Many people accuse videogames of stagnating and treading water, rehashing old ideas instead of pushing forward with new and exciting concepts.
These people are hilariously wrong. Or concussed. Or only play AAA games.
We live in an age when developers large and small have the opportunity to create innovative, crazy, uninhibited and plain bizarre games for our eager delectation, and that can shatter our expectations as well as our sanity from time to time. 2014 has been no exception, so here are some of the delirious delights we've sampled over the last few months!
We're all for equality in games, so being able to play as a piece of sliced bread is long overdue. No, really, that's the whole idea behind this wonderful little oddity. You'll control your crusty character in a desperate bid to reach the toaster, facing off against a surprisingly robust physics engine and devious household challenges.
It's the best thing since... no, I can't do it. I won't do it.
Don't ask questions. Just wiggle that worm and enjoy the trip.
It's a dating sim, only with hunky pigeons, conspiracies and murder.
Hatoful Boyfriend may be a bonkers twist on the traditional Japanese dating sim, but its surreal 'boys are birds' premise is more than just a gimmick. Courting your potential feathered suitors is rewarding and frequently hilarious, while eventually unravelling the story's darker elements bring the real heft and value to the experience. Review here.
The original Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc isn't "brilliantly bizarre," rather it's just brilliant. GOTY brilliant. However, its sequel gulps down a tall glass of fanservice, refuses to take its medication and goes balls-to-the-wall insane. Robot bunnies? Killer mechs? Hamster breeders? Murder? Oh my. It's a shame that the quality of the translation and the mystery writing took a nosedive, but I don't really care because it's still one hell of a trip with a magnificent ending.
Also, just in case you didn't get the memo, buy Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc immediately. I can take or leave the sequel, but the first game is a masterpiece.
Well, obviously. Accept no substitute.
Dungeon Of The Endless is an utterly majestic genre hybrid and one of the very best games of the year, but earns its spot here due the fact that it throws so many genres together to create something totally wild.
To be clear, it's a 'Real-Time Turn-Based Strategic 4X Tower Defence Roguelike RPG.'
Or something. Either way, the fact that it works is more astonishing than its premise.
Oh SWERY. We love you so much.
The developer behind Deadly Premonition (which is a true cult classic, no matter what my senior editor says) created a cel-shaded adventure game-slash-Kinect-minigame-collection involving time travel and utterly cracked characters.
It's hard to describe without frothing at the mouth. All I know is that it's great to see games like this on Xbox One.
When it comes to crazy local multiplayer, Sportsfriends is as bonkers and brilliant as it gets. Grab some mates and some move controllers, then let the hilarity commence...
Akiba's Trip is a game about ripping people's clothes off, except that it's also a crazy 1:1 simulation of Tokyo's zany Akihabara district, love letter to all things Otaku, commentary on how obsessing over merch isn't as important as you think, a dating sim, fantastic visual novel and okay, yes, you'll rip everyone's clothes off because half of the people you meet are sexy vampires.
Though my fellow critics gave Akiba's Trip a pasting, I saw something unique and rather wonderful in here that makes it much more than meets the eye.
That's just scratching the surface. What weird and wonderful games have you been playing this year?