As a loud person on the internet that also happens to have opinions on video games, I thought I would talk about some games I got super into over 2019. Before I get into it, a few disclaimers: I’m not here to announce to the world “These are the best games released 2019. No questions. My word is Law”. While I do think these games are great, they’re not necessarily the best games to come out. I just had a good time with them! Oh and these games didn’t necessarily come out in 2019. They’re just the games I happen to play this year that I really liked. Without further ado!
Smile For Me!
Have you ever wanted to play as a flower delivery boy and bring smiles to people by destroying contractual documents, taking pictures of peoples’ butts, and launching golf balls at crying clowns? If so, Smile For Me is the perfect game for you… you freak.
Smile for me is a 3D point and click adventure game where you play as the aforementioned flowery delivery boy. It has the simple mechanics of “find thing to interact with other thing to solve a bigger thing,” but its presentation is what sells it. The writing is goofy and charming, all of the characters have their own unique designs, the game is set in this pastel, mixed media world. It’s great! The game manages to be cute, weird, and creepy all at the same time. It’s also a small indie game developed by a new game design duo so if you’re into supporting small projects, throwing some money at this game will do just that. Oh and this game actually came out last year so at least I’m being somewhat with the times.
Outer wilds is not just my favorite game from last year, but it is easily one of my favorite games I’ve ever played! Outer Wilds is truly unlike any game I have ever played. My lovely audience, I BEG you to play this game and go in as blind as possible.
Outer Wild’s whole dealio is about discovery, so you can easily ruin this game for yourself if you have anything spoiled. The best (unspoilery) way to describe the game would probably be… space archaeology? So in the game, you jump on your trusty ship and hop from planet to planet with the first tool ever created that translates the language of an ancient alien species. With said tool, you learn about their history, their technology and what happened to them. You also learn about all of the planets in the universe as well. They all have their own crazy astronomical anomalies. On one planet, the entire surface is covered in water and there are constant tornadoes launching islands into space. Another planet has it’s outer mantle slowing falling into a black hole at the center of the planet. Learning how to navigate these extreme circumstances and not dying a horrible death is a big part of the game.
So Outer Wilds is a game that is entirely about discovery, and it pulls this off in a way that I have never seen in another game. If you value the art of game design and want to see the kinds of things that are possible, you have to play this game!
Have you ever wanted to play as a doctor, trapped in a strange town, trying to cure a plague that is slowly killing you and all of the people around you? Neither have I, but that’s the beauty of Pathologic.
Pathologic is this surreal, Russian game from 2004 where a bizarre, seemingly supernatural plague hits this small tradition ruled town. This is not a game you will be walking away from with a sense of satisfaction. Pathologic is truly wonderful at dis-empowering the player through its mechanics, story and aesthetics. Things will happen out of your control, death comes easily, and you can never be confident any of the characters are telling you the truth. The game’s survival mechanics will never let you forget how you are slowly dying at any given moment.
If any of this sounds unpleasant to you, that’s the point! Pathologic is unlike any other game I have ever played with its cryptic dialogue, extremely dark tone, and crushing mechanics. If you’re looking for unique gaming experiences, Pathologic is a great game to try.
With triple A studios trying to make games that have a million features to appeal to the most consumers possible, Indie game developers are coming in and creating games that are absolutely amazing at doing one or two things. Celeste is a perfect example that type of game.
Celeste is the tightest, most fulfilling platformer that has come out in a very long time. The game’s lead developers, Matt Thorson and Noel Berry spent a huge portion of the development cycle making the game feel as good as possible. If you ask me, the all seeing omnipotent video game opinion haver, I would say they pulled it off wonderfully.
The dash function feels great to use, the new mechanics introduced in each level fit perfectly, and the stages are the perfect amount of challenging. With the strawberry collectibles strewn throughout the levels for extra challenges, Celeste gives the player ample room to master its mechanics.