Guardian Kingdoms’

Guardian Kingdoms is all about becoming a guardian worthy of growing a kingdom around. Just like in Clash of Clans, you’ll go from zero to hero while you build a new kingdom, create alliances with other heroes, and o to war against anyone who might oppose you. In addition to crumbling enemy castles, you’ll get to steal crystals while heading out on adventures and destroying bosses. Collect new heroes as you play the game, and see just how far you can go. Recently, the game even added a new Barracks system, battle leagues, and additional troops you can pair with to crush the opposition.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.phoenixonegames.guardiankingdoms&hl=en_US&gl=US
7. ‘Plunder Pirates’

Midoki’s Plunder Pirates was directly inspired by Clash of Clans. This multiplayer game finds you building up a base, training your own pirate squad, and hitting the high seas to explore while looking for treasure, all the while defending yourself against players and attack others to take gold and grog for yourself. You can use those resources to build up defenses and create your own buildings. As you build up, you’ll be able to complete quests and take part in 24-hour skirmishes called Rumbles as well as regular events, which last for seven days. Earn gems by completing missions, finding them in chests, or even at sea. All of this makes for a fun, pirate-centric adventure that lets you feel as though you’re living the life of Blackbeard himself.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.midoki.pirates&hl=en_US&gl=US
8. ‘Jungle Heat’

Jungle Heat is all about combat, involving military bases that you buildup and control, and taking it all to the jungle to attack your enemies. Explore tropical jungles practically teeming with resources like oil and gold, all to bring down the cruel General Blood, who rules with an iron fit. Head deep into the jungle to collect everything you need to train your troops, upgrade your buildings, and then match up with other players to see who has the most formidable set of soldiers. Battles are quick and easy, and you don’t need to spend a lot of time learning how to play the game. It’s a great substitute for Clash of Clans if that’s indeed what you want.

Play Now, Free
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/jungle-heat/id652136891
9. ‘Dawn of Titans’

Dawn of Titans is all about letting you take on the role of the Gods themselves, like Zeus, Thor, and the rest of the pantheon. You’ll collect additional deities to play as and control all while you expand your modest empire into something to be terrified by. Capture an additional enemy territory to ensure you’re on top of things while building a massive army to ensure you’re always ready to take on anyone who threatens to topple your empire. Clash of Clans fans will enjoy all of the similar aspects while also getting to collect and control the mythical deities with a wide range of superpowers. Who doesn’t want to see what all those gods can do after watching Hercules as a kid?

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.naturalmotion.dawnoftitans&hl=en_US&gl=US
10. ‘Boom Beach’

In Boom Beach, you’ve got to work with your own Task Force comprised of other players around the world if you want to fight off the evil Blackguard. As the commander of your own army, you’ll be infiltrating a tropical paradise as you plan out how best to storm other players’ beaches and what the best plan of attack is to come out on top. You’ll have to scout out the perfect location on the beach to come together and mount an assault on enemies and AI bases if you want to make the most out of your time with Boom Beach. Plus, task force challenges and monthly global events will keep you on your toes. As far as games like Clash of Clans go, the similarities are easy to spot here.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.supercell.boombeach&hl=en_US&gl=US
11. ‘Castle Clash’

Castle Clash may be one of the closest games yet if you want to replicate what you enjoy about Clash of Clans. It’s also one of the largest, as it boasts over 10 million players worldwide. It combines elements of strategy and combat for a game that lets you build up near-impenetrable fortresses and zany troops out of soldiers of your choice. It’s fast-paced, and there are tons of mythical creatures and other heroes to recruit, no matter what your typical taste in these types of characters is. Plus, you can play against other people or join a guild and play against tough bosses together. There are plenty of different ways to interact, and it’s all free.

Play Now, Free
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/castle-clash-guild-royale/id692669501
12. ‘Gods of Olympus’

Another great Clash of Clans-like game that you’ll want to add to your favorite mobile device pronto is Gods of Olympus. Like an earlier game on our list, it lets you take control of the ancient Greek gods and lock them together in combat. Fight it out in real-time combat as you use gods like Zeus, Ares, Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, and Athena. Or you can play together with allies for real-time co-op play in live battles as you all work to defend your city from attacks or simply destroy anyone who gets in your way. Interestingly enough about this game as well is that there are no build times, so every building and facility you need is completed instantly. That’s a major boon if you’re looking for something a little different.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aegisinteractive.goo&hl=en_US&gl=US
13. ‘Vikings: War of Clans’

Under the watchful eye of Odin, Vikings: War of Clans finds you rallying together with some of the most bloodthirsty Vikings the world has ever seen to rush into combat and strike down their enemies. Construct your own buildings and make sure your warriors are trained up, then send your own heroes on raids to become a mighty Jarl whose name is known throughout the world — and summarily feared. Collect resources, wield important knowledge to defeat others, and create or join a clan to pool your resources and become one of the most powerful Vikings to go down in history.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.plarium.vikings&hl=en_US&gl=US
14. ‘Clash Quest’

Clash Quest isn’t exactly the same type of game as Clash of Clans, but it’s from the same creator. So it retains many similar elements while introducing a few new ones, too. It’s a turn-based puzzle RPG battle game that has you battling bosses throughout unique puzzles while you explore undiscovered islands with a group of heroes who find themselves stranded on an island. You’ll still collect heroes and build up armies, but this time you have to match the troops on the battlefield, using a variety of spells and more. You’ll also fight bosses from the Clash universe to keep things fresh. It’s not more that’s exactly the same, but instead a fun twist on a familiar game.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.supercell.clashquest&hl=en_US&gl=US
15. ‘Brawl Stars’

Brawl Stars is another game that deviates a bit from the Clash of Clans formula, but it’s still in the same spirit as the popular multiplayer game. It’s a MOBA and third-person shooter that includes a variety of different Brawlers that you can play to take out your enemies, whether they’re AI-controlled or real people bringing the fight for you. Unlock new Brawlers through Boxes, the Trophy Road, or purchase them in the Shop. There are also multiple seasons of the game to battle through with a battle pass you can unlock for additional goodies.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details/?id=com.supercell.brawlstars
16. ‘Barbearian’

If your favorite part of Clash of Clans is the epic combat, then Barbearian is a cuddly hack and slash game you’ll bear-ly be able to resist. Take part in massive, full-scale battles with over 100 levels teeming with action and adventure. Collect loot, nab upgrades, and try out new weapons as you bust through enemy holds, rescue prisoners, and create your own army, all as an abducted teddy bear! Yeah, you read that right. Grab plenty of loot to upgrade your bear, then melee your way to victory the best way you know how: crashing and bashing through everything. It’s the most fun you can have as a bear, that’s for sure.

Play Now, Free
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/barbearian/id1351822099
17. ‘Emporea’

Take it all the way back to the classic days of strategy gaming with Emporea. Choose one of four different races (Orc, Dwarf, Elf, or Undead) as you work to build up a formidable economy teeming with powerful units who can use a variety of different spells and stick it to your enemies. Conquer new territories while defending what’s yours, and set up alliances to make sure you’re set to defend it as long as possible. There are over 90 different unique artifacts to collect, over 90 hero skills to choose from, and a new realm that kicks off every two weeks. Plus, there’s a new challenging boss encounter every 97 days. There’s plenty to keep you busy, especially if you like rising to the challenge and kicking it old-school, RPG-style.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.PixelFederation.EmporeaGame&hl=en_US&gl=US
18. ‘Clash Royale’

The natural evolution from Clash of Clans is Clash Royale, a real-time strategy game that includes elements of collectible card games, MOBAs, and tower defense titles. You’ll have one or two players working to rush the King’s Tower, which means an instant win. Otherwise, the game ends after three to five minutes and the win goes to the player who can destroy a tower or the team who’s managed to have the least bit of health taken from them. Level up, get stronger, and collect powerful cards to make sure your opponent always has a reason to worry about what you have up your sleep. It’s a bit different from Clash of Clans, but it’s just as exciting and especially addictive.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.supercell.clashroyale&hl=en_US&gl=US
19. ‘Rise of Kingdoms’

Rise of Kingdoms puts you in charge of 12 different civilizations. Which one will you ultimately work with to conquer the world? That’s up to you, as you decide on the best way to proceed. You can decide to put your own people first, explore unknown territories, or even decide to get tangled up in some vicious wars. whatever you do, you have the chance to create the strategies of your choice as you collect resources, form alliances, and complete missions to rank up quickly. The higher your level, the better you’ll see yourself performing, and eventually, you’ll be a formidable ruler that no one will want to touch. That’s the beauty of Rise of Kingdoms!

Play Now, Free
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/rise-of-kingdoms/id1354260888
20. ‘Stick War: Legacy’

You’ve never seen stick figures like this. Bring all the stick figures you can think of together as you control an army of various stickman units. Grow your army, from zombies to centurions, all made out of sticks, then build up your facilities to start collecting resources. Mine plenty of gold so you can pay to train your stickmen in a variety of disciplines, and they can learn various attack methods: Sword, Spear, Archer, Mage, and Giants. Capture all the territories you possibly can while you collect new skins, play with others or enjoy the single-player campaign, and finish off a terrifying boss at the end of it all! It turns out that stick figures are a lot more sturdy than you thought they were. What we have here is one of the more visually distinctive games like Clash of Clans to adopt as a part of your mobile gaming regimen.

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.maxgames.stickwarlegacy&hl=en_US&gl=US
Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 20 Most Underrated ‘Sonic’ Games

When it comes to Sonic the Hedgehog, we all know the greatest hits: the original game that started it all, Sonic CD, Sonic Adventure 2, and that’s just naming a few. There are a set of Sonic games that are widely accepted as the cream of the crop, and for plenty of good reasons. There are a few stinkers, too. Plus there’s a collection of underrated Sonic games worth mentioning as well. But that’s true of any long-running game series.

But aside from the best entries, we can usually all agree on and the collective clunkers, there are plenty more still that just don’t get the recognition they deserve. For instance, do you ever really sit and think about how much fun Sonic Lost World was? What about Sonic Spinball? Absolute, tried-and-true classics. And we think it’s time to make sure they’re properly recognized.

So let’s take a stroll through these 20 underrated Sonic the Hedgehog games. Grab those wallets, because you may very well find a new Sonic adventure you’re ready to embark on.

1. ‘Sonic Lost World’

Sonic Lost World finds Sonic facing off against a crew of Eggman’s terrifying new cronies, the Deadly Six. Things don’t exactly go as planned, though, as the Deadly Six rise up against Eggman. As such, Sonic uses a variety of new powers (plus the returning Spin Dash) to bring the fight to them. Sonic can fly through the air, move at breakneck speeds, and race through colorful levels reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy. If it’s the super speed you appreciate most about Sonic, this is one entry you won’t want to miss. And just look at those bright, enticing colors! Gorgeous.

Buy Now, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/329440/Sonic_Lost_World/
2. ‘Knuckles’ Chaotix’

This Knuckles-centric spin-off is a platformer that follows the titular echidna and the Chaotix Crew as they traverse the Newtrogic High Zone to stop Eggman from conquering Sonic’s world. Aside from its unique protagonists, this game is intriguing as it lets you choose which levels to play in the order you prefer, as you swap out playable characters using the Ring Power through Bound Rings. This means you can have one player stay put while another moves forward to create speed. There are plenty of creative moves just like this one that make Knuckles’ Chaotix an exciting entry in the Sonic universe, and it’s well worth trying.

Buy Now, $122.50
https://www.ebay.com/itm/224999518465?epid=56209554&hash=item3463043101:g:OGsAAOSw9rJii8xd
3. ‘Sonic Chaos’

This Master System and Game Gear game follow Sonic and Tails as they work to steal away the Chaos Emeralds from the dastardly Eggman, who’s stolen them in a bid to create nuclear weapons. Based on the Master System version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, it’s essentially a follow-up to that game and the first to feature Tails as a playable character with his own selection of abilities. It was also the first original Sonic game made for a handheld. If you owned a Game Gear, chances are you had a copy of this too, but if not, you should be sure to dig into this classic, speedy Sonic platformer now, too. Retro handheld aficionados certainly remember this selection as one of the most underrated Sonic games.

Buy Now, $29.99
https://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Chaos-Sega-Game-Gear/dp/B00004YSWK
4. ‘Sonic Colors: Ultimate’

Sonic Colors: Ultimate is a remastered version of the original Wii game, which marked a stunning return to form at the time for the Sonic series. Sonic must stop the evil Eggman (as usual) from doing something heinous: this time, it’s enslaving an alien race and trying to take over the world. You know, as you do. It introduces the Wisps, which are special power-ups that Sonic can use to help stop Eggman, as they imbue him with attack power and other abilities, all based on different colors. That includes the Cyan Laser, the Orange Rocket, Pink Spikes, and more. It’s a speedy, exciting addition to the Sonic series that deserved another shot at reaching a larger audience, and if you’re always chasing classic Sonic, there’s certainly nothing wrong with this otherworldly adventure.

