Games of 2018

With the new year, I thought I’d just quickly post a list of my favorite games I played over the year. This isn’t meant to be a list of “the best” games — if anything, it’s a testament to the impossibly-many exciting, challenging, beautiful games being made each and every day. I played about 250 games this year — which is not a lot compared to many people (cough cough Jupiter Hadley), but was a lot for me — but many weeks (and a solid month-and-a-half) went by when I didn’t play a single game, returning to my itch.io account with “99+” notifications of games I knew I couldn’t get to.

It seems silly to create a “best of” when I routinely miss out on what my favorite developers are excited about, let alone the unspeakably-numerous games I never see or hear about. And, of course, so much of what goes unseen or spoken of is tied up in privilege and norms that make it that much harder for marginalized developers to get noticed. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the things we do experience; but remember to continue seeking out avenues you’ve not visited before. Play things you’ve never heard of, things that won’t get played otherwise, things that catch your eye and a couple that don’t.

In any case, here are the games that struck a chord with me. Not all of them came out this year (in fact, most of them didn’t). They’re listed in the order I played them in.

Hell, by babylon brooks

Actias, by Kitty Horrorshow (Patreon)

Don’t Look Back, by Terry Cavanagh

having said goodbye, by Stephen Lavelle (Patreon)

Un Pueblo de Nada, by Cardboard Computer

Barista 1, by Blendo Games

In Other Waters: Prologue, by Jump Over the Age

Blue Flashes, by Crawlspace

Data Mutations, by AAA

untitled (the flower game), by withering systems (Loren Schmidt’s Patreon, Everest Pipkin’s Patreon)

IMG_20180226, by Crawlspace

Konbini, by Robin Beaurepaire

Baba Is You (jam version), by Hempuli

Love Is Moving, by Jared Johnson

ASMR, by Dani Soria

mura toka, by Moshe Linke (Patreon)

Cartas, by Julian Palacios

VOID, by Robin Beaurepaire

The Serpent, by Stephen Lavelle (Patreon)

Black Room, by Cassie McQuater

Ineffable Glossolalia, by Tabitha Nikolai (Patreon)

The Zium Museum, by The Zium Society

The Colony, by Hidden Fields

TITONIC FISHERMAN, by Froach Club

10 Mississippi, by Karina Popp

The Fish Market, by Grace Bruxner

ALIEN CASENO, by Grace Bruxner

Sokobanana, by Auroriax

The Basics of Sacred Geometry, by Yuliya Kozhemyako

three short nights in sin city, by zka

The Storm, by Ian MacLarty

Static, by ihavefivehat

driftwood, by Aran Koning (Patreon)

soup game :), by zka

Cyberpet Graveyard, by Nathalie Lawhead (Patreon)

A Tribute to David Bowie, by Uk_resistant

Fugue in Void, by Moshe Linke (Patreon) (also available on Steam)

The Static, by Pol Clarissou (Patreon)

lost thing, by Animal Phase

A Game About, by Olivier B.

Train Song, by dreamfeel

A Road That May Lead Nowhere, by Ian MacLarty

OASES, by Armel Gibson and Dziff

Croatan, by Colestia (Patreon)

Sediment, by Colestia (Patreon)

Into, by Animal Phase

I MAKE SAINTS, by somewhat

The Zium Garden, by The Zium Society

Paratopic, by Arbitrary Metric (Doc Burford’s Patreon) (also available on Steam)

JUICE, by Crawlspace

Let yourself be guided by the stars, by Stephen Lavelle (Patreon)

Mr. Capital!, by fluidvolt

Meteor-Strike!, by Toby Do and Anna Nguyen

L.O.C., by Ryan Trawick

sawn shiner, by zka

/skidlocked/, by Aran Koning (Patreon)

shoal, forgotten depths, flotsam, the last days of our castle, and no destination, by Mark Wonnacott

becalm, by Colorfiction

to build a fire, softpoet (Patreon, Kofi) — (Disclaimer: Ethan is a friend of mine.)

Museum of the Saved Image, by Flan

For Aleksei, by Eastoned

Happy New Year, y’all.