Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section.
ALIEN: ISOLATION (PC, MAC, PS3/PS4, XBOX 360/XBOX ONE)
BY CREATIVE ASSEMBLY
Ridley Scott’s seminal space slasher Alien and the tension of a survival-horror game are such a perfect pair that it’s a xenomorph-worthy shock it took this long. Alien: Isolation cops the sweaty, cramped vibe of Scott’s lived-in future, rather than the guns-blazing tone of James Cameron’s sequel. We hear it’s darn-near impossible, too—sorta like outsmarting an alien designed to kill.
Perfect for: Haunting Ground diehards, stowaway androids, Jonesy.
Playtime: Fifteen-odd hours, or an eternity spent cowering in a locker.
NIDHOGG (PC, MAC, PLAYSTATION 4, PS VITA, PSTV)
If you’re looking for the fine tradition of sportsman-like sword-fighting, Nidhogg might not be the game for you. If instead you’d like a one-on-one race to the finish where you duel your opponent or just throw your sword at the other guy’s head, then have at it! This platformer sports simple graphics that make spewing yellow and brown blood strangely fun and renders a gorgeous swinging chandelier. Come for the dueling, stay for the giant flying worm.
Perfect for: Those who love to duel, those who love to jump-kick into your opponents face, and those who love elegant platformers. And giant flying worms.
Playtime: As long as it takes you to meet up with the giant flying worm.
LEGEND OF GRIMROCK 2 (PC)
BY ALMOST HUMAN GAMES
A secluded island, ancient ruins, dungeons, mines and mysterious shrines. It sounds like poetry, and if you’re into dungeon crawlers, it could be. Legend of Grimrock 2 takes a refreshing step away from brute force and toward puzzle-solving, where exploration and survival skills will determine whether you make it out alive. Play comfortably as a Human, maybe a Minotaur, or try rolling a Ratling in your crew (we’ll let you Google that last one).
Perfect for: Adventurers, treasure-seekers, D&D veterans, wizards, bridge trolls.
Playtime: At least 20 hours of spelunking and marauding.