I didn't have a full list of 10 for my games of the year, mainly because a lot of my gaming time has been spent catching up on games from years past (or grinding in Fortnite). I have played some from this year and I wanted to share them, because I feel like they are great games, some of which may have gone unnoticed for one reason or another.
Overload is what’s known as a 6 degrees of freedom shooter being developed by Revival Productions, which is made of up former developers who worked on Descent which is the title that Overload succeeds spiritually. Imagine a first person shooter, but you have the same freedom of motion, you would have by enabling the “free camera mode” That’s how movement in Overload is set up.
Missions objectives are simple, make your way to the core of the level, which often times requires obtaining access keys which are hidden in the depths of the level. Once you reach the core (which is more often than not guarded) it needs to be destroyed. Doing so triggers a self destruct sequence, which gives you less than a minute to escape before blowing up. This is where a lot of the challenge comes in, due to the fact that you can rotate your ship in any direction, it’s very easy to become disoriented and lose track of where important things are... like the exit.
Even though this game is in early access, I put it in my list because of the solid game play from a classic that I spent many hours on when I was younger. It performs well for the most part and has a lot of promise
20XX is a side scrolling 2D platform shooter being developed by Batterystaple and Fire House games. This game is essentially what would happen if Megaman X were a rouge-like. It just so happens that the this style of game works brilliantly with this sub genre.
After running through your obligatory platforming stage (acquiring power ups along the way) you face a boss. After defeating the boss, you can either take its ability in true Megaman fashion, or choose another randomly generated bonus. If you die however, you lose every power-up you’ve gained and have to start over. I’m not sure what happens when you beat all of the bosses, as this game is quite challenging to complete. However, I’m usually satisfied after getting a “solid run” in.
This is an awesome game for any Megaman fan, especially if you like co-op (that’s right there’s a cop-op mode!)
I grew up a Sega kid, and for many years I found myself disappointed at recent Sonic releases (with he exception of Sonic Generations). After so long, I started lose the hope that we'd ever see another great Sonic game, and then Sonic Mania happen.
Sonic Mania is the best 2D Sonic game I’ve played since Sonic 3 & Knuckles. It’s a finely crafted experience which delivers pure nostalgia with classic level presentation… only to immediately throw in a twist to the the game play that will take you by surprise the first time, but then immediately feels “right” like it’s a part of the game that should have been there to begin with. I didn’t dislike Sonic 4, it was a pretty solid game, I just feel like they played it safe, which isn’t always a bad thing. I just wish there had been more to it.
Sonic Mania makes my list because it, like many other games in my list delivers classic gameplay while adding new twists that not only preserve, but also enhance said game play.
Full Throttle (Remastered)
I know, I know… technically this game released in 1995… but since I never played it until now, and the remaster came out this year. I’m counting it, because this game is fantastic. Point and click adventures aren’t everyone's cup of tea, for good reason. These classics often involved puzzle solving, which requires specific almost Indiana Jones levels of logic in order to do so. That and the obligatory “pixel hunting” that comes along with searching out objectives. Since this game has been remastered, that means all of the visuals are now sharper, thus alleviating the occurrence of crucial set pieces getting lost in the once pixelated mess due to the technological limitations of the time.
I loved everything about this game, from the trial and error style of objective completion which required deductive skills nothing short of Sherlock Holmes himself… to the top notch voice acting talent, and short but well written story. I’m very glad I got the chance to experience this game in it’s nearly pursets form.
One of my first smartphone games wasn’t really a game. It was a particle simulator called Aqua Forest available on iOS. It was a simple game that simulated various elements such as stone, wood, fire, water, snow, explosives and much more. What fascinated me with this not-game was not only the particle simulation, but how these elements interacted and reacted to each other. Pixel Sand is a game that takes this concept to the next level by adding a playable character who can control these elements, adds platforming, and puzzles to the game which require intelligent platforming, clever use of your powers and sometimes a bit of experimentation. This turns a time waster into an actual gaming experience, with levels and a story to progress through.
The only thing better than Pixel Sands graphical presentation is it’s writing. With tongue placed firmly in cheek, this game proceeds to make fun of itself, the player, and consistently breaks the fourth wall without so much as batting an eye in a way that just might make you laugh out loud. Pixel Sand also has a creative mode, which just gives you access to every pixel type, so you can experiment to our hearts content.
Pixel Sand is fun experience packed with load of charm and simplistic beauty while still remaining a challenging experience for those who enjoy puzzle platforming.
Rivals of Aether
Rivals of Aether is one of the best Smash clones I’ve played in some time. This game also features 16 bit style graphics, with brilliantly animated sprites. Rivals of Aether features anthropomorphic creatures hailing from various kingdoms, each with an elemental affinity. Certain events transpire that sparks conflict between the kingdoms, which is where the main plot comes from. The story is not exactly original, but at least it introduces a reason for conflict, something that many fighting games neglect to do. Rivals plays very much like Smash Bros with a few differences in game play mechanics. Smash skills are for the most part transferable though.
Rivals is an well made 2-D brawler which will keep any Smash fan busy.
These games didn’t make my GOTY list, but get honorable mention because there’s something about them, that I really enjoy, or they have been a main source of fun that I’ve had playing with friends.
Fortnite (Currently In Early Access)
Secrets of Grindea (Currently In Early Access)