Conceptually Odd & Japanese
Now that the industry has been mostly split into two sectors, AAA and Indie, there has been a relative lack in a style of game I particularly enjoyed coming across when I was younger.
It's really hard to specifically describe the kind of game I mean, but here are some typical characteristics:
- Unusual setting/scenario
- Unique gameplay that is hard to easily categorize
- Oddball characters
- Striking visual style
Being honest, I don't know how these odd, Japanese games ever came to be. Games can be so hard to make, whether you're an Indie developer starting out for the first time, with little to no experience, or a AAA studio making a big budget title that needs to sell well, in order to support your employees and satisfy your publisher's expectations. These games are so unconventional and strange that they simply shouldn't exist, they are such a risky proposition, but exist they do.
Not all of these games are especially well-designed. Some can be downright frustrating to even play. What they have, however, is a genuine uniqueness in vision and presentation that sets them apart from their peers. Sure, maybe that often comes at the sacrifice of well-designed mechanics and deep systems, but these are the types of games that genuinely excite me in a way other games rarely do. I wish there were more of them and there probably are. I'll add more as I discover more.