What are your favorite underrated COG games?

I seriously under-appreciated just how great A Wise Use of Time was when it first released.

Replaying it again years later has been nothing but a fond experience. I love the premise, the urban setting, the interesting characters with whom you can interact in different ways, the moral choices that define your MC and the awesome side quests.

The game has a bit of everything tied in a neat bow.

Barnabus is quite an intriguing antagonist that really stands out - I wrongly dismissed him as just a crazy killer blindly obsessed with the MC but now quite enjoy his more cultured aspect that gives him a creepy charm and even a layer of humanity. He can be genuinely scary but also weirdly friendly at the same time, this duality does a fantastic job at enhancing his overall menace.

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When it comes to CoG, Midsummer Night’s Choice. That game was just a ton of fun and also hilarious. It was the perfect amount of absurd while also being grounded enough to keep me invested in the plot and characters. I also loved all the little Shakespearean references that were sprinkled in there.

As for HG, it’s definitely Tin Star. I know Tin Star is one of the more well-known when it comes to underrated HGs, but still, it deserves more recognition. The amount of detail that went into that game is just insane, even some of the choices that seemed insignificant had payoff. None of the choices feel pointless and I love the individual epilogues each character gets, and how they change drastically depending on your choices and relationship with them.

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I wouldn’t call Tin Star underrated…

It’s perhaps the highest rated HG title of all-time. And deservedly so.

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Maybe, but it only has about 500 ratings compared to other popular and highly rated HGs which all have over twice that many, and I’ve seen very little discussion about it here on the forum. That, I think, is enough to push into the “underrated” category.

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Fair enough, although I still don’t think it’s underrated. A title doesn’t need to be continuously discussed in order to be called “properly rated”.

Well if we’re going by ratings, then it has accumulated 4.7/5 in the App Store, 9/10 in Steam and a whooping 4.9/5 in Play Store. I can’t get any data from the Omnibus since I don’t own an account there.

What we can agree on that it’s a masterpiece.

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I just played “The Spy and the Labyrinth”, an old Hosted Game … and I’m really taken with it! It’s got a lot of incredibly bad reviews, but looking over the reviews I think it’s because many players went to it expecting a “normal” COG game, with a conventional story, ROs, a player character with a personality and all that stuff. This one doesn’t have any of those things - but if you go in with adjusted expectations, it’s still really, really good and interesting!

It’s about an American archaeologist who goes missing on a dig in a fictional South American country. You’re supposed to be investigating what happened, and you have access to a big database of documents which you have to search to uncover and reconstruct the story. (It’s a bit like the videogame “Her Story”). The fact that the MC has no personality is really effective: they’re just a pair of eyes through which you can read these documents, and so it’s really easy to imagine that it’s you yourself doing this investigation. The mystery itself is twisty and layered, with many intriguing threads to follow, and it has lots of nice chilling Lovecreaftian moments. I definitely want to play again to see all the secrets I missed. Very different from the usual COG experience, but totally worth it!

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Not really an underrated game but I feel like Fallen Hero doesn’t get enough praise it deserves. It launched almost at the same time as Wayhaven Chronicles so I feel like it was a bit overshadowed. But I haven’t played any other game that deals with psychological problems in such a deep and meaningful way.

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Lost Heir: Fall of Daria, Lost Heir 2: Forging a Kingdom and Lost Heir 3: Demon War. This is amazing series, but unfortunately very underrated. I don’t know why, world is amazing, story is good and long, and there are so many different choices and endings.

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4.9/5.0 with 548 ratings on the omnibus. So yeah, not at all underrated. I think when doing the poll for this, Jason had included any that were under 4.0 or something? Admittedly it had been a while.

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The criteria were:

  • is it at least 18 months old?
  • has it grossed less that XX dollars.

If it’s two months old and still less than XX, then it might not be underrated; it just hasn’t had a chance to earn its proverbial stripes. But if it’s older than 18 months and still hasn’t earned its stripes, then it was a candidate to be considered “underrated.”

