While not explicitly my "game of the year" list, what follows does actually include two of my top three games of the year. The rest? Incredible games that I genuinely think everyoneshould play. Games that appeal to those beyond their genre(s) and simply appeal to basic human nature and interest. Games that have those moments that you will tell your grandchildren about one day.
Normally, this would be a list of me rattling off my indie hipster bullshit, and, well, it is actually mostly that. But! There's even a triple-A title on here. Isn't that enticing? And hey, while you may not have played these in 2020, there is still plenty of time to rectify this! So stay safe, wear a mask, and isolate yourself with these killer games from 2020.
Lair of the Clockwork God(Steam page)
One part platformer, one part point-and-click adventure, and two bazillion parts brilliance. From the duo of Dan Marshall and Ben War (Ben There, Dan That, The Swindle, Behold the Kickmen), this is a game that has no right being as amazing as it is. If it weren't for the developers' incredible humor, then it wouldn'twork. This is a game that only these two could create, and so of course, they knocked it out of the park.
While playing, you'll switch back and forth (at will) between Dan, who controls like a typical platformer, and Ben, who moseys around and observes the world the same as a traditional point-and-click adventurer would. The dialogue between them as they discuss the genre-blending and break the fourth wall is easily the strongest selling point, as this game continually had me grinning from ear to ear. One of my biggest regrets of 2020 is not finishing this game, something I hope to rectify soon.
Half-Life: Alyx(Steam page)
Okay, I realize that like millions of people played this game, but I wanted to include it anyway because that's still not enough people. This is my personal "game of the year," and it kills me that the reason it's so good (the VR aspect) is also its biggest limitation to mass appeal. Many people have sung its praises to the moon and back, but I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't add in my two cents.
Alyx is Valve at the top of their game, which is perhaps the biggest compliment I could give it. It's a game that couldn't work in "pancake mode," aka without VR. In fact, it's kind of just an okay shooter without VR. But none of that matters because it isin VR. Picking up items with quick levitation feels natural, as does reloading the various weapons (for the most part). Some lament the missing melee weapons, considering this is the franchise that made a crowbar iconic, but I trust the developers when they say that they tried it, and it just didn't work.
I genuinely hope they continue this series in VR (and considering the ending, I'm sure they will) despite the barrier to entry. I can only hope that barrier is lessened over time, and more and more people get to play this absolute VR masterpiece.
I've gushed about this game already in my actual review, but this is the first visual novel that really captured and held my attention and dominated my thoughts for quite some time. The pure visual style alone should be enough to get most people at least interested in it, but it's the setting of "Australian coffee shop that serves recently-deceased patrons on their way to the afterlife" that really hooks you.
It's also something that, for better or worse, many players will be able to identify with. Not the "traveling to the afterlife" part, really, but the themes of death and loss permeate every ounce of the game and can easily hit home. Even if visual novels aren't typically your thing, Necrobaristadeserves your time and attention.
My Necrobaristascreenshots were actually on rotation as my desktop background until just recently, when I finished playing...
Umurangi Generation(Steam page)
I actually just beat this the other day, and I can't stop thinking about it. On the surface, it's a game that feels and looks straight out of the Dreamcast era about taking photos. Each level tasks the player with taking photos that include certain items around the map, with bonus objectives available to earn an extra reward. It's kind of clunky to play, and it can even be frustrating looking for the bonus film canisters because they're like six pixels tall it seems.
Yet, this is easily in my top three games of the year (alongside Alyxand FFVII: Remake). Without spoiling it, Umurangi Generationhas something hidden up its sleeve. It takes the idea of environmental storytelling and ramps it up so far that the dial is broken. All three of the aforementioned GOTY games for me made me go "holy shit" one way or another. In Alyx, it was basically turning every corner and being amazed at literally everything. In FFVII: Remake, it was seeing my childhood brought to life in beautiful 3D; looking up from the slums at the upper plate or seeing the locations I spent so much time in growing up from every angle was simply breathtaking.
The holy shitmoments of Umurangi Generationcome in a much different way. Perhaps part of it is defying expectations from what is ostensibly a photography-simulator, but ultimately the beauty here is the expertly crafted storyline told with no dialogue, cutscenes, or even interaction on behalf of the player. It only takes about three hours to get through, so go ahead and play Umurangi Generation,it'll be worth it... I promise!
[Disclaimer: Destructoid's Dan Roemer is friends with one of the developers of Umurangi Generation.]
A Monster's Expedition(Steam page)
Just like Lair of the Clockwork God, this is one game I wish I had spent more time with and hope to soon. Listen, all you have to do to get me interested in a game is tell me it's like Stephen's Sausage Roll. I consider that to be a perfect game. A Monster's Expeditionis very much like it, and I've loved every second I put into it so far.
