This has been a crazy year. One where the contents of it have been repeated and slam-blasted throughout every slice of social media across the Internet. But 2020 will hold a special place in our hearts as this was the year we combined forces and finally made a website where we could blast our noggins around games both digital and cardboard. So to celebrate we’re giving out our first ever annual awards, which we will proudly proclaim to (most of) the studios about their thrilling inclusion. These have no merit but our good graces, and we hope that’s enough.
As a footnote: games we played in 2020 made it into our consideration for these awards, but some games may have come out on a year other than 2020.
Demetri – For those who miss the glory days of being able to turn and stare your opponent in the face when you frag them, Dark Data is a triumphant return to split screen shooting. I’m waiting for its big 2.0 drop to review it but what’s here is as strong a start as any. Now if they could just add a “throwing knives only” mode…
Kyle – Jackbox Party Pack 7 wow’d the friends and myself with probably their best pack in years, possibly ever. We’ve had nights where we’ll play Blather Round for hours and not skip a beat. Absolutely deserves the recognition.
Kyle – Coming off a fantastic 2019, Devolver Digital delivers again with titles like Carrion, Disc Room, Serious Sam 4, and the herculean Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.
Demetri – New Blood rules. I had more fun with the demos for their upcoming releases than most complete games from this year, and their finished products never fail to impress.
Kyle – The entire Umurangi Generation OST is on YouTube to enjoy, but the way it envelopes the user into the vibrant colors and mysterious world absolutely made this game. Shout out to Lo-Fi Trap. Absolute banger.
Demetri – Barry “Epoch” Topping created the most boppinest soundtrack for Paradise Killer. Plenty of City Pop, strong vaporwave vibes, fantastic instrumentation, and a vocal track that’ll blow your mind. The opening for “End of the World” still gives me chills.
Kyle – I am a big fan of Visual Novels, and of what I played this year, YOU and ME and HER: A Love Story took me for a fucking loop. I don’t wanna spoil a lot, but I’ll tell you it was a quick 17 hours. Beautiful work from Nitroplus.
Demetri – When I reviewed Paradise Killer I mentioned that the ending falters. That’s still true, but it doesn’t change the fact that the other 95% is chock full of fantastic character writing and lore that’ll make your head spin. This world feels genuinely alive in play, and that’s a feat.
Demetri – By all accounts Deep Rock Galactic is not the kind of game I’d normally even like. But I’ve been playing off and on since the start of the year and not only was I surprised at how much I enjoy it, but also consistently impressed at the seemingly infinite amount of new content it keeps revealing. There is so much game here and it never, ever gets boring.
Kyle – I bet you weren’t expecting an EA title around these parts, but you owe it to yourself to try Rocket Arena before it gets swallowed up by bigger titles. It’s $5 and worth so much more than that in terms of fun and replayability. One of the best Shooters of 2020 that no one heard about, and that’s a damn shame.
Kyle – Man, and I was so stoked for West of Dead. I loved the beta, but the bugs and issues (especially the final boss) really bogged the whole experience. I know they’ve been working hard to fix the problems, but that was a rough first impression.
Demetri – Godzilla: Tokyo Clash didn’t just disappoint, it failed at everything it tried to do aside from including plastic monster toys in the box. I didn’t know it was possible to make a kaiju game with a destructible city feel so dull and lifeless.
Kyle – Demetri introduced me to rail auction games and Gulf, Mobile & Ohio‘s little intricacies and shenanigans you learn to muster while building the best railroad and making the most cash/points is a hard fought and well earned treat. This may get more plays than Las Vegas soon (and I love me some Las Vegas.)
Demetri – Cosmic Frog lets you be a several-mile tall frog, eat entire continents, and punch your friends into Dimension 5. How could anything else even compare? Of course this is the best board game of 2020.
Demetri – ULTRAKILL. Had it come out of early access this year it would have won my GOTY proper. As it stands this is where it goes, and it’s head and shoulders above anything else I could put here. An absolutely incredible and completely singular experience that I am itching to see more of.
Kyle – I don’t do Early Access much, but man, Super Buckyball Tournament‘s Preseason has got me hyped for it’s 2021 opening season. Solid 3v3 sportsball that’s fast, intense, and has enough speed bumps to keep each game fresh. Love what I played.
Demetri – Monster Train accomplished what was thought to be impossible and became the best digital deckbuilder out there. Massive strategic and tactical decision trees, a huge cardpool with tons of viable builds and card customization potential, and seemingly infinite replayability. Every update somehow manages to improve even more on what I thought was perfection. This game is an achievement and you should play it.
Kyle – Once I got my hands on it, there was no contest. Hotshot Racing has perfected everything I love from the arcade racer: silky smooth controls, blistering speed, and aggressive AI. Not to mention a solid online network, free DLC, and a massive amount of customization. You’ve got the key to my heart. Bravo Sumo Digital and Lucky Mountain. See you on the track.
For those who’ve made it this far, we want to personally thank everyone who’s stumbled upon this website and thrown our posts all around the internet. To have over 7,000 views across 4,000 viewers spanning 100 countries is something we were not expecting, but we are forever grateful.
Here’s to a safe, enjoyable, and well-played 2021!
Nice lists. I just got through the first playthrough of You and Me and Her, and I can tell there’s a lot more to uncover that I have to get to. My top game this year was 13 Sentinels, but unfortunately it hasn’t gotten all that much attention in the States — I get the impression Sega and/or Atlus didn’t market it very well here.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Man, I’ve been wanting to play 13 Sentinels, but it only being on PS4 has made it rough for me to put actual time into it.
LikeLiked by 1 person