Mario Kart is so high school. (Especially now that Nintendo is losing money like crazy and Mario Kart 8 isn't expected to get that many people to buy a Wii U). That's okay though—we don't have to remove games from our social equation! These days, all the cool kids are playing Nidhogg and other games that are strangely pixelated for their cutting-edge newness. Here's what I recommend:
1. Johann Sebastian Joust is not your typical sit-on-a-couch and stare-at-a-screen game: you actually do neither of those things! JSJ uses PlayStation Move Controllers as "candles"—and you need to jostle your opponent so they knock over the candle. Music sets the pace at which you can move, and the accelerometer in the Move controller is the judge. This game is a ton of fun and a huge, awesome innovation.
- photo by Brent Knepper
- JOHANN SEBASTIAN JOUST Playing with fire. Sort of!
Johann Sebastian Joust is part of the Sportsfriends game, and came out earlier this month for PS3 and PS4. Mac, PC, and Unix are lined up to come to Steam "soon."
2. Nidhogg is named for a dragon from Norse mythology, and it's the stupidest, best fighting game both to watch and play. The art looks pixelated and simple (but is far from it), the music is awesome, and the fighting is fantastic—you can, for example, rip out your opponent's spine and use it as a sword.
The best part of Nidhogg is the end: after the end of the tough back-and-forth battle, the winner is eaten by a giant norse dragon. Every. Single. Time. Nidhogg is on Steam now, and coming to PlayStation 4 later this summer.
3. TowerFall Ascension is an "archery combat platformer" that is INSANE and I particularly love because of all the fully-clothed female characters in its trailer (plus all the arrows).
So yeah, you should probably play. It's available on Steam and PlayStation 4, but TowerFall Ascension is also the spotlight of Ground Kontrol's upcoming Indie Game Night on Thursday, May 29: so check it out along with some of the other new indie games coming out in this "golden age of independent game development," as Ground Kontrol is happy to boast.