Buy Now, $39.99
https://www.nintendo.com/store/products/sonic-colors-ultimate-switch/
5. ‘Sonic Riders’

This high-octane racer brings Sonic the Hedgehog characters together to battle it out to see who’s the quickest on hoverboards. It includes 16 tracks spread out across an actual story mode with a plot. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are looking for the Chaos Emeralds to make the Babylon Garden rise so he can enact another evil plan. He ends up starting up a race called the EX World Grand Prix to get his evil machinations going, and as it happens, Team Sonic and Amy Rose join in for two campaigns’ worth of action with new characters Jet the Hawk, Wave the Swallow, and Storm the Albatross. The races are quick, the stages are inventive, and the core gameplay is strong. If you love racing, this is an exciting Sonic game that’ll strike your fancy. You just can’t put together a list of underrated Sonic games and not bring up this one.

Buy Now, $69.99
6. ‘Sonic Forces’

Sonic Forces came about in commemoration of Sonic’s 25th anniversary, and let players create their own unique custom character to help save the day. Sonic the Hedgehog is, once again, working to thwart Eggman, who’s actually conquered the world this time with the help of the sinister new villain Infinite. It features both side-scrolling gameplay like classic Sonic titles as well as 3D action like Sonic Colors, which means it features the best of both worlds. The real draw is its character creator, which lets you act out your Sonic OC fantasies, as you can play alongside classic characters like Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles as well as Team Chaotix, Amy Rose, Silver the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat, and more. It’s a jam-packed Sonic celebration, and a great platformer all-around.

Buy Now, $24.49
https://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Forces-Nintendo-Switch/dp/B076ZFBK4W
7. ‘Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble’

This Sonic platformer for Game Gear is the standalone sequel to Sonic Chaos, so it’s very much in the same wheelhouse. It finds Sonic and Tails working to collect six Chaos Emeralds before Eggman can, and introduces Fang the Sniper (then Nack the Weasel). It also marks Knuckles’ first appearance in a handheld Sonic game. There’s nothing particularly innovative about this entry compared to Sonic Chaos, but what makes it underrated is that it’s more of the same, enjoyable action that Sonic Chaos presented. It’s also proof that, if you didn’t own a Game Gear in its heyday, you really should pick one up on the cheap now.

Buy Now, $49.95
https://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Hedgehog-Trouble-sega-game-gear/dp/B00004R9G9
8. ‘Sonic Spinball’

Sonic Spinball is an entirely addictive pinball game where Sonic himself is the pinball. Interestingly enough, it’s set in the animated series continuity. Eggman has built a fortress on top of a volcano in a bid to transform the animal inhabitants of planet Mobius into robots. Sonic and Tails work to infiltrate the fortress, but Sonic is knocked into the waters surrounding the fortress. Across four different levels, he must pinball around to try and free the animals, avoiding toxic sludge, hitting switches and bumpers to proceed, and defeating bosses to move past certain areas. It’s extremely challenging, but that’s what makes it so much fun. Plus, it looks great. Sonic Spinball offers one of the more clever spinoff entries in the series and is most definitely considered highly within this selection of underrated Sonic games.

Buy Now, $29.99
https://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Spinball-Sega-Game-Gear/dp/B00004YSWL
9. ‘Tails Adventure’

Did you know Tails had his own solo game? Tails Adventure has Miles “Tails” Prower exploring Tails Island as he defeats a variety of enemies lurking there. It’s a little different than your typical Sonic game, as Tails can only walk or fly, and it’s more akin to a typical platformer than most Sonic games. But it’s a fun, casual adventure where Tails can collect 26 items across 12 stages, which will require a bit of thinking and challenge to get through. It’s a fun change of pace, and it’s a great option for Tails fans, especially since he’s had so few chances to shine in the spotlight.

Buy Now, $4.99
https://www.nintendo.com/store/products/tails-adventure-3ds/
10. ‘Sonic Rush’

This Nintendo DS platformer was one of the most exciting new-school Sonic games to hit the popular handheld. Interestingly, it brought a new character named Blaze the Cat into the fold, who comes from a dimension with seven Sol Emeralds, much like the Chaos Emeralds. Eggman somehow managed to get his hands on those too, and Blaze has to retrieve them. She meets up with Cream the Rabbit and Sonic the Hedgehog, and the pair team up to figure out how they can stop Eggman and his nefarious plot, collecting the Sol Emeralds and realizing the meaning of friendship along the way.

Buy Now, $39.95
https://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Rush-nintendo-ds/dp/B0009SQFHK
11. ‘Shadow the Hedgehog’

Don’t let his edginess fool you. Shadow the Hedgehog is actually a fun character, and so is his 2005 video game. It completely changed things up in terms of classic Sonic elements, instead focusing on third-person shooter and nonlinear gameplay mechanics. Shadow can use a variety of weapons and special attacks, and can even embark on special sub-missions if you so choose.

It’s all in an attempt to try to regain Shadow’s lost memories, and so he can reunite with his creator’s granddaughter Maria. If you’ve ever wished for a more violent Sonic game or one with a bunch more edgy content, this is the Sonic game for you. It’s actually quite fun, much in the way of Final Fantasy spin-off Dirge of Cerberus. Shadow the Hedgehog in all its gun-toting and melee-weapon swinging glory has to be given its flowers as one of the more underrated Sonic games.

Buy Now, $88.77
https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Hedgehog-Xbox/dp/B0009PKDQC
12. ‘Team Sonic Racing’

Sonic and the gang are all revved up and ready to go in Team Sonic Racing. Characters from the Sonic universe like the Blue Blur himself, Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, Amy Rose, and more have joined up for a team-based kart racing game where the winner takes all. With awesome new Wisp-based power-ups, lots of fun Sonic moments for the fans, and speedy new karts, fans will have plenty to dig into with this new Sonic racer in their hands. From the starting line to the finish, tackle radical new tracks, groove along to familiar Sonic music, and earn extra points based on which position you complete the race. It’s a Sonic free-for-all that you won’t want to miss.

Buy Now, $29.99
https://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/store/team-sonic-racing/C2Q9FW49H8K3
13. ‘Sonic and the Black Knight’

When Sonic and the Black Knight debuted, it was the laughing stock of the Sonic community. But that’s just because people didn’t understand its brilliance. And they still don’t. It combines fantasy storytelling with the world of Sonic as it introduces a wizard named Merlina, granddaughter of Merlin, as she tries to escape from a black knight and his soldiers. She accidentally summons Sonic after performing a spell pleading for a hero to save her. Merlina explains to a bewildered Sonic that the black knight is King Arthur, who’s been corrupted by the power of Excalibur. Sonic has to defeat him before he can return to his world. Aside from an exciting story, the game is unique in that it gives Sonic a sword to swing around while allowing him the same speed and mechanics as the rest of the series, making for a fun and refreshing change of pace.

Buy Now, $78.85
https://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Black-Knight-Nintendo-Wii/dp/B001D8PFIK
14. ‘Sonic the Fighters HD’

This lesser-known fighting game brings Sonic characters together to clash in 1v1 battles. It uses the same engine as Fighting Vipers and is the first wholly 3D game in the Sonic series. It’s been largely an afterthought for some time, which is of course a mistake. Who doesn’t want to see Sonic and Knuckles duke it out? And Tails and Amy Rose is an enticing battle as well because it sounds like a hilarious match-up. It may ultimately be a pretty simplistic fighting game, but it’s a lot of fun and features some very cool animation. It’d be nice if Sega revisited such a silly yet wholly engaging concept from one of the most underrated Sonic games and fighters that’s way better than it’s given credit for.

Buy Now, $4.99
https://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/store/sonic-the-fighters/BVXG5MD1R3WC
15. ‘Sonic Shuffle’

If you like Mario Party but wish it featured Sonic characters instead, you’ll love Sonic Shuffle. It’s a similar board game that also includes minigames like its Nintendo counterpart, and it’s great to play with a room full of friends. Sonic and friends are sent to “Maginaryworld”, where they meet with a fairy who asks the group to collect “Precioustones” in a bid to save the world from the evil villain Void. All playable characters, including Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Big the Cat, Super Sonic, E-102 Gamma, and a Chao, have their own unique abilities while roaming around the board. The game also supports the Dreamcast’s VMU, something rarer even for the system’s heyday. It’s a great party game with fun Easter eggs for Sonic fans and is criminally overlooked.

Buy Now, $98
https://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Shuffle-Sega-Dreamcast/dp/B00004T4XO
16. ‘Sonic and the Secret Rings’

Sonic and the Secret Rings kicked off the Sonic Storybook series, with Sonic and the Black Knight to follow. It’s a spin-off that marked the hedgehog’s first appearance on the Wii and finds Sonic trying to stop an evil genie called the Erazor Djinn. While it mostly plays like a classic Sonic title, it’s set in the Arabian Nights universe and features a special system where Sonic can earn experience points and levels to become more powerful over time. It’s a fun, imaginative game that incorporates plenty of Wii Remote movements, and its version of the Arabian Nights story is fun to take in.

Buy Now, $50.17
https://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Secret-Rings-Nintendo-Wii/dp/B000IONGVI
17. ‘Sonic Unleashed’

Ever wish Sonic could transform into a bigger, badder version of himself? You get just that in Sonic Unleashed, where Sonic is cursed with becoming a Werehog, a werewolf-like creature. After Eggman (once again) destroys the world as we know it in an attempt to release the ancient evil being Dark Gaia, Sonic must work to defeat Dark Gaia, who also cursed him with the Werehog transformation.

The gameplay is split into two different styles because of this: traditional speedy Sonic platforming, and a third-person style where Werehog Sonic is slower and more deliberate, fighting off waves of enemies in his much more powerful form. Though it was initially the butt of many jokes as it turned Sonic into a Werehog, it’s very much a fun little diversion that brings enough different types of gameplay to the fold that it’s definitely an overlooked gem at this point.

Buy Now, $14.99
https://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/store/sonic-unleashed/C098FGNMTS8F
18. ‘Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine’

Love Puyo Puyo? Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine is precisely that, only it features Sonic the Hedgehog characters. Though it’s just a puzzle game, it does feature some story elements. Robotnik (Eggan) has kidnapped the poor denizens of Beanville and has turned them into robots. Naturally, you have to stop him. Because who else is going to?

The mechanics are simple to learn. You watch for colored shapes descending down from the top of the screen and match the colors to clear lines and eventually the entirety of your play area, much like Tetris. It’s easy to get lost in for hours, and while it isn’t a traditional Sonic game, it’s still fun to keep around for bite-sized chunks of gameplay. This addictive puzzler, with its goated upbeat soundtrack, get a worthy nod here for its placement here as one of the most underrated Sonic games.

Buy Now, $4.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/34286/Dr_Robotniks_Mean_Bean_Machine/
19. ‘Sonic Battle’

This handheld Sonic free-for-all is the second fighting game in the Sonic franchise and the sequel to Sonic Advance 2. As usual, it has a plot, too. Eggman learns of a secret artifact his grandfather discovered: a sentient weapon called the Gizoid. Eggman tries to bring back the Gizoid, but can’t hack it and abandons it at Emerald Beach. When Sonic finds it, it syncs with him and develops a special link with him. Sonic names it Emerl, and discovers it can use the Chaos Emeralds.

The pair train together, but this eventually attracts Eggman, who creates an army of Emerl clones. All that to say, you have to face off against other Sonic characters in 3D arenas with up to four players, kind of like a Super Smash Bros. type situation but in a 3D space. it’s a fun diversion, if simplistic, but it could definitely use a remake on a modern system that doesn’t force you to squint to see everything. Still, it’s a great game.

Buy Now, $79.98
20. ‘Sonic Pinball Party’

Sonic Spinball may be the premiere Sonic pinball game, but Sonic Pinball Party is a close second and one of the lesser-known Game Boy Advance titles. Set in Casinopolis, Eggman is up to his old tricks, trying to turn people into robots. He brainwashes both Miles and Amy Rose while doing all this, and Sonic must rescue all of his friends by winning a pinball tournament: the “Egg Cup Tournament.” This pinball adventure comes with a variety of different tables, fun effects, and creative environments. It’s a solid pinball romp that you’ll want to take out of your pocket and engage in while on the go, especially if you’re still kicking around with your GBA. You’ll definitely want to dive deep into this one so you can join the sub-section of Sonic fans that christen it one of the more forgotten and underrated Sonic games.

Buy Now, $64.72
https://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Advance-Pinball-Party-Game-Boy/dp/B000BAR9MQ
Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 8 Best Mainline ‘Silent Hill’ Games, Ranked

When it comes to horror, fewer video game franchises have a better reputation for terrorizing players than Silent Hill. Since 1999, the small town of Silent Hill has been a hotbed for bizarre creatures, mysterious deaths, and some seriously disturbing happenings. And we’ve loved it ever since it debuted on the original PlayStation in the ’90s. With each subsequent release, we’ve hungrily jumped on each game, eager to have the living hell scared out of us, and begin to mark down the best Silent Hill games during each harrowing journey.

Unfortunately, while there have been several Silent Hill games over the years, not all of them share Like any long-running series, Silent Hill has grown and changed over the years, and its changes have drawn their fair share of praise and detractors. The Silent Hill of today is not the same as it was when it began, and it’s still evolving. One day we may even get a new game if we keep holding out hope.

But which games are the best out of the core selection of Silent Hill entries? Which ones are stinkers, and which should you consider playing first? More importantly, which Silent Hill game is the best of the best? We’ve got you covered with our rundown of all eight mainline Silent Hill games, ranked. Stick around and see if your favorite makes the grade.

