I play a lot of games across several different platforms. However, these 5 games are the ones I have identified as hidden gems. They are games that I have come to love and spend hours in their worlds, but I have failed to hear about them from other gamers. There are a variety of genres within the games, and most of them I have many hours sunk into them.
5. Death and Taxes
Death and Taxes is a charming and satirical short narrative-based game on a reality where you are in the afterlife as a grim reaper and in charge of deciding who is to live or die. You are based in an office working 9-5 and faced with philosophical decisions such as will you save insert morally good young person or insert ethically grey person? Every decision has a repercussion and the game has multiple endings based on whom you have chosen to keep alive during your workday. There are multiple external factors influencing your decisions such as a disembodied voice trying to persuade you to pick who they want to be killed. Ultimately it’s up to the player which path they will take.
I personally found the multiple endings great for the chance to try the game countless times as on its own one playthrough would have fallen increasingly short. I clocked several hours of gameplay going back and forth trying to make amends if I received an ending I didn’t like. I got myself stressed over the overarching objective of saving humanity that they spring on you after your induction period of a grim reaper is over. The grim reaper also has several customizable outfits and color schemes which gave you something to work towards during your playthrough by accumulating a wage after every shift in the office. Customization is massive for me especially if I can make anything lilac.
One thing I would change about this game would a portion of the soundtrack. There is one tune that the characters deem “catchy” in the elevator. I wholeheartedly disagree, so if you play the game let me know what you think of the dreaded elevator music and the gameplay of course.
4. MR PREPPER
I stumbled across this game on a recommendation from a family member who had reported it as being a time sink. I quickly realized that was exactly what it was. To set the scene MR PREPPER is set in a dystopian future where the government controls all and freedom of thought is a thing of the past. MR PREPPER is reminiscent of Fallout Shelter or Sheltered but has a uniqueness to it, as you are preparing for the apocalypse and leaving town before it happens. Additionally, you are also preparing to fight back against the fascist world.
The gameplay includes managing inspections from the government, growing your own products to help satisfy your food and hydration meter, and participating in side-scrolling adventures to collect resources.
Combat appeared clunky at first but, after a while of practicing with the make-shift weapons, I became confident in battling the environment’s opponents such as bats, feral wolves, and bandits.
If you are looking for a game that will consistently have your mind stimulated over resource management and bunker building this is the hidden gem you should try.
However, like most resource management sims in the same vein as this war of mine, it is essential to have a tedious grinding segment for resources. In my personal opinion, I didn’t find it tedious but I often have this optimistic outlook that grinding is a way to familiarize myself with the controls of the games, but I understand the mindset of others may not include this. Nevertheless, try out and see if you can escape the dystopian “Land of the free”.
3. Disciples Liberation
Disciples liberation had me hyped since the announcement due to my love for the disciples series whilst growing up. Disciples was a strategy turn-based game on PC which created several installments in the series. The last installment was 2009 and I had resigned from the series thinking it was a bygone part of my formative years of gaming. However, they delivered again in 2021 and have released Disciples Liberation.
The game delivered bringing a mix of dark fantasy and rich storytelling alive again with the turn-based combat. Countless stories, decisions, and combat leaves hours of fun. A karma system is implemented where you can decide if you will align with demons or an imperial faction who follow an entity titled “the all-father”. I got lost in the magic instantly and honestly feel it was a love letter to the fans of the series from that bygone era.
The only downside to this was on release there were some graphical and audio glitches so ultimately an update to fix this would leave the game more polished. However, I feel it’s fair that this will come at a later date.
2. Monster Sanctuary
I came across monster sanctuary on a rainy afternoon whilst I was trawling through Game pass on my PC. I was drawn instantly to the vibrant colors and magical-looking creatures in the thumbnail. One of my favorite genres is Metroidvania games and this is exactly what this game delivered along with a monster collecting aspect similar to Pokémon with its turn-based combat and leveling system.
You should delve into hours of gameplay with the goal of collecting and leveling several monsters whilst navigating the treacherous terrains with danger in most corners of the map. Level and familiarise yourselves with the strengths and weaknesses of your monsters. It’s definitely filled my Pokémon void until the new releases are out.
The only downside for me for this hidden gem was consistently bumping into monsters that I didn’t need, but with any monster collecting game, this is pretty much the norm especially as encounters are randomized.
Ender Lillies: Quietus of the Knights
I have saved Ender Lilies for last as it’s increasingly becoming one of my favorite games of all time let alone a hidden gem. The aesthetic was what drew me to the game causing me to purchase it. The dark fantasy of blight-infected inhabitants and cities in ruins creates a dark and foreboding atmosphere. The soundtrack also adds to this amplifying the feeling of solitude, helplessness, and a hauntingly beautiful world. The story follows a young priestess named Lilly accompanied by an umbral knight as you discover the world left behind by the “rains of the death.” With Metroidvania and soul-like gameplay aspects, it’s easy to lose yourself for hours. Each boss brings a new challenge and you are armed with spirits to help bring new combat abilities keeping each new chapter of the game fresh.
The map was daunting at first with many interlocking chambers and shortcuts galore but this only added to the challenge the game posed. After hours of exploring and navigating I grew to love the world even more and each new secret uncovered was like a personal achievement tallying towards the game completion. The bosses pose a new challenge for each area and really have you thinking about the spirits you have and which abilities are best.
This is closely becoming one of my favorite games of all time. Hence the number one spot on this list. If you’re looking for something that follows the same vein as hollow knight give this a go!!
Now these are my top 5 hidden gems. All views are my own and I’d recommend these games to any avid gamer. If you try them let us know!!
Thanks for reading my first article with vibe✌️
26, Indie Game connoisseur. Also a hamster mum, fiancée & working in the addiction field. Gaming and writing are my escape and comfort for when the world gets too much!