It’s really an immense achievement. 100 different games. From developed to published, from Arcade Pool to Leisure Suit Larry to Yooka Laylee, Team17 have been everywhere and done everything. With PLANET ALPHA they’ve hit their centenary. Over the course of 28 years, the British company has built a huge catalog, from its publishing branch which helps to identify and promote the very best indies, such as The Escapists, to their development team best known for the incredibly popular Worms franchise. Today we’re going to look at their top ten games from that 100.
Number 100 in the lineup, one of the best in quality. Our reviewer absolutely adored this puzzle platformer. “One of the most impressive parts of the game is that even though it’s a 2D platformer it feels so much bigger. At one point you’re in an open field with native alien wildlife and although your path is linear, the world is created in such a way it feels like you could run around the entire expanse of land if you wanted to. It feels so much bigger than merely a platformer and I felt completely immersed.” That’s a direct quote from our review. It goes on to describe it as a wonderful, beautiful, detailed and an all round absolute delight of a 2D platformer. From what I’ve played I could describe it as Limbo but also a 2D Journey. You can check out the full review here, otherwise, you can pick up PLANET ALPHA right now.
Worms is such a long running, iconic franchise that it’s almost impossible to nail down where to begin to discuss it. I’ve taken the easy way out and went straight to the start. When Worms released I was 1. Essentially I was a Worm. I remember going round to a friends house when I was around 7 or 8 and he showed me the game he had gotten from his big cousin, a PS1 title named Worms. 7 or 8 hours later his mum was screaming at us for still being awake. Loudly awake. Screaming ‘bazooka’ and laughing hysterically as the Worms flew through the air. Worms was a total pioneer of local, competitive multiplayer and how diverse, humorous and downright fun it can be.
A game that some love. A game that some hate. A game that some love to hate. A game that some think is OK. Yooka Laylee was absolutely polarizing at launch. I fall very firmly into the love category, even platinuming the game. I do hate Kartos though, that gave me nightmares. For better or for worse YL absolutely captured the heart and soul of the 3D platformers of the nineties. Its characters were bursting with charm, the world was flush with colour and its camera is god awful. The 90s in a nutshell. If you’re nostalgic in any way then it’s a wonderful experience that’s well worth picking up.
The Escapists 2
A true Team17 success story, former roofer Chris Davis formed Mouldy Toof Studios which was bought after the incredible performance of The Escapists. The game sold over 1 million copies in less than a year, and since acquiring the studio and franchise Team17 has made sure to protect its legacy. The sequel is bigger, bolder and still somehow more of the same. It is totally crazy, wacky fun. Yes, your innocent, cute little avatar will be beating up guards with plastic forks in order to steal and duplicate their key. Yes, you’ll be teaming up with a friend to post yourself out of prison. Yes, you will laugh hysterically at your co-op partner as they form a devious plan and you ruin it and get them thrown into segregation, for the sake of it. The options available are wonderful and create a genuinely immersive and funny co-op experience.
Before Housemarque, there was Bloodhound and Team17. Super Stardust is a classic, it was equal parts Star Fox and Asteroids but stood alone. The soundtrack was iconic, the graphics were complex and impressive and the gameplay variety was amazing considering the genre. Go watch videos of this game on YouTube, it’ll make you happy Housemarque revitalized the franchise because it deserved to be something special.
Next up we have 2018 game of the year contender Overcooked 2. At the very least it’s my pick so far. My brother and I had an absolute blast with this co-op cooking adventure and its predecessor. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll threaten to throttle and you’ll throw frying pans and vegetables at each other both in the game and in the kitchen. Your food puns will multiply and get worse as you play but you’ll have the very best time. Check out my review here, including many, many puns, for more and to find out just why I loved Overcooked 2 so much.
I know I’ve done Worms but Worms 3D is just a large diversion from the norm that it deserves its own entry. Especially considering it’s never been iterated on, which it should have been. The game took a bold step, taking the tried and true formula and launching it into a 3D environment. It worked for Hogs of War, why couldn’t it work here? The game actually received positive critical reception despite some issues which could be attributed to the jump. If the next Worms title tried this again I think, if done right, it could be one of the best.
Oh look, a review has appeared and you can’t get to the next section without reading it: http://thelootgaming.com/raging-justice-review/. I’m joking, but Raging Justice is a total throw back to classic beat em ups. Complete with local multiplayer, an area where Team17 continues to excel, RJ is an addicting, challenging love letter to a genre that was beginning to feel forgotten.
This top-down sci-fi shooter burst onto the Team17 scene in 1991. Since then it has seen a mobile, PS Vita and PS3 remake. This remake has allowed new generations to experience a classic shooter, with options available for classic and updated graphics it’s a wonderful package that represents the Amiga version perfectly.
Yoku’s Island Express
Last but not least is Yoku’s Island Express. Another game that we have a review right here for. A Pinball Metroidvania. Sold on it yet? Our reviewer absolutely loved it. You might not click right away but when it does you’ll have an incredibly unique and fun experience on your hands. I saved this for last because it epitomizes everything that Team17 is about. Fun, colorful, special and so much more than its surface content. That’s what Team17 are. They’re fun, they’re risk takers, they’re bold, they’re consistent and most importantly they’re proud. With the heritage they have, they should be.
Up next for Team17 is Genesis Alpha One. A roguelike FPS with base building and survival mechanics. Expect plenty of coverage when it launches in January 2019. To help you wait there’s plenty you can play from Team17 alone. There’s literally another 90 games I haven’t even mentioned here today. Mugsters, LA Cops, Superfrog and so much more. Make sure to join me in sending congratulations to Team17 on Twitter and wishing them all the best for 100 more!