8. ‘Silent Hill: Downpour’

Silent Hill: Downpour, like Homecoming, attempted to recreate the formula that made the first few Silent Hill games work. Unfortunately, it story involving prisoner Murphy Pendleton was ultimately forgettable. When Pendleton finds himself stranded in Silent Hill after his prison transport vehicle crashes, he makes his way through the town unlocking a variety of repressed memories and discovering the truth behind a variety of heinous crimes.

It’s a decent setup, but ultimately a bland and unexciting game in general, with little to connect it to the classic Silent Hill gameplay so many loved and appreciated. And with so much forced wandering around and backtracking, you’d think the combat could make up for those things a bit, but that unfortunately wasn’t the case. To add insult to injury, longtime composer Akira Yamaoka wasn’t even a part of the game’s development. It was the perfect storm of a disappointment for most players.

Buy Now, $58.80
https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Hill-Downpour-Xbox-360/dp/B003O6G47U
7. ‘Silent Hill: Homecoming’

Silent Hill: Homecoming, developed by Double Helix Games, explores the plight of soldier Alex Shepard, who returns from overseas to search for his missing brother, who has (of course) vanished into the ether of Silent Hill. Though the core gameplay remained more or less intact as it was in previous games, a number of significant changes to the formula altered it heavily, to the point of no longer being Silent Hill in the eyes of some. The protagonist’s background as a soldier made the combat far more fluid and effective, changing the dynamic of your interaction with the monsters.

In addition, the camera was no longer fixed, giving the player full control. Though many still found the game scary, it took away the claustrophobic, cinematic feel of the original installments, granting the player more of a sense of capability. This put it in line with Resident Evil 4, which shifted in a more action-oriented direction, but, unlike RE4, it did not receive universal acclaim. It’s an acceptable game, but ultimately disposable in terms of the Silent Hill name.

Buy Now, $26.48
https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Hill-Homecoming-Xbox-360/dp/B00149MEWI
6. ‘Silent Hill: Origins’

Silent Hill: Origins flipped the script and acted as a prequel to the first Silent Hill game. It follows trucker Travis Grady as he sets off in search of a girl he rescued from a house fire. Along the way, he ends up unlocking a series of repressed childhood memories, and as we all know, that’s never good news for anyone trapped within the world of Silent Hill. It’s a decent portable game, but ultimately predictable, forgettable, and quite short. It did its job as a prequel, but now it’s difficult to recall much about, proving just how lackluster it was.

Buy Now, $169.80
https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Hill-Origins-PlayStation-2/dp/B0011BE3KA
5. ‘Silent Hill: Shattered Memories’

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories was a reimagining of the original Silent Hill that debuted on the Wii, with ports to the PlayStation and PSP. It includes everything that made the original game great, but it’s now played in an apparent different universe with some alternate characters, plot points, and new gameplay mechanics: a first-person segment, over-the-shoulder perspective, and psychological tests that alter the course of the game. While there are still monsters, however, there’s no combat. It could have been an excellent reworking of the original game, but it wasn’t quite what was necessary to go do in history as one of the best.

4. ‘Silent Hill 4: The Room’

Silent Hill 4: The Room was released for the PS2, and was different from the outset, not even taking place in Silent Hill. It instead follows a man named Henry, who lives in the town of Ashfield. He’s been trapped in his apartment for five days, with no means of communication with the outside world. On the fifth day, a hole appears in his bathroom wall, and it plunges him into a world of nightmares. This entry largely did away with the puzzle-solving that was a hallmark of the series, instead focusing more heavily on combat, to fantastic effect.

The game received largely positive reviews, but criticism was leveled in multiple directions, with some feeling that the game’s lack of emphasis on puzzles was a detraction, and others felt that the reliance on fixed camera angles had become an outdated hindrance as opposed to a genuine horror tactic. Personally, I enjoyed it the most out of any of the other games with the Silent Hill moniker. For better or worse, this was the last game to be developed by Team Silent, which had started the series, and as such it’s memorable for the many ways that cemented it as part of the traditional Silent Hill cabal.

Buy Now, $9.99
https://www.gog.com/en/game/silent_hill_4_the_room
3. ‘Silent Hill 2’

Silent Hill 2 appeared on the PS2 in 2001, expanding on everything that made its predecessor so groundbreaking. It tells the tale of James Sunderland, a man who has received a letter from his deceased wife, telling him to meet her in Silent Hill. Where else, right? The claustrophobic and well-designed atmosphere soiled many pants and won rave reviews.

What Silent Hill 2 is most known for is introducing series mainstay villain Pyramid Head, who became one of the single most famous video game monsters of all time. He is a constant, voiceless villain that stalks James relentlessly, often forcing him to hide and pray he’s not discovered. To this day, Silent Hill 2 is still viewed by many as one of the greatest horror games ever made, and it often graces the higher reaches of Greatest Game lists.

2. ‘Silent Hill’

The original Silent Hill remains one of the most terrifying. Following one Harry Mason, a man who travels to the enigmatic town of Silent Hill to find his missing daughter, it championed the Resident Evil-style survival horror mechanics perfectly and felt just like the natural evolution of the genre. Eschewing common horror tropes for slow pacing and a deeply unsettling atmosphere, it was considered groundbreaking.

Physical horror was largely pushed aside for intricately structured psychological horror, using fixed camera angles and what many consider to be clunky controls to create an atmosphere of tension and borderline helplessness. A shaky flashlight lights your way, which hints at how poor Harry’s aim is. Everything about Silent Hill is fantastic, and it’s well worth revisiting, even if you’ve played it a dozen times. If you’ve never played it at all, well, you’re in for a treat.

Buy Now, $234.99
https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Hill-playstation/dp/B00001XDUB
1. ‘Silent Hill 3’

Silent Hill 3 debuted on the PS2 in 2003 and continues the tale Harry Mason began in the first game. It follows his adopted daughter Heather, who discovers that she is an important pawn in the plans of Silent Hill’s horrible cult. Like the two games that preceded it, Silent Hill 3 is an extremely disturbing, often outright horrifying game that makes excellent use of multiple elements to craft an atmosphere of dread and mystery. Heather must solve all manner of bizarre and macabre puzzles to advance, always plagued by the horror that surrounds her. This may all sound like it’s par for the course, so why does it top the list?

Out of all of the Silent Hill entries, it feels legitimately like the one that we could relate to in real life. Heather has no idea what’s going on, her life is falling to pieces around her, and there’s no way to figure out all of the secrets she finds herself dealing with. And we all know how difficult it can be to deal with being a teenager. Beyond that, it introduced us to some truly gross enemies, story concepts, and fridge horror that we’re still thinking about today. Seriously. If you haven’t experienced this entry, take some time to do that now. You won’t regret it.

Buy Now, $212
https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Hill-3-Playstation-2/dp/B00007LV7Y
Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 20 Best Licensed Video Games

We’ve all played them: games based on our favorite TV shows, movies, music, anime, comics, you name it. If there’s a property out there in the world, chances are it spawned a game. For the most part, that’s pretty much a death knell for said game, as licensed titles usually aren’t very good. But over the years, that sentiment has largely shifted. Back during the days of the NES, SNES, and Genesis (and many later generations), movie games like Top Gun and Friday the 13th were pretty awful, and largely the result of a handful of some pretty lazy developers. Now, it seems licensed properties have been taken a bit more seriously, and it shows with some of the more quality titles out there. It’s pretty cool when you check out the full gamut of the best licensed games when you start reminiscing over them.

With that in mind, it can be difficult to sift through game after game that’s tied to a particular property, hoping it’s good, and hoping you’ll actually want to play it. That’s why we’ve taken the initiative to put together the definitive list of the best-licensed games around to help you make an informed decision on what to play next. And there’s a little something for everyone here, whether you love horror games, beat-’em-ups, or good, old-fashioned shooters.

From the Bond series to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, check out these awesome licensed games, in no particular order.

Best Licensed Games
Eidos Interactive, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

1. ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition’

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition revives the brawler that originally debuted and went dark once more thanks to licensing issues, and it’s a fantastic game. In a not-so-subtle River City Ransom homage, this beat-’em-up tasks you (and up to three additional players) with fighting your way through seven different worlds, each divided up into smaller digestible chunks. After selecting a character from Scott, Ramona, Kim, and Stephen, it’s time to jump into a technicolor, fictional version of Toronto to stave off the evil exes.

Advance little by little as a variety of enemies spawn in to tear you limb from limb, beat them to a bloody pulp, and then continue to the end of each stage. Vanquish a boss at the end and then soldier on to the next area. It’s a retro-flavored adventure through and through, and you’ll love every minute, especially with closely it sticks to the original character designs and vibe.

Buy Now, $4.94
https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/scott-pilgrim-vs-the-world-the-game
2. ‘Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered’

There have been many attempts at making a good Ghostbusters game, but Terminal Reality knocked it out of the park with 2009’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game. Playing like a movie-centric Gears of War with an over-the-shoulder perspective, it tells a new story in the movie universe with a player character who’s a new recruit to the Ghostbusters team. Set two years after Ghostbusters II, it tells a brand new story that could very well have been a new film installment. Not only that, but it was an exciting, challenging game on its own that included plenty of proton pack usage, original actors, and creative ghost appearances that culminated in some satisfying hauntings.

Buy Now, $24.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1449280/Ghostbusters_The_Video_Game_Remastered/
3. ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’

Who hasn’t wanted to jump into the cape and cowl of the Dark Knight? Batman: Arkham Asylum lets you do just that, complete with a knock-down, drag-out cat-and-mouse game with the Joker, Batman’s arch-nemesis. Control Batman as he punches and kicks his way through legions of henchmen, uses the Batmobile to get around town and even uses his grapple gun to travel around above bad guys to get the jump on them.

It’s just like being Batman himself! And as we all know, if you can be Batman, you gotta go ahead and be Batman, even if it’s just in a game. There have been plenty of Batman games over the years, but the Arkham series is one that absolutely gets it right. This is just one of the many titles that’s well-regarded among the best licensed games starring DC’s “Dark Knight.”

Buy Now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/35140/Batman_Arkham_Asylum_Game_of_the_Year_Edition/
4. ‘The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay’

The ill-fated Starbreeze Studios wasn’t meant to last, but The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay was a universally-acclaimed adaptation of the Riddick character, who starred in Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick. Players take on the role of Riddick himself, who’s tasked with breaking out of the Butcher Bay prison. Using a combination of first-person stealth mechanics and melee, Riddick must interact with and complete quests for other inmates if he wants a chance at getting out of the facility. It’s widely considered to be one of the best games of the Xbox era, and one of the best licensed games ever made, period.

Buy Now, $33
https://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Riddick-Escape-Butcher-Developers-pc/dp/B0002MQG36
5. ‘Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic’

Brace yourself for a hard truth: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is one of the most beloved RPGs of all time. And it doesn’t get much better than that. It’s a licensed game, too! This game was released in BioWare’s prime. Making your way through this tale of an amnesiac Jedi searching for their past and a way to stop the Sith feels like a trilogy unto itself. Unfortunately, though the story is as good as ever, the game does feel a bit aged. However, if you’re a Star Wars fan, you shouldn’t miss this game. Pick it up on PC and grab some mods to improve the experience. You won’t regret it. Plus, it’s getting a remake!

Buy Now, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/32370/STAR_WARS__Knights_of_the_Old_Republic/
6. ‘Friday the 13th: The Game’

There was never truly a decent Friday the 13th game until developer IllFonic stepped in with the license. Then, Friday the 13th: The Game totally killed it. Literally. Because it’s Jason, get it? One player during each match takes on the role of iconic killer Jason Voorhees, while the rest do their best to take him down (they’re camp counselors, of course).

An all-star team, including Friday the 13th creator Sean Cunningham, master of horror Tom Savini, and even Kane Hodder, one of the men who brought Jason to life for gore-hungry theatergoers over the years, brought the game to life. It’s stuffed to the brim with references to the many iterations of Jason over the years, and asynchronous multiplayer that’ll have you coming back for blood every time.

Buy Now, $14.99
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/438740/
7. ‘The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series’

Telltale knocked it out of the park with its portrayal of the award-winning comic series The Walking Dead, introducing an original cast of characters that immediately captured the hearts and minds of everyone who played it. Introducing protagonist Lee Everett, surrogate parent to young Clementine, forced us all to confront everyday fears like losing everything to zombies while still having to fight them off and make some semblance of a life. Though Telltale Games is sadly no longer with us as a studio anymore, it left behind a legacy that we won’t soon forget: Clementine will remember this. And we’ll be left wondering why the show couldn’t be nearly as good as this game.

Buy Now, $14.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/207610/The_Walking_Dead/
8. ‘Alien: Isolation’

The iconic Alien franchise may have gone off the rails in terms of its cinematic installments, but the video game series is still going strong. Alien: Isolation took us on a terrifying trip through the remote space station of Sevastopol. As Amanda Ripley (Ellen Ripley’s daughter), players must traverse the station in search of a very important flight recorder and other secrets that unravel throughout the game.

