I totally freaked when I was asked, “Hey Meg? What are your 2014 choices for GOTY?” Let’s face it, friends, I’m behind the game times. I’m like the substitute teacher trying to “connect” with the kids of gaming – “Hey, did you guys finish your homework, or were you too busy pwning newbs in Call of Duty? Amirite? See, I’m hip. I get it.”
Luckily, A.) I’m not the only one, so B.) the intrepid EIC of NBF took pity on our poor, unfortunate souls and let us choose games we PLAYED in 2014, but might not have have been released in 2014.
Okay, here it goes…
Best Mobile Game – Monument Valley (2014)
What?! Nailed it! A game that was released in 2014, that I played in 2014? Trust me, it won’t last long. Visually striking, this M.C. Escher puzzler by Ustwo blew my mind. First of all, the main character was a woman – a princess who appears to be searching for forgiveness, returning the sacred geometric artifacts she stole. Secondly, the game is beautiful, perplexing, and haunting (fine, that’s three things, whatever). Thirdly, it was one of the few games that made me emotionally attached to a (sort of) inanimate object – oh Totem (sigh). If you’ve already played through it, be sure to snag Forgotten Shores, which features eight new levels. Yes, you have to pay. UGH! It’s only $1.99! Deal with it!
Best Indie Game – Gone Home (2013)
Despite the fact that I knew FULL WELL Gone Home (Fullbright) was an interactive story, I slowly maneuvered around every corner, down every hall, waiting for something to jump out at me, grab me, kill me, you name it. I kept having to pause, minimize, and Google “Is Gone Home actually scary?” It’s not, by the way, I’m just a sucker for mood lighting, ghost stories, and searching for hidden rooms. And this is a testament to the pure, unadulterated power of tone and setting in this piece. Yes. I said “unadulterated power of tone” and “piece” in a micro-graph on a video game. It’s that good, people. It’s ART good!