It’s that time of the year I dread — time to try and remember all the games I’ve played and cut the list down to my ten favorites. However, that is no more: the format is changing and that means new rules, and new awards, to give out.
In past years, I’ve been giving out awards as part of a top-ten format, but with the number of games I’ve played, that is not going to work anymore. Going forward, besides the preshow list, awards are now going to be by category; with that list subject to change if there are better ones to include. For each category, there will be between 1-3 winners based on the games released that year.
If you’re wondering if the show is still corrupt and bought, don’t worry, because it is. Only games I’ve played will be eligible for awards, DLCs will not be counted either.
With that said, we have so much to get to this year, we’re still starting the preshow early.
Most Disappointing Game — The final quarter of Elden Ring
If I only stopped playing Elden Ring at the halfway point, it would have been an easy win for one of my categories. However, the final quarter is where the game went downhill for me. Anyone who says that the boss fights were the best by From Software either never got to the Elden Beast fight, or is just plain lying. I felt that the game’s progression curve came to a standstill in terms of gear, and the final quarter was just about stat pumping to try and survive some of the crazier combos.
Most Adorable Thing This Year — Kokoro Clover Season 1 Intro
Since we are entering 2020 new game +3, this has not been a great year for everyone. In order to provide some light at the end of the year, I present the most adorable thing I saw. Kokoro Clover Season 1 is an action game designed and modeled after Saturday morning anime cartoons, complete with a chiptune-inspired theme that goes through all the anime tropes one could hope for.
The Game That Broke Josh Award — Crash 4 It’s About Time
It’s been a while since I’ve run into an action game where I just had to raise the white flag, but Crash 4 takes the crown. While the main path through was challenging in of itself, the sheer thought of trying to 100% the game fills me with dread. I think I could do it, but at what cost to my remaining sanity?
The Corporate Synergy of IP Branding Award — Marvel Snap
Joking aside, Marvel Snap has taken the mobile world by storm over these last few months and I want to give a shoutout to how it really leverages the Marvel IP’s branding at its best. I love the different art styles and fonts used for the cards, and it presents the developers with an almost “infinite” pool to draw from.
The Best Game Within a Game Award — Tunic
Tunic may not be my favorite action-adventure game this year, but it does have one of the most brilliantly conceived manuals for a game. One part nostalgia trip, one part perplexing puzzle, it is something that changes how you play the game and it is as much a part of the game as the gameplay itself.
Just Missed it Award – Dwarf Fortress
There was a lot of games to get to this year, and the one that I haven’t had a chance to play was Dwarf Fortress. I’m hoping that I’ll find the time to get to it for 2023, but this is one of those games that you should not be sleeping on.
The Happiest Gamedev Story of the Year Award — The Success of Dwarf Fortress
Dwarf Fortress has been an anomaly of game development for about 16 years now. The game has thrived thanks to fan support and to the dedication of brothers Zach and Tarn Addams. When health problems were reported, the developers decided to partner with Kitfox to turn one of the longest-running freeware games into a commercial product. With the game now out at the end of the year, it has been reported that the has sold hundreds of thousands of copies within two weeks — making it both a certifiable success and the brothers wealthy and hopefully enough to help their medical issues.
With that said, I’ll be updating this landing page with the categories as they go up, and you can watch the videos on the Youtube channel early.