There’s just one problem: there are xenomorphs aboard. As Ripley, you must avoid the Alien by stealthily navigating sections of the game, using distractions to keep it from lunging at you at inopportune times, deftly managing ammo, and solving puzzles to stay one step ahead. The first time you’re unceremoniously yanked out of hiding and devoured? It’s heart-stopping, to say the least. Alien: Isolation is one of the best licensed games that can be compared to the top survival horror experiences out there.

Buy Now, $39.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/214490/Alien_Isolation/
9. ‘Mad Max’

The world of Mad Max, namely Mad Max: Fury Road is the perfect breeding ground for tie-in games. But in the simply-named Mad Max, instead of taking on Immortan Joe, you tangle with his son Scabrous Scrotus, the ruler of Gas Town. Although you’ll get the same vibe that the movie had, there doesn’t appear to be any continuity between Mad Max: Fury Road and Mad Max the game. Still, this is a licensed game that’s every bit worth your time. Mad Max recreates the desperate, gritty feeling of the movie franchise. Its vehicular combat is some of the most visceral and well-done that the gaming world has ever seen. And if you love open-world RPG mechanics, you’ll be at home here.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/234140/Mad_Max/
10. ‘GoldenEye 007’

The greatest James Bond game of all time is based on the movie of the same name, starring Pierce Brosnan: GoldenEye 007. Widely considered to be the single best Bond game of all time, it’s also one of the best shooters ever made. GoldenEye was revolutionary in many ways when it debuted, and remains influential to this day, from its mission structure to its adherence to the source material. Developer Rare took the run-and-gun philosophy and enhanced it by adding special tasks for players to complete.

In fact, the game itself is less about eliminating targets and more about using stealth to sneak past enemies if possible, like Bond himself. Further, the game was able to perfectly capture the cinematic essence of the source material. The actors’ likenesses (namely Brosnan’s) went a long way toward making the game feel more like jumping into the movie as well.

For those reasons and many more, GoldenEye 007 is one of the best James Bond games of all time, and gamers will continue to look back fondly on all it accomplished. Placing this retro FPS on a list of the best licensed games is practically mandatory.

Buy Now, $64
https://www.amazon.com/GoldenEye-007-nintendo-64/dp/B00000DMAT
11. ‘South Park: The Fractured But Whole

South Park’s video game presence peaked with South Park: The Fractured But Whole, and there are likely more awesome entries to come. After The Stick of Truth, which was excellent on its own, this superhero-centric endeavor served up some more hilarity, this time skewering the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other hero-centric media. Your initial goal as a new member of Coon & Friends, Cartman’s superhero team from the show, is to find a nasty old missing cat to collect the $100 reward money.

The journey for $100 will take you across the breadth of South Park itself, and you’ll cross the path of practically every major character at one point or another. The ironic part of this entire journey to get the reward money is that it looks like Cartman has spent well over $100 on his Coon & Friends basement setup with a “merchandise” area and other Coon-centric decor. It plays out just like a traditional South Park episode from beginning to end, and it’s infused with the show’s signature humor as well.

It’s the next best thing to watching the show itself, and even worse in some ways, with more uncensored content.

Buy Now, $49.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/488790/South_Park_The_Fractured_But_Whole/
12. ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’

Do you really want to feel like a superhero? Like, really and truly? Marvel’s Spider-Man has some of the best movement I’ve ever seen in a game. Few titles capture the feel of being a superhero like this one and the original story is like something straight from the comics. It’s one of the few traditional comic-centric games out there that actually feels completely true to the source material. Web slinging feels excellent and I spent hours traipsing around the virtual New York just sightseeing. This is one game that will get your spidey senses tingling and even if you’re not a fan of Spider-Man, there’s a lot of fun to be had.

Buy Now, $19.99
13. ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of War’

Experience a whole new side of the Lord of the Rings universe with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The game continues the same narrative that began in Shadow of Mordor, as it follows lead character Talion, infused with the spirit of the elf lord Celebrimbor. The duo work to forge a new Ring of Power in an effort to fight against Sauron, and along the way must cleave through enemy Uruks and Ologs while amassing allies to take on Sauron when the time is right. Even if you’ve never cracked open a Lord of the Rings book in your life, there’s plenty of reason to get excited about this follow-up, because it does just about everything it sets out to do correctly, all while respecting the source material.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/241930/Middleearth_Shadow_of_Mordor/
14. ‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’

Dragon Ball FighterZ is a sweeping return to form for games based in the Dragon Ball universe, with a major shift from the 3D, open-air fighting of games like Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 and its predecessor to straightforward, classic 2D fighters. It doffed the additional freedom that larger play areas offer for tight quarters brawling, which is a great switch-up for the anime-inspired games.

The game rounds up over 20 combatants culled from Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball Super for an interesting mix of faces. From the beginning of the game, you’ll jump straight into a cute hub world with chibi-fied avatars of each of the characters represented in-game. You can interact with others around this hub world to purchase items with Zeni or coins, start online matches, play a game in the Arcade/Story Mode, and mess about with options.

It’s everything you could want from a Dragon Ball fighter and more. This dream scenario coming true for anime fanatics is well-deserving of getting honored on this checklist of the best licensed games.

Buy Now, $59.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/678950/DRAGON_BALL_FighterZ/
15. ‘SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated’

Licensed games aren’t all shooters and beat-’em-ups. They’re fanciful platformers, too. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini BottomRehydrated is a fun undersea adventure where you’re tasked with defending Bikini Bottom from Plankton’s sea of robots. You’ll play as SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy as you swap between characters and use all of your unique abilities to defy the advancing robots.

It’s far from a perfect game, but its lighthearted humor and potential as a speedrunner’s game have kept it in the public eye over the last few years. It may not seem like much, but it’s a super sweet adventure for fans of the show and a great platforming adventure for everyone else. This remake is especially great because it’s available on contemporary consoles and fixes many of the original release’s issues that remained present over the years.

Buy Now, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/969990/SpongeBob_SquarePants_Battle_for_Bikini_Bottom__Rehydrated/
16. ‘Star Trek: Elite Force’

When you’re trapped in the U.S.S. Voyager and it’s suddenly transported into a hull space teeming with dangerous Borg, you’ve got to make it your mission to defend yourself and the rest of your team from the terrifying aliens. This shooter is full of tense moments that have you working alongside the Voyager crew to set phasers to kill as you use nine weapons with two firing modes, power your way through 40 missions, and test your might across various multiplayer modes. If you’re a Star Trek fan, this is a must-play.

Buy Now, $9.99
https://www.gog.com/en/game/star_trek_voyager_elite_force
17. ‘The Simpsons: Hit & Run’

If you love Grand Theft Auto and The Simpsons (a truly hilarious combination), The Simpsons: Hit & Run is the game for you. The Simpsons must investigate a series of strange incidents happening around Springfield, like robot wasps hanging around, a new brand of Buzz Cola suddenly appearing, and black vans showing up to spy on the family around town.

Looks like there’s a ton of weirdness going on across seven different levels, and it’s your job to investigate throughout madcap mayhem just like all the vehicular violence seen in GTA. This might very well be the most fun you’ll ever have when playing with The Simpsons. Springfield’s most iconic cartoon family has been in some bad games, no doubt. But at least you can always refer to this one as one of its strongest video game representations and one of the best licensed games lucky enough to feature them.

Buy Now, $69.99
https://www.amazon.com/Simpsons-Hit-Run-pc/dp/B0000A0V3B
18. ‘DuckTales: Remastered’

DuckTales! Woo-hoo! Originally released on NES, this adventure is anything but “fowl.” It’s a platformer crossed with a Metroidvania that has players taking control of Scrooge McDuck as he searches for treasures to increase his coffers. He can attack enemies, open objects, and bounce with his cane. There are five different levels to explore, and familiar DuckTales characters to mingle with as you really see why life is like a hurricane for this duck family. It’s far from a duck blur, though. It’s a complex, exciting platformer that’s far from a cash-in on a popular animated show.

Buy Now, $14.99
https://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/store/ducktales-remastered/C07J3ZJPGX6Z/0001
19. ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)’

If you love the idea of playing as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, or Raphael and beating the stuffing out of enemies, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game is the perfect option. This side-scrolling beat-’em-up is one of the most exciting ways to play as the Turtles, and you get to follow after Shredder and his goons as they take April O’Neil away. Save the day with Splinter and pulverize the baddies into dust in this classic arcade game. You’ll want to revisit it again and again.

Buy Now, $399
https://arcade1up.com/products/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles
20. ‘Evil Dead: The Game’

The Evil Dead movies are some of the finest that horror has to offer, and though there have been several Evil Dead games over the past few years, none have been as satisfying as Evil Dead: The Game. Play as a variety of Ashes (including the Ash vs. Evil Dead incarnation) as you work with other players to clear out each area of Deadites, or play as the baddies to possess the good guys and make each match a living hell for them.

You can even take the form of trees and cars if you’d like to run over characters or trap them in your branches. It’s everything a fan of the movies could ever want, and then some. It’s so refreshing to see Bruce Campbell get a win in the sub-genre of licensed video games along with all the other triumphs he’s garnered during his illustrious career.

Buy Now, $39.99
https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/evil-dead-the-game
Categories
Consoles Gaming

The Top 10 Best Rhythm Game Songs

When it comes to rhythm games, the most important thing, undoubtedly, is music. But you can’t just make do with uninspired EDM and nightcore. You’ve got to bring the heat with all kinds of genres, whether that means cutesy pop or thumping beats. But if you’re anything like me, playing so many rhythm games over the years has made so many of the tunes across titles sound the same. Luckily, there are still some absolute bangers that you can always count on to get the crowd moving, or at least singing along to. And thankfully, I’m here to highlight them as the best rhythm game songs.

With that in mind, I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I’ve distilled all of my favorite rhythm game songs down into a handy list that you can refer to the next time you need to decide on a playlist to get hype with — or at least to inspire you to bust out the dance mats and plastic drums. These songs will get you shakin’ what your mama gave you all over the place, or at the very least ready to get up out of your seat.

Without further ado, these are the top 10 best rhythm game songs, in no particular order.

Best Rhythm Game Songs
Sony Computer Entertainment

1. ‘Gitaroo Man’ – “Flyin’ to Your Heart”

It isn’t often that the first stage in a rhythm game can totally blow you away. But Gitaroo Man’s “Flyin’ To Your Heart” grips you immediately with its thumping J-Pop sensibilities and ridiculously catchy lyrics. You’re thrown into a musical battle as you strum along with U-1, and it’s practically otherworldly. Whether you listen to the song in English or Japanese, there’s plenty to love about it.

2. ‘Groove Coaster’ – “DX Choseinou Full Metal Shojo”

Bandai Namco’s Groove Coaster is in a class all its own when it comes to addictive rhythm gaming. Once you’ve played your first couple of songs, it’s nigh impossible to forget about the experience. The same can be said of “DX Choseinou Full Metal Shojo,” a song that’s hyper, zany, and full of voice snippets from a Japanese voice actress chanting phrases over and over. It’s a challenging stage, but it’s also a ridiculous earworm that you’ll be thinking of long after you leave the machine. And then you’ll want to come back and perfect your score, again and again and again. At least, that’s how it makes me feel. I surmise you’ll feel the same, too.

3. ‘Rhythm Heaven’- “Fan Club”

Okay, just hear me out. Rhythm Heaven is one of the greatest rhythm games of all time. And when you get to “Fan Club,” you’ll understand why. Though the English voice actress doesn’t exactly sound like she’s putting her all into the singing, this catchy little tune is all about a pop singer whose fan club is cheering her on while she croons her heart out. Yes, they’re monkeys. Yes, they’re absolutely adorable. You’ll never get the little “I suppose!” quips out of your head. It’s just a sweet little song that really makes you wish you were an idol, too.

4. ‘PaRappa the Rapper’ – “Prince Fleaswallow’s Rap”

In the rain or in the snow, you’ve got the funky flow. That’s how you’ll be feeling after you listen to Prince Fleaswallow’s flea market rap in PaRappa the Rapper. This reggae-centric groove is so smooth, so fluid, and with such a vibe, that it’ll quickly become your favorite song in the entire game. In fact, who cares about what PaRappa needs to do to make money? Prince Fleaswallow’s flow is so cold that there’s no way you won’t be impressed by the bars he and PaRappa spit. Seriously, this is the best song of the game by far, no contest.

5. ‘Um Jammer Lammy’ – “Fire, Fire!!”

Let’s get on, let’s get on! This Lammy guitar groove is timeless. When our favorite lamb rocker runs into Chief Puddle, who’s working to put out a fire, she stops to give him a hand. It has an old-school, jazzy feel that’s less like a grungy rock tune and more like a cross of classic swing music and oldies mixed together. Plus, the lyric “Fireman’s daily work can’t be done!” is accompanied by an insane run of buttons you need to press on your controller that just feels incredibly satisfying to pull off.

6. ‘Bust A Groove’ – “I Know”

Bust A Groove’s Pinky Diamond may be one of the coolest rhythm game characters to ever exist. She’s a hairstylist, an assassin, a stripper, and a fortune-teller. So her personal song should reflect everything that makes her this awesome. And guess what? It does. This soul-infused bop lets us know everything we need to know about Pinky, such as the fact that she’s “strong and sexy, too” and that she knows and can see all. If this song doesn’t get you up out of your seat and dancing until you can’t stand up any longer, then you probably just don’t like music.

