I’ll do some sort of GOTY list sometime soon but I thought I would write about various games I enjoyed that people may have missed while all the holiday sales are going on. There’s a ton missing from this since it’s just a list I quickly threw together and I played a lot this year.
He Fucked the Girl Out of Me
If there’s a game on this list where I would do some sort of For Your Consideration Lynch-inspired campaign where I would sit outside with a cow, He Fucked the Girl Out of Me would be it. This is a game about the developer’s experiences doing sex work and the trauma that came from that. It was one of my favorite games this year and I thought the writing was incredible. Making a Game Boy game of something Nintendo would never approve for their platforms was an interesting choice too. The game lists the content warnings so please read those before playing.
Dungeon Lad is an arcade roguelike where you’re constantly on a timer and must quickly move through floors while picking up power ups. Just started playing this after picking it up in the Steam sale that’s going on now and it’s been a lot of fun.
Mezzanine is a free adventure game absolutely nails the look and feel of mid-90s Myst clones that I haven’t seen any other indie game do. It’s worth checking out if you’re into Y2K aesthetics.
I actually wrote about this one before but Cartomancy Anthology is great. It has games by a lot of developers I like and I loved the tarot theme too. More game anthologies please!
Elsewhere in the Night
Elsewhere in the Night is a short (60 minutes) first-person adventure game with art by Sierra’s Manhunter series. Even though I am a defender of those games, this is vastly more playable and fair but is still very weird. The same developers also released the game Blood Nova a few months ago and I’m excited to play that in the Adventure Game Club
Legend of Etad
I was just really impressed by how they pulled off this dungeon crawler for the Playdate. The community for the handheld is doing a lot of neat stuff and I’m looking forward to what they do next year.
Funny Walk – A Garbage Voyage
I’m a big fan of Graceless Games and it was nice to see them release another game a few months ago. The use of digitized sprites that a lot of adventure games did in the 90s is something I’m extremely into and they have a unique sense of humor that I love.
BOSSGAME: The Final Boss Is My Heart
I don’t know if this game is that obscure because I’ve seen it covered on a few games sites but whatever, I’m going to mention it anyway. BOSSGAME is a mobile game about two girlfriends fighting monsters and it rules. Even if you’re not great at action games, there’s some nice accessibility options in here and it’s worth playing just for the art and writing. I have it on iOS but I’m looking forward to the PC versions that’s coming out in the spring.
Jennifer Wilde is a point-and-click adventure about a young French woman in the 1920’s teaming up with the ghost of Oscar Wilde to solve the murder of her father. I discuss it more in my review for Adventure Gamers but I was pleased by how they managed to pull off this absurd sounding concept to tell a queer story with unique puzzle mechanics.
Ten Tales From the Records of the Adamant Gambit
I guess this was technically made at the end of last year but Itch publish date lists this as earlier this year, possibly a revised version, so I’m listing it anyway. This is an anthology of short games made in Bitsy telling stories about the people on a massive starship. I was shocked by how much the developers could do in Bitsy.
Hope you had a nice holiday season and discover a few games from this list that you end up loving!