Whether you know the stories of Arthur & the fall of Camelot or not, this game allows you to build your own Arthurian legends step by step. Pendragon is a near-seamless blend of procedurally generated narrative and a strategy game that could have carried itself alone. Combined, they make one of the most unique games of 2020 and while it’s not without its flaws, it’s a game I highly recommend you try.
While not without its flaws, Raji: An Ancient Epic is a competent and enjoyable debut from Nodding Head Games that leans on some video game classics for its mechanics and combat but blends them with Hindu iconography and Balinese mythology to give it oodles of character.
Bounty Battle might be the most ambitious cross-over event in indie gaming history. It unites 22 indie games under one banner and has their heroes duke it out in Smash Bros-esque fashion. This project might have been too ambitious though as the touted story mode is missing, the existing single player content is mundane, the AI needs work and the fight stages lack variety. Still, the game looks first-rate and with friends, all the mechanics are there for a good night of scrappy indie combat.
A cohesive and complementary blend of point-and-click adventure and 2D platformer, Lair of the Clockwork God is a real rib tickler that’s capable of delivering real emotion when it aims to. This is Ben & Dan’s magnum opus and one of the most essential games of 2020.
WRC 9 is a challenging rally game that celebrates the FIA World Rally Championship’s past and present. The driving mechanics themselves are very well implemented and there’s plenty of modes that’ll keep you busy – but there’s more than a few rough edges that prevent it from being a real champion.
Manifold Garden is the best first person puzzle game since Portal 2. Unique spatial mechanics, a world that brings to life M.C. Escher’s work, a winsome art style and masterfully designed puzzles make this one of the easiest recommendations of 2020 so far.
A few issues aside, Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is a celebration of the TV sensation that translates much of what is loved about the show into tangible game play systems. The last third of this game is a brilliant showcase of the time manipulation mechanics and puzzle depth that can really push the player and offers oodles of tension. It’s simply a shame that it takes two thirds the game for that to be realised and for it to end so soon after it begins.
A lot of Kafka’s spirit shines through in this game with the illogical mixed with the depressingly truthful and real. It’s such a shame then that the Xbox One version is beset with so many technical hiccups that threaten to spoil the narrative. Like so much of Kafka’s work, Metamorphosis feels like it has been left unfinished and in need of a few more weeks of polishing.
As an experience, Milky Way Prince is experimental, entirely unique and one that I’m glad exists. I imagine it’ll hang in the subconscious of most people who give it the time of day, but the subject matter will be too much for some to bear.