Over the course of decades, games have evolved into different genres that we all know and love. We’ve got your typical RPG genre, for example, for those loners who’re into role-playing and campaigns. Then you’ve got strategy games, for some sense of teamwork or camaraderie. Surely, there are racing, shooters, and MMO’s, all requiring both single or multiplayer gaming.
But then there’s this obscure, minuscule, yet expanding subgenre of the gaming industry that’s been on the rise not just from now, but slowly and steadily from the beginning of times. For lack of a better adjective, we’ll just call these games weird. For their titles, story, mechanics, characters or looks, but still, weird. Uncanny. Special, if you want. Games that stand out.
What Makes A Weird Game?
People who create games don’t often think about the weirdness factor of their final product. They settle things like design, mechanics, story, character creation, points, maps, missions and so on. But what makes a game, any game, a weird one? What has to happen for it to be weird? The term, quite frankly, is self-explanatory. Weird is weird, and you have to experience it directly.
A weird game is like any other game, coming with an objective for some main character, but the way the story is put and things are developing, makes it overall uncommon if compared to other similar titles. Cities: Skylines is a common, regular city builder. Surviving Mars? Weird because, well, it happens on Mars!
The Best Selling Weird Games
All right, now that we’ve been through the entire description, weird one, about what weird games are, let’s look into our list of the most uncanny titles we could find in our own catalogue. These titles were picked by hand by our editors, who’re sure that if you’re new to gaming, or even a veteran, you’ll find these particular games at least out of the ordinary, if not crazy entirely.
Binary Domain - The weird factor of this particular game is the actual story. Imagine a world in which the machine has taken over. Everything that you do, ven think, is controlled in a way or another by a soulless entity that humans have created. In a way, you created your own eternal nightmare. Binary Domain is exactly that, a shooter happening in 2080 when Dan Marshal and his team are sent to Tokyo, where robots have taken over the city. Your mission is simple, to rid the metropolis of the unhearted robots and their destructive weapons. All of your actions have consequences, many of which will seem weird at first.
Hotline Miami - Here's a weird game for everything having to do about it. You need to play this game, in order to start to grasp its main ideas. It's confusing at first, but just follow the main subject of the game, and its fast-paced action, and believe you can make it out of this high-demanding game. Brutally crude, raw when it comes to gameplay, and hard, intense moves with bone-breaking combat, you will surely get your money's worth when it comes to Hotline Miami. Are you ready to play the game of games? Put your weird mask on and go to town, literally!
Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death - In a world in which the discussion of racial identity is swarming, a game with a black hero is not weird, just uncommon. Which makes it unique. Marlow takes no-nonsense into account, yet he's never out of the way of danger. He has to face one ultimate challenge, after crash-landing in a remote zone of Central America. While there, Marlow Briggs has to face an industrial danger, including one Mayan Death Mask with powers beyond human understanding. This is just another day at the job for Marlow, pushing his limits to new maximums on his way to finding the love of his life, abducted by the weird locals.
Alice: Madness Returns - There are few people in the world who're not familiar with the Alice in Wonderland tale. The famous novel by Lewis Carroll is famous all over the world, being turned into TV series, movies, merchandise and surely, video games. This title though, when it comes to the normalcy of it, is nothing but weird. This Wonderland is a nightmare completely, a weird, dark corner of the imaginative world of Alice in which madness is at the order of the day. Demons are taunting all of her emotions, and the entire existence. Weird game? Keep calm, nothing is real.
Fly'N - At a first glance, there's nothing weird about the description of this game. You've got a great mix of puzzles, platforming, and fun, a game that's easy to grasp and interesting enough to keep you into it. What's weird here is the actual graphics, the way the land and environments have been drawn, mostly by hand. And weird doesn't have to be anything bad, it can also be a good thing, like with Fly'N. The game challenges your abilities on all fronts with more than 40 gameplay levels, in a world that's as luxurious and as visually different as they get.
Don't Starve - The best thing about this game is the unique way in which the story is told, not just in a storytelling mode but in a visual one as well. Don't Starve has a clear mission for you. You just have to survive, literally. This game is visually stunning, combining old school elements with the new and the modern, as well as magic, science, and wilderness survival tactics. This title will push your skills to the limit, testing everything you've got from patience to speed. And every step of the way, there's a twist that will leave you breathless. Which is good, as long as you're not left without food.
