Saints Row IV
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Publisher: Deep Silver
Alien invasions, superpowers, and purple dildo baseball bats. How could Saints Row IV not be one of the most absurd games of the year?
The Saints Row series is known for being all-around extreme and hilarious (some of which you can attribute to glitches), and Saints Row IV is no exception. When you can put on ridiculous outfits, wield extraterrestrial technology, and kill people with mental powers all in one game, things are going to get nuts. And that’s before amateur strip night.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, P S Vita
Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios
Fighting games can be pretty quirky, but Divekick is on a separate level. Players can only perform two main actions: dive and kick. One hit kills, which means some rounds will last seconds while others will go on until the timer expires for fear of anyone making a wrong move.
Either way, it’s funny to watch. The characters are all parodies of tournament players or characters from other titles, but even if you don’t get the humor, you’ll shake your head and laugh at how bizarre it all is. (One contender, Uncle Sensei, technically fights with his hands, but hey — he wears boots on them.)
Stick It to the Man
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PS Vita
Developer: Zoink Games
If you think you can read people’s minds, you’re probably crazy or on a bad drug trip. For Ray, he just so happened to get hit in the noggin’ and now has an alien slug creature living in his brain.
He could probably have a pretty good quality of life even with that thing crawling around in there if it wasn’t for the pink spaghetti-like arm sprouting from the top of his head. Thankfully, only he can see it … which means everyone thinks he’s gone nuts. But the unwelcome takeover of his brain comes with some benefits: the ability to read people’s thoughts (which are really odd) and grab and swing from objects in a two-dimensional world made of paper cut-outs and stickers.
Platform: Wii U
Nintendo surprised us this month when it announced NES Remix on the Wii U eShop — and released it the same day. It’s an unexpected collection of 16 games from the Nintendo Entertainment System.
But this is no normal compilation. NES Remix turns each classic, like Super Mario Bros. and Ice Climbers, into a series of rapid-fire challenges. Players complete tasks as simple as reaching the finish line in Excitebike or as tricky as jumping over 10 barrels in Donkey Kong.
One of the best mobile games of the year is also one of the most unusual. In Device 6, the puzzles themselves are hidden.
You play as an amnesiac named Anna, who wakes up on a mysterious island. The adventure unfolds through words, images, and video: The text scrolls left when she does; the words spill downward when she descends a staircase. Other times, you’ll need to turn the device to continue reading or hold messages up to a mirror. Device 6 is playful and creative — and you probably haven’t experienced anything quite like it before.