As ideas for storylines run dry and leave developers scratching chins, a bastion of light often finds a way to funnel into the hands of the open-minded. And with such light, of course, comes some of the weirdest creations ever conceived for the format. And when we say weird, we're talking full-blown ludicrosity. Like, pigeon simulators, for example.
2022 alone has seen its fair share of absurdities, many of which have gone on to crack the highest-grossing video games of the fiscal year. Question is, which of them have been the weirdest of the bunch? Well, here's how we see the current market. Here are, in our opinion, the five strangest games you'll play this year.
5. Goat Simulator 3
Simulation games have always been a little, shall we say, quirky. That being said, Goat Simulator is definitely one of the stranger ones. In fact, it's so strange, that it's almost impossible to even call it a simulation game. It's also a third-person shooter, if you can believe, as well as a sandbox survival action-adventure…thing. And as luck would have it, the wacky capra hircus is set to receive a second instalment later this year. Yes, second.
Goat Simulator 3 will bring you to the island of San Angora, a breathtakingly beautiful and vigorous open world that will undoubtedly wreak of opportunities. Opportunities that, with a little open-mindedness, can be achieved by, well, a goat. As such, you'll be able to headbutt, lick, and rampage your way through the regions — and with friends, thanks to the newly implemented online multiplayer mode. So, if causing trouble is your forte, then be sure to pick up Goat Simulator 3 on November 17, 2022.
4. High on Life
High on Life is an upcoming first-person shooter that stems from the same minds that rustled up the universally loved Rick & Morty series. And it's easy to see the connection the two share, what with the upcoming game being based around talking guns and slime-riddled sci-fi settings and what have you. The only thing missing from High on Life is, you know, Rick and Morty.
High on Life drops you on an alien planet as a mercenary, one who happens to be oblivious to their purpose of having to locate a series of quick-witted guns and their tongue-in-cheek comrades. It's heavy on the oddities, and even heavier on the wacky humor, as one would come to expect from such creators. Bottom line is, it's worth slugging through, especially if you're a die-hard fan of the Adult Swim nighttime network.
3. Hatoful Boyfriend
Because who wouldn't want to watch a relationship between two pigeons blossom into something extraordinary? It seems to us that, in spite of many triple-A developers' best efforts to spit fire, only Hato Moa has managed to conjure pure greatness with the text-based dating simulator Hatoful Boyfriend. And yeah, it may be a fair few years old now, but some things just don't quite ever leave you — especially dating simulators that revolve around anime pigeons.
Of course, there is a story to this absurd creation, and it's only after you manage to look past the novelties that it begins to flourish. As a sophomore student at the world's greatest PIGEON HIGH SCHOOL, you are given the freedom to roam its halls and find love between lectures. But with so many devilishly handsome — *sigh* — pigeons about, one could easily say that you're spoilt for choice. So, if love is what you're after, then at least now you know where to find it: at a pigeon high school, of all places.
2. Tiny Tina's Wonderlands
Beneath the Smurf-slaughtering side quests and bobblehead-infested tabletops, there's actually a genuinely good game in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. But, being a game that stems from Borderlands, a series known for developing weird things, it comes as no major surprise that the apple doesn't exactly fall far from the tree. And this spin-off, in all honesty, is a right ol' basket of sour fruits.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is a hybrid of a tabletop role-playing game, and a first-person shooter. And while that doesn't exactly sound otherworldly compared to the vast majority of modern shooter-looters, Wonderlands is, without a doubt, one of the oddest continents in gaming. The fact that one of its capital cities is governed by a glossy unicorn that goes by the name of Queen Butt Stallion says it all, to be fair. And that's barely scratching the surface, with an abundance of hilarious atrocities left within the remains of the casket.
1. Saints Row
Saints Row might've fallen from grace since adopting a hipster-themed reboot, but it still possesses a lot of its root material. Specifically, the weird and wonderful story arcs and ludicrously entertaining mission types that engulfed the world in laughter way back when. It's all still there — just with a little extra wokeness, shall we say.
Saints Row puts you in the boots of The Boss. In this origin tale, players get to piece together The Saints, an up-and-coming criminal organization that takes cheques by day, and plays board games and drinks iced frappes by night. Outside of building an empire, you'll get the chance to play in traffic for insurance payouts, fly a hoverboard over barren deserts, and pilot a tank through built-up suburbs. And that's not even breaking into the myriad of unusual activities the game has to offer, either. Pick it up, and you'll soon spot the dozens of hours worth of weirdness, and then some. Guaranteed.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there any games you'd recommend playing this year? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.