7. ‘Bust A Groove 2’ – “Got To Be Happy”

Admittedly, Bust A Groove 2’s Tsutomu may be one of the lamest characters on the roster. He’s kind of a nerd, and he’s very quiet. But don’t count him out in terms of absolute bops. His song, “Got To Be Happy” is an anthemic banger about living your life to the fullest, getting in the groove, and totally killing it at everything you do. It’s impossible to listen to without feeling pumped up, and that’s the mark of an excellent song, rhythm game, or otherwise.

8. ‘Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA’ – “Fascination 〜eternal love mix〜”

There’s something creepy about this tune, and it’s undoubtedly the fact that it sounds like a stalker calling someone up and asking “Where are you?” over and over. But it’s also so hype, with the voice samples going “I am all you need” throughout the song, becoming more insistent as the steps ramp up in difficulty so it feels like you’re running away from this mysterious individual. By the end, when the phone sounds like it’s been picked up and you hear “We are connected,” there’s a sense of foreboding — did the stalker win, or what? Doesn’t matter, because this song slays so hard.

9. ‘Pump It Up’ – “Will o’ the Wisp”

If you’re more of a Pump It Up fan than a Dance Dance Revolution devotee, you’ve no doubt gotten down to this BanYa classic: “Will o’ the Wisp”. It sounds like it’s been plucked straight from the Twilight Zone, but it’ll give you a great workout.

10. ‘beatmania 4thMIX’ – “PARANOiA MAX ~DIRTY MIX~”

What would a list of rhythm game songs be without at least one good “Paranoia” mention? This tune is a staple of Konami rhythm titles, especially Dance Dance Revolution and Beatmania, and this particular mix is everything fans know and love about the song, pumped up to the max. It combines techno, house, electro, and samples to make the perfect combination for you to dance to and lose your mind while swaying in your seat. Try not to listen to every single “Paranoia” remix after you hear this one. I dare you.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 20 Most Forgotten Gaming Characters

Mario. Sonic. Crash Bandicoot. These are all hallowed names in the gaming universe. They’re iconic characters that most gamers know, and for good reason: their games are great, they’re designed well, and they’re likable! They’re mascots that, like Pac-Man, have long had their likenesses engraved in the history books. No one would even dare consider them to be among the huge crop of forgotten gaming characters.

But just like there are mascots that everyone knows and loves, there are plenty of lesser characters that just didn’t jibe well with audiences, or their games weren’t that memorable. Maybe players just didn’t like these mascots, or they grated on the nerves, like the infamous Bubsy. Or maybe they were decent characters, but their games didn’t sell well enough to establish a franchise.

Whatever the case may be, these gaming mascots have mostly been lost to the sands of time. While some of them enjoyed multiple sequels and chances for gamers to get to know them, others vanished into thin air after a single title. We’ve collected some of the most overlooked mascots for your reading pleasure. Enjoy this trip down memory lane — or your first brush with some of the weirder mascots out there. There are definitely plenty of them.

Forgotten Gaming Characters
Sega

1. ‘Glover’

Glover is exactly what you’d think: an anthropomorphic glove. He can maneuver a ball around, which is his main method of interacting with the environment. He can roll, bounce, throw, slap, balance on, and dribble the ball he’s rolling at the time, though it will depend on which level he’s in. He might use a bouncy ball, bowling ball, crystal ball, or one of several others. Glover only appeared in one game on Nintendo 64 and PC, as the planned sequel, Glover 2, was canceled. Since then, Glover continues to languish in obscurity.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1257880/Glover/
2. ‘Blinx the Time Sweeper’

The ill-fated Blinx was originally slated to be the Xbox’s mascot. This cat with a vacuum is called a Time Sweeper, and as such can manipulate time. Using his TS-1000 Vacuum Cleaner, he can slow time down, speed it up, record a moment in time, reverse it, and stop time entirely. Blinx actually got two games, despite low sales and mixed reviews for the first title. Unfortunately, his 2004 sequel is the last anyone’s heard of Blinx, and he certainly hasn’t established himself as the Xbox’s mascot. That honor would go to Master Chief if we had to choose. So it should come as no surprise that Microsoft’s feline representative is counted among this long list of forgotten gaming characters.

Buy Now, $24.97
https://amzn.to/3w7Gx6U
3. ‘Gex: Enter the Gecko’

Gex is a wise-cracking gecko who can, well, run and jump. He’s also an expert on a wide range of pop culture topics. But that’s about all he’s known for, and that doesn’t put him very far above the Geico lizard if we’re being honest. Though the Gex games received mostly positive reviews, Gex has largely disappeared out of the collective gaming consciousness. He just wasn’t that memorable, and his games weren’t worth banking on a future with, especially given that they mostly lacked originality.

Buy Now, $69.90
https://www.amazon.com/Gex-Enter-Gecko-Playstation/dp/B000021Y5T
4. ‘Chuck Rock’

Chuck Rock was actually the early mascot for developer Core Design, ahead of Lara Croft’s 1996 debut. This neanderthal loves to say “Unga Bunga” while sporting a punk mohawk and throwing rocks at things. He’s also a rock star. Overall, a pretty unique spin on the typical mascot character, but not enough to stand the test of time. He did enjoy several sequels, however, and Core Design has promised a modern one is on the way.

Buy Now, $26.10
https://www.ebay.com/p/4642
5. ‘James Pond: Underwater Agent’

Get it? Pond? Because he’s a frog? This amphibian, dressed like James Bond, is exactly what you’d expect: an underwater hero. He can do everything the typical mascot hero can do, but he can also fire off bubbles at enemies to trap them a la Bubble Bobble, then pop the trapped enemies’ bubbles to finish them off. Surprisingly, there were a few James Pond games, but ultimately the mudskipper has never become the household name his creators thought him destined for.

Buy Now, $75
https://www.ebay.com/p/56248537
6. ‘Dizzy: The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure’

Dizzy is an anthropomorphic egg, but don’t call him Humpty Dumpty. He’s named Dizzy for the way he can roll around the games he stars in, peppering in somersaults and other fun ways to interact with the environment. He’s always on the way to save his friends and family, the Yolkfolk, from the wizard Zaks who want to destroy them. Dizzy enjoyed several games, most of them platformers, but the series eventually fizzled out and this egg became cracked.

Buy Now, $18.50
https://www.ebay.com/itm/144463039412?hash=item21a2ab0bb4:g:FzwAAOSwx6diMJ4k
7. ‘Punky Skunk’

Ever heard of a punk skunk? You have now. Punky Skunk follows an anthropomorphic skunk named Punky who uses a special set of gear to accomplish his mission: saving the world. That includes a snowboard, skunk spray, a pogo stick, and all manner of wacky items strewn through each level. And that’s about all you can say about Punky. He only ever got one game, but it’s still pretty fun if you’re looking for something weird to play.

Buy Now, $149.94
https://www.amazon.com/Punky-Skunk-PlayStation/dp/B00002STJU
8. ‘Jersey Devil’

Ever heard of a Jersey Devil? These mythical creatures are rooted in folklore, but the star of this PS1 game is one, too. This bat-like protagonist can jump, punch, and glide his way through expansive levels when it comes to defeating his enemies. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much about the Jersey Devil that set him apart from the rest of the mascots in the world, so there weren’t any sequels and we haven’t heard from him again. Even though its overall design is pretty cool, this edgy creature wasn’t popular enough to rise above its placing here among so many other forgotten gaming characters.

Buy Now, $279.96
https://www.amazon.com/Jersey-Devil/dp/B00002STJ5
9. ‘Skunny’

Skunny is an adorable squirrel who collects rings and travels around in mine carts whenever he can. He can also dash very quickly, much like Sonic the Hedgehog. Unfortunately, when it comes to describing Skunny, that’s about all there is to say. This budget game hero appeared in only a couple of titles before fading away. But if you’re curious, they’re fun enough for an afternoon or two, if only to see what could have been.

Buy Now, $8.99
https://www.ebay.com/itm/403497659930?hash=item5df255ae1a:g:LBUAAOSwCbliF9SI
10. ‘Titus the Fox’

Titus the Fox is actually developer Titus Interactive’s mascot, so he did serve his initial purpose, but he didn’t get much of anywhere after starring in his first game. Titus must go on a quest to save his girlfriend Suzy as he makes his way throughout the Sahara desert. He can pick up and throw objects, stand on thrown objects, and even throw enemies. In fact, stacking items on top of each other is required if you want to make your way through to the end of the game. Ultimately, however, there was nothing exciting enough about Titus to help him appear in another game, and he’s largely disappeared from the zeitgeist.

Buy Now, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/711230/Titus_the_Fox/
11. ‘Croc: Legend of the Gobbos’

Croc is a friendly crocodile that players can control a lot like Mario in Super Mario 64. He can use a deadly tail swipe to defeat enemies and bosses, and a hip drop, also like Mario, to break open crates. He’s also absolutely adorable, which is definitely something important he’s got going for him, but unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to keep potential players interested. The game was released to mixed reviews and even went on to have a sequel — and several mobile games later on in the mascot’s life. Sadly, despite all this, there just wasn’t room for much else. Even though he’s considered to be one of those forgotten gaming characters from the age of 32-bit consoles, his cutesy stature has aforded him a small fanbase that still adores him.

Buy Now, $39.99
https://www.amazon.com/Croc-Legend-Gobbos-PC/dp/B00001YVBH
12. ‘Aero the Acrobat’

Aero the Acrobat is an interesting mascot case, as he looks a bit like a villain character, but he’s actually there to save the day. As a circus star and the best hope for rescuing the performers at The World of Amusement Circus and Funpark from the evil Edgar Ektor, Aero has to pass through hoops, step on platforms, throw stars, and aim aerial drill attacks at enemies while in the air. All in all, an interesting take on the typical mascot platformer, but not memorable enough to cement Aero in the annals of history. As far as forgotten gaming characters go, this platforming daredevil sticks out as a fan favorite for retro heads that gave his games a try.

Buy Now, $16.49
https://www.ebay.com/itm/203222045537?epid=4241&_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item2f50fa5361:g:LvMAAOSwaYtiD-VT&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAA0FaFpol2%2BoDcqcbnUSHJ93vqBSDfZ66KlFgA3vP83oKbAfumFqMN%2BJwp%2FIINEMxZj%2FLZEzwZxpKe1N4k97GA0WyfqgL1RIg0QwrIyooexph3Lxzui83U14RX9XFpmBXkS%2BHlvhMiraMn6ZwIymB9iBy5StUSx5ydH2UsbSujh%2BqExNvqAH7mDZTIOvFRe%2BV78xrMeqg%2FGMa44ljchQSPeZbhwC35MswYFjgHB9U1YzR5e%2F%2Fkw1T9nUDMjTWd25NKbrD8%2BT1wmj%2B2c%2BrdcOgkyrM%3D%7Ctkp%3ABFBMhvazjZdg&var=503570278275
13. ‘Ristar’

Ristar is, well, an anthropomorphic star, as strange as that is. He can reach in eight different directions, and that’s his main mode of attack. He can extend his arms, grab the enemy, and headbutt them to kill them off. He can also open up treasure chests in this way and grab and throw enemies if they mess with him. Other than that, Ristar doesn’t have a ton going for him. He only ever appeared in one game, but it did well enough, acting as a decent alternative to Sonic, even though Ristar didn’t get established as a mascot.

Buy Now, $0.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/34312/Ristar/
14. ‘Bonk’s Adventure’

Bonk is a cute (totally bald) little caveboy whose mission in life is to rescue Princess Za, a small dinosaur who the evil King Drool has kidnapped for his own. Just like his name implies, he “bonks” enemies on the head, and collects pieces of meat as a power-up. In his second stage power-up level, he can stun enemies. In the third stage, he can become invincible for a short time. The games Bonk stars in are actually pretty fun, but unfortunately, he’s no longer in the public eye.

Buy Now, $870
https://www.ebay.com/p/4305?iid=275303355652
15. ‘Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel’

Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel is an interesting case. He’s actually a rival from Aero the Acrobat, marking an occasion where mascots appear in mutual characters’ games. Zero has a few innovative moves that feel great in practice, like special dives and swoops, and bright, colorful graphics. He brings some real personality to the game, but ultimately, he didn’t get another game — Aero the Acrobat did, funnily enough.

Buy Now, $294.99
https://www.ebay.com/itm/324797180063?hash=item4b9f6ba89f:g:A74AAOSwTIJhSc7k
16. ‘Zool Redimensioned’

It isn’t immediately obvious what Zool actually is, but there’s an easy answer: a gremlin. Zool is the “Ninja of the Nth Dimension”, a creature who was forced to land on Earth and earn a ninja ranking. Zool is ultimately memorable because of his bizarre design and even snagged a sequel game in 1993. But, like the other mascots on this list, Zool didn’t manage to stick around very long.

Buy Now, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1647730/Zool_Redimensioned/
17. ‘Wild Woody’

Yes, if you’re curious, Wild Woody is a pencil. That’s about it. But he can actually do a series of pretty interesting things when compared to other similar platforming games. Woody can jump on characters and literally erase them as an attack, and can also bring sketches to life to destroy enemies in his stead. He can draw three times in a row, selecting sketches from his personal sketchbook. You’ve got to hand it to the developers: it’s unique, but we never did hear from Wild Woody again after a single game.

