(XO/PS4/Sw/PC) ★★★★★ Age: 12+
Sometimes it's not the destination, it's the journey. It's doubtful you'll be much wiser what happens in KRZ by the end than you were in the outset. But along the way in this slow-burn, episodic point'n'click mystery, you'll meet an intriguing cast of misfits, explore a bizarre slice of Americana and be constantly wrong-footed by its narrative diversions.
Dubbed a magic-realist adventure by its creators, KRZ's staccato development mirrors its meandering plot. The first episode was in 2012, while the dripfeed concluded with the fifth and final instalment only this month. In that time, several other titles such as Oxenfree and Where The Water Tastes Like Wine drew inspiration from KRZ's arty, dialogue-driven travelogue.
But KRZ remains the best example of this enigmatic stew, all underpinned by a sparse but haunting soundtrack and angular artwork. It incorporates weighty influences as diverse as John Steinbeck and David Lynch for the plot in which a weary delivery driver roams Kentucky's back roads searching for an elusive address that may not exist. The narrative allows you to make choices that shape the journey, if not the destination, much as a theatre director might interpret a playwright's text.
More of a graphic novel than a game, KRZ's distinctive style may be a bridge too far for some players. But you probably already know whether this is a road trip you want to take.
(XO/PS4/PC) ★★★★★ Age: 7+
Possibly the only game in which you reflect on your existence as your body is being cremated, Arise uses the framework of a colourful platformer to explore themes of love and loss. The main character revisits vignettes from his life in levels that echo his state of mind as he grows up and meets his future wife, they have a baby and, well, you can probably guess the heart-tugging conclusion.
Central to his pilgrimage to the past is a time-bending power that enables him to manipulate the levels - turning day to dusk, snow to water, etc. It sets up simple, familiar platforming puzzles that chime with the gentle progress of his story.
Arise may not be wholly original but its components - art, music and story - gel in a coherent and delightful fashion.