My top 5 this year couldn’t be more different from each other; featuring a variety of genres and developers both big and small. #5 is a modern throwback to classic games and like Shovel Knight proves that there is still plenty of life in the 2D genre.
Odallus looks like a lost game from the NES era; from its chip tune soundtrack and inspirations from series like Castlevania and Ninja Gaiden. Featuring some great action/adventure gameplay, Odallus managed to be a game that evoked the best parts of the NES era, while skillfully mitigating some of the traps of old school design.
A perfect love letter to games of yesteryear, it’s a great companion game to last year’s hit Shovel Knight; with both games providing a different modern take on things. What’s very impressive is the fact that studio Joymasher didn’t just copy elements from the NES, but instead created new mechanics and challenges that while original, would still be fitting of the genre and style of the time.
The developers continued to work on it and recently released a veteran mode; not only increasing the difficulty, but making the game bigger and even more adventure styled. Honestly, the only thing that keeps it from being higher on my list is that it’s still a short game and rivals Her Story as the shortest play on my top 10 list.
If you’re a fan of classic design, Odallus is definitely a great game to jump back into the genre, minus some of the headaches from back in the day. For more on Odallus and the new veteran mode, you can watch my video playlist of me going through the game.
#4 continues this studio’s trend to make my brain overheat, with one hell of a puzzling experience.