10 – The Dark Pictures Anthology-Man of Medan
This was a game that always intrigued me, however once I played it, despite enjoying it, I thought it could have been better. You control a bunch of people who are after some treasure. Throw in some pirates and an abandoned ship, and you have all the ingredients of a horror tale. However, it never really takes off, despite having some excellent graphics, and the usual tropes of scares.
9- Doom 64
This is considered one of the best Doom games. The gameplay is straightforward since all you have to do is kill all the demons, solve the puzzles in each level and move on. This remaster is a good one, and the number of levels is substantial. There are a few levels that can be a struggle, but with the save anywhere feature, this game is enjoyable, with some levels only taking a few minutes.
8-Devil May Cry 5
I have really enjoyed this series, with DMC being the highlight. This doesn’t reach those heights, but has a lot going for it. The control system is excellent. There is an extraordinary amount of moves available in this game, making pulling off stunning kills, really easy. The story is forgettable, and you take control of a number of different characters, which provide further diversity to the move set. One issue, are that the areas are quite samey and non of the enemies are memorable like in DMC, but when you pull off stunning moves it is something to behold.
The first of many boardgame adaptations on my list, and this one is a beauty. Your aim is to grow grapes, make wine and then fulfil orders. You have a set number of workers available to you, and numerous possible actions, meaning that you can never do all that you want to do. The game is highly strategic either against the A.I or other people. The only reason it’s not higher, is that I haven’t played this as much as others in my list.
6-Through the Ages
Another excellent boardgame adaptation. Here you take control of a civilisation and build them up over three different ages. This game is heavily card driven, and is deep on strategy since there are many routes to victory. I haven’t played the actual boardgame version of this, however those who have prefer the digital version, since it eliminates all the set up issues of the physical version. Highly recommended!
5-Zombie Army Trilogy
This release contains three games. Two of them were originally DLC for Sniper Elite, whilst the third was created to be a full game. This is in the Left 4 Dead genre, and you play as one of 4 soldiers who have to take out all the Nazi’s who are now zombies thanks to Hitler. The first two games are very straightforward, with little variation in enemies and level design. However, with the third one, the enemies are more varied and the levels larger. The game can be tough in places, but playing with others, makes the game so much fun. Killing two zombies via head shots, with one bullet in slow motion, is one of the highlights of the year!
4- Westerado Double Barrelled
This game was a surprise to me. I was instantly attracted to the 16-bit style graphics and then learned that it was on open world simulator, which made it even better. You have to find the man who killed your family. To do this you explore the world, completing missions, talking to people, and gain clues about the description of the man you are after. It’s a short game, and for those few hours, this is an amazing game, with excellent music, entertaining characters and so much to do. It was going to be my No. 1! However, once you find the man, the end game sequence is a hard slog, that really does need a checkpoint. The end game boss sequence soured me so much, that it dropped to no. 4, but the first few hours of this game was one of the best gaming experiences of last year.
3-Lords of Waterdeep
This is the game, that I have played the most in 2020. It is another adaptation of a boardgame, and it is excellent. Set in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, you play as one of the Lords of Waterdeep. You must ‘hire’ clerics, wizards, fighters, and rogues to complete missions, gaining points and proving that you are the one true Lord of Waterdeep. The game is straightforward-you put one of your workers on an action space and you get the reward from that space. However, long term planning is needed, and other players can screw with your plans; either taking the action space you need, playing cards that can take resources from you, or give you mandatory missions. Your moves will only take a few minutes and I have played this on the go. It features a very strong multiplayer aspect with asynchronous play available. A brilliant game.
With the pandemic my opportunities to meet people and play boardgames has been limited. There are a number of services available online, however one of the best is Tabletop Simulator. It is essentially a creator tool, that allows anyone to recreate a boardgame in the digital space. There are so many mods available for this, and most games are available on it. You are also able to create shortcuts, which help playing the games. Without this though, many people would struggle to play their favourite boardgames with other people. It is an invaluable program.
1-Lego Dimensions-The Lego Batman Movie
It wouldn’t be my game of the year list, without a Lego game, and this is essentially DLC for one of LGR’s greatest games. It is based on The Lego Batman Movie, and features 6 large levels. It largely follows the movie storyline, however with a few Dimension twists, with other franchises making an appearance. At one point you have to sneak past the Eye of Sauron. The humour is there in abundance, and the writing is excellent. It makes use of the Dimension’s base plate, and has you solving numerous puzzles. Another high quality Lego release, makes this my Game of the Year.