Published on October 13th, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan0
7 Games with Unique Mechanics You Won’t Find Elsewhere
When I pick up a hotly anticipated game, it often surprises me how familiar it is. Take open world RPGs for example. The vast majority will contain the same old journal, quest markers, dialogue choices, stat screens, inventory systems and mini maps, making the journey into the new world feel wholly familiar. Moreover there are endless Mario reskins, souls-likes and walking sims which, well, all feel incredibly similar.
That said, there are a handful of games out there which break the mould of what it means to game, introducing some fresh ideas. Most of them can be quite expensive, this is where it’s better to get game keys is better. Anyways, here are seven fantastic examples.
Baba is You
The widely acclaimed 2019 release by Indie solo developer Arvi Teikari, Baba Is You is a game about programming. But wait! Before that scares you off, it’s not really a game about programming. It’s a game about understanding and changing logic-based rules in order to get your cute little sheep Baba to the goal.
You push around word blocks to change the world around you. For example, shifting “baba is you” to “rock is you” gives you control over an animate rock instead.
So, I guess it is a game about programming logic after all…
Before Your Eyes
While VR is experimenting with eye tracking for rendering purposes, Before Your Eyes decided to bring your very eye action into the world.
This gentle, narrative experience sees your blinks become the key way you interact with the world. That’s right, every intentional or unintentional blink has an impact on the game world.
Masterfully, this mechanic ties in perfectly with the narrative where you revisit key memories of your character’s life, each skipping past in the, quite literal, blin of an eye.
Untitled Goose Game
HONK! Untitled Goose Games is one of those whacky games which exploded into the mainstream in 2019.
Playing as a not so innocent goose, your goal is to wreak havoc on a small English town. But you’re a goose… So all you can do it grab items, drag them around and HONK!
While some of the mechanics may reflect stealth puzzlers, your inability to do anything but be a pest of a feathered biped makes this an incredibly unique puzzler.
The Stanley Parable
Like many walking simulators, The Stanley Parable’s gameplay revolves around walking and clicking… Thus, you’d be forgiven thinking there weren’t any unique mechanics in sight. But that’s where you’d be wrong.
Hidden in plain sight, The Stanley Parable’s key mechanic is implicit player choice.
Led by a narrator, you are narrated through a set experience, but soon you realise that you can push far beyond what the narrator is telling you. Taking the left door instead of the right, to name but one example.
While choice is an important part of many games there are few which push player choice to its limit, while giving you some incredibly profound fuel for thought in the process.
From the wackily wholesome mind of Keita Takahashi, creator of the Katamari Damacy series, Wattam offers up a unique experience to be played either solo or co-op.
The main game mechanic, unlike the vast majority of games out there, is to make friends. Of course, that’s a hard sell in a world of fast cars, guns and endless action. But in place of all that chaos, Wattam offers a colourful, abstract world where you hold hands with trees, flowers, rocks, toilets, poop and more; solving puzzles and uncovering secrets along the way.
Developed for VR, Paper Beast invites players into a unique parchment world, filled with animals, plants and natural chaos.
While the setup for Paper Beast is certainly unique, so is the gameplay. Here you do not interact with anything directly. Instead you pull around the creatures and plants in order to help them achieve your goal. For example using bug-like creatures to help build a mound of dirt over obstacles.
Although Paper Beast is available in a “folded” non-VR version, it’s definitely worth experiencing this charming world in full 360 degree immersion.
Touted as “an elegant evolution of the puzzle game” Gorogoa is certainly unique.
Journey through a variety of hand-drawn scenes, while manipulating images in a two-by-two grid. But this isn’t a simple game of rearranging. Journeying deep into different layers of abstraction—from painting to book to reality—the world morphs and shifts as you try to find answers to its cryptic, satisfying puzzles.
Available on most devices under the sun—from the PS4 to Android and iOS—there’s no excuse for letting Gorogoa’s magic pass you by.
Not every game is (or should be) an endeavour into original mechanics. But that most certainly doesn’t mean we can’t reap the joy and creativity from the works which commit themselves to being wholly unique.
Cover Photo by Sean Do on Unsplash