Category: Game of the Year

GOTY 2022 – Kickoff

The Year Another year has passed and another GOTY season is reaching its crescendo. In many ways, 2022 has been a year characterized by a fervent desire to return to normalcy in our daily lives. In some ways, this is equally true of gaming culture writ large. Gamers hunger for bigger and bigger titles and…


Game Of The Year 2021

It’s the last day of 2021, and it’s time to finally talk about my game of the year. There’s no one way to choose what makes a game my favorite, and I’ve had a whole bunch of positive and interesting experiences with games of all sort this year. The ones that stood out most this…


GOTY 2021: Best Mechanical Gimmick

Obviously, the crux of what makes a video game a video game is what it’s like to play the game, what makes it interactive. Gameplay often exists for its own sake, but in many cases it’s also a storytelling device just like music, art, sound design, writing, etc. Gameplay design can also play off of…


GOTY 2021: Most Breathtaking Vistas

This is certainly a less abstract category than previous ones. I debated whether or not to include it, because on some level it feels superficial. But I hope that the reasoning behind my choices is justification enough. A refrain that I hear from game critics over the years is that what once impressed them is…


GOTY 2021: Most Interesting Nostalgic Experience

Nostalgia is a hugely important facet of how the games industry operates. Especially in AAA spaces, the creation of increasingly expensive and enormous products — often powered by widespread labor exploitation — relies on constant iteration on known-viable formulas. Games are costly to produce and often demand a lot of time and energy from the…


GOTY 2021: Best Attention Grabber

It’s day 2 of my Game of The Year series! Today’s award goes to the game that best kept my attention when it launched. What, you might ask, the hell does that mean? Well, it turns out that video games release all the time throughout the year. And sometimes I find that the moment that…


GOTY 2021: Kickoff

I spent a long time this week trying to figure out how I wanted to do my annual Game of The Year blogging. I’ve never had a consistent approach in the past (I wrote a big top 10 list in 2018, a top 10 countdown in 2019, and in 2020 I split my list into…


Top 5 Games of 2020

Finally, on January 2, 2021, I’ve finished writing about my favorite games of 2020. And once again, I wrote way too much for even a very patient person to read. So for the regular people who probably aren’t looking to dive into each of my longer-form pieces, here are my short, punchy summaries. 5. Hades…


GOTY 2020 #1. Umurangi Generation

Few games find ways to elegantly blend their environmental storytelling with their actual gameplay. Great environment design and art direction can tell a story in the margins of an experience, but calling attention to those details is a delicate art. Immersive sims like Bioshock or Prey often use audio logs, documents, and other threads of…


GOTY 2020 #2. Paradise Killer

Paradise Killer feels like a natural extension of lovably bizarre series like Danganronpa and Zero Escape. It has plenty of familiar pieces: a cast of over-the-top characters, a tangle of mysteries to solve, and a surreal world to explore. It has the same brazen and self-assured strangeness, but brought to unprecedented new heights. Paradise Killer…