Picture this: You've just downloaded an awesome-looking visual novel that promises a romantic and engaging story with plenty of lovable characters. You settle in, start playing, and... this isn't what you imagined at all. Suddenly, bizarre things start happening that seem more than a little out of character. Is this the right game? Did something go wrong somewhere?
No, you're still playing the same thing. It just went through a bit of a change, that's all. These "transformations" are intriguing when they happen in gaming, because you go in expecting one thing, and get something totally different — something even better! If you're looking to be totally surprised, here are four games that aren't what they seem.
On the outside, Glittermitten Grove looks like a simple time management and resource-gathering simulation game featuring colorful faeries. It's your job to help the faeries collect berries, find treasure and fireworks, and otherwise frolic about in a garden-like area. There was no fanfare surrounding its release, and you could play the sim part of the game for hours, but eventually if you dug into the ground long enough, you'd find a door. The door was your key to unlocking a totally different game: Frog Fractions 2, the sequel to the ridiculously far-out release from Twinbeard Studios. The zaniness and random, bizarred vignettes of Frog Fractions 2 were well worth discovering a totally unrelated game. From text adventures to irreverent jokes, it certainly knew its audience, and played them like a fiddle.
Doki Doki Literature Club
Doki Doki Literature Club looks like an innocuous visual novel on the surface. You'll have a few characters you can chat with, get to know, and potentially date, and at the end of it all you'll be able to choose the route you'd like to go down, and which girl you want to enter a relationship with. Except that's not the case at all. It may seem like a familiar anime-inspired dating sim on the outside, but it's hiding some very sinister secrets that you'll never be able to decipher. Without spoiling it for you here, just know that as you continue to play, you'll learn some important things about the game that you could never have known before going into it in the beginning. It's made all the better for it, especially since it could have simply gone the same route as so many other titles in the genre. Give it a try — it's free! Just don't be surprised when things start getting a little crazy. And don't forget to thank us for pointing you in the game's direction.
Baldi's Basics in Education and Learning
This low-res indie game also goes by the name Baldi's Basics, and it looks like an awful educational title. It features terrible artwork and a borderline creepy star named Baldi. This take on educational video games from the '80s and '90s certainly has plenty of math problems to solve, but it also has surprising and terrifying elements that surface once you start getting answers wrong. What begins as an innocuous and innocent adventure into edutainment quickly devolves into something horrible, and Baldi will actively keep you from progressing. Have you ever played an educational game that tried to stop you from learning or exploring? Get ready to check out Baldi's Basics. It's honestly better if you know as little about it as possible before jumping into the game, but now that we've warned you, you'll know what to expect.
Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator
The sixth installment of the Five Nights at Freddy's series released as, well, a "pizzeria simulator." Sound s wholesome and fun, right? You get to throw pizzas around, design your own pizzas, feed hungry kids, and score high with how many pizzas you can send out to hungry customers! But that's just a veneer, of course, for the darker gameplay that waits behind the lighthearted exterior. What you're really tasked with doing, as you soon find out, is waiting after-hours when the pizzeria has closed, to fend off the animatronics that are out to get you. It's surreal, it's terrifying, and it's exactly what we'd expect from Scott Cawthon, but not from such a cute package. Try it out, you'll see.