I haven’t done one of these in a while (after the first 100 games), so I thought I’d throw a new entry out there. For the newer readers, it’s a post about 5 games I particularly like. They may or may not make the usual “Top 100” lists, but they are recommendations of mine to at least check out to add to one’s gaming knowledge. The only real stipulation is the titles have to be at least one year old for inclusion on the list. Feel free to check the tag “Favorite Games” to see other titles included.

1.) Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Vanillaware) – While still quite popular in some circles to downplay the graphical savvy of the Wii against the other systems, this is easily one of the most beautiful games of this current console generation. Taking the popular “Metroidvania” style (though not as intricately complex as its namesakes), Muramasa is one of those games that is so pretty that you actually have to remind yourself to keep playing due to the frequent breaks you’ll be taking to stare at the astoundingly well-animated graphics. There’s also an enjoyable game in there as well, with two unique characters, an intertwining storyline, and a fairly addicting sword crafting mechanic. If you’re among the sword that needs to defend the Wii’s honor that the system has attractive looking games, pop this in. This should silence just about anyone.

2.) Goonies II (Konami) – The U.S. never got the first Goonies game (and there is one), but we did get this unique platformer that leads the kids from Astoria Oregon into a new adventure against the Fratelli gang to find a mermaid. From recreating the Cyndi Lauper song in the first section, to having the whole gang intact, Goonies II builds an adventure that has the player exploring caves, warehouses, underwater and more, coupled with some amusing “Engrish” along the way (“Ouch! What do you do?”).

3.) Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (Lucasarts) – Ah, Lucasarts. Back in the day when graphic adventures meant something, and not every title was yet another Star Wars adventure. This clever adventure featured intelligent gameplay, attractive graphics, witty dialogue, and a keen adventurer’s mind as players could choose an adventure based on a sharp mind, or good old fashioned brawling. Either way was in the theme of Indiana Jones, and certainly more than adventures with Crystal Skulls and CG gophers.

4.) Black Cauldron (Sierra) – Disney’s “Dark Horse” film, one that they still like to pretend doesn’t exist outside of the occasional bare-bones DVD release. This game is from the era of Sierra’s 3D adventure games, aimed a little more at the younger folk with a simplified command system, but still quite challenging in its own right. Filled with secrets, multiple endings, and a tone of in-jokes (which again, Disney frowned upon), this is a hard game to find, but still an entertaining adventure, whether you choose to follow the plot of the game, or make your own story.

5.) Crayon Physics Deluxe (Kloonigames Ltd.) – A charming little puzzle game where players write their own rules to solve a seemingly simple goal: Create a path to roll the ball into the star. The beauty of this simplistic title lies in not reaching the goal, but in creating the means to do so. While there is always a set path to follow, experimentation and creatively thinking outside of the box are just as equally rewarded as player create slopes, jumps, and even basic tools and shapes to make the ball roll. The relaxing music and childlike paper and crayon environment add a pleasant visual style to an already unique title.

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