We try our best here at Push Square to lend as much coverage to as wide a range of games as possible, but even then, so many titles slip through the cracks. It leaves us playing catch up at the end of the year playing all these wonderful recommendations that passed us the first time. Maybe you're exactly the same, prioritising the latest and greatest and forgetting about a sweet indie game released just seven or so days ago. That's where this new Talking Point comes in.
We've got our own PS5, PS4 hidden gems to recommend, and we're hoping you do too. These are titles that you think didn't receive enough love or attention at the time of release, and so those interested may have forgotten about them. Our picks will likely lean into indie titles, but maybe you feel a bigger game has been overlooked. Either way, these are the hidden gems we think are worth taking a look at.
Sammy Barker, Editor
Tokyo 2020 has come and gone – albeit, bizarrely, a year late in 2021 – and now all eyes are on Paris and its iconic Eiffel Tower for a French event that’s on a faster turnaround than Adam Peaty in an Olympic pool. SEGA’s blue-skied take on this year’s summer games originally released in 2019 in Japan, as part of the build-up to the main event, but only arrived on Western shores a few months back.
And I feel like, in an era where vintage hits like NFL Blitz and Virtua Tennis no longer exist, it’s a real palette cleanser among the more involved sporting simulators that dominate the market. Some of the minigames are rudimentary and repetitive, but its vibrant, ostentatious presentation – which harks back to SEGA’s arcade origins, complete with sneakers that set on fire and an irritatingly enthusiastic announcer – capture everything I loved about sports games on the SEGA Dreamcast.
Play it if you haven’t already, it’s a rare Gold Medal of a game.
Robert Ramsey, Deputy Editor
Humour is an incredibly difficult thing to get right in video games. There's a very fine line between amusement and obnoxiousness in our most beloved medium, and that's why I heartily recommend The Procession to Calvary to anyone looking for a laugh. It's a point-and-click adventure made almost entirely out of collaged renaissance art, packed with stupid jokes, witty quips, and deliciously dark undertones. It tells the tale of a sociopathic warrior who's on a medieval quest to kill a despot named as Heavenly Peter — and that's all you really need to know.
It's just great fun, and it's a game that feels so unique in tone — a perfect palate cleanser between bigger releases. The Procession to Calvary is only a couple of hours long at most (shorter still if you decide to murder anyone who stands in your way), but its bite-sized format ensures that its Monty Python-esque humour never outstays its welcome.
A genuinely refreshing, funny, and weirdly haunting experience.
Stephen Tailby, Associate Editor
I've played a good number of smaller games throughout this year, but one in particular has stayed with me more than the rest. Toem, a PS5 adventure game about a travelling photographer, is a little treasure.
Armed with your trusty camera, you visit various locations on your way to the top of a distant mountain, and this journey is full of memorable moments. There are lots of objectives to complete and collectibles to find, and it all revolves around taking pictures. This might sound repetitive, and the simplistic art style probably doesn't help, but Toem is stuffed with imaginative and entertaining things to see and do. I don't want to spoil what is quite a short game, but rest assured it's a feel-good experience from beginning to end.
If you want to play something that'll make you smile, lets you go at your own pace, and packs its run time with fun ideas, Toem is a truly refreshing excursion.
Liam Croft, Assistant Editor
The hidden gem I recommend you play is Last Stop. Released for PS5 and PS4 back in the summer, it's a story focused game all about three different characters all of wildly varying backgrounds that are somehow linked together. The narrative is what you play it for, and it's a consistently fascinating tale throughout. You could finish it inside seven hours, which is perfect for either a weekend or over a few nights of play.
Gameplay is fairly simple, but it's just engaging enough to keep you occupied. Plus it has an easy Platinum Trophy, and that's always nice. The cast of characters is great, dialogue is full of English comedy, and even the quick-time events manage to stay enjoyable throughout. If the story in games matters to you, take Last Stop for a spin.
What were your favourite PS5, PS4 hidden gems of 2021? Share your recommendations in the comments below.