2017 is more than half over, so I thought I’d go back through all my digital reviews from the first half of the year and see how they stack up against each other. It took a while, but I’ve narrowed down the list into a Top 10 Best Digital Games I Reviewed in the First Half of 2017.
What a mouthful.
It’s a big list full of indie games, since that’s what I tend to review most of. It wasn’t the easiest list to compile, but the top 3 are certainly the best in my mind. The end-of-year list will certainly be interesting, as I’ve played some amazing games recently that don’t fall into the time range of this list.
Let’s get to it!
10. 88 Heroes – Bitmap Buerau
I’m not going to lie, I laugh my ass off while playing 88 Heroes. It’s over the top in almost every way and the heroes are so ridiculous it’s hard not to laugh, win or die. The game is challenging, but not so hard that you’re going to throw your controller in frustration.
It didn’t take long before a smile had crept across my face when first playing Alwa’s Awakening. I found myself sitting in front of my laptop grinning like an idiot as I explored the world of Alwa with Zoe and her magic wand. While the story is nothing to write home about, the gameplay is where it’s at.
While Lost Castle may seem frustrating during the first playthrough or two, it quickly ramps up as souls are spent and better weapons/armor are unlocked. It doesn’t take long before later levels are reached and epic weapons can be found to cut down large swaths of enemies in no time.
I can’t give Warlock’s Tower any higher praise. When I first started playing it was a few hours before I finally pulled myself away and unglued my eyes from the screen. The simplicity of gameplay mixed with the depth and challenge of the puzzles makes the game a real winner. Combine that with a solid price point on both mobile and PC and there’s no reason any child of the 80’s shouldn’t own this game.
You can tell everything in Slime-San has been carefully thought out and designed. Levels are clever, challenging, and pure addicting to play through. While the difficulty ramped up pretty quickly I found myself pushing harder, playing longer, and enjoying myself the entire time.
5. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight – Bombservice
With tight controls, a dark and brooding storyline, and classic Metroidvania action, Momodora is certainly worth the $10 it costs. While it certainly has its flaws, like it’s difficulty, slim pickings on enemies/upgrades, and a love affair with pits full of spikes, Momodora delivers a solid performance overall with its mix of Metroid-like exploration and combat like a paired down Dark Souls.
Once you can accept the fact that you’re going to die, a lot, the game opens up and reveals what a joy it really is. Slugcat eventually feels more graceful and you run, jump, swing, and speed through the various screens. Predators, while still dangerous, become a bit more manageable as you learn how to best trip them up.
3. Flinthook – Tribute Games
There’s not much to dislike about Flinthook. The gameplay is tight, enjoyable, and fast-paced. Progression, while a bit tough starting out, gradually becomes easier as the game goes on. Something that lovers of roguelike games are very familiar with. The game’s hook (will it ever end?), the grappling mechanic, never feels to get old or get frustrating. It’s quite the opposite. Every time you land an amazing hook or use the Quickhook to narrowly bypass a nasty room leads to a feeling of immense satisfaction.
2. Dead Cells – Motion Twin
Even though the game is still in Early Access, Dead Cells is shaping up to be one of the best Metroidvania style games in recent times. The Roguelike and Souls-lite elements, integrated seamlessly into gameplay, just elevate the game far and above similar titles.
Aaero is one of the best PS4 games I’ve played this year. Impressive visuals, amazing audio, and the satisfaction you get when nailing a particularly hard level combine to create a unique rhythm-action experience that you won’t soon forget.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.
Buy me a Tea