We might run a kickass network with awesome internet across Australia, but at our core, we're a bunch of nerds who still love playing video games in our downtime! So, I asked around the offices to see what video games rocked our world in 2021, and these were the titles that got us through a wild, crazy, unpredictable, challenging old year.
It Takes Two
Available on: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
As the name says on the tin, It Takes Two is an action-adventure game designed to be played as a split screen co-op multiplayer. It follows Cody and Mary, a married couple on the brink of divorce who are trapped inside their daughter's doll-replicas of themselves. The couple face obstacles and must learn to work together in their attempts to reach their daughter and return to their human bodies.
It Takes Two won Game of the Year at the 2021 Game Awards.
“It Takes Two is about a couple who are on the verge of divorcing, who get shrunk down and you have to work together to get through a bunch of super pretty environments. Super fun co-op adventure set in an adorable tiny world. Lots of puzzles to complete and enemies to blow up. Likely to make or break a relationship.” Nick H, Head of Marketing
“It's the video game version of an outing with your SO to IKEA - highly recommended!!!” Alex F, Business Support Manager
Available on: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Technically, Hades has been out for a few years, but in 2021 it saw a release on PS 4 and 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S, so it still counts. The rogue-like action dungeon crawler uses a hack and slash combat system as you play as Zagreus, the son of Hades trying to escape the Underworld to reach Mount Olympus. Other Olympians support his quest and bestow gifts upon him as he moves through rooms and clearing them of enemies.
Hades won Best Game at the 2021 British Academy Video Games Awards.
“I had a fair bit of fun with Hades. Loved the new take on Greek mythology.” Michael B, Programmer
“Has been out since 2018, but the PS5 version is purrrty. First class rogue-like, still playing after 100+ successful escapes.” Nick H, Head of Marketing
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
Available on: PlayStation 5
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the 16th Ratchet & Clank game and shares similar gameplay to previous much-beloved games in the series. The PS5 exclusive combines a third-person shooter with a platformer as the duo set off – once again – to save the universe, this time switching between dimensions and introducing a new playable Lombax character, Rivet.
“Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is pretty fun. It’s so colourful, fun and gives you them nostalgic good feels. I played Ratchet & Clank when it first came out way back when - loved it then, love it now! They really went above and beyond with the graphics.” Chrissie B, Designer
“Excellent use of the PS5 hardware, great addition to the series. Super fancy fur animations. Wish it was longer!” Nick H, Head of Marketing
Available on: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
A great Kotaku review of Unpacking describes the game as a "cathartic stuff placer", and on the surface, it just seems like a gamified chore. As Kotaku's Luke Plunkett describes it, "Imagine managing your inventory in Resident Evil, only it’s boxes full of pens and bras and printer cables."
The game has a simple premise - pick up items and put them somewhere, with the only rule being that items need to go roughly where they normally would. But through the act of going through a person's belongings over various stages in their life, Unpacking tells the story that the player can fill in for themselves.
“Brisbane-made game, ultra-chill, ASMR like sound, emotive story, wayyyy too short. It’s totally not my normal jam, but I couldn’t help myself. It doesn’t quite give you the freedom to put stuff anywhere but it’s very relaxing” Nick H, Head of Marketing
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2
Available on: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Like Hades, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 was technically released on some platforms in 2020, but its PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and Switch release in 2021 means we're comfortable keeping it on the list. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a remaster of the first two games in the Tony Hawk series, originally released in 1999 and 2000, which means if you remember playing them as a kid then you're officially old.
The game is as promised, a fairly classic arcade-style skateboarding game where you try to get high scores with your sick ollies and grinds and collect objects to unlock levels.
“So many memories; the levels, the music, all with the pretty new visuals. Lots of fun for multiplayer too. Have lost many hours to this.” Nick H, Head of Marketing