Buy Now, $199.99
https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Woody-Sega-CD/dp/B000HEDVBE
18. ‘Rocky Rodent’

Rocky Rodent is exactly what he sounds like: a rodent named Rocky. He uses four different hairstyles as weapons to rescue the daughter of the owner of his favorite restaurant. He’s serving ’90s vibes, down to his hair and attire, from top to bottom. There’s nothing much to say here, Rocky just didn’t make the cut. But it’s still fun to go back and check out his game to think back on the ’90s, a truly weird time for all of us.

Buy Now, $128.88
https://www.amazon.com/Rocky-Rodent-Nintendo-Super-NES/dp/B00002STY4
19. ‘Cool Spot’

Technically, Cool Spot wasn’t meant for video games. It’s the 7Up mascot. And to be fair, that little red dot has been in the 7Up logo since time immemorial. But Cool Spot as a game character? Just like Yo! Noid, Cool Spot’s powers are based on his status as a soda pop character. He can jump and attack by throwing soda bubbles in any direction as well as cling to and climb various things. In the end, all you really remember about him, though, is that he’s a 7Up-centric character. Not really conducive for a game mascot.

Buy Now, $60.99
https://www.amazon.com/Cool-Spot-Super-Nintendo/dp/B000035XZO
20. ‘Jazz Jackrabbit’

Jazz Jackrabbit is actually a fairly successful mascot, an anthropomorphic green rabbit, whose sworn enemy is a tortoise named Devan Shell. Jazz is armed with a gun to take down his enemies, but he can also run, jump, and eat carrots to earn health again. There were several Jazz Jackrabbit installments, but ultimately Jazz has been retired. This is one mascot that would be awesome to see return at some point, though. But for now, he’s just going to have to live with his niche status among this collection of forgotten gaming characters.

Buy Now, $9.99
https://www.gog.com/en/game/jazz_jackrabbit_collection


Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 20 Best Games Like ‘Little Nightmares’

Looking for something that’ll crawl under your skin and stay there? Little Nightmares is a terrifying puzzle platformer that grips you tightly and doesn’t let up. Once you meet protagonist Six and become entangled in her plight to leave the horrific world she finds herself in, you can’t look away. Unfortunately, aside from a sequel, there’s not much of the world created by Tarsier Studios to explore once you’ve completed it. Thankfully, we’re here to provide you with a selection of games just like Little Nightmares.

That’s where we come in. If you want more of the unique kind of terror that Little Nightmares induces once you’re deep in the thick of things, we’ve got good news for you: there are plenty of other games out there just like this one. So if you finished things up and need more to get you through your gaming dry spell, we’ve got you covered. Check out the 20 best games like Little Nightmares.

Games Like ‘Little Nighmares’
Bandai Namco Entertainment

1. ‘Limbo’

The monochromatic Limbo is close in spirit to Little Nightmares, especially since it’s dark, cinematic, and abjectly terrifying. You take on the role of a young boy who wakes up in a dark forest, where a spider is trying to kill him. The nameless child has to escape the dangers of the forest while snapping off spider legs, escaping spike traps, and all the humans who wish to attack him or kill him. It’s challenging, sure, but it’s also extremely chilling. If you’re looking for 1:1 games like Little Nightmares, then Limbo should be your first option.

Buy Now, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/48000/LIMBO/
2. ‘Inside’

Inside is cut from the same cloth as Limbo, and from the same developer. It follows another nameless young boy who finds himself in a deep, dark forest, forced to escape masked guards, all armed with flashlights. He must avoid shambling hordes of zombie-like people, navigate a massive factory filled with flooded rooms, and a laboratory where it appears people are being experimented on. Much like Limbo, it’s a dark journey that requires an iron will to complete, chock full of grisly deaths and jump scares.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/304430/INSIDE/
3. ‘Among the Sleep’

This first-person adventure is seen through the eyes of a toddler named David, who’s essentially completely helpless. David gets in the middle of feuding parents, which is difficult to process as he’s still a child. He receives a teddy bear as a gift, and the bear takes on a life of its own and guides David on a terrifying adventure to find his mother Zoey after she disappears. David is too young to fight back against the terrors that strike as he makes his way throughout the game, so getting acclimated to what little you can do as a toddler makes for most of the scare factor throughout Among the Sleep.

Buy Now, $16.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/250620/Among_the_Sleep__Enhanced_Edition/
4. ‘Fran Bow’

Fran Bow is a graphic adventure game that follows the titular 10-year-old Fran, who finds herself dealing with mental illness after seeing her parents murdered. She receives pills as part of a treatment that causes violent hallucinations of a parallel universe. She’s imprisoned because of these visions and works to escape the asylum she’s forced to remain in. Having done so, she finds herself in a nocturnal forest that she must work through to find her way home. The game is rife with nightmarish imagery and the characters must continually grapple with trauma, abuse from outsiders, and horrible pitfalls that betray them at every turn.

Buy Now, $14.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/362680/Fran_Bow/
5. ‘Sally Face’

This eerie adventure centers around the titular Sally Face, or “Sal Fisher,” a boy with a prosthetic face. Together with his friends, he investigates a series of local murders. Across five episodes, he gets to the bottom of grisly murderers, gets mixed up in some demonic curses, and encrypted messages. While some of the content isn’t as horrific as what we see in Little Nightmares, Sally Face’s unsettling aesthetic should be more than enough to creep some players out, especially when you factor in humanity being enveloped by darkness even in the game’s better ending. Lots of fridge horror to be found here, which makes it a perfect candidate for games like Little Nightmares.

Buy Now, $14.98
https://store.steampowered.com/bundle/12482/Sally_Face__COMPLETE_GAME/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwmuiTBhDoARIsAPiv6L8LmYatmQHyysfUe-zj6VtQWKZRsTFm_OU7GokASNf8GGZj7pA-tiEaAirtEALw_wcB
6. ‘Bendy and the Ink Machine’

This first-person survival horror game is all about Henry Stein, a retired animator who receives a mysterious letter one day asking him to return to his old workplace. When he arrives, he discovers a series of bizarre paranormal events being caused by the “Ink Machine.” While dealing with this strange, unsettling entity, players have to work to complete puzzles, defeat enemies, and collect objects, all the while piecing together what’s happening by way of creepy audio logs planted throughout the studio. Its classic animation style only serves to amplify its scare factor, too — kind of like a horror-centric Cuphead. The creep factor is off the charts here, which makes it just the right selection for games like Little Nightmares.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/622650/Bendy_and_the_Ink_Machine/
7. ‘Little Nightmares II’

What kind of a list would this be without a shout-out to the sequel to Little Nightmares? It’s further down in terms of recommendations only due to the fact that it’s actually a sequel, however, instead of a continuation of the story proper. Still, it serves up more of the story of Six and adds another player to the mix, too: Mono. Six and Mono find themselves trapped in a creepy world that’s been distorted by the disturbing hum of a distant tower, and they’ve got to work together to figure a way out. Oh, and it’s every bit as spine-tingling as the original game if you were worried. There are plenty of reasons to freak out anytime anything happens. Trust us. This is the logical next game to play after the original Little Nightmares, but you may want something else a bit different before diving right in for your nerves to handle it.

Buy Now, $29.99
8. ‘Detention’

Detention is more than just punishment for misbehaving in school. It’s also a nightmarish title for Red Candle Games. It’s set in 1960s Taiwan during the White Terror period, where students Wei and ray are trapped in Greenwood High School, a remote school in the mountains. They no longer recognize the area they once knew, as it’s now teeming with demons known as the “lingered.” While dodging and attempting to fight these creatures off, both students must devise a way to make their school normal once more without succumbing to a grisly death. Plus, there are multiple endings to experience, a couple of which mask the true conclusion. It’s absolutely not for the faint of heart.

Buy Now, $11.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/555220/Detention/
9. ‘Unravel’

This physics-based adventure introduces Yarny, a creature crafted from a thread of yarn. As you move throughout each level, Yarny unravels a bit to move, swing, and interact with items on his journey. Meant as the representation of the ties that bind people together, Yarny actually looks a little creepy — and while this story is a heartfelt one, it’s also silent. There are more than a few heart-pounding moments, and ways to see Unravel as more of a horrific adventure than anything else. It also controls similarly to Little Nightmares, so fans will notice this immediately.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1225560/Unravel/
10. ‘Pathologic’

Just about every facet of Pathologic is meant to scare the pants off of players, from its aesthetic to its eerie voice acting. It takes place over the course of 12 in-game days as you work to uncover the source of a bizarre sickness known as the “sand plague” that’s taken over a small town. You can play as each of the three characters in the town (Bachelor, Changeling, and Haruspex) to uncover the secrets of the town and where the sickness stems from. While it’s not overtly horrific, there’s a silent, disturbing air to Pathologic that makes it impossible to play in the darkness in the middle of the night. Prepare to sleep with the lights on after you’ve fully experienced this equally horrifying game like Little Nightmares.

Buy Now, $12.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/384110/Pathologic_Classic_HD/
11. ‘Yume Nikki’

Yume Nikki may seem unassuming: it’s a cult RPG Maker 2003 classic from the mysterious developer Kikiyama that follows a young girl named Madotsuki. The unassuming protagonist leads players through a series of seemingly unconnected dreams at first, but as players delve ever deeper into the game, things suddenly begin becoming a little clearer. That’s not before she happens across some particularly creepy locales such as a world full of bizarre, bleeding shape-like creatures, bird-women, and a monochromatic monster named Uboa. None of it really makes much sense, but it’s one of the scariest pixel-centric games you’ll ever play. Don’t believe us? Just play it.

Buy Now, Free
https://store.steampowered.com/app/650700/Yume_Nikki/
12. ‘Amnesia: The Dark Descent’

Video games love to play tricks on your perceived sanity, and Amnesia: The Dark Descent is no exception. Players control protagonist Daniel as he’s forced to explore the dark, harrowing halls of the Prussian Brennenburg Castle with not a shred of memories about why he’s there, who he is, or what his story is. He can only remember his name and that something is hunting him – but what? Throughout the dark, inky blackness of the castle and the terror waiting around every corner, Daniel must keep his cool (and keep his wits about him) to avoid monsters, which will chase him recklessly to track him down. It may sound like a demented game of hide and seek, but it’s more than that: it’s a race to regain Daniel’s peace of mind, and probably your own after the game’s over.

Buy Now, $3.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/57300/Amnesia_The_Dark_Descent/
13. ‘The Pathless’

The Pathless is a third-person action-adventure where players control the Hunter, tasked with lifting the curse on a massive island. The Hunter is a master archer who must use her talents as well as her pointed bow and arrow skills in a bid to navigate the land while searching for a way to bring peace back to the world. Players must keep an eye on their dash meter and keep it refilled by shooting at talismans found throughout the world. Her eagle companion can carry her short distances as well, which occasionally helps her to explore new areas. While it’s a gorgeous game, it’s also quite unsettling.

Buy Now, $39.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1492680/The_Pathless/
14. ‘We Happy Few’

In the future, everyone’s strung out on Joy. Yes, everyone. And no, we’re not talking emotions here. Joy is a drug that everyone pops like candy, and it makes things rosy, beautiful, and oh-so-perfect. Who needs to know about anything going on in the real world when everything can be amazing at all times? That’s what Joy offers the people of Wellington Wells. Except no one is actually happy, which makes for a shocking and terrifying narrative to explore. There’s crafting, combat, and puzzle-solving with surprises around every corner, and new reasons to recoil in horror, too. We Happy Few is the kind of scary we’re talking about when the topic of games like Little Nightmares springs up before you start planning your Halloween gaming playlist.

Buy Now, $59.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/320240/We_Happy_Few/
15. ‘Contrast’

Step into the shoes of Dawn, an acrobatic performer with a host of shape-shifting abilities, in Contrast. Her forte is shifting into shadows, which transforms a 3D world into a 2D platformer when the need arises. Dawn can take objects with her into the 2D plane, which is advantageous when faced with quandaries that simply can’t be solved the conventional way. The shadows cast on walls by crowds of folks on the city streets open up new paths for Dawn to take as she flits through the whimsical sights and sounds of 1920s Paris. It’s unsettling from the get-go, especially thanks to the way Dawn gets around, and you’ll be on the edge of the seat the entirety of the game. All in all, Contrast is a perfect candidate for games like Little Nightmares.

Buy Now, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/224460/Contrast/
16. ‘Yomawari: Night Alone’

A young girl goes out in the middle of the night with her dog Poro and suffers a tragic accident. She returns home to her sister, who goes out to look for Poro. When the sister doesn’t return, the younger girl decides to locate her missing sister and dog. But when she heads out, she realizes nothing’s the same about her town or where she lives. There are spirits stalking about, hunting humans, and she’s got to figure out how to track down her loved ones, all without succumbing to the demons who want them all dead.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/477870/Yomawari_Night_Alone/
17. ‘Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut’

Don’t let this horror game’s pixelated graphics fool you. You control a nameless protagonist as you make your way through a post-apocalyptic hellscape after escaping your apartment. A disease has turned most of the world’s inhabitants into zombies, and you’re unsure if there are any other survivors milling about. You have to find food, weapons, and anyone else who may have survived the outbreak, all while mapping out where to go next and how best to avoid succumbing to the disease yourself. You feel the loneliness that permeates every single part of the game, and that’s part of what makes it such a memorable adventure, as well as absolutely spine-tingling.