We’ll do another poll this spring and run another sale based on the results.

(Really, this is just a tactic for me to help games get over a specific profitability threshold.)

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As someone whose first book is now almost certainly a candidate for the next poll, I wholeheartedly approve this message.

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I don’t know if these count as underrated but so far here’s my list:

CoG:

  • Avatar of the Wolf
  • The Orpheus Ruse

HG:

  • The Saga of Oedipus Rex
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Underrated COGs:

  • Choice of the Vampire
    This and Choice of Affairs (Choice of Romance?) are likely a lot of people’s first COG. Nostalgia disregarded, it’s still good to this day.
  • The Treasure Seekers of Lady Luck
    I replayed this (and every other game on this list) hundreds of times. It’s enjoyable.
  • ORPHEUS Ruse
  • Choice of the Deathless
    I was thrilled when the series continued.
  • Mecha Ace
    I 100% recommend this because it really was so fun to play and replay and actually sold me on the Mecha genre as a whole.
  • Hollywood Visionary
    Like Choice of Robots, it’s great to play a Choice game where your actions directly contribute to the product you produce by the end of the game. While you can’t create robots to rule over mankind, the ability to see all your creative and personal decisions culminate in both your trial and the reception of your movie is worth so many replays!!
  • Sixth Grade Detective
    It’s so cute and well written that you just have to play it.
  • Sorcery is for Saps
  • The Eagle’s Heir (!!!)

Underrated HGs:

  • Zombie Exodus
    This used to be extremely popular on here but it seems that over time with new COG fans and readers its hype and popularity has definitely died out.
  • Paradox Factor
    The most clever use of choice games imo, one of the first HG I played and soo interesting.
  • Magikiras
    This surprised me a bit with how much it wasn’t talked about after release despite being truly loved during its time as a WIP on the forums. I think it might have suffered from having shown too much of the full game on the forum so people weren’t incentivized to buy it. (Of course I still did, and there are a good bit of changes from what we saw when it was a WIP, but it wasn’t enough for some people.)

Aww thanks @cup_half_empty :two_hearts:
I really like Orpheus Ruse as well. One of my fav underrated games from the official COG line.

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I think the reason why ZE died down is because of ZE:SH.

Mecha Ace,
The fog knows your name,
The Sea Eternal,
Sorcery is for Saps,
The Grim and I
Critical Mass
Nothing left to burn

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Some of my favourite underrated games:

  • The harbinger’s head

  • Reckless space pirates

  • Death at the rectory

  • An Odissey: Echoes of war

  • Trees don’t tell

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A Study in Steampunk is one of the best things I’ve ever read.

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Some of my fav published game that are underated

Wizardry Level C

Doomsday on demande (The second book i think, The first one got over 100k+ download on play store.)

The courting of miss Bennet

Diamant Rose

It’s killing time

Nola is Burning

Life of a mobster

Magikiras

Machinations: Fog of War

Foundation of nightmares

Double cross

No proper thief

Spacing out

Best of us

The versus series

Choice of the petal throne

Congress Wolf

Knight of the fellowship

Tudor intrigue

Ironheart

Fool!

Paradigm city

Scarlet sails

Gladiator road to the colosseum

The saga of œdipus rex (come on guys, this one is epic yet it have 1k download on play store)

Avatar of the wolf

Vampire house (Sure it have more than 100k download on play store but i feel like it’s underrated cause i rarely see someone mention it here on the forum)

At this rate i think i have read the entirety of the COG Library :joy:

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oooh I have a few underrated faves

Zip
Rent-a-Vice
The Grim and I
In Service of Mrs Claus
Mecha Ace: Heroes of the Verdian War
The Eagles Heir
Hollywood Visionary
An Odyssey: Echoes of War
Stronghold: Heros Fate
Choice of Deathless 1+2
Runt of the Litter

Double Cross (my first game that I read)
SCRATCH!
Planatary Quarantine
Tudor Intrigue
Life of a Mobster

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