9. 7 Grand Steps
Windows PC, Mac, Steam
Keith Nemitz (Mousechief) is to indie games what a Florentian master cobbler is to dress shoes – making unique, high quality, limited edition products that require a certain sense of refinement to appreciate fully.
Much like the grand machinations that whir away behind the face of an antique arcade attraction, Mousechief’s 7 Grand Steps has a lot going on in the background. The charm of the diminutive interface is immediate, but the sheer depth of strategy isn’t fully realized until you’ve lived through several generations of your family’s history.
While raising and educating your kin, you must also plan a strategy that may involve becoming a social mover and shaker, rising up as a legendary warrior clan, or leading monumental innovation – all by depositing tokens in slots. Work closely with your neighbors, or hoard your wealth. It all depends on how you want your family to be remembered, and it can all come back to haunt you, regardless of how deftly you spend your coins.
Before long, you’re cheering on your fictional lineage, and feeling the frustration of a branch of the family tree that bears no fruit. The temptation to take one more generation for a spin is great, and each one further enriches the story. I had a hard time stepping back from this title, and it’s certainly the most unique game I’ve played this year. ~ Callabrantus