Under Radar PlayStation 4 PS4 1

Last year, we previewed 25 games that would make 2016 an excellent one for the PlayStation 4, including huge blockbusters like Final Fantasy XV, Mass Effect Andromeda, and The Last Guardian as well as a couple of smaller titles such as Firewatch and The Witness. While it gives a great picture of just how good this year is going to be for PlayStation, there are plenty of games that have flown under the radar that could become sleeper hits, much like Rocket League last year. And, of course, we're here to talk about them.

Darkest Dungeon PS4 PlayStation 4 1

Darkest Dungeon

There haven't been many true dungeon crawlers releasing lately, and Darkest Dungeon looks to break that duck. With a dark, gothic art style and a mix of turn-based battles and exploration sections, Red Hook Studios' first outing aims to focus on the psychology of the heroes that you control. As you explore and fight, your heroes can become stressed, scared, or scarred, decreasing or increasing their power and abilities. The worlds that you explore are procedurally generated, allowing for plenty of replays, and overall Darkest Dungeon looks to be a very interesting little roguelike.

Distance  PS4 PlayStation 4 1


Distance is the most outlandish racing title since the likes of the Burnout series – you're controlling a car that can flip, fly, boost, turn, and jump around distorted, dangerous tracks that twist, contort, and generally try to kill you, all while a thumping soundtrack plays. It's not like there are a limited amount of courses either – not only is there a single player campaign, there's also a random track generator, a level editor, and plenty of multiplayer modes to get your teeth into. Moreover, PlayStation VR support have been confirmed.

Hyper Light Drifter PS4 PlayStation 4 1

Hyper Light Drifter

Good God, this game is beautiful. A 2D roguelike in the vein of The Binding of Isaac, Hyper Light Drifter is all about blasting away as many enemies as possible. You'll probably feel guilty, since the sprites are so lovingly crafted, but that doesn't stop the combat from looking all the more satisfying. As well as rifles and pistols, there are plenty of gadgets at your disposal, from homing grenades to shields that reflect enemy projectiles, all powered by batteries scattered around the world. You'll also have a cute companion to manage your inventory and seek out hidden paths – because, after seeing The Force Awakens, we could all kill for our own BB-8.

Manifold Garden PS4 PlayStation 4 1

Manifold Garden

Originally a prototype shown off at E3 2014, this surrealist puzzler looks very trippy, very cool, and, most importantly, very interesting. The basic concept is that the world in which you solve puzzles is one of repetition – it warps back into itself, essentially. For instance, jump off a platform and you'll find yourself falling onto the same platform that you just dived off of. This enables a very interesting dynamic for puzzles – for example, if you drop water off of a platform, it'll fall from above, creating a continuous stream. This, coupled with blocks that trigger switches, hold up blocks, and redirect water, could make for some mind-bendingly excellent brain teasers. Put on your philosophy caps for this one.

Night in the Woods PS4 PlayStation 4 1

Night in the Woods

This is quite literally one of the most obscure game premises in a while – in Night In The Woods, you play as Mae, a college drop out who returns to her home town and is saddened by how everything has changed. She's also a cat, and is best characterised by a quote from her: "Everything sucks forever." As you can guess, this is a pretty quirky game, and it looks to be a melancholic little platformer with a very nice cartoon style. It's a wildcard, but judging from previews all over the Internet, it looks to be exceptional.

Push ME Pull You PS4 PlayStation 4 1

Push Me Pull You

Okay, actually this is way more obscure. Named after the conjoined llamas in Dr Doolittle, this local multiplayer title joins you and your teammate at the waists, and tasks you with wrestling with your nightmare-fuel opponent for control of the ball. Whether it's trying to dribble it into a goal or keeping it in your half of the arena for as long as possible, there'll definitely be laughter and shouting involved – as well as the odd "What the hell?" Push Me Pull You looks like it'll offer the same quirky fun as Sportsfriends, and we could always use more of that on PS4.

Rime PS4 PlayStation 4 1


RIME has been on the down-low for quite a while since it was unveiled back in 2014, which is a huge shame considering how promising it is. An open world platformer with some puzzling elements, RIME has a bit of an ICO vibe to it, and that's always a good thing. The world in which you explore looks stunning, with bright colours popping everywhere, and there's plenty of ways to traverse it, from climbing towers and mountains to swimming in the cool blue waters. It'd be nice to get some more footage soon so we know more about what RIME actually is. And besides, Shawn Layden owes us one since the Crash Bandicoot incident at PSX. Tsk tsk.

Thumper PS4 PlayStation 4 1


2016 looks to be a great year for rhythm games: Harmonix's Amplitude is coming out this month, and hopefully we should get more of a look at the new Rez at upcoming Sony events. Thumper is quite a different rhythm game, however, as it's a helluva lot more brutal than most. You're a space beetle racing towards a giant head at breakneck speed as the neon, cyberpunk visuals emphasise how fast you're really going. This is an insanely trippy game, and definitely not one for the faint-hearted, but it could be an excellent ride. Just don't question it.

Wattam PS4 PlayStation 4 1


It's been far, far too long since Keita Takahashi has made a game. The creator of Katamari and Noby Noby Boy look to have done it again with Wattam, a very, very cute-looking game that is very, very strange. You play as an eclectic bunch of characters, including the top hat-toting Mayor, a teacup, and a tiny poo, and it's your goal to get to the top of the level. This can be done in a variety of ways, from stacking your friends and climbing on them to unleashing a rainbow-coloured propulsion fart from your character's…. undercarriage. Whatever Wattam turns out to be, it'll sure as hell be charismatic.

What Remains of Edith Finch PS4 PlayStation 4 1

What Remains of Edith Finch

The next game from the creators of The Unfinished Swan, What Remains of Edith Finch spans many generations of the Finch family, a cursed bunch who have their only member left in the titular Edith. She's trying to explore the history of her family and find out why they're all dead by playing through their lives and finding out how they died. It looks to be an interesting adventure that's sure to be shocking yet charming, as per The Unfinished Swan. Let's hope this game is finished by the end of the year.

Have any of these smaller games captured your interest, or is AAA where it's at this year? Be an indie apologist in the comments below.