22/12/2020

๐Ÿ† Rich's Games Of The Year (& Honourable Mentions) 2020 ๐Ÿ† #IndieGames #GameDev #GamersUnite

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Looking back at another year of video games and another year of Games Freezer is actually quite emotional when I sit here and try to unpack exactly what has happened.

This year I can safely say that I have played more video games than I have ever played in one single calendar year.

The world caught fire and yet video games were my rock and Games Freezer was my constant.

Britt remains a games playing machine of which I have never known the likes of.

It's important to remember that Britt and I both create content for Games Freezer as a hobby and yet here we are in our 7th year still going strong and with visions of further expanding what we do.

This year alone Britt and I have contributed to over 300 pieces of content on the site and have been supported by our regular irregular contributors in the guise of our friends PixelHunted, Lee Manuel, Dr Congo Fighting, Kingdom Of Carts along with many other lovely people who just love to play and write about video games.

We look forward to another year of Games Freezer as we become a truly respected member of the video games industry and keep on punching above our weight.

GF Forever...

Meanwhile back in GF HQ, I have pulled together 10 Video Games in no particular order that pretty much sums up my video gaming year. 

Hopefully, there's some in here that you haven't played so as you can go and check them out for yourself.
1. Umurangi Generation (PC)
*Cool Photos Award*
I was turned onto this game via the Waypoints VICE Podcast headed up by Austin Walker and once I had played the DEMO on Steam I just had to play more of this wondrous game set in a shitty future that contains a story that unfolds before your eyes in many unexpected ways.

The core mechanic is taking pictures of particular items in an ingeniously devious way but beyond the mechanics, the game is saying something so much more than what it would appear at first glance.

If you want to understand what I mean then I think you should go download this masterpiece.

2. Stories Untold (Nintendo Switch)
*Old Tech Award*
This game has been about on Steam since 2017 but then a code dropped into us for Nintendo Switch and as soon as I saw that there was a ZX Spectrum +2 in the game which you use to play a text adventure component of the game then I knew I had to get involved.

This game never outstays its welcome and each episode is in itself its own puzzle. It's the very perfect game for the Nintendo Switch and its a game I think about often.

Give me more No Code games as they truly know how to tell a story.

3. The Last Of Us Part II (PS4)
*Triple-A Heart Wrencher Award*
The video games world stopped and held their breath as one of the most beloved video games franchises was released amidst the pandemic and after Animal Crossing was released along came The Last of Us 2...

This game was always going to be a favourite of mine as I was so heavily invested in the first game and was eagerly awaiting the next instalment.

The game received a lot of criticism from critics and fans alike but when you strip it back and really look at what Naughty Dog achieved it's a miracle of a game that has two full-length stories within its storyline and lets you play out two competing characters story arcs to their completion.

Maybe the game slightly outstays its welcome towards hour 50 but I have to say that every session I had with this Naughty Dog beauty was an absolute blast that held my attention 100%.

4. HARDSPACE : Shipbreaker (PC)
*Space Salvage Award*
Methodically stripping a hulking spaceship apart to salvage it's most valuable parts with the precision of a space surgeon is an absolute joy to behold as you become one with your precision instruments with nothing but the silence of deep space to keep you company.

There's something deeply satisfying about this game that kept me engrossed from June 2020 onwards.

On the face of it, this game was nothing special but it's only when you get stuck into the Tutorial and work your way through the first space carcass that you truly begin to appreciate the simple genius of this game.

Try it today and I know you won't be disappointed (and it's still getting plentiful updates as it's still in Early Access)

5. Poly Bridge 2 / (PC) Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead (Nintendo Switch)
*The Engineers Award*
2020 saw two of my favourite physics-based puzzlers released and I enjoyed them both so much I just had to add them both.

Two games that really scratch that problem-solving itch with fun but logic-based solutions to fun and frantic scenarios.

Building Bridges is officially fun and I'm proud to say that I got to play two of the finest examples of this genre this year.

Playing BC: TWD on the Switch was a special treat whilst my wife watched I'm A Celebrity and I was able to sample this awesome piece of TWD side story!

6. Monster Sanctuary (Nintendo Switch)
*The New Stardew Valley Award*
There's no way that I thought that I'd be so into this game when I read the description and realised it was a Pokemon-style monster collector with a Metroidvania style gameplay. 

The thing that originally drew me in was the look. It's a pixel beauty and oozes Stardew Valley vibes. When I sat down to play it the gameplay loop immediately hooked me and I knew this would be a game to sink hours into and again it's a perfect switch game. 

It oozes charm and has that feeling about it that there's always just one more thing to attend to...perfect!

7. Cyberpunk 2077 (PC)
*The Janky Triple-A Award*
So many people were angry and so many people were happy. Cyberpunk 2077 seems to have split people on Social Media and it is another game from 2020 that people seem to love or hate. The angry mob on Twitter were out with their pitchforks when the console versions were supposedly abysmal but when you boil it down and think about this game you can see why such an adventurous project that was released during a global pandemic has had such a bumpy ride to release.

I say play the game and make your own mind up as there is one hell of a video game to be played here and my view is that for me it feels like a contradiction of a game that is both deep and shallow all at once. It has so many gameplay systems at play and yet you can pretty much play it as a shooter and keep it simple whilst maybe dabbling in the advanced systems if you want to. 

For me, it feels like a fun Wolfenstein 2 vibe moulded with an open-world adventure that blasts your face off with neon-soaked vignettes and in your face storytelling.

Learn to love the jank as we all did with Fallout 3 and 4 and you are in for an unforgettable treat!

8. Animal Crossing (Nintendo Switch)
*The Family Plays Video Games Award*
Playing Animal Crossing during the lockdown in 2020 was a rare treat that I have never before experienced in Video Games. 

It was almost magical as my wife and children would get up in the morning just to check the turnip prices and tend to our town. 

It was like the video games gods bestowed us with a gift in order to keep us sane and happy.

Thank You, Nintendo...

9. Not For Broadcast (PC)
*TV Producers Award*
TV News with a sinister undertone, this game is almost spookily too close to real-life events unfolding in 2020.

This is a true sleeper hit of an indie game that deserves lots of attention from people who love the joy of new experiences.

You're shoved into the job of being a one-man producer for the nightly news and it will be down to you to try and maintain the viewing figures whilst also contending with various problems that arise during transmission.

It's a plate-spinning exercise with a truly compelling storyline that you just have to sample for yourself!

Well, there you have it, a delightful array of video games from 2020.

It's been a pleasure to immerse myself into these video games whilst the world was truly melting before my very eyes.

Thanks, Video Games, you are my rock.

Rich

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