Buy Now, $14.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/209830/Lone_Survivor_The_Directors_Cut/
18. ‘DARQ: Complete Edition’

DARQ is a beautifully crafted nightmare that feels quite unlike anything you’ve ever played before. Lloyd is a young boy who knows he’s dreaming. Unfortunately, instead of his dream turning into sunshine and rainbows, it’s a nightmare, and he can’t seem to wake up. Lloyd must explore his unconscious mind to survive the nightmare, all while solving gravity-defying puzzles, defeating bizarre creatures, and eventually escaping the dream world. This may be one of the most accurate representations of what a nightmare could feel like, especially since you’re so utterly helpless as Lloyd and can’t seem to escape the weird world you find yourself in.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/433550/DARQ_Complete_Edition/
19. ‘Kukui’

Kyle is a 10-year-old boy with a brain disorder that forces him to see things from terrifying parallel worlds. After suffering a terrible accident, Kyle slips into a coma. Though he’s paralyzed and unable to move, his brain still functions. This allows him to explore his trauma, understand what happened with the accident, and figure out a way to get back to normal. Throughout three unique maze maps, Kyle will collect pieces of his memories and confront parts of himself that he didn’t realize were locked away. Kukui is a must-play for anyone who enjoys games like Little Nightmares.

Buy Now, Free
https://store.steampowered.com/app/680040/Kukui/
20. ‘Another Sight’

Another Sight is unique in that it takes place in an alternative vision of London in 1899. It follows two protagonists: teenager Kit and a cat named Hodge. Kit loses her sight after being caught in the collapse of a London Underground construction sight. Hodge becomes her eyes as the pair team up for an intriguing fantasy adventure through a surreal, emotional world. It may not be as scary as Little Nightmares, but it’s well worth experiencing, especially since it features a disabled protagonist who’s trying to navigate her world with an alternate method of sight, something that’s a much different narrative path than so many other games out there.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/888630/Another_Sight__Definitive_Edition/
Categories
Consoles Gaming

This Isn’t a Joke: ‘Diablo Immortal’ is Coming to PC

Stay awhile and listen: Diablo Immortal, the free-to-play mobile-first entry in the Diablo series, is headed to PC.

No, we’re not kidding, as much as fans thought Blizzard was when the game was first announced in 2018. It’s actually getting a PC release. Today, just in time for the debut of Activision Blizzard’s Q1 2022 earnings report, Diablo Immortal was given a surprise PC version reveal, in addition to when you can expect the iOS and Android versions of the game to launch in their entirety: June 2.

On June 2, the PC Open Beta will debut, but the full version seems as though it’ll be sometime further away than the mobile versions.

If the name sounds familiar, that’s because this is the very same game that was first announced during the BlizzCon opening ceremony in November 2018. At the time, it was confirmed as a mobile-centric title that would be making its way to both iOS and Android. It debuted to little fanfare, with largely negative reactions from players. In fact, during a same-day Q&A session in which fans could ask the developers questions about the upcoming game, namely Wyatt Cheng, Principal Game Designer at Blizzard, who famously responded to a fan question inquiring whether the announcement was an “out of season April Fools’ joke” with a spicy response: “Do you guys not have phones?”

As one can imagine, this remark was met with swift backlash. Players had been waiting for some time regarding any update at all on what was to come from the Diablo series and given the landscape regarding mobile game quality, it was understandable that these longtime players were flummoxed by the debut of another mobile-centric game. That, coupled with Cheng’s flippant response to the question of whether it would be on PC, simply didn’t sit well with players.

Diablo Immortal is, at its core, a free-to-play mobile MMORPG that requires players to remain online. It’s set following the events of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, and is meant to introduce a rotation of new characters, story content, and additional goodies as part of a “living, breathing, and constantly evolving experience.”

When the game debuts across devices, Diablo Immortal will feature cross-play and cross-progression. Players who previously participated in the public beta testing phase will be able to retain their progress, so there’s one boon to having jumped into the game early, even if mobile devices weren’t exactly the preferred mode of play. Additionally, the PC version will add controller and keyboard support, so you can play the game you prefer without having to change things up.

Following its public beta test period, Cheng and senior system designer Kris Zierhut announced they would be making several changes to the game based on player feedback, such as refined controller support, evaluation of the “Boon of Plenty” microtransactions, and the consolidation of clans and “Dark Houses” into one entity. Following this, developers targeted a launch in 2022 for the final version of the game.

But what’s curious is, the reason behind Blizzard’s about-face when it comes to releasing the game on PC. Instead of responding to fans’ desires for the game to be on the platform, they announced that the decision was made because they thought they wouldn’t be able to do the game “justice” on mobile and that players would likely all attempt to emulate it.

“On one hand, we felt that we wouldn’t be doing the title justice by releasing a game originally designed for mobile on PC, on the other hand, we wanted to make sure the game reached as many players as possible—especially our most dedicated PC fans,” Blizzard explained. “The deciding factor was that we knew many of you would attempt to play this game through an emulator, thus leading us towards building a better experience.”

Though the game has been wrought with controversy since its initial debut, it still looks like it has some potential, especially since it’ll be available on the platform that started it all for Diablo. If you’re interested in playing ahead of the official June 2 release, you can pre-register for the game to secure your spot.

And then kick back, relax, and wait some more for Diablo 4 news. It’s gonna be a while…

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 25 Best Games That’ll Stoke Your Creative Fire Like ‘Roblox’

Roblox has taken the world by storm in recent years. Despite all the hype, sometimes it’s nice to explore other options out there. While Roblox has garnered a huge community, there are still tons of other great games out there that you can play to team up with friends, make your own levels and games, and just chill with the community.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of 25 games like Roblox. Below you’ll find games that borrow similar ideas from Roblox, as well as games that lean more into the creative worlds that you and your friends want to play.

1. ‘Minecraft’

If you’ve ever played any creative games, then you’ve no doubt heard of Minecraft. As one of the OGs of creative world-building, Minecraft continues to evolve and grow. It’s easily moddable, and the modding community has created thousands of different worlds, game modes, and challenges for you and your friends to take part in. What’s more, you can even jump into a world and create your own challenges, machines, and other delightful inventions.

Buy Now, $26.95
https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/store/loot.jsp
2. ‘Terasology’

If you’re looking for a Minecraft-like game that has a bit more in common with Roblox, or if you just want another free-to-play game full of creative freedom, then look no further than Terasology. This game is completely open-source, which means you can easily jump in and start messing around with it. It’s probably a bit more difficult to code for than Roblox is, but if you want to create your own types of modes and everything, there’s plenty of freedom waiting for you here.

Play Now, Free
https://terasology.org/download.html
3. ‘CastleMiner Z’

What if Minecraft and Roblox had a weird baby full of horror tropes? That must be the question the developers asked before creating CastleMiner Z. This game was released well over ten years ago, but it continues to offer complete freedom for players that want to experience a voxel-based horror world with a ton of creative freedom. Just maybe don’t play with the lights off.

Buy Now, $3.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/253430/CastleMiner_Z/
4. ‘Garry’s Mod’

Few games have had the staying power of Garry’s Mod. Originally built as a mod for Half-Life 2, the title took on a mind of its own. Roleplay communities, community games, and an assortment of other server types began to spring up, giving birth to one of the biggest community experiences you can find on the internet. You will need a few other games to take full advantage of this experience, but it’s one worth looking into if you want full creative freedom to make your own worlds, levels, and game types.

Buy Now, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/4000/Garrys_Mod/
5. ‘Trove’

What if the blocky world of Minecraft was more like a fantasy MMO? That’s the basic premise behind Trove, a voxel-based game that was released in 2015. This game has a bit more of a linear approach to things than a lot of the other games on this list, but it’s still a great game for people who love the blocky, weird gameplay and style of Roblox and other games like it. It’s also completely free to play, which makes it another huge boon for many.

Play Now, Free
https://store.steampowered.com/app/304050/Trove/
6. ‘Lego Worlds’

If you’ve ever looked at a box of Legos and wanted to create your own living, thriving world, then Lego Worlds is a game you should check out. The title features the iconic Lego blocks that millions have come to know and love, but also gives you a ton of creative freedom to approach it with. You can build massive creations, customize your character, and take part in a ton of other fun adventures throughout this Lego-made world.

Buy Now, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/332310/LEGO_Worlds/
7. ‘Creativerse’

Looking for a deep free-to-play game that gives you access to an endless world and an expansive online community? Creativerse is exactly that! Start out a private world that’s fresh for adventure, and then build up with everything that you can. Mine, fight, collect and build the grandest creations you can dream of. And, if you want, make blueprints of your work so that you can easily share it with others.

Play Now, Free
https://store.steampowered.com/app/280790/Creativerse/
8. ‘Rising World’

Step into a new voxel-based world of endless horizons and randomly generated lands. Rising World is currently undergoing a huge update, but the game has been around for a number of years. It’s very much a blend of Minecraft and 7 Days to Die, but it gives you an insane amount of creative freedom to build and explore however you want. You won’t find the coding aspect of Roblox here, but if you want to dig deep, collect resources, and build giant landmarks, Rising World has a ton of content to offer.

Buy Now, $14.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/324080/Rising_World/
9. ‘Terraria’

Releasing at a time when Minecraft was the biggest game around, Terraria took the survival, blocky, adventure formula and turned it on its side… literally! This 2D sidescroller is chock full of ridiculous enemies and expansive worlds to explore. Dig deep into the depths of “hell” to fight the Wall of Flesh, or take to the floating islands that fill the sky to build a massive fortress in the sky. All while gathering resources, befriending various NPCs, and taking on game-changing world bosses!

Buy Now, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/105600/Terraria/
10. ‘KoGaMa’

KoGaMa is more like Roblox than a lot of games on our list, and that’s a great thing. It’s perfectly built to be alluring to Roblox players, all while giving them new content and a new community to take part in. If you’re a big fan of the Roblox formula, but want to experience it from a different angle, then KoGaMa is a good place to start.

Play Now, Free
https://www.kogama.com/
11. ‘Boundless’

This free-to-play MMO comes with a lot of freedom to spark your creative genius, and, because it’s available on so many different platforms, it’s probably going to be one of the most alluring options out there. Fight enemies, collect resources, and literally sculpt your world to be exactly what you want it to be, all without ever having to pay a single penny of real-life money.

Play Now, $39.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/324510/Boundless/
12. ‘Animal Jam’

Much-like Roblox, Animal Jam is more geared toward children than adults. As such, this online game takes safety extremely seriously. Players can create their own little pet pal and then play with it across an assortment of different minigames and game modes. It’s a fun little game that’s completely free-to-play. And, because the developers aim to make a safe environment, it’s perfect for people who are worried about the safety of their kids while playing Roblox.

Play Now, Free
https://www.animaljam.com/en
13. ‘Wurm Unlimited’

Wurm Unlimited isn’t the prettiest game to look at, but if you’re looking for a Roblox-like game that gives players complete control of its world, then look no further. This MMO is one of the pioneers of player-driven worlds, and you can literally shape the world, build shapes, and design your villages level by level. It’s a delightfully deep experience for anyone that loves the creativeness of Roblox but wants something a little less blocky to look at.

Buy Now, $14.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/366220/Wurm_Unlimited/
14. ‘Fortnite’

You might be surprised to see Fortnite on this list, and while the Epic Games hit is most well known for its battle royale mode, there’s also a really deep creative mode that players can dive into. The creative mode gives players complete freedom of how they want their levels to look, allowing them to design a plethora of minigames and experiences for other players to jump in and try. Plus, the community is easily one of the biggest in gaming at the moment.

Play Now, Free
https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/home
15. ‘Unturned’

This free-to-play zombie survival game is extremely reminiscent of the blocky world that makes up many Roblox levels. The enemies, the weapons, all of it feels like it would fit perfectly as a game within the Roblox world. But, it isn’t a Roblox title. Instead, this standalone free-to-play zombie adventure was developed by a single developer. It’s his first real title, and he continues to offer new updates and patches for the game.

Play Now, Free
https://store.steampowered.com/app/304930/Unturned/
16. ‘Cubic Castles’

Step into the world of Cubic Castles, a delightfully cute game that elicits constant reminders of the creative freedom that makes Roblox so enticing for many. Build your own world, design levels, minigames, and more as you take part in various experiences across the title. It’s also available on mobile phones, like Android and iOS, making it extremely easy for most people to get into.

Play Now, Free
https://store.steampowered.com/app/317470/Cubic_Castles/
17. ‘The Blockheads’

If you love Minecraft, but want something a bit more old-school and more reminiscent of Roblox, then check out The Blockheads. This 2D sidescroller has a lot of heart, and it’s available on mobile devices, which makes it easy to download and take anywhere you go. The game has a ton of freedom to create and build your world the way you want it to be, making it a great option for those days you don’t feel like booting up Roblox.

