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Quirky Games Worth Checking Out

Sometimes it's a premise too abstract to ever make gangbusters in the mainstream. Sometimes it's got a unique sort of charm you just can't find elsewhere. Whatever the reason, these are games that, while very likely flawed in some way, are still worth looking at because they are unabashedly weird and use that as the main driving force for providing fun. This is not, however, a cliche list of my favorite obscure games, as not all obscure games are quirky and, likewise, not all quirky games are completely unknown. What you'll find here is something that probably strikes the middle ground: They're not games that will be all the rage on the message boards, but they're also not so unknown that it's impossible to research them.

List items

  • Pepsiman isn't a terribly great game on its own. The on-rails mechanics work all right, but what's there is pretty shallow and, let's be honest, it's certainly been done better. That being said, Pepsiman is still an interesting game to play because it knows it's a licensed game about a really absurd superhero and its story just runs with that premise. Throw in some seemingly unrelated, but hilariously product placement-laden FMVs and you have a game that's consistently entertaining in its own right.

  • Umihara Kawase is a series of games that used physics before a lot of other developers even remotely began to take it seriously. That mentality takes its toll sometimes on the SNES hardware, but what's there is a fun and challenging grappling hook game whose solutions can often be far more flexible than you'd initially imagine. A quick trip to YouTube will show you just how creative you can get in traversing the game's imaginative levels.

  • Vib-Ribbon is one of the more original music games since it's abstract in a way most people aren't accustomed to seeing from the genre. Instead of note highways or anything similar, Vib-Ribbon has you playing a wireframe rabbit known as Vibri, who basically spends her days in the game jumping through obstacle courses that are generated by music CDs put into the PlayStation. It's not a super deep game at all, but it's one of the few music games aside from Audiosurf that actually does a good job at incorporating the music you use.

  • Hebereke is basically a more charming version of Metroid, which is something I can appreciate since I honestly never liked the original NES game in Nintendo's exploration series. There isn't a whole lot in the way of difficulty at all, but the story is nice and lighthearted and the unique powers assigned to each of the four playable characters keeps the adventure consistently fun and interesting. It only takes a few hours to complete at most, but if you're looking for an interesting alternative to Nintendo's iconic game, Hebereke is worth checking out.

  • There are very few games in the industry that rely entirely on sound as the primarily drive for the gameplay with little to no graphical assistance. The majority of those games, to my knowledge, come from Japan and Soundvoyager is no exception. I didn't play a whole lot, but what little I did manage was definitely intriguing. You're basically supposed to put on headphones, close your eyes, and then orient yourself to the center of a sound source as you move from one point to the next. It's more compelling than it sounds, which makes Soundvoyager well worth experimenting with.