Top 5 Story Games on PC You May Have Missed
#5 Dear Esther
This game is absolutely beautiful with a stunning environment. You wander around an island piecing together a story you receive bits and pieces of randomly. However, depending on the order you get you may learn a little too much early on. The game is quite short, about an hour, but any longer would feel forced and take away from the impact.
The interaction is bare minimum, mostly just walking and taking in the stunning scenery. The designers did a surprisingly good job of using the environment to invoke certain emotions and this environmental experience ties in deeply with the story and ending if you take the time to let your mind wander.
The ending is not necessarily expected, and it's certainly meaningful and beautiful in a very artistic way while touching on serious matters.
#4 A Bird Story
A 1 hour wordless short by the same developers as "To The Moon" this game is sweet and delivers a surprisingly emotional experience with so little.
This game is basically a set up for the next game to be released, but nonetheless is a gem in itself.
The premise is that you play a lonely boy who finds an injured bird and takes care of it. With no interest in classmates and parents that seem to be out quite often, the bird quickly becomes seemingly the only friend the boy has. The adventure they share is a blur between reality and a day-dream fantasy world of the boy that will hit you in the feels.
It's really quite surprising how sweet of a story can be designed with 16 bit graphics and no text.
#3 Gone Home
In this game you play a girl who has just returned home from spending time abroad to find the house recently emptied with no clue as to why no one is home. It's as if everyone just disappeared during a normal day.
I did not expect what I got from this game, but certainly was not disappointed. The exploration makes you think as you piece together what happened and can even be a bit creepy but in the end it's heart warming.
You may have varying opinions about the situation in the game but despite that there is a lot of courage and inspiration to be found. I certainly have respect and appreciate for this one for a few reasons.
#2 Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons
Very artistic and very touching. You play two brothers simultaneously in this game. Your goal is to find a cure for your deathly ill father.
The controls are frustrating if you're not using a controller. The interaction is not overly difficult outside of the 2 person coordination; the puzzles and boss fights are pretty basic and easy to understand but will stretch your coordination skills. (particularly if you brave it with a keyboard)
However, the atmosphere is beautiful and very artistic. A lot of thought went into designing the world and the side characters. This is definitely a "stop and smell the roses" kind of game. Take your time and pay attention to what's happening in the world, the designers give you all sorts of indicators about what is happening and you can easily find a lot of meaning and enjoyment outside of the main plot. If you just plow through the game, you will miss a lot of the experience.
The ending is touching and oddly empowering.
To The Moon
#1 To The Moon
Don't be fooled by the 16 bit graphics, this heart melting game is my favorite. Its roughly 3 hour journey offers a touching adventure with a wonderful ending.
You play a character that fulfills dying wishes by altering the memories of people on their deathbed and your assignment is to send this man to the moon.
To make it happen, and find out why, you embark on a beautiful journey through his memories that will have your emotions roller-coasting around. The story, the sub-text, and even the music are all stunning and you'll definitely want to pick up the soundtrack as well.
It's even worth a replay to help piece the hints together. You'll keep discovering even more reasons to love this game after thorough thought or a second play-through.