Video games are a fantastic medium that doesn’t shy away from letting players experience new things -- and they're equally unafraid of getting weird occasionally on a variety of platforms.
In particular, the PS Vita has quite a few different styles of game, and offers titles which may be considered strange -- but are equally addictive and compelling. Whilst the PS Vita library might be lacking in quantity, it can provide something a bit more unique than just generic soldiers.
Here are 10 strange, but compelling games for the PS Vita that are worth playing.
Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars
The plot of this game sounds like a cheesy pick-up line -- the game’s protagonist must create star children with female students in order to fight monsters and save the world. Given that childbirth is a long process, they have sped up the process using a Matryoshka doll. Ignore the science and just enjoy the JRPG wackiness instead.
The game is technically a dungeon crawler, where players require extra help to defeat monsters....so they procreate using magical energy and softcore psychic pornography. From these rituals, cute RPG characters are born.
The agreement for ladies to meet, become friends, and serve the protagonist is a little strange, but it does allow players to speed up combat and unlock features.
You can buy Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars for $29.99 on the PS Store.
The game is full of characters with personality and individual quirks. One only has to have a few conversations with Hifumi Yamada to realize that his love of 2D girls is a bit much!
If a person was in an enclosed environment with 15 strangers, who could be trusted? And would it change the player’s view if murder was encouraged within the group? The game’s goofy appearance juxtaposes with a play experience that's about deceit, betrayal, and despair.
You play as a high school student who goes on a school trip to a tropical island -- a trip that turns into a deadly fight for survival. A talking stuffed bear describes the trip as a killing school trip, pitting students against each other so they must fight to leave the island.
Overall, this makes the game into a murder mystery, where players gather evidence to uncover the murderer...but with a dark malevolent twist.
You can buy Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc for $39.99 on the PS Store.
Divekick pays homage to the fighting game community, and there is a lot of strange behavior in this game. There are tons of inside jokes, such as a character with a large head. There are also crossover characters from Nidhogg, which makes this the best and strangest fighting game for the Vita.
It’s a two-button fighting game, where the player can either jump or kick. It is that simple. As such, it is competitive and easy to pick up too. There are a few more advanced characters that offer a little more gameplay, making a full roster of 13 characters.
Plus, we can teach you special moves in Divekick. Score.
Though its unusual for a console, this game allows two players to simultaneously control characters, with each player controlling two actions and then fighting on one screen on the Vita.
For players that a fun, introduction to fighting games, this one is an interesting choice. You can buy Divekick for $4.99 on the PS Store.
Doki Doki Universe
Doki-Doki Universe is an adventure game designed around taking a really in-depth personality quiz. If this isn’t strange enough, players play as a lovable robot who has to visit alien planets filled with even stranger characters.
Players take on the role of QT3, a robot who has waited 30 years for his master to return. One day he meets Jeff the alien, who teaches him about humanity. The game appears to be extremely childlike, but hidden underneath there is a lot of depth.
You can question the locals to learn more about them, or respond to them as they ask for things like money. In between your actions, there are a number of quizzes with strange questions that range from "which movie would you rather see" to "what do you think this cat is thinking in this picture". Players can also decorate their home planet, or even change their character's appearance.
You can even collect noble steeds and ride into battle as a lumberjack on top of a pile of poop!
It's a fun, if unusual, game for your Vita. You can buy Doki Doki Universe for $14.99 on the PS Store.
Earth Defence Force 2: Invaders From Outer Space
This game allows player to battle as many giant insects as they want! It’s pretty much a B-movie turned into an infectious and weird game.
The voice acting is unashamedly cheesy and an assault on the eardrums, with voice actors being as hokey as possible. The commanders declare their constant shock and horror at the increasingly absurd horde of kaiju and mecha. The soldiers scream in terror as they are mauled and eaten. There are also lots of intentionally trope-ish phrases, such as "we have no choice but to destroy it".
This is a mindless shoot ‘em up at its absolute purest, with emphasis on the non-diplomatic option at every given opportunity. Whether you're playing alone or with friends, you won't be able to help but laugh at the absolute absurdity of it all.
You can buy Earth Defence Force 2: Invaders From Outer Space for $19.99 on the PS Store.
Get Off My Lawn
This game stars a grumpy old man who, armed with a shotgun, repels aliens that have landed in his yard. Shoot first and ask questions later in this endless arcade style shooter, and keep the nefarious aliens off Murray’s perfectly manicured lawn.
