26/12/2018

๐ŸŽฎ Britt Roberts – Games of the Year 2018 ๐ŸŽฎ #IndieGames #GameDev

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It’s that time again when I look back and reflect on the games I’ve played throughout the last year and mention a few that have stood out for better…or for worse.


Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
Most recent in my memory (as I’m still playing it) is Monster Boy: The Cursed Kingdom. I had, only a few months prior, played Lizardcube’s re-make of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap and that was an absolute pleasure in itself, but Monster Boy took the retro vibe and series’ history and thrust it into a fully-modernised form of game play style. Challenging, magical, full of great music and wonderfully more-ish, this is a game that has stayed with me for quite some time.
Genital Jousting
When I initially got sent this to review I had no idea what to expect. Built up from what was initially some jokey mini-games, the story mode in genital Jousting was quite affecting and delivered in the funniest possible way. Not a game for everyone due to its content and presentation but those who do click with the narrative and humour will definitely find this one to remember for all the right reasons.
Beckett
This game was thoroughly unique and clearly the work of an auteur. Not an easy game to like, the abstract approach of Beckett took me a while to fully adjust to but what followed was a challenging dive into a gritty world rife with Lynchian touches and some of the most memorable moments in a game that I’d played in a while. I started taking screen shots of the sections that particularly struck me so that I could re-visit them afterwards. The highlight for me (and it will seem innocuous enough here) was the description of a birdcage on a desk…
Definitely a developer to keep a close eye on.
Yonder the Cloud Catcher Chronicles
A Zelda-like game completely devoid of combat may seem a bit empty to some, but this was a game I kept returning to when I just wanted some peace. Wandering the colourful landscapes and completing quests for the lively denizens of the world whilst listening to the jaunty music was sometimes all I needed when I fancied a break from more cerebral or action-packed fayre. I almost treated it as a relaxation tape, similar to my approach to the extremely average CAR QUEST, although Yonder is clearly the better game.
Death Road to Canada
For a few weeks of the year, Death Road to Canada was all I played. I played it alone and with various friends, the random encounters and procedural generation (used well!) always making the game feel fresh and new. If you haven’t played this and are a fan of zombie / survival games with a retro approach, you really should give it a bash. Please, PLEASE let the sequel be four player local co-op!
Die Young
An early access game that I previewed some months back, I was taken by this and, although still not in a fully-released state. The game felt robust and interesting enough for me to want to wait until its completion. This is one that I fully intend to get hips deep into upon its eventual release.

Ghost V1.0
As a fan of Metroidvania games, I dove straight into this and fell in love with the characters, dialogue and setting. Cleverly using 3D printing mechanics and with a humourous and yet deep narrative that never outstayed its welcome, Ghost V1.0 is a title I’d dearly love to see a sequel to.
The Gardens Between
It’s not often I get emotionally involved in games but the wonderful time-shifting mechanics on a 2.5D plain on show here and the wordlessly told bittersweet story culminated in a brief but touching end sequence that (admittedly sentimentally) illustrated that not every story has to be epic in scope to make an impact. Beautiful.
Lamplight City / Unavowed
I played these games pretty close together time-wise and they both stand out to me as the best graphic adventure games that 2018 has to offer and are proof that this genre still has a lot to give. Rich in both story and characters but with subtly different approaches, these are a must for the library of any point and click lovers out there.
Suicide Guy
As a big fan of the Mr Karoshi games, I thought this would be a tongue-in-cheek 3D take on matters but, unfortunately it turned out to be a flailing, glitchy puzzle/platformer that really left me wanting far, far more from what could have been an interesting title.
Detective Case and Clown Bot
Much as Hello neighbour was my worst game of 2017, this game tops my 2018 list for entirely different reasons. The awful, constant dialogue and badly-implemented design choices make this game one I hope to never hear of again. Truly one of the worst games I’ve ever played…although it’s not the worst…
Hello Neighbour
Yes, on a technicality (it was ported to the Switch this year) Hello Neighbour is again my least favourite game of the year. I’m not saying any more about it. I detest it.
Britt