Original PlayStation Hidden Gems (Part 2)

Original PlayStation Hidden Gems (Part 2)

Five more fun-filled discs

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Retrospectives on

I don't know about you but I love revisiting classic games that go under most retro gamers' radar so here are 5 super-fun PS1 treasures.

Photo of all 5 featured PS1 hidden gems
There's nothing like the originals but I sure wish I had a case for N2O...

Blockids

This delightful Breakout-style game originally released in Japan in 1996 but for some strange reason, it took about 7 years to come out in North America which makes it one of the last few released games for PS1 here. At its core, Blockids is a very simple game where you select from a wacky collection of characters then play a game of Breakout. However, it's no ordinary brick-breaking game as it's in 3D and you can even make the ball jump! When you factor in the fun camera angles that you can change to on the fly, you're looking at a pretty satisfying and challenging take on the classic formula.

Blockids screenshot
It's like Breakout but in 3D!

Tall Infinity

Speaking of games releasing here in 2003, let's take a look at Tall Infinity (AKA Tall Unlimited). In this puzzler, you run around a circular tower while trying to match coloured faces of cubes by flipping them much like you do in Devil Dice but in 2D. Once a match is made, the blocks raise and generate more blocks and it's your job to keep building as high as you can before you bite the dust.

For more on Tall Infinity as well as 9 other PlayStation puzzlers, head over to my PS1 puzzle games top 10 list.

Tall Infinity screenshot
That fancy lad is quite the devil for rolling cubes all day

N2O: Nitrous Oxide

What do you get when you combine Atari's classic tunnel shooter Tempest with rave-like visuals, insect enemy forces, and a killer soundtrack by The Crystal Method? One heck of a good time. N2O: Nitrous Oxide has you collect "E" power-ups and mushroom shields so it makes you wonder what the developers were on when they made it. You can play cooperatively as well which is a great addition if you want to trip out with a friend. However, you have to be careful not to trip too hard because things speed up pretty fast.

N2O: Nitrous Oxide screenshot
Is anything more '90s than an arcade-style shooter that looks like a rave?

Punky Skunk

I love 2D platformers and Punky Skunk certainly isn't the best example of the genre but it's full of so much variety that it's a must-have for hardcore platformer fans. Punky can wear a bunch of different outfits that help him parachute across wind gusts, snowboard, rollerblade, and much more. When you combine this with the fun mini-games in between levels, you're left with an extremely varied campaign that's hard to put down. The cute visuals and ridiculous loading screen where Punky seems to be farting the words "Chill out!" are just the icing on the cake. That being said, prepare for some annoyingly repetitive voice clips as you play.

Punky Skunk screenshot
Punky proves he has plenty of 'tude by rollerblading without a helmet

Qix Neo

Slowly unveiling a picture by sectioning off areas while avoiding unpredictable enemies is as enjoyable now as it has ever been. Qix Neo (AKA Volfied) is my personal favourite game in Taito's long-running series. Simply put, the goofy sci-fi presentation, addictive gameplay, catchy sound effects, and unique bosses make it one of the best arcade-like experiences that I've ever played.

To learn more about this fantastic series and discover more similar games, be sure to read my Qix series retrospective.

Qix Neo screenshot
Once I start playing Volfied, I can't stop!

Have you played any of these PS1 buried treasures? Are there any hidden gems that you would recommend? Let's chat below!

Gameplay video playlist for Original PlayStation Hidden Gems (Part 2) 11:17
PS1 games Trivia

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