While it doesn't seem to be as challenging initially as SSR, perhaps that's a good thing. The delightful aesthetic feels pretty relaxing, which pushes this more towards a zen puzzle game with the same designvibes as Stephen's Sausage Roll. It truly feels like someone learned all of the lessons from that game and took them in their own direction, making it wholly different in the process. Everyone needs to play this because it's puzzle games done right and doesn't destroy your ambitions with random difficulty spikes or obtuse puzzles.
Read more from the original source:
Five games I wish everyone played in 2020 - Destructoid
- Pillars of Active Aging - Old School Puzzles And Games To Promote Active Aging Brain Health - LNP | LancasterOnline - March 4th, 2021
- Tvinnr: Basic tips to help you enjoy this relaxing puzzle game - Pocket Gamer - March 4th, 2021
- Maquette is a neat puzzle game that packs an emotional punch - The Next Web - March 4th, 2021
- Our most anticipated indie games of 2021 - Rock Paper Shotgun - March 4th, 2021
- MonkeyBox 2: Cards! is an upcoming puzzle adventure game for iOS from TheCodingMonkeys - Pocket Gamer - March 4th, 2021
- Play with Gravity in Gravifire on Xbox and Switch - TheXboxHub - March 4th, 2021
- Lovin Games Weekly - There is a new Aliens game on the way - Lovin Dublin - March 4th, 2021
- It Takes Two Isn't Focusing on Replayability, Won't Have Collectibles - GameRant - March 4th, 2021
- The Video Games to Play This Month: Get Tiny with Maquette, It Takes Two, and More! - The Portland Mercury - March 4th, 2021
- 50% Kemco RPG and Puzzle Games on PS Store - GLYFE Nation - March 4th, 2021
- Worst Pokmon Spin-off Games Nintendo Should Never Remake - Screen Rant - March 4th, 2021
- Super Rare Games giving immersive puzzle game Creaks a physical Switch release next week - GoNintendo - March 4th, 2021
- Every Uncharted Game, Ranked Worst To Best | Screen Rant - Screen Rant - March 4th, 2021
- 10 Games We Need To See On PSVR2 That Could Actually Happen On PS5 - TheGamer - March 4th, 2021
- PC Review - 'Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead' - WorthPlaying.com - March 4th, 2021
- The Next Hawks Coach Will Have to Solve the Trae Young Puzzle - The Ringer - March 4th, 2021
- Sponsored: 5 games that make you think like a programmer - Gamasutra - March 4th, 2021
- Inked review - "If only looks were everything" | Articles - Pocket Gamer - March 4th, 2021
- From Portal to Witcher 3: The games people cheat at the most! - European Gaming Industry News - March 4th, 2021
- 5 Best PC Boxing games to play in 2021 - Gameranx - March 4th, 2021
- What Are the Most Popular Types of Mobile Game? | TechQuila - TechQuila - February 19th, 2021
- The Legend of Zelda games ranked! - The Guardian - February 19th, 2021
- Wordsmyth is a beautiful daily word game coming soon to iOS and Android - Pocket Gamer - February 19th, 2021
- Review: She Remembered Caterpillars - Movies Games and Tech - February 19th, 2021
- Artie raises $10 million as it pivots to make instant games - VentureBeat - February 19th, 2021
- Fortnite Creative gets callout for puzzles and platformers - AltChar - February 19th, 2021
- Top 10 games to download and play first on your new Apple iPhone - Gadget Bridge - February 19th, 2021
- Outer Wilds launches this summer on Nintendo Switch - Shacknews - February 19th, 2021
- Steam Developer Banned After Trying to Trick Users About Positive Reviews - VICE - February 19th, 2021
- Global Games and Puzzles Market 2020 Industry Analysis, Key Drivers, Business Strategy, Opportunities and Forecast to 2025 Express Keeper - Express... - February 19th, 2021
- Next 10 Classic Horror Games To Play If You Liked The Medium - TheGamer - February 17th, 2021
- Game stores seeing an increase in new customers since the COVID-19 pandemic - WeAreGreenBay.com - February 17th, 2021
- The First 10 Games Released On The PS2 (In Chronological Order) - TheGamer - February 17th, 2021
- Zynga Expects Its Mobile Gaming Empire to Grow More Than 30% In 2021 - Motley Fool - February 17th, 2021
- 8 Underrated Open-World Games (That Came Out In The Last 5 Years) - GameRant - February 17th, 2021
- The Room 4: Old Sins Is Out For PC, And Prettier Than Ever - Kotaku - February 17th, 2021
- Knight's Retreat Review - Chess but not! - TheXboxHub - February 17th, 2021
- Soapbox: We Were Here, the Free PS4 Game No One Will Play with Me - Push Square - February 17th, 2021
- PS5 : HuniePop 2, another title that joins Twitch's list of banned games - Explica - February 17th, 2021