Play Now, Free
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/the-blockheads/id519596406
18. ‘Algodoo’

If you like the creative freedom that Roblox gives you, but want a game with a bit more educational value, then Algodoo could be another great option. This game gives you tons of tools to make as many physics-based puzzles and game modes as you want. As we said, it’s a bit more educational than the other options on our list, but that might make it extremely enticing for parents looking to help their kids learn while also having fun.

Play Now, Free
http://www.algodoo.com/
19. ‘Blockland’

Welcome to Blockland, a weird mix between Minecraft, Roblox, and Legos. This delightful little title is full of expansive worlds to build with and explore. Because it’s a sandbox game with no end goals, you can do just about anything you want to do, from building a small, country home, to erecting massive statues in your own image. If you’re looking for something fresh and filled with creative freedom, then download Blockland and give it a whirl!

Buy Now, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/250340/Blockland/
20. ‘Growtopia’

Create a unique character and then start building whatever you want. Available on mobile devices, Growtopia lets players take complete control of what they want to do. You can build castles, spaceships, skyscrapers, puzzles, or even relive your favorite movie scenes. The creative power you have here is almost limitless, so make the most of it!

Play Now, Free
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rtsoft.growtopia&hl=en_US&gl=US
21. ‘Blocksworld’

In Blocksworld, players can build anything they can dream of. From massive robots that run around, to huge assembly lines filled with obstacles you need to avoid. If you can dream it up, you can build up. The game has been around for a number of years now, and it’s also available on mobile platforms, making it easy for you to play on the go, whenever you have some free time.

Play Now, Free
https://store.steampowered.com/app/642390/Blocksworld/
22. ‘8BitMMO’

Love the freedom that Roblox gives you, but the style of old-school 8bit games? 8BitMMO is a great game worth checking out then! This little gem puts players into a massive world where they can build, create, and just generally do whatever they want. The big kicker, though, is that everything is rendered like the games of yesterday, in a bright and colorful 8-bit design. It’s a heck of an experience. and one that old-school gamers will enjoy releasing their creative freedom within.

Play Now, Free
https://store.steampowered.com/app/250420/8BitMMO/
23. ‘Minetest’

Part of what makes Roblox so alluring to so many is the sheer amount of freedom that players are given. In Minetest, you’re also given a similar amount of freedom. Create your own worlds, levels, and challenges, or download and play challenges created by other players. This open-source voxel sandbox has a ton of potential, plus it has that blocky look that everyone loves about classics like Roblox and Minecraft.

Play Now, Free
https://www.minetest.net/
24. ‘World to Build’

World to Build is yet another Minecraft and Roblox-inspired sandbox. Take part in various “worlds” like egg hunts, treasure maps, and battle royale games, or create your own worlds to share with the rest of the community. World to Build is currently still in alpha, but the developers look to be releasing new content and supporting the community as best they can. Check it out if you’re looking for a blocky, Roblox-like experience without having to deal with the Roblox community.

Play Now, Free
https://www.worldtobuild.com/worlds/browse
25. ‘Novetus’

If you love Roblox but want to take a leap back in time to how the game community used to be, then Novetus is a perfect alternative. It was made to improve on the discontinued RBXLegacy and included a slew of new features to help make it feel great. It also lets you run LAN and internet servers, so you can always team up with your friends and others. It’s less of an alternative to Roblox, and more of a different way to experience the original game as it used to be.

Play Now, Free
https://bitl.itch.io/novetus
Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 17 Best Gritty Games Inspired by ‘Max Payne’

It’s been a year full of remakes and remasters, and finally, the legendary Max Payne is getting its fair due.

The first two games are set to receive their own remakes, and the gaming community couldn’t be happier. There’s a lot to love about the Max Payne games, and we know it. So much in fact, that this title went on to inspire a slew of others.

Of course, we don’t just mean the beloved slow-down bullet mechanics from the series, but also the strong storyline, complex characters, and fantastic cover systems that all came together to create a wonderful gaming experience. If you’re looking for more titles like that, then you’ve come to the right place.

Here are 17 games inspired by Max Payne.

1. ‘Watch Dogs 2’

If you’re looking for a newer game to dig into, then look no further than Watch Dogs 2. While it offers a more open-world nature than any of the Max Payne titles, it comes with a lot of the things Max Payne fans can get behind: a fantastic, well-paced story, complex characters, and a ton of gadgets and upgrades to take advantage of. Hack your way through compounds full of enemies, sneak around and take them out from behind, or go out in a blaze of glory, all while exploring the beautiful and hip world of futuristic San Francisco.

Buy Now, $17.95
https://www.amazon.com/Ubisoft-Watch-Dogs-2-Ps4-PlayStation4/dp/B01GS5I3LS
2. ‘The Saboteur’

Unlike many of the games on this list, The Saboteur transports players back to the time of World War 2. As the war unfolds, players will need to step into the shoes of a saboteur named Sean Devlin as he attempts to sabotage the Nazis from within Paris. It’s an action-packed adventure full of gadgets and weapons, as well as stealthy takedowns that feel like a perfect amalgamation of the action gameplay Max Payne fans have come to know and love.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://www.gog.com/en/game/saboteur
3. ‘Mafia 2: Definitive Edition’

Another diversion from the world of the modern-day, Mafia 2 thrusts players into the 1940s, where they take on the role of an up-and-coming member of the Mafia. Set in a massive open-world city, think GTA but in the ’40s, and you’ve got a recipe for success. The studio behind the game also recently remastered it, making it an even more enjoyable experience on modern systems. If you’re looking for a deep story that leaves you questioning your own decisions at times, Mafia 2 has plenty to offer.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://www.amazon.com/Mafia-II-Definitive-Online-Game/dp/B088N4TYMM
4. ‘Scarface: The World is Yours’

Some action-movie fans might not be a huge fan of how much Scarface: The World is Yours changes the movie’s ending, but it’s something that had to happen to make the game work. Picking up at the iconic ending of one of the most iconic movies out there, players step into the shoes of one Tony Montana as he works for revenge against the one who brought his empire crashing down, Alejandro Sosa. It’s an action-packed adventure full of fantastic one-liners, tons of shooting, and a whole lot of great Scarface moments you won’t want to miss.

Buy Now, $39.95
https://www.amazon.com/Scarface-World-Yours-PS2-intellivision/dp/B0009RWI54
5. ‘True Crime: Streets of LA’

The True Crime series started here, and it still stands as one of the best GTA-alternative action titles out there. True Crime: Streets of LA puts players into the shoes of a police officer set on cleaning up the city of Los Angeles. The gameplay is similar to GTA and Max Payne and takes a lot of the same cover-based cues as you’d expect to see in action games from this era (it was released in 2003). It’s an exceptionally fun action game, and you’ll find plenty to do as you explore the city, taking down criminals and unraveling the mysteries that await you.

Buy Now, $24.99
https://www.amazon.com/True-Crime-Streets-L-PC/dp/B00008DHNL?th=1
6. ‘The Godfather: The Game’

Looking to put more mafia in your life, then look no further than The Godfather: The Game. While it doesn’t follow the events of the movies, it is set within the same universe and does include a lot of the same characters. It even includes voice acting from a number of the original actors in the movies, creating a fantastic and enjoyable action-adventure in a universe that you’ll already recognize. 

Buy Now, $59.95
https://www.amazon.com/Godfather-Game-Playstation-2/dp/B0009RWHUK
7. ‘WET’

Few games offer the same insane level of high-octane gameplay as WET does. The action feels like it was pulled directly from a Kill Bill action film, and that’s not a bad thing at all. While it’s a bit faster-paced than the Max Payne games, you’ll find plenty to love as you play through bounty hunter Rubi Malone’s story. Create combos, take down enemies with tons of different weapons, and even take advantage of the staple slow-time mechanic to live out your ultimate action shooty dreams in this old-school action title.

Buy Now, $51.95
https://www.amazon.com/WET-Playstation-3/dp/B000XJNTQ0
8. ‘True Crime: New York City’

The second and last title in the True Crime series, True Crime: New York City released in 2005. Despite its age, it still stands as one of the best action-packed games you’ll find out there inspired by Max Payne. It includes a lot of the same mechanics as True Crime: Streets of LA, as players step into the role of Marcus Reed, an ex-gang member turned police officer. The story is strong, the action is frantic, and there’s plenty to enjoy as you explore the city, working your way towards a Detective badge.

Buy Now, $49.89
https://www.amazon.com/True-Crime-New-York-City-PlayStation/dp/B0009Z3HXI
9. ‘Stranglehold’

Designed as a sequel to John Woo’s 1992 action film, Hard Boiled, Stranglehold takes a lot of cutes from the Max Payne series. Dark and gritty levels are filled with tons of enemies to take down as you fight back against a number of triad groups as Police Inspector Tequila Yuen. The campaign is roughly six to eight hours, making it the perfect length for those who want a good action game that doesn’t waste a lot of time.

Buy Now, $9.99
https://www.gog.com/en/game/stranglehold
10. ‘Sleeping Dogs’

The final entry in our list, but by no means the last, Sleeping Dogs was originally intended as a sequel to the True Crime series. However, the developers changed the title at the last second, branding it as its own entity altogether. The result is an action masterpiece. Players can unlock upgrades, take part in martial arts fights, and explore the city of Hong Kong in one of the coolest action games released to date. Fight enemies with your fists, guns, and even weapons like knives and cleavers, until you’re the last man standing in this delightful action-adventure.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/202170/Sleeping_Dogs/
11. ‘Wanted: Weapons of Fate’

Picking up roughly five hours after the events of the movie, Wanted: Weapons of Fate puts players directly in control of Wesley Gibson as he continues his transformation into a deadly assassin. In this fast-paced action game, players will need to take down enemies with tons of weapons, all while making use of the Wanted series’ iconic bullet magic. It’s a fun game, though it does fall short of some of the others on our list. Still, if you’re looking for some classic third-person shooter action, there are worse games out there.

Buy Now, $24.99
https://www.amazon.com/Wanted-Weapons-Fate-PC/dp/B001DZ1GM2
12. ‘Total Overdose’

If you’re after over-the-top third-person action, then it’s time for you to take a Total Overdose. This old-school shooter is chock full of beautiful environments, enemies, and a ton of weapons to take advantage of. In Total Overdose, players take on the role of criminal Ramiro Cruz, who is hauled out of jail to help the DEA investigate a drug cartel overlord. This all leads to an insane mission through the Mexican underworld that players aren’t bound to forget anytime soon.

Buy Now, $1.49
https://www.gog.com/en/game/total_overdose_a_gunslingers_tale_in_mexico
13. ‘Chili Con Carnage’

If you want even more over-the-top action like Total Overdose, then you’ll definitely want to check out the PSP exclusive Chili Con Carnage. This title picks up with Ramiro Cruz as he takes down more drug lords, fights corrupt bandits, and completes various missions throughout multiple delightful levels. It’s a heck of a follow-up to Total Overdose and one that Max Payne fans will fall in love with thanks to its intense action and wise-cracking protagonist.

Buy Now, $90.99
https://www.amazon.com/Chili-Carnage-Sony-PSP/dp/B000G8P0II
14. ‘10,000 Bullets’

Step into the shoes of a deadly hitman named Crow. But Crow isn’t just any old hitman, he’s been blessed with the “gunslinger” ability, which allows him to control time. Players will need to make use of this ability a lot as they play through the story, which features waves and waves of enemies and hazards they have to shoot their way through. This game is pure action, through and through, and it feels like an almost un-ending action scene ripped straight out of Max Payne at times.

Buy Now, $22.20
https://www.ebay.com/itm/354008168866?hash=item526c87f9a2:g:wMAAAOSwTHNiV5fA
15. ‘Made Man’

If you can’t get enough of the mafia storylines on this list, then hold on to your seats, we’ve got one more for you to check out. Made Man follows Joey Verola as he moves from the war-torn jungles of Vietnam to the streets of New York, where he slowly begins a rise through the criminal underworld. The story is loosely based on authentic events and includes action-packed sequences underscored by some of the best-licensed music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Buy Now, $3.49
https://www.amazon.com/Made-Man-PC/dp/B000MHXGOS
16. ‘El Matador’

Released during the heyday of third-person shooters, El Matador borrows a lot of mechanics from the Max Payne series, chiefly its action-packed shooting sequences, cover-based combat, and wise-cracking characters. Step into the shoes of El Matador, a DEA special agent tasked with taking down some of the most dangerous drug barons that Central and South America has ever seen. But make sure you strap in before you start the game as El Matador is a nonstop, action-packed ride from start to finish.

Buy Now, $3.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/289280/El_Matador/
17. ‘Spec-Ops: The Line’

While a lot of third-person shooters out there consist of action-packed sequences and wise-cracking protagonists, Spec Ops: The Line takes a more dramatic and serious approach to the action. In Spec Ops: The Line, players step into the role of a Delta Force team as they navigate the war-torn lands of Dubai following a cataclysmic sandstorm. The team picks up a mysterious radio signal, and while investigating it discovers a terrible secret, one that will leave many players emotionally gripped by the game’s story. It’s a culmination of great gameplay and really deep storytelling that many third-person shooters miss out on these days.

Buy Now, $29.99
https://www.gog.com/en/game/spec_ops_the_line