So the year is almost over and I wanted to put together a super cool ‘year end’ list with all my favorite things, but unfortunately my favorite things took up most of the time I should have been writing about them. This is going to be an attempt at sharing some things that haven’t already been put on a billion other best of lists.
Top 5 Video Games I’ve played this year that severely impacted the way I view the outside world:
5. Limbo (Xbox/Mac/PS3) - An incredibly beautiful and sad game. I can’t say enough about the experience I had while playing this. If you decide to play it, do it alone in the dark when you’re feeling strange. It will consume you.
4. Skyrim (Xbox/PC) - Probably the biggest thing I’ve ever been a part of. I won’t explain the game too much, because after hours and hours of playing it, I haven’t done much besides walk around and meet people. It’s the pinnacle of checking out of the real world. This game makes me want to start making my own clothes and abandon any sort of real civilization.
3. Windosill (Flash/iPad) - I actually played this game for the first time today, and beat it. It’s a relatively short game that “is meant to be played in an afternoon”. Probably one of the most innovative things I’ve seen so far. I played the ipad version and was like a little kid poking around in this abstract world of children’s toys and funny creatures. It has some serious magic. The link below goes to a flash version you can play for free on their website. It’s adorable and extremely well designed. (Play Windosill)
2. Fallout 3 (Xbox/PC) - Fallout 3 is probably the game I think about the most. While a newer game in the series came out last year, Fallout 3 is still my favorite. It’s a game about the post-apocalyptic retro futurist world that awaits all of us. The story is rich and the amount of side quests is unreal. You can literally play the game forever and build your own world. Every decision you make affects the outcome of the story. This game has more influence on most of my recent music than actual music. Fighting games aren’t really my thing, and with this you can make it so much more than just firing a gun at something. There’s actual depth and emotion to get lost in.
1. Machinarium (Mac App Store/Flash Download) - Fuck, I don’t even know where to start with this one. The soundtrack alone is worth it. It’s a game about trying to find your soulmate, except you’re a really cute robot and really mean robots have stolen her. This game bent my mind. It frustrated me to no end and gave me immeasurable joy all at the same time. Just go and play the demo - It’s gorgeous. (Play Machinarium Demo)
1. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (iPhone/iPad) - Tied for #1 - This game has it all. There’s ghosts, adventure, puzzles, beauty, sadness, humor, and some ridiculous fucking graphics. The time that went into this game is unfathomable. The game actually responds to the real-world lunar cycle. If you can’t comprehend that, it means that the game (and the moon in the game) changes based on the current cycle of the moon outside your real life window, and based on where it’s at, the game changes (i.e more wolves on a full moon etc…). There are actually parts of the game that can only be unlocked when the moon is in certain phases. The entire game is set to a soundtrack by Jim Guthrie which makes it even more remarkable. I couldn’t stop playing it. I would put it down to start working on something worthwhile and in ten minutes I’d be back in the hyper stylized pixel world chasing deer around and marveling at the fact that I could tap anything in the game and it would react somehow. Oh and also you can eat mushrooms and distort time whenever you want to. This is one of the few ‘epic adventure’ games that will actually make you feel like you’re a part of an epic adventure. I hounded down the creator of this game when I first played it and tried to get him to produce some music videos, but he had to get married or something and stopped emailing me back. If I could live inside of one game, this would be it. If you don’t have an iphone or whatever, buy a sandwich, go to an apple store and make a day of it.
That’s all I’ve got. If you have reservations about video games, know that these are all seriously beautiful works of art and should be treated as such. You don’t need a headset or a special controller, just some free time and imagination to spare.
Happy New Year to everyone!
Love, Dexter and Megan