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare - When you think about the greatest battles of men versus zombies, a few TV series or movies come to mind. They all have the same elements, roughly, as there are armies of brainless people and survivors who have to face them and avoid getting bit by the hungry. Introducing Plants vs. Zombies, the Garden Warfare episode, a game in which zombies are fought by, well, plants! That's... weird, even for zombie-themed games. The objective of the game is simple: turn your favourite plant into a zombie killer, complete with guns and special abilities that will eliminate the hoards of braindead in a leafbeat.
The Evil Within - When Resident Evil meets survival, this is what you get. The Evil Within is a contraption made by the same people who're behind the famous Resident Evil series, a game that's horrific and weird overall. With a world that's based on details and environments that are perfect to be explored all day long, filled with monsters and creatures of the beyond, your anxiety levels will surely raise when playing this title. The story? Intricate, filled with twists and turns, and terrifying. By the time you're done with this title, you'll surely need a weeklong vacation, if not more.
Bully Scholarship Edition - This particular game is all revealed within its name, obviously. For most people, being bullied happened at least once in their lives, be it at school, at work, even at home or in romantic relationships. This game? This game is weird enough because it lets you get back to these bullies in a direct, violent manner. If you've never got the chance to get back at your bully from high school, now it's the time to virtually do it. A weird game with a weird story and mechanics, Bully is the ultimate simulator, one that deals with the worst of society.
The Long Dark - When was the last time when you've had a power outage? Was it for a few minutes? Maybe it was hours long, or even went on for 24 hours? It does happen. No TV, no games, no heat or water, nothing works for those 24 hours. Now imagine that being the norm, after a power outage that never goes back to normal. And the dark. Imagine the long dark, the night that never sees the light of electricity. This is The Long Dark, one of the most uncanny, weird games you can ever play. That is, if you've got the guts to face its many trials.
Fe - Out of all of the games that we find weird in our offer, this one is the one with the most uncommon name. It's just two letters, Fe. What is that, you'd wonder, as did we? Fe is the ultimate platformer in which creatures are made to look like nothing else you've ever seen no matter how much you play on a daily basis, and how diverse your library is. The story can only be uncovered through action and situations, as there is no storytelling done with words, like with most games. Double weird! As you run and climb, you uncover the secrets of a different fantasy life worth exploring.
Killing Floor - Finishing up this buying guide with a weird game indeed, in which you need to turn any floor into a killing zone. You're about to kill pork-masked people, as well as ventriloquist dolls which are possessed by the underworld souls, among other things. Your mission here is to somehow not panic and deal with all of these creatures, all of which are out there to get you before they eliminate you. It's a game of cat and mice, and you're not the cat here. A survival FPS with all of the fixings of weird games, Killing Floor is not for the faint-hearted.
Tips For Winning A Weird Title
Playing a weird game comes with some special rules that you won’t find across the board for all games. Why? Because weirdness brings about many elements that are uncommon, such as hidden missions, special items, even surprising environments. Here are a few rules to follow for when you decide on which one of the games above you’re ready to try out.
Embrace the weird - Playing a game that is considered weird and not being okay with it is the first step towards disaster. Sure, nothing bad will happen but you will just hate the game, and it shouldn’t be like that. Games that are weird are fun for the heck of it, so the best thing you can do here, the right strategy to impose is to embrace the chaos of weirdness. Whenever you hit play and start a new session, you’re off to an adventure of the uncommon and the unknown. Embrace it fully, and enjoy the features of a game you won’t normally play.
Diffuse the tension - There's a certain level of tension you feel when you play weird games with weird environments, creatures and stories. It's not every day that you shoot possessed ventriloquist dummies, is it? This is why, it's great to diffuse this tension that you're feeling by simply accepting the fact that this is a video game, nothing more. There's no funny business happening in real life, but just on that little screen. When you start to act like it's a game, there's no fear nor tension felt anywhere. And that's when the real fun begins to unfold as it should!
Understand the confusion - Weird games often come with weird missions and features. We're not going to give any examples, but the best way to win these games is to understand the confusion they bring. Learn to spot the key features that will help you throughout your gameplay. Don't miss on the side missions, the pieces of information some of the characters are giving you, basically, turn up your focus and attention to 110% and be committed. Confusion is fun, not a pain but a challenge, and a great element to any game, not just the weird ones. Keep calm, stay low, and go for it!