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You know how it is: Some games are good, some are bad, and some are too weird or embarrassing to ever admit to playing.
This year saw its fair share of freaks and oddballs. You’ve probably played at least one — they’re kind of hard to forget.
Below are the strangest games that developers thought (and dared) to create in 2013. We’re sure we missed some. Let us know about the weirdest thing you played this year in the comments.
Surgeon Simulator 2013
Above: He doesn’t need this … .
Image Credit: Bossa Studios
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Developer: Bossa Studios
Ah, yes. Nothing’s more comforting than showing the future doctors of the world the joys of clumsily playing around in someone’s chest cavity. Lose a surgical knife in Bob’s heart? No worries, friend! Just take out his heart and — whoops, did you drop that on the floor? Oh, well. Maybe the patient won’t notice.
Let’s hope anyone who plays Surgeon Simulator 2013 stays a gamer and doesn’t suddenly decide to apply to medical school.
The Typing of the Dead: Overkill
Above: A zombie’s greatest weakness.
Image Credit: Sega
Developer: Modern Dream
I’m not sure what prompted Sega to release a follow-up to the early 2000s Dreamcast and PC “edutainment” game The Typing of the Dead, which taught people how to type by having them spell out words and phrases to kill zombies, but it finally did a few months ago. We never got The Typing of the Dead 2 or Flick of the Dead for iOS over here, so maybe it was only a matter of time.
The Typing of the Dead: Overkill is as weird as the original: As long as you can hammer out “unicorns” and “Jolly Roger” with great speed and accuracy, you’ll be safe when the zombie apocalypse hits. … Maybe you shouldn’t put too much stock in that, though.
Zeno Clash 2
Above: He’s not big on the talking.
Image Credit: Stephanie Carmichael/GamesBeat
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Developer: ACE Team
First-person brawlers are pretty rare. So are games about a brother and sister who fight to protect their imprisoned FatherMother, who stole them from their crib and raised them as its own.
But no part of Zeno Clash 2 is as odd as its surrealist imagery: giant dandelions strewn across a meadow, walking anatomy models with no heads and visible spines, animal-human hybrids, and creatures (like the one pictured above) that are so odd they elude description.
Mount Your Friends
Above: Don’t look too closely.
Image Credit: Stegersaurus Games
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Stegersaurus Games
Yes, this actually exists on Xbox Live Indie Games — and now that you know about it, you probably need a shower. Described as a “fiercely competitive sporting event” (erm), Mount Your Friends is exactly what you think it is: a game where you try to stack half-naked and weirdly perverse jiggly people on top of a goat.
What? You weren’t thinking of that and could have done without the mental image? My bad.
Above: Your fists go where the motorcycle says.
Image Credit: Twisted Pixel Games
Platform: Xbox One
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Twisted Pixel Games
It’s normal, to some extent, to humanize our favorite machines. Your car, she’s been good to you all these years. And your motorcycle? She’s your baby.
But I.R.I.S. is a little different. She’s trained in unarmed combat, can speak 50 languages, and uses a mechanic (actor Freddie Rodriguez) as a human weapon. That’s because LocoCycle isn’t a normal motorcycle-racing game. Not when its main vehicle is sentient and a graduate of the Big Arms Academy’s School of Assassination.
Add in wacky live-action sequences, and it’s no wonder our editor-in-chief, Dan “Shoe” Hsu, was perturbed: “I was so confused for the first 10 minutes playing this game.”