6 Video Games Coming Out the Week Before Christmas

As the year draws to a close and the holidays approach, video game releases slow down. But even if you’ve somehow managed to beat every game that caught your eye during the past few months, like Fallout 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Halo 5: Guardians, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, don’t worry. Next week brings a whole new batch of games.

None of them are brand new blockbuster AAA titles like those, but they’re all designed to scratch a certain gaming itch. Here are the biggest games you need to know about that are coming the week of December 14.

1. Elite Dangerous: Horizons

Release date: December 15
Platform: PC

This space epic made a pretty big splash when it launched last year, but here comes a major expansion. The game is basically a life simulator, but the life you’re simulating is that of a deep space explorer. You pilot a ship traveling through a full-scale re-creation of the Milky Way galaxy that’s populated by other online players. From there, you can play however you want, mining for minerals, exploring planets’ surfaces, engaging in space piracy, or pursuing extra-terrestrial bounties. It’s a very open-ended gameplay experience that you may want to check out if you haven’t already.

2. Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star

Release date: December 15
Platform: PC

This one might sound like a tough sell for many gamers, but hear me out. Hatoful Boyfriend is a visual novel, which means much of your time in the game is spent reading text. It’s also a dating sim, so you’ll have a selection of characters to woo and try to form a connection with. The twist is that the characters you woo are all pigeons. It’s a pigeon dating sim visual novel.

The weird thing is everything that’s unusual and bizarre about the game comes together brilliantly as you play and re-play the game to date all of the eligible birds. This Holiday Star expansion contains new chapters, so it’s really like a whole new chunk of the game.

3. King’s Quest Episode 2: Rubble Without a Cause

Release date: December 15
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC

King’s Quest is a series of classic adventure games made by Sierra Entertainment between 1984 and 1998. They center around the royal family of Daventry, telling fantastical tales that often include characters like Little Red Riding Hood and Dracula.

After a long hiatus, the series is back, with an episodic adventure that has been getting good reviews so far. The setup is that King Graham, the star of most of the original games, has grown old, and has taken to telling stories of his youth to his granddaughter Gwendolyn. Each episode will have you control Gwendolyn during the current timeline, and then switch to the young King Graham during story time. If you like a good old-fashioned adventure game, this is one to check out.

4. Final Fantasy VI

Release date: December 16
Platform: PC

One of the most classic of all the classic role-playing games, Final Fantasy VI is finally coming to PC. Originally released as Final Fantasy III in the U.S. on Super Nintendo, the game has been ported to numerous systems over the years, but never PC. Unlike many Japanese RPGs from the ’90s, the story is far from predictable and stars an assortment of memorable characters. The only real problem is that this particular port is from the mobile version of the game, which “features” re-done graphics that most people consider significantly worse than the originals. But if the is the only way you have to experience the game, it’s worth it. The game is that good.

5. The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and his Square Mind

Release date: December 17
Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Handheld gamers looking for something to play won’t be left in the dark this week. This game, launching in digital form on the eShop, features a unique main character who must navigate the bizarre worlds dreamed up by his own brain. The game plays as a puzzle platformer, and it encourages players to use the device’s 3D effect to help solve the puzzles. Watch the trailer above to see if it looks like your kind of game.

6. Minecraft: Wii U Edition

Release date: December 17
Platform: Wii U

In this day and age, it’s getting harder and harder to find a device that can’t run a version of Minecraft. We can scratch the Wii U off that list on December 17. This ridiculously popular game is kind of like an endless digital set of Legos. All you have to do is collect materials and you can use them to build whatever your heart desires, whether it’s an underground cavern or an entire city. Just watch out for the creepers.

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