Fascinating games

Great 2.5D games on Steam that deserve more attention

Perspective can change everything in a game. The feeling of moving, fighting enemies, talking to NPCs, and just experiencing the atmosphere of a game is changed by perspective changes. Whether a game is top-down, over-the-shoulder, isometric, 2D, or 3D, its dimensions can either add to gameplay or detract from it.



2.5D games straddle a visually and mechanically interesting line, often producing amazing games. The 2.5D genre has produced unique platformers, RPGs and survival games. With so many great games, it’s easy for many to fall through the cracks. Here are some of the greatest unsung 2.5D games on Steam.

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seven Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series

First released in 1997, the Klonoa franchise is anything but new. Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series combines two games in the series: Klonoa: Gate to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: The Veil of Lunatea! It’s about saving the world in a cute, bouncy way that only mascot platformers can pull off.

With updated graphics, adjustable difficulty sliders, and the Moo Costume DLC added for good measure, Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is the best way to experience this 2.5D platformer. All the costumes in the world wouldn’t be enough to save the game if its core gameplay was weak, but Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series performs his cute brand of mascot nonsense with perfect precision.

6 story walker

Casual puzzle and object collecting game story walker is about a wizard who enters the world of books in order to collect elves. This unusual premise provides the backdrop for a quiet, contemplative journey. It’s important to note that the game is only available in Chinese, so those who don’t speak that language will struggle to understand much of it.

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story walker is easy to recommend on the strength of its illustrations alone. Using an illustrative pop-up book aesthetic and hypnotic music for the environments its protagonist navigates, the game is a sensory delight. Although the lack of English localization dampened the game’s appeal, story walker is a unique and beautiful experience, even in its current form.

5 Big land

A 2.5D puzzle-platformer, Big land depicts a future in which Earth’s resources have been depleted, and only by collecting seeds and valuable energy can the player restore a dying world. The small protagonist of the game is overshadowed by the plants and animals of the environment, immediately giving off a strong Based vibrations, however the great land the platform gameplay is self-contained.

The most amazing feature of the game is its art. Its environments are recreated from over 15,000 photos of plants, animals and insects in nature reserves, creating a realistic look that stands out from a legion of competitors. Considering how strong the art of the game is, it’s a welcome surprise that Big land allows players to hide the HUD and take photos, forever saving the best parts of their experience.

4 withdraw

Pushed underground by an ecological disaster, the last remnants of humanity must now rise to the surface, fighting through an army of robots in order to return to the world they left behind. withdraw is a procedurally generated roguelike, so each journey through these underground chambers is different.

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With a jetpack, upgradable gear, and over 50 skills to unlock, the player has a lot on their side. They’ll need it, because bosses and enemies don’t fall easily. withdraw also includes six different character classes – from the stealthy Technophobe to the teleporting Holomaster – ensuring that each run through these procedural levels is even more unique. Navigating its levels may take some getting used to, but the payoff is a roguelike experience like no other.

3 Deadlight: Director’s Cut

There are zombie games for every taste. Tense survival horror? Team action? Post-apocalyptic merchant sim? There is all this and more in the zombie genre. Blending stealth, combat, puzzles and even platforming, Deadlight: Director’s Cut covers many game areas without dropping the ball in any of them.

Surviving 80s Seattle during a zombie apocalypse is tough, especially since the character is decidedly human: if a person could not possibly do something in real life, the main character of Deadlight can’t either. Without superpowers or even a double jump to help players get through difficult levels, Deadlight presents a realistic (but not terribly difficult) challenge. Tense and atmospheric, Deadlight: Director’s Cut does everything it needs and more.

2 Prince of Qin

Prince of Qin is an unapologetically retro RPG, with all the unique strengths, quirks, and flaws that come with it. Manage a team of five heroes and choosing the right balance of skills, abilities and elemental attacks to defeat enemies is a big challenge.

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Perhaps the game’s most compelling element is its accurate portrayal of the Qin dynasty, which gives the game considerable appeal to fans of the history and architecture of the era. Even those unfamiliar with the time period will still find plenty to like in this dense RPG besides the Great Wall and Terracotta Warriors. The dialogue, animations, combat system, and settings will make retro RPG fans feel immediately at home, which in itself is enough to recommend the game.

1 ANNO: Mutationem

Action RPG ANNO: Mutationem is arguably one of the most engaging 2.5D games on steam. That’s a bold claim considering the sheer number of gorgeous titles in the genre, but it’s hard not to be immediately blown away by the game’s unique blend of 2D and 3D art, especially when in motion.

The game is the cyberpunk story of Ann, a lone wolf in a metropolis who plays to pretty much every major cyberpunk trope. While the game doesn’t innovate with its themes, its aesthetic and mechanical execution is not only amazing on its own, but blends in perfectly for a unique cyberpunk experience.

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