7Smoke's Stocking Stuffers
By Pan & Mauritsio

With the Steam Winter Sale underway, we asked some members about what kind of games they would totally recommend to everyone else. Simply put, that gem of a game that's gone under the radar and deserves a little spotlight. Read our five recommendations for this Christmas right below!





Pan's Selection: Ravenfield

Ravenfield is that kind of cathartic fun you get from kicking the crap out of bots. Or having them kick the crap out of you if you so desire. Ravenfield is a Battlefield de-make that focuses on large scale battles with bots, as many as you can spawn.
With a huge collection of weapons, maps, skins and vehicles it's such a cheap price for so many hours of entertainment. Commandeer a squad of AI and put them in a Chinook and have them parachute in and capture a point. Or mod in a Halo Warthog and replace every vehicle in the map with a Warthog and have that big ol' Halo war you know you wanted to have.
The customisation and fun of Ravenfield, for me, can't be understated. It started as a mod and turned into its own fully fledged game and it's the perfect single-player shooter for someone who wants a quick, customizable game. Grab it.




Mauritsio's Selection: Hob

Hob is a top-down game about venturing through an incredibly large and vibrant world with different biomes, from the same people who made Torchlight. Though it is not open world in a traditional sense, since you'll be mostly going through a linear sequence of worlds (but you may need to backtrack to some to unlock new areas). Your primary tool is that huge stone glove that's totally ripped off from Bionic Commando - you'll be upgrading it as you progress in the story, letting you warp and even grapple with it. Early on you'll also get a sword which introduces you to the game's combat system - usually it's not that fierce since you'll be fighting max 5 enemies at a time, but you can end up dead rapidly, so good use of dodges and rolls is going to save your skin. (You can even cut grass with it!) The game's also got collect-a-thon elements: fallen warrior statues upgrade your sword, gears hidden in iron golems increase your maximum mana, and green orbs found in monoliths and dropped by dead enemies are used as a currency for buying character abilities and cloaks. But for me, the game's biggest selling point is the environment. The serene soundtrack is fantastic, none of the sound effects get annoyingly repetitive, and through the use of vistas and events triggered by progression the developers really know how to sell the world. (As an example, unlocking a new world is one of my few "WOW!" moments in the amount of games I've played. I won't spoil a thing, but you'll understand when you see it!) Not a fan of too much lore? The game sports a self-proclaimed "wordless narrative" so there's no dialog to speak of - the story is up to your imagination.
Oh man, I've rambled on for too long, haven't I? Bottom line is, this game is a brilliant and charming hybrid of a puzzle adventurer with a simple combat system to keep things varied. Oh, and if you have Discord Nitro, you won't have to toss any cash around - you get it for free on the Discord Store! What's your excuse now?




nano's Selection: Tower Unite

Tower Unite would be a really good recommendation if you like games with heavy social aspects. You get your own condo, which has a fully-fledged decoration system with props, furniture, working TVs and even cooking (soon). You can of course upgrade your condo, if you have both the patience to save up for one and if you find one that suits your needs. Though, the biggest aspect of the game is the plaza world which is a direct continuation of GMod Tower's Lobby 2. From here you can participate in various acitivies such as Trivia, Bowling, Minigames, etc. All with your friends! The various minigames give the game a lot of character and add up to the fun factor, some of them being fun miniature stuff like Minigolf or Ball Race (which was inspired by Super Monkey Ball) and some being so well-designed that they could easily be a separate game. For example, Virus (which I think was in TimeSplitters?). The loadout you get, and the beautifully designed maps make it really worth a play. Oh, and Zombie Massacre, which is a 3d top-down zombie killing game inspired by games like Killing Floor where you survive through waves of zombies trying to annihilate you and your friends. With a full perk and class system, it's VERY fun especially once you get a full lobby of friends. All in all, Tower Unite is well worth its price tag.




Asdolg's Selection: Space Rangers HD: A War Apart

Space Rangers is a top-down turn-based strategy role-play adventure game, telling a story about the future. Several races formed the Coalition and are having the war against alien robotic race - Dominators. Join the forces of the space rangers, and become an independent spaceship pilot trying to survive in the world of progressively evolving science and prospering society. One of the game's unique features is the protagonist being no different from other inhabitants of the world. You have exactly the same abilities as others! Trade, fight, take special missions from planetary governments, earn money, buy new gear - while you are doing that, other pilots are doing the same. Economy & trading system is very well-done. Even while you are in another system, there still will be various things happening throughout the galaxy. Another key feature is that the game holds several genres in it. While you are in the space, experience turn-based strategy, but fly into the wormhole - and you will play an arcade game. Take special government request and participate in text quests of every possible genre! Or maybe you will like to take part in realtime strategy with an ability to build your very own robots out of dozens of modules? Choice is yours - the game offers you plenty of freedom. Space Rangers HD: A War Apart is a remake of Space Rangers 2. Now it features a whole new branch meant to settle things with galaxy's pirates faction. Save the Coalition by destroying them, become a new pirate Baron ruling the anarchy, or find another way. Completed the game once? Don't worry, you can set new game options so differently, that it would become new experience each time! Each playthrough you will discover something new. As for other things, they are great too! Wonderful space background will please your eyes, as well as overall awesome visual design. And the music, OH MY GOD, THE MUSIC! Space Rangers offers such a memorable soundtrack, worth taking place in your daily playlist!
This game is one of my most favorite ones, as well as the game of my (and of many other people's) childhood. I highly recommend to try it out.




Fuzblez's Selection: Dying Light

Dying Light is a unique zombie parkour game. Buildings are there to be climbed, zombies to be killed and secrets to be found. At first you may think that Dying Light is just running from mobs of seemingly unconquerable zombies who can quickly drain your stamina. But no, it's different. It's somehow hard in the early game. Combat is clumsy, zombies are able to take a good punishment before they die. Before long, though, you'll build up a skill set, that's the fun part. You can kill your rotting foes in many ways once you unlock the required skills and you can also craft stuff. At nighttime you can quickly gain XP, though it's really scary and hard. Volatiles come out at night and it's hard to escape from them. Parkour becomes natural and fluid, climbing and running over buildings is so much fun. Combat gets increasingly satisfying, shredding zombies with your electrified sword or smashing 'em with your heavy hammer is very fun. Of course there are guns later on. You can pop heads from a distance, their low rate of fire and zombie-attracting noise makes them situational items. Biters are dumb and fun to manipulate, more powerful enemies like Virals are hard to kill because very agile, they can dodge your attacks and attack you fast. Bandits are deadlier at close and long range, able to dodge and block at close quarters. They can throw knives at you, use guns and kill you if you're overconfident. The story is okay, but the sidequests were more interesting to me. Dying Light is even more interesting when playing with friends!