Originally posted Feb 20, 2019, reformated and updated Aug 5 2020.
Every so often you see a game on steam that looks absolute rubbish, but perhaps at a more in-depth inspection, you have found not a lump of coal but a diamond in the rough?
Without further delay here are ten games which we found surprisingly good despite poor first impressions.
1) Wurm unlimited.
Wurm looks incredibly dated, and that is for one main reason.. it is terribly dated, with systems that seem ripped from EverQuest 1 it is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you look past all that, and trust me, it takes a lot to look past it, you will find a surprisingly welcoming community and a mechanically solid title.
While everything from mechanics to UI is very outdated, it’s a title you can depend on long term, mostly in part due to its history and the community hosted servers, allowing the game to survive long after any eventual death.
2) Wild RTS.
At first glance, the game looks like shoddy 8bit garbage and even on the second and third glance, it looks like it, however, if you give the game a play, you will find a nostalgia-filled 2D RTS that while not overly large, overly complex or has a chance in hades of actually being completed you will enjoy what little is this, and is worth picking up when it’s bundled.
3) Camera Obscura.
At first glance this looks like just another of the 1000 or so retro games on steam, seriously they breed like rabbits it seems, and while true re-releases and remasters offer nostalgia many new 16bit titles are just trying to cash in on a nostalgia they never earned.
Camera Obscura, however, brings something genuinely new to the table with inventive mechanics, a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, customer level designer, and gorgeous 16bit style art the game is a visual and mechanical masterpiece and one which you ill find yourself playing again and again.
4) All Guns on Deck.
On the surface All Guns on Deck looks like a flash arcade game of the type you would find on a million forum arcades in the late 90s and early 00s, however, upon playing it, you will see the game offers a surprisingly enjoyable tactical depth that many prettier games lack, and while the game clearly is no AAA title, it is one you will have a lot of fun with and get well beyond your money’s worth from.
5) Space Run.
If you are a fan of fast-paced space shooters and sims then move along, your first glance was correct, this isn’t what you are looking for.
If you want to try something new and feel like you are Han Solo flying a patched together Millennium Falcon, you will find space run offers a level of depth and customization that many games do not provide, while its clearly an indie title and very much a “mobile style” you will get your money’s worth if you purchase during a sale or bundle.
6) Blades of Time
Oversexed Tomb Raider meets awful Korean MMO single-player campaign, that is about the best way, to sum up how this game looks and feels to play
The gameplay while not being overly deep is very smooth, and the combat is gorgeous,
Sadly the player character model PC looks to be a teen boys fantasy, it is worth a play for fans of action RPG games and reminds me a lot of Bayonetta.
7) Acceleration of SUGURI 2
On the surface, this appears to be a magic anime school girl type game which is garbage, and honestly, the fact it is a magic anime school girl type game for me is enough to label it garbage in my mind, that being said the gameplay is super smooth, and while it’s not that hot on a mouse and keyboard on a controller you will find yourself playing a fast and frantic fighting game that is surprisingly good for all, despite its character models.. which I personally found off-putting.
8) A Story about my Uncle
I must admit to passing this game over time and time again in my library, it was just, unappealing to me.
Upon taking a deeper look, I found a game with gorgeous art, decent but not perfect voice acting, enjoyable yet straightforward puzzles and all built on the excellent Unreal Engine 4.
Unreal Engine 4 was the perfect engine a game like this, bonus points for a camera view that doesn’t act like a drunk sailor; it felt tight, crisp and responsive very much like the controls and animations used in the game itself.
9) ARCADE GAME SERIES: GALAGA
This game is rather sparse, it’s a spin on space invaders that is over 35 years old, that being said it’s a classic and if you look past its very dated graphics, very simple mechanics and awful soundtrack you will find a great little time passer, this port also bonus points for increasing your geek cred, opening up 1980s frustration to a whole new generation!
10) ARCADE GAME SERIES: Pac-Man
Its Pac-Man, seriously if you need me to tell you why this game despite its age is worth a play, you missed a few dozen steps on the path to becoming a gamer, for all its dated pixellated ways, this game for many was their first venture into the world of gaming, and if you can look past how dated it is, you will find a surprisingly fun and simple game, this particular port also manages to retain the feel of the original arcade classic.
Xbox Game Pass, an ever-growing catalogue of over 100 games that is a great way to try a whole smorgasbord of games, including day one access to all Microsoft first party titles, for just a few dollars a month.
Playstation Now, stream over 800 PS2, PS3 and PS4 games legally on your PC & PS4 with PSNow, a ground breaking cloud gaming console service for Playstation 4 and PC