Despite its narrative shortcomings, Draugen still has plenty to offer. Graavik has no shortage of beautiful views and stunningly detailed locations. In under three hours, Draugen pulls off a series of well-composed shots that are worth the entry price alone. Teddy and Lissie's story never reaches its full potential, but there are worse ways to spend a few hours than exploring a wind-swept fjord.
Pathologic 2 is a surrealist drama wrapped in a survival game's tattered clothes. It's frustrating and haunting all at once. It's also one of the most atmospheric games ever made. Every element of Pathologic 2 – the persistent plague, delightfully twisted dialogue, and punishing survival mechanics – come together to form an intensely memorable experience. Is it fun? Not really. Is it brilliant? Almost certainly.
Taken as a whole, Outward practically screams "cult classic." Its consistent challenge, cumbersome combat, and co-op systems won't resonate with everyone. But for a particular type of player—ones that don't mind trading dozens of frustrating moments for open-ended experiences—Nine Dot Studios' RPG is sure to find a dedicated audience. Outward's aspirations are commendable, but just like its protagonist, the end result is just average.
Donut County is as charming and funny as it is inventive and beautiful. It excels at what it sets out to do --there's never been a better hole simulator in video game history. But underneath its colorful scenery and intuitive gameplay is an experience that feels like its inches away from true greatness.
State of Decay 2 comes together as a game that feels designed for players who like to make checklists and chip away at long-term tasks. That notion might sound contradictory to existence in a zombie apocalypse, where death comes fast and often, but engaging with the game from this perspective makes its rough edges seem more like minor smudges. State of Decay 2's unique approach to survival and management might not appeal to everyone, but it certainly feels like an instant cult classic.
The Swords of Ditto is charming, humorous, and fun to play. It's not the biggest game, but its generation-crossing story makes you feel like you're a part of its world's history. Even though it relies heavily on randomized components, the cartoon-like presentation and baked-in charm make every single screen seem as though it's part of a cohesive, authored map. The Swords of Ditto might not be the most epic adventure of all time, but there's little denying that it's one of the cutest.