The holiday season is upon us, and with that brings the end of another year. 2015 was one of, if not the best years in video game history. We saw the release of numerous blockbuster games including Halo 5: Guardians, Call of Duty Black Ops 3, Mario Maker, Assassins Creed Syndicate, and Skylanders SuperChargers just to name a few.

With so many great games, it’s practically impossible to keep up with new releases. We often tend to overlook some of the smaller titles from publishers in favour of the blockbuster titles. Over the last several weeks, I have been playing some of these lesser-known games, and boy have I found some hidden gems.

If you’re looking for some really great games that you might have missed this year, I have put together a list of the top 3 games you may have missed playing in 2015.

  1. The Jackbox Party Pack 2The Jackbox Party Pack 2

Release Date: October 13, 2015

Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Steam/PC

Publisher: Jackbox Games

Genre: Family / Party

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

From the publisher that brought us You Don’t Know Jack, comes Jackbox Party Pack 2. A sequel to last year’s title, this is a collection of fast paced, over the top party games. Quite possibly one of the best features of the game is its ease of use; players can join in on the fun via their tablets, smartphone, or computer. The best part about it is, only one person has to own the game!

There are five fun filled party games included in this pack, three of them are new and two are updates from last year’s game. One of my favourite new games is called Earwax, it’s a sound-effect game where you pick from your stash of sound effects the best one that matches the prompt on screen. Let me tell you they can be really weird and obscure!

Then there is Bomb Corp., this new game is filled with wild and wacky characters that you have to try to avoid being exploded into bits. The last new game is called Bidiot. Essentially its a drawing game, you’ll get two different prompts and must draw two different pictures. Each of the other players are given money and they can bid on the drawings, sort of like an auction. Clues are given out on the value of each painting and using those clues, you’ll try and trick other players into bidding on worthless drawings while you snag the most valuable drawing.

If you’re looking to have some fun with family and friends, then you will definitely want to check out The Jackbox Party Pack 2, its value priced and provided my family and I hours upon end of fun.

 

 

  1. Rodea The Sky Soliderrodea the sky soldier

Release Date: November 10, 2015

Platform: Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii

Publisher: NIS America

Genre: Flying action

ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone ages 10 and up)

NIS America unleashes a fresh new game that has a beautiful art style, bright colourful characters, and fantastic gameplay—Rodea The Sky Solider. Bringing speed and adventure in this epic journey through the skies, the story starts 1,000 years ago. The evil Naga Empire have sent out an army of machine solders to invade and takeover the sky kingdom of Garuda. Along with the help of Princess Cecilia, Rodea stopped the evil invasion. Promising to protect Garuda from any future invasions, Rodea now finds himself 1,000 years later and the evil forces of Naga have returned once again.

It’s time for Rodea to take to the skies again, defend Garuda, and destroy the Naga Empire once and for all. You will absolutely love traversing the skies of Garuda, solving puzzles and annihilating the oncoming enemies. You can pretty much go wherever you want, take Rodea to the ground where he can run, jump, hover, and perform a homing attack called a boost attack in the game.

The battles in Rodea The Sky Solider are epic! The boss battles are a remarkable sight; these mammoth opponents offer a challenge that will keep you on your toes. Watching Rodea, weave in and out in acrobatic combat against these enemies is truly awesome.

Rodea The Sky Solider is chalked full of replay value, you can replay any level to improve your time and discover hidden items and objectives that you may have missed your first time through. Set new speed records, upgrade your gear, and increase your score. Having put over 25 hours into this game so far, I have had nothing but pure and genuine fun with this game. You will have a blast playing Rodea The Sky Solider!

 

 

  1. Stella GlowSGCoverRGB

Release Date: November 17, 2015

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Publisher: Atlus USA

Genre: Strategy RPG

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

The masterminds at Imageepoch behind the Luminous Arc series bring us its spiritual successor—Stella Glow. In this new strategy RPG, you take on the role of Alto, a country boy in a small village.

Alto’s village is attacked and taken hostage by Hilda, the evil Witch of Destruction. Outraged, Alto joins the 9th Regiment and along with his fellow squadmates, sets out to recruit other Witches throughout the Regnant Kingdom to stop Hilda and her ruthless Harbingers.

If you love strategy RPGs then you are going to love Stella Glow! Imageepoch has taken everything that they have learned from the Luminous Arc series and poured their heart and soul into this game. The result is a game that features solid strategic gameplay, amazing voice acting, beautiful songs by famous Japanese voice actors, and over 30 hours of gameplay.

One of my favourite things about Stella Glow is the ability to establish social bonds with your squadmates. Take part in romances, and even bromances! Based upon your choices, you can unlock one of the many different endings, and unlock new powers and special events. I can’t put this game down, it’s simply addicting!

 

Final thoughts

You really can’t go wrong with any of these three games, if you’re looking for fun with your family and friends then The Jackbox Part Pack 2 delivers hours of multiplayer and family fun. Those looking for the thrill of action and adventure will fall in love with Rodea The Sky Solider. With it’s unique and captivating gameplay there is nothing else out there that will give you the same fun and enjoyment.

Finally, for those strategy RPG fans, you simply cannot go wrong with Stella Glow. All of the characters are unique and likable, and the game combines classic gameplay with a modern design. You’re going to log in some serious hours on this one.

Let me know in the comments section below if there is a game I missed that should have made my list. Have a happy holiday everyone!