Xbox Game Pass has such a great collection of games, ranging from big AAA hits, to smaller indie darlings. It’s no surprise though that any person can’t physically play every single game released though. That’s way too much time, and until we get that 25th hour and 8th day added to our weeks, we all just need to keep choosing how to spend our time wisely. If you’re looking for some recommendations on what to play next, what about some stellar games that have been flying under everyone’s radars? Here are 3 games on Xbox Game Pass that need more talk about them because they are just that good.
The Forgotten City
Timeloop games were THE THING in 2021. We got 12 Minutes, Deathloop, and Returnal, which all used the groundhog day style in their own ways. There’s one though that I thought did time loops better than the rest, and that’s The Forgotten City. Developed by Modern Storyteller, The Forgotten City actually started out as a mod for Skyrim. With how expansive it became, Modern Storyteller decided to spin it out into its own game. In The Forgotten City, you play as a modern-day person who ends up in a lively Greco Roman city full of other people who feel like they’re out of place.
Roman leaders, Greek scholars, and many others are there all cohabitating and told to follow one thing, “The Golden Rule”. Anyone who breaks this rule causes all golden statues to come to life and turn everyone else into gold. Thing is, nobody really knows what falls under The Golden Rule. Is it murder, is it theft, is it insulting people? Upon your arrival, you’re given one task, find the person who is about to break The Golden Rule and stop them. And so begins a fantastic whodunnit mystery adventure about what the heck is happening here. I could gush about this game all day, but saying any more quickly encroaches on spoiler territory because there are just so many twists and turns! If you want a game that really makes you think, go play The Forgotten City right away.
Unpacking is sweeping up awards left and right this season and for good reasons. It’s a great game! Developed by Witch Beam, Unpacking is about a zen game as you can get. It specifically scratches that itch of cleaning up a room (and is a great distraction from cleaning your own place too). It’s a simple game of you just unpacking someone’s life in different years into their new place. For a game that does require precision, just to get that pair of underwear put away juuuust right, it works surprisingly well on the controller.
There are no timers, there’s no pressure, there’s just you and boxes. What I loved most about Unpacking is how it indirectly tells a story of growth, love, heartbreak, and finding oneself. That’s a lot to unpack in a game about unpacking (pun absolutely intended). But, Witch Beam pulls it off really well. Noticing little things like what meets the completion criteria, to items slowly missing or being carried over slowly breaks down this person’s life. It’s not too long either and is great to play with someone else.
I’m a huge fan of puzzle games (if it isn’t clear by the hidden thread between all the games listed so far). One that really took me by surprise last year, even though it was released in 2017, was The Pedestrian. Developed by Skookum Arts, The Pedestrian has you control one of that pedestrian figures on signs. With little instructions, you start moving signs around and start solving puzzles about how to get this pedestrian guy from sign to sign.
This is a fun little puzzle game that can easily fill an afternoon up. The puzzles never get too difficult, and the variants keep you on your toes regularly. Also, this is one of those games that are first and foremost about the puzzles. There’s a very light overarching story that you don’t have to pay too close attention to while enjoying the game. Like Unpacking, I highly recommend this for a fun weekend game when you’re just looking for something light to play.
Are there any sleeper hits on Xbox Game Pass that I didn’t list? Let us know on social media.