Top Five Underrated Choice of Games — 2023

True, but then I have to take a vote away from another that I love. It’s hard! And frankly it is a good sign that it is this hard. If I glanced at this list and said “only these two should be read more” then probably the discussion here would be less interesting. I found it hard even to rank the ones I love that are on this list! Lots competing for the same slots in my affection…


Count me among those who are surprised that book two in the Pon Para series is here. People seemed to be enthusiastic about when it came out and the series as a whole is, though not to the same extent as COGs like Jolly Good/Tally Ho and Crème de la Crème, comparatively high profile and mentioned and talked about from time to time on the subreddits, certainly more than many COGs that aren’t on this list this time around. Anyone who have any ideas why it’s on this list. Anyway, a clear number one for me.

There are many good ones on this list, but Cliffhanger is a really solid number two. Though it’s not very deep, it was one of the most fun COGs to play/read for me, with lots of replayability and wrtiting that really nails the style of such adventures, while also including a certain witty knowingness that makes it better than its sources of inspiration for me. I’m a bit surprised that such an action-packed and fun-filled COG shouldn’t sell more, but given how high a priority ROs seem to be for COG and HG fans these days, the comparative lack of really fleshed out romances may have hurt its popularity. Maybe it’s also a case of pulp heroic tales not being quite superhero-like enough for the superhero fans, while still not being fantasy either.

Broadway:1849 is also a clear number 3. I really enjoy COGs and HGs about people working in the creative and artistic fields and Broadway:1849 really delivers on that score, with many opportunities to make choices for the profile of your theatre, to customise the background of your charracter and an interesting historic backdrop.

There are also several other COGs that I’m disappointed to see on this list, such as Nikolai Tesla: War of the Currents, The Daring Mermaid Expedtion(though in that particular case it may have something to with it being possible to read/play for free with interruptions) and The Play’s the Thing. Anyway, I hope that our votes will help change that, so that my three favorites and others that are among the cream of this particular crop IMHO in the future will be popular enough not to need to be on this list.


Oh hey, someone else that likes those games. I think they’re a little niche and that’s why they’re on here. Games with humor (EEA) are always risky it seems in CCGs and I think from memory it’s ROs aren’t strong which is a deal breaker for many (shame as this is a fun game), and city of the clouds seems to need some context. I think you’ll get the most out of that game if you’ve traveled without a group off the beaten tourist routes and/or done any kind of field research in less than optimum conditions. Both also have a degree of preset protag-ishness about them which is another strike.


I don’t think For Rent contains romance at all, although I haven’t played it in a really long time.

I can see where To the City of the Clouds might not be for everyone. When I recommend it, I generally say that it’s a delightful satire of academic field research, and if the phrase “delightful satire of academic field research” made you roll your eyes, you might be better off choosing another game.


Same. The Play’s the Thing is fantastic.


Super shocked to see Pon Para on here that game has one the best cast of characters out of all COG games


So these are supposed to be the games not enough recognized? Hard time chosing only three. Faeries’s Bargain is one of my favorites.


Just played College Tennis: Origins Stories demo and was surprised how well they did the sports.

Wow, I’m surprised Pon Para is topping this list instead of landing in a top ten list of best CoG titles.

I love all the top five here but way down the list is Drag Star which really deserves some more attention. I am not a fan of drag and have never watched Drag Race, but it was a fun game and I felt like I learned a lot from it about what drag is and why people like it.


Honestly I’m surprised to see Asteroid run on here I liked that game a lot and Faeries Bargain. I highly recommend both. Death collector is really interesting once you get into it. Also I love the Pon Par series so far.


Yeah, I was shocked by Asteroid Run, too, I thought it was widely well regarded. I also voted for treasure seekers of lady luck, but I know why that’s on this list, it’s am just so different from standard CoG.


I chose Eerie Estate Agent because it was so strange and seems to have some good replay value. Although I thought it was renamed to For Rent: Haunted House


It was. I know they still use the original name internally, so maybe it was an oversight?

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Funnily enough I much prefer the first name


Ditto for both! :slight_smile: Reading back over the business model thread reminded me that I’ve always thought EEA was an underappreciated little gem.


Hard to believe scorpion did badly. It’s interesting, it didn’t skimp on the action or the lore. I suppose the twist ending might not have been as well received, but it still feels off.

Wait. Urmish was still alive. I remember really hoping we would get to kill him in scorpion before it released. This explains everything.:rofl:


In the Service of Mrs. Claus really is too underrated.

I gave it a chance back when it was on sale, one Christmas, and I’m really glad I did, because it was sooooo much better than I thought it would be.
It was also a lot different than I thought it would be, and I don’t think its blurb or first page sets up the right expectations, or sells it as well as it deserves.

And it’s just nice to have some games with a more fun, silly, casual tone (and still a good story), instead of all the seriousness or grimdark.


Games that need more publicity: Pon Para (I thought this series was already quite popular?), Nikola Tesla, Cliffhanger, Asteroid Run (of course), Squire’s Tale (maybe?), Mrs Claus (of course, again, since Brian Rushton is so active on the infiction forum), Witchcraft U (maybe?), Thief-Taker (?), Eerie Estate Agent (the game formerly known as).