Last year I wrote a series of mini-essays on a handful of games that I thought were really cool and inspired me in different ways. I mention that to give you context for this year’s game of the year list which is completely different (out of a sheer lack of energy to write more essays). Please enjoy.
10. Baba is You
Curious puzzle that causes the user to question their presence within their own body. It manipulates the form of the user into different objects, using simple runes to complete seemingly unworldly calculations.
Use with caution. It is said that Baba can be more than simply You, but that Baba can be Win as well… But if Baba is Win, then who are You?
9. Super Mario Maker 2
Newest form of Mario Maker. It is built upon the many iterations of Mario’s past, twisting and contorting them into unseemly forms.
Use to summon a level from another world, and to invade other worlds with your own.
Those who revel in pain and suffering send their dreadful levels out into the ether, only wishing to receive any as equally depraved.
8. Pathologic 2
Behold the best dialogue tree of 2019. pic.twitter.com/hTw0yvu5Sy
— The Dark Id (@TheDarkId) May 28, 2019
Second manuscript from the Ice-Pick Lodge, a retelling of their first. Use to instill despair into the hearts of any who would read it.
Town-on-Gorkhon suffers silently until the wailing of plague-stricken townsfolk alerts those who would rather see it obliterated than cured. The Haruspex may be able to divert it’s path from sure destruction if the fearful townsfolk do not reject him out of paranoia. Should he bother? He only returned home to once again see his father.
7. Remnant: From the Ashes
New interpretation on a now common formula, much like souls of the past. The world is different and ever-changing, and as such, great pains were taken to suit this formula into the shape of a gun where it once favored the sword.
Be warned, as the flow of time may be convoluted in other worlds, the shape of space contorts in new and different ways with each new world formed. Phantoms may enter another world to find unseen spaces and enemies they have never faced before.
6. Death Stranding
— a baby in a three piece suit smoking a cigar (@ScottBlah) November 17, 2019
Package from an acclaimed artist, although many have questioned if what he makes would truly be considered art. Fragile, handle with care.
All packages have shape and weight, and some have specific requirements. This package asks the user if it understands that inventories are never truly bottomless, and that movement is an art in itself. Perhaps that’s the story the artist was trying to tell, or perhaps it was one more convoluted and, certainly, far worse acted.
5. Resident Evil 2
wiggly boy pic.twitter.com/EV0jsC7FmZ
— a baby in a three piece suit smoking a cigar (@ScottBlah) February 3, 2019
Love letter to a horror story of past generations. Use to restore memories from decades past.
In these times, the undead are common and easily dealt with. However, this is still proof that they are deadly as they once were. Conventional weapons alone cannot kill what cannot die, but with foresight and clever thinking, perhaps you can stay alive.
4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
— a baby in a three piece suit smoking a cigar (@ScottBlah) August 25, 2019
War map depicting the strategies of three opposing countries. The various plotted points tell a tale of friends and loved ones who must find themselves at the other end of each others swords.
Three progeny of their nations rise to power, but they cannot all coexist. They are fated to go to war, not through prophecy or by glory, but because they simply cannot live together. Their ideals are too different to work in tandem, even if their goals are often the same.
3. Metro Exodus
— a baby in a three piece suit smoking a cigar (@ScottBlah) March 5, 2019
Old machine kept upright by communal engineering. Houses numerous mechanics that are said to have no effect, but the user may feel a sense of relaxation or ease.
Even with spots of rust showing, the gears still turn. It has ambitions to surpass the Metro from which it was birthed to places it has never once thought to see, and it hopes that you will take it there.
2. The Outer Worlds
Souvenir of a different time. Allows the user to project themselves onto the worlds through dialogue with its many denizens.
Those who desire this sort of scenario have been left desperate by those who keep its genre in a stranglehold. However, this is proof that the desire for a deeper experience is still alive and well.
1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Blade forged by a master smith. The sword is immaculately designed but requests nothing but perfection of its user.
While the blade sits as the latest in a long lineage, it’s demands are new and fresh even to those who have wielded similar weapons. It encourages the user to marvel at the ebb and flow of combat, the beauty and brutality could be mistaken for an intricate dance if the results were not as deadly.