Clearly, first contact for the aliens did not go exactly as planned. Pulling the trigger has drawn Murray into full scale war with his alien visitors, and they will stop at nothing to destroy him. Armed with his musket and inconsolable rage, Murray must defend his home against all odds. Why are the aliens attacking only this one house? Nobody knows!
Collect valuable alien orbs to upgrade your weaponry, and use power ups to gain the upper hand in the most desperate of times. The longer Murray holds the lawn, the stronger the aliens get. However, there is plenty of firepower waiting to be used in The Shed.
Players must lock and load and get ready to tell aliens: "get off my lawn"!
You can pick up Get Off My Lawn for free on the PS Store.
This is a pigeon dating sim with a wonderfully weird post-apocalyptic tale. (Read our full review here.) Even if this game is bought for a laugh, players might find themselves surprised by its compelling narrative.
You play as a second year student at St. PigeoNation’s Institute and progress through this visual novel-style game by clicking your way around. The catch here is that you're a human character....surrounded by pigeons who are intended to be your romantic interests. The usual stereotypical high school romance story is replaced by the deeply personal and strange stories gleaned from these pigeons.
The game has a lot of replayability, as you have to play out eight different paths to reach alternate endings with all the dateable birds. These birds are photo-realistic and a quirky disguise that hides emotionally repressed characters.
The game rises above its ridiculous concept and interweaves several stories that last -- begging you to play and keep playing.
You can buy Hatoful Boyfriend for $9.99 on the PS Store.
For something developed by Massimo Guarini (of Shadows of the Damned fame), this game was always going to be weird. It's about an abandoned baby who is searching for her mother and is very fearful. Players are tasked with guiding this baby through an eccentric world, holding her hand and protecting her from dangers.
But more than that, it's a look into how children rationalize the world around them and work through their fears of being alone.
With a Tim Burton style artistic style, it is the player’s role to prevent the life balloon from popping. But when baby meets other people, sometimes the balloon needs to be popped. This is never explained, but simply experienced.
The game works great on the Vita touch screen too. You swipe through to move the baby or complete puzzles -- and dexterity is very much required to undertake different tasks at the same time, such as moving baby whilst killing flying baby pins.
A perfect choice for Vita that is strange but works well. You can buy Murasaki Baby for $14.99 on the PS Store.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch
This is a game about a father who is actually an octopus in disguise. It is a hilarious romp through everyday human occurrences, such as going shopping. Octodad is a crazy marriage between an invertebrate and the sim genre -- one which GameSkinny thought was "downright hilarious."
The controls in the game are almost as strange as the concept itself. An octopus is naturally a wobbly and aquatic creature, so Octodad must overcome his lack of vertebrae in order to maintain the ruse. So sometimes it’s funnier to fail at a task that you're trying to complete in a very uncontrolled and floppy manner.
The game is divided into several levels, with a number of tasks required to progress in a level -- for example, collecting certain grocery items in a store.
As the game continues, it becomes more about stealth and action and gets a little more serious, as Octodad continues to hide his true identity.
All in all, this is a really strange and unique game to be played for fun. You can buy Octodad: Dadliest Catch for $14.99 on the PS Store.
This is a rhythm and strategy game where players tap their Vita in order to issue commands in battle -- quite literally great beats mixed with tactical action.
Players roleplay as a god who commands their army, moving through the world on a predestined path. You must combine rhythm and quick thinking to take on whatever enemies come at you -- and they come quickly, which means they can land right on top of you and force split-second decisions and reactions. That makes for one crazy game!
Enemies come in three colors, each with the ability to counteract the other. So you must move your troops, tap specific colors to a beat, and then tell your troops where to go. To battle bosses, you must utilize the best of your troops and quickly swap between close or ranged combat to be successful. Every action you take will be rated, and you only get to move forward when you've earned an "excellent" or better.
This is a combination of great tunes and quick thinking action that should get Vita owners scrambling for their consoles. You can buy Orgarhythm for $9.99 on the PS Store.
And there we have it -- 10 weird but wonderful games for the PS Vita. They may appear strange on the surface, but they also offer compelling, fun, and sometimes suprisingly deep gameplay under the strange exterior.
What do you think of this list? Are there other strange Vita games out there that you think deserve a mention? Let me know in the comments!