- 10 VR Games That Don't Give You Motion Sickness - TheGamer - February 17th, 2021
- 10 Things You Never Knew About The Origins Of Tetris | Game Rant - GameRant - February 17th, 2021
- Games of the week: The Medium, Spire Blast, Encodya and Solas 128 - Inverness Courier - February 17th, 2021
- Nokia 5.4 review this ones for the stock Android fans on a tight budget - Business Insider India - February 17th, 2021
- Thorny Puzzle Title Room To Grow Is Coming To PC This Month - Bleeding Cool News - February 14th, 2021
- Imaginative Puzzle Game QV Heading To Steam | TheGamer - TheGamer - February 14th, 2021
- 10 Open World Games That Have No Combat | Game Rant - GameRant - February 14th, 2021
- Schell Games Talks I Expect You To Die 2 And VR's Future - UploadVR - February 14th, 2021
- ConnecTank Is a Multiplayer Tank Battle and Puzzle Game Coming This Fall - SuperParent - February 14th, 2021
- Best Valentines Day games for couples: top titles to play with your loved one - TechRadar - February 14th, 2021
- Outer Wilds And The Best Games That Use Time Loops - TheGamer - February 14th, 2021
- The Most Peaceful Games of 2020, Ranked | ScreenRant - Screen Rant - February 14th, 2021
- Best new mobile games on iOS and Android this February - Metro.co.uk - February 14th, 2021
- PS4 Update: Download This New F2P PlayStation 4 Game - RealSport101 - February 14th, 2021
- The Best Free PC Games of Multiple Category in 2021 - TechnoSports - February 14th, 2021
- The DeanBeat: Has the game industry hit its peak with crazy valuations or just begun its growth? - VentureBeat - February 14th, 2021
- Video game review: 'The Medium' a messy horror game with inventive puzzles - telegraphherald.com - February 14th, 2021
- TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Knightin'+' - Touch Arcade - February 14th, 2021
- Numskull Games Offers Sneak Peek At Upcoming Titles, Reveals RICO London - TheGamer - February 14th, 2021
- Recursive Puzzle Game, Maquette, to be Released in March - mxdwn.com - February 11th, 2021
- Tackle thorny problems in 'Room to Grow' a plant pushing puzzle game launching on Steam for PC & Mac 25th February 2021! - Gamasutra - February 11th, 2021
- PS5 and PS4 free game bonus: Grab a friend and download co-op puzzler for free - Express - February 11th, 2021
- Somethings Fishy About This Steam Games Very Positive Reviews - Kotaku - February 11th, 2021
- Human Fall Flat Was Originally Designed To Be Portal Meets Limbo - TheGamer - February 11th, 2021
- Tilting Point will invest up to $60 million in user acquisition for Loop Games Match 3D game - VentureBeat - February 11th, 2021
- Every App And VR Game Coming To Oculus App Lab For Quest - UploadVR - February 11th, 2021
- Nuts Review- Hiding Above the Trees, Looking For Squirrels - DualShockers - February 11th, 2021
- A bit about our currently nameless game company, and what we're working on at the moment - Gamasutra - February 11th, 2021
- 'Breath Of The Wild' Reinvented Zelda Games. 'Bowser's Fury' Does That For Mario - Mashable India - February 11th, 2021
- Slipways was the best demo in the Steam Games Festival, but it's gone now - Rock Paper Shotgun - February 9th, 2021
- Move Over, Mother 3 - THESE Nintendo Games Should Be Localized Too - CBR - Comic Book Resources - February 9th, 2021
- Solve puzzles in a recursive world where everything is simultaneously tiny and massive - PC Gamer - February 9th, 2021
- The best PSVR games to try on a PS5 - CNET - February 9th, 2021
- Xbox One: The 7 Easiest Games to Unlock Every Achievement | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources - February 9th, 2021
- Knightin'+ is a Zelda-inspired puzzle-adventure game that's heading for iOS and Android tomorrow - Pocket Gamer - February 9th, 2021
- Cross-Play Video Game Publisher TLM Partners, Inc. Announces Their First Indie Title "Zorya: The Celestial Sisters" developed by MadLife... - February 9th, 2021
- The Video Games to Play This Month: Giant Bowser, Fractal Planet Exploration, and Werewolves! - TheStranger.com - February 9th, 2021
- The ultimate guide to getting into the Resident Evil games - PC Gamer - February 9th, 2021
- Games of the week: Hitman 3, The Pillar: Puzzle Escape, Nuts and Ride 4 - Inverness Courier - February 9th, 2021
- 5 Awesome Video Game Sequels That Defined A Franchise (& 5 That Were Way Overrated) - Screen Rant - February 9th, 2021
- 10 Terrifying Horror Games Most Gamers Have Never Heard Of - GameRant - February 9th, 2021