Game of the Year 2015

That’s right, there’s only one game I’ve got to celebrate this year; it’s been a dry one. Though, I do have an honorable mention.

Honorable Mention: Duetmaxresdefault
It’s a smart game. Very smart. Clever, witty, addictive, rage-inducing, fun, thought-provoking, etc. All of that wrapped up in a neat little mobile package.

My Game of the Year: Life Is Strangemaxresdefault
Is it campy? You bet. At the same time, is it chock-full of more meaningful branching paths and choices in a story-driven game than any Telltale or Bioware product? Yes. Plus, I was playing that one episode with the terminally sick girl intro at two a.m. one morning and I cried for, like, a half hour. No other game has gotten me to do that or ever will. Sure, the first episode has some issues with teenage-lingo and the final episode stumbles a bit in the villain department, but otherwise, it’s just the best thing to come out of a dev studio this year.

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Review of “Duet” for Android

It’s awesome. Basically, it’s a muscle-memory driven circle spinning game. But it’s got this really nice philosophical overtone running through it, as each chapter is named after one of the seven stages of grief, and you find yourself experiencing all seven of them within nanoseconds of each death (of which you’ll have thousands). It’s subtle mind-trickery, and it’s really cool. Not to mention every level kicks off with a little quote. My personal two favorites are back to back, and perfectly encapsulate why I love this game so much.maxresdefault.jpg

When you get to the depression chapter (6 of 8), the final act starts off with the quote “I don’t want you to keep going…” and you believe it, as it’s the hardest act so far. Yet when you finally conquer it, the first act of hope unlocks and it kicks off with “… I want you to want to keep going.” And it just renews your sense of, fittingly enough, hope that you’ll be able to conquer the game. Duet just really manages to get in your head and it’s so good that I just couldn’t not kick off my Android review section with it, even though I’ve been playing plenty of time-killer mobile games lately.