Everyone grows up with different games and while therell always be some shared experiences, therell also be games thatve slid under the radar or gone unnoticed by most. Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s was particularly interesting for PC gamers because there were somany weird and experimental titles being played at home or at school in an era where gaming hadnt yet hit the mainstream.
From shareware titles at school fetes to discs being passed around school playgrounds, there were plenty of ways to get your hands on good video games. But its always wild to sit down with mates and discuss what you did and didnt play back then.
Its even weirderwhen youve played and loved a game that nobody else seems to have ever evenseen.
Theres plenty of underrated games out there, and many which didnt get the audience they deserved. Here are just a few examples of underrated games I personally played and loved which never seemed to gain a fanbase and Id love to hear your picks in the comments below!
Ill take any chance I can get to shout out the underrated Simsgames for handheld consoles.
Like the other weird games in the franchise,The Urbztook the classicSimsformula and injected it with a dose of strange beings, conspiracies, ghosts and bayou backwaters. Rather than being a straightforward life simulator, this adventure is more a Sims story RPG where players complete quests and attempt to overthrow the tyranny of capitalism.
If that isnt enough to convince you to play the games, check out my in depth interview with the crew who made it for why should absolutely dig out this adventure:
Its an absolutely bonkers series thats extremelyunderrated.
Fairies of the Forestis a late 90s era game developed in Australia by Glow Zone Interactive, and its a cutesy storybook adventure about a fairy who wants to fly. Its not a particularly good game, but its one that I played repeatedly when I was young so I have very fond memories of it. Sadly, it seems like Im the only one who actually has a copy.
The footage uploaded above is the only footage of the game I can find online, and I recorded it from my own home PC. While Ive since had a few people reach out and chat to me about the game, its existence and sales history is a mystery. Personally, I grabbed my copy from the bargain bin at Harvey Norman when I was very young but Im not sure how widely it was released.
Glow Zone Interactive barely has a presence online despite its published books (The Monster That Ate Canberra, The Dinosaur Who Wanted To Fly) being wildly popular in the 90s. Itseemsto be a defunct Australian developer, but theres not much buzz around the company or the games it made now.
Contactis a game so underrated I couldnt actually find any decently sized images of gameplay so this ancient video from our pals over at IGN will have to do. This RPG adventure for the Nintendo DS is genuinely brilliant, and Im surprised it doesnt have more of a following.
Beyond a terrific story, its also a beautiful, pixel art game filled with gorgeous landscapes, memorable characters and great boss battles. While the dual screen system was wildly under-utilised, the game was too good to be impacted by this choice. With plenty of places to explore and items to gather, it should be regarded as one of the best titles from the Nintendo DS era.
If theres anyContactfans around, shout out!
Kingsleys Adventureis a 1999 3D platformer developed for the PlayStation One that was launched and quickly forgotten by nearly everyone. But with its cute, cartoonish aesthetic and unsettling atmosphere, its a fantastic journey everyone shouldve played.
I know at leastone personother than me has playedKingsleys Adventurebecause theres a 2000s-era mural of the games main character on the way to Bankstown in Sydney but it seems like its just me and the mystery painter who loved the game.
Regardless,Kingsleys Adventureis a gorgeous, wholesome game that was unfortunately shafted in an era when endless 3D platformers were overrunning the market. Even though it was succeeded by better and brighter games, Kingsleys Adventureis still a wonderful time, and deserves far better than it got.
Mars Undergroundis a 2019 Aussie indie game which features a Groundhog Day story where protagonist Mars is locked in an endless timeloop where the only way to escape is by dying over and over again. Its accompanied by a creepy soundtrack, well-paced mysteries and gameplay thats genuinely fun and rewarding. Sadly, it never quite got the attention its quality demanded.
If youre a fan of point-and-click adventures or youre just in the mood for some spooky time travel adventures, Mars Undergroundis absolutely a game you should play.
Its one of those games thatll stick with you for a long time.
Pokmon Conquestis one of the least celebrated Pokmon spin-offs of all time, and thats unfortunate because its great. This game is a Nobunagas Ambition crossover that uses Pokmongrid battles (also seen inFire Emblem) to advance the story.
The turn-based gameplay means its a game packed with strategy, and as you conquer new locations youll be able to rearrange and perfect your perfect Pokmon battle squad. Its a challenging game, but one thats always clever and fun and its a real shame it never seemed to gain the popularity of fellow spin-offs likeSnaporStadium.
Should the series ever return, aPokmon Conquestfor Switch would go down a treat.
Now its your turn. What forgotten games did you play and love that nobody ever seems to talk about anymore?
It doesnt have to be from your childhood theres plenty of modern games that go unnoticed amongst the current deluge of indie and AAA adventures.
Tell us about it, and why more people should play it in the comments below!
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