I’ve been a gamer since the days of 5 1/4-inch floppy drives and lugging CRT monitors and desktop towers to mates’ places for LAN parties. I don’t get as much time for gaming as I’d like these days, but I’m keen to use my new portfolio role to encourage Federal Parliament to take the industry more seriously.
So to that end, here are the games I enjoyed most in 2019.
Red Dead Redemption 2
I thought RDR2 was a bit of a landmark game. Surely the most beautiful game there’s ever been. Saddling up with Arthur Morgan and just wandering through incredible terrain hunting for perfect skins was my kind of meditation. I got sick of the bloody camp chores pretty quickly, but even after playing through the whole game, I still wasn’t close to fully completing the open world challenges.
It’s a world that you can just fall into without ever feeling the edges. The thing I’ll remember most about it though was that it’s the first game I’ve played where the epilogue took the game into a different plane (well maybe Monkey Island 2 as well).
In a lot of games, I’ve skipped so many of the cut scenes that it can sometimes be hard to follow what’s going on in the closing credits of a game (hello Far Cry), but the epilogue of RDR2 actually made the whole game more meaningful for me. Pretty impressive.
Untitled Goose Game
I’ve got to give a shout out to the Melbourne Indy games scene here. Last year, Mountains’ ‘Florence’ was a massive hit in my household, and the first game that my daughter really loved even though she was too young to really get it. But this year, House House struck on gaming perfection with untitled goose game. I had originally thought that this could have been one of those games with a viral trailer that isn’t able to replicate the appeal in a full gaming experience. But, damned if it wasn’t endlessly entertaining ruining the day of everyone in the village.
One of the few unvarnished good news stories of 2019 from my perspective. I’m told there are people out there who believe that the goose is a tankie. My conspiracy theory is that despite being set in an English village, the kid with the soccer ball is actually wearing a vintage Fooscray Bulldogs jumper a la Wheels in the original Degrassi Junior High…
Lego Marvel Superheroes & Lego Harry Potter Collection
Not 2019 releases I know, but games I’ve been playing a lot this year. My kids are just getting old enough to become gamers themselves now (7 & 9) and I was pretty excited to take them to their first PAX this year. While I was sorely tempted to pick up a Nintendo Switch to induct them into Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros, I’ve already reached my console allowance at home, so had to settle for kids gaming options on the Xbox. In this pursuit,
I’ve found the Lego series to be a real parenting hack. Because the games require active cooperation from different characters with different abilities, it’s a perfect opportunity to play along with your kids and provide some emotional coaching about teamwork, problem solving and resilience. Parenting and gaming combined FTW!