The best first, Hotline Miami is a masterpiece. At first I thought it was just too difficult and the control system was abysmal (the controls are awful though, but I got used to them eventually). It puts you in the middle of a murder spree, with your character either drug-crazed, psychotic, or worse. Everything is in garish colours, ripped straight from the worst excesses of the late 80s and despite the graphics being relatively low resolution, the killing is all as graphic as they can manage.
|The very beginning... and it immediately gets stranger|
|One of the many masks you can wear|
|Stage clear, surrounded by the corpses of my... enemies?|
Dungeons of Dredmor
This is a rogue-like with pretty graphics and a sense of humour. It's challenging, without being hatefully difficult and has a fantastic range of things to see and do. I've only just gone down to the second floor and already I've seen various crafting mechanics, spellcasting, arms and armour, inventive monsters and side quests. The levels are sprawling and generated in the random, rogue-like style. It is a flawed gem though, with a little too many rough edges for my liking. The interface is a little cumbersome and clunky, some of the graphical elements could do with scaling up (like the text which gives you feedback on your actions and environment). The biggest annoyance for me though is the decision to have the lowest tile of each room blocked by the wall. It means you can't see anything on the floor there, which is a minor but constant irritation. Thankfully it's easy-going enough that it keeps drawing me back in...
Binding of Isaac
|The Zelda-like world, but with a thoroughly unpleasant theme|
Bizarre and morbid in equal measure, this little game is absurdly difficult and built like the Zelda dungeons of old. It took me a little by surprise how dark the intro was, and the game itself doesn't pull any punches either. It took me several attempts to get past the first level, and then I promptly died on the next one. A definite one for people with masochistic tendencies and with a love of Zelda dungeons. Much like Super Meat Boy, I think it has me beaten though.
|Yet another death|
|Back at school|
A game for kids really, but a fun one nonetheless. It's a rather inventive puzzle game, and it has a certain charm to it. There's usually a variety of solutions to each puzzle too, so you can be quite creative with how you play. You character, Maxwell, has a magic notepad. Anything he writes in it becomes real, so you can create items, tools, animals and even people. Definitely worth checking out, it's quite easy but fun and I expect if you've got kids they'll love it.
|Every location contains an assortment of things to interact with|
A sort-of puzzle game I guess? It's kind of hard to pin this one down, but basically you are McPixel and you have to help people (even if they don't want you to). Usually this involves finding and disabling an explosive device, but solving the puzzles is almost all trial and error. The logic is insane, all done for comedic effect which would be great in small doses, but after a while it gets quite repetitive and dull. There are some really funny puzzles in there, but it does mean wading through a lot of other less interesting ones. Thankfully it was dirt cheap, so I don't feel bad about playing it once and never again.
|Bastion itself, which can be upgraded and it's where you swap out your weapons/abilities|
|Attacking with the hammer|
|The next location to visit in what appears to be a large world|