Another bountiful year for the gaming industry is about to pass. And as is our tradition, the writers on staff have written about their favourite titles from 2019. Here are the games that I enjoyed the most this year.
Slay the Spire
A turn-based roguelike, Slay the Spire’s deck-building forces you to create strategies on the fly. Each of the game’s three classes have their own card decks and significantly different ways to take out enemies. I enjoyed how much things can change between runs in Slay the Spire and despite losing over and over and over with the damned green, poison character, I never grew frustrated with the game.
Grab some friends and spend some time passing the controller while you play Ape Out. It’s a game with simple controls and a brightly coloured, minimalist, and gory art style presented from a top-down perspective. You’re an ape trying to escape a laboratory, and you die just as quickly as the guards trying to stop you. The game is simple enough that it doesn’t take long to get into the groove of weaving through the levels. The game audio also maps the ape’s actions to a drum kit, creating a discordant soundtrack that fits the chaotic gameplay.
Dreams is a game engine that allows users to create and share games from an incredibly wide range of genres. There are platformers, turn-based RPGs, action games, first- and third-person shooters, movies, conceptual art pieces, and music videos. Making a game in Dreams isn’t simple, but it’s by far the simplest game development has ever been. What I enjoy the most about Dreams is being able to cycle through a myriad of unique and often strange games made by creative people all over the world.
Not from 2019… but I played them a ton
I have reason to believe that IO Interactive crawled into my brain, noted down my deepest desires for a videogame, and then created Hitman. It’s a stealth game that plays a lot like a strategy game and includes an absurd amount of situations that turn into scenes from a slapstick comedy. IO added two new maps in 2019 (one was amazing and the other was just okay) and I can’t wait for Hitman 3 to be released.
I played Stardew Valley when it was released a couple of years ago and I got into it. This year, I tried the game out again and I really got into it. For me, Stardew Valley is a really calming game and I put my Switch to good use this year thanks to the game.
The Return of the Obra Dinn
I put this game on my top games list of 2018 when I played it on PC, but I am putting it here again because I played it again in 2019 on PS4 and I think I liked it even more. I love the monochromatic art style and the concept of going back in time to somebody’s final moments to investigate how they died. The game is a brilliant logic puzzle filled with clever bits, and please just go play it if you like puzzle games.
Happy holidays everyone!