I don’t know that I buy the idea of the “hooks” being that easy to evaluate.
- Stardew Valley: A Harvest Moon clone with crafting. The dullest 3 minute trailer you’ve ever seen.
- Into the Breach: A tactics game where you know what the enemy will do on their turn.
- Dead Cells: Another roguelite 2d platformer, but with tighter controls and very fluid animations.
- Rain World: Another metroidvania, but with incredible art style and a procedural animation system that crossed from dev diaries to news every few months.
- Brigador: Isometric destruction with giant mechs, which just nailed the cyberpunk aesthetic with the Syndicate-style pixel graphics and had IMO the best original game soundtrack ever.
It’s not at all obvious to me that the first three would be massive successes while the last two would sink into obscurity immediately on release. I might even have expected the opposite.