“Moonchild,” by Iron Maiden
“Snitch Jacket,” by Two Inch Astronaut
“Romance Apocalypse,” by Oneohtrix Point Never
“I Get Overwhelmed,” by Dark Rooms
“Disparate Youth,” by Santigold
“Who Do You Love?” by Marianas Trench
“D.O.W.N -Domination of Waiting Noise-,” by Boris
“Shot by Both Sides,” by Magazine
“Always Ascending,” by Franz Ferdinand
“Los Ageless,” by St. Vincent
“Praying,” by Ke$ha
“There She Is,” by Frank Turner
“No Friend,” by Paramore
“Le poinçonneur des Lilas,” by Serge Gainsbourg
“Witness,” by Makthaverskan
“ECNALUBMA,” by They Might be Giants
Selected by Stu Horvath, Jeremy Voss, Austin Price, Matt Marrone, Gavin Craig, Gingy Gibson, Levi Rubeck, Deirdre Coyle, Melissa King, Don Becker, Amanda Hudgins, Erik Weinbrecht, Khee Hoon Chan, Sara Clemens, Astrid Budgor and Alyse Stanley
The Changeling, by Victor Lavelle
Crash Override, by Zoë Quinn
Akira, by Katsuhiro Otomo
Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier, by Mark Frost
The Great and Secret Show, by Clive Barker
The Odyssey, by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson
Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram Kendi
Provenance, by Ann Leckie
Sonora, by Hannah Lillith Assadi
From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars), by
Renée Ahdieh, et al.
The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood
The Crimson Petal and the White, by Michel Faber
Selected by Stu Horvath, Sara Clemens, Austin Price, Matt Marrone, James Fudge, Gavin Craig, Gingy Gibson, Levi Rubeck, Deirdre Coyle, Erik Weinbrecht, Alyse Stanley, Astrid Budgor and Jeremy Voss
Zelda/Mario/Wolfenstein II/Assassin’s Creed Origins – I know I’m only supposed to pick one and I’m sure that at some point I’ll have to only focus on one, but look – Wolf2 and ACO are the two games I’ve been looking forward to the most this year, and having just bought a Switch I’m finally getting around to playing Zelda and the just-released Mario. This is the juggling season, and I am ready for it.
Super Mario Odyssey – Nintendo is two for two on their open-world style signature franchise releases. I’ve been a fan of this style of Mario game since Mario 64. Nintendo has embraced change and created nostalgic, challenging and wholly new experiences featuring characters we cherish. I’m looking forward to spending hours combing through the levels after finishing the campaign, leaving no stone unturned in the search for every single purple coin and moon there is to get. Also, Mario looks pretty sweet in a baseball cap instead of his normal, tried and true hat if you ask me.
I have not enjoyed a 3D Mario game this much since Mario 64.
Final Fantasy V – I don’t know where I got this sudden urge to play the damn game, but here it is in all its undeniable glory and I can’t help myself. I’ve only just started it; I haven’t had time to read or watch or play much of anything I truly wanted to. Ho buddy . . . I did miss this game.
Hollow Knight – Finally wrapped this one up and I don’t know if it’s me or the game, but even though I took a significant 25 hours to finish, I never felt bored. Many times in Super Metroid or Symphony of the Night, I would get lost or bored, always forgetting where that one spot I couldn’t get to before but now totally can is. And though this happened often in Hollow Knight, the game felt so tight and its underworld so packed with little things to find in every spot, each run through a hallway never felt like a chore, but rather a romp.
A Mortician’s Tale – I anticipated this game’s release for months and was not disappointed. The story deals sensitively with grief and the death industry, the gameplay is soothing, the narrative thoughtful. And at one point, the option exists to play a minigame of goth Minesweeper. Just saying.
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness – Star Ocean 5 is fine, y’all. I was fooled by the negative reviews by American outlets, when in fact it did great in Japan. It could definitely use earlier fast travel and more plot, but have you played Star Ocean 4? The series isn’t dead, and now I’m considering buying a $40 plush mascot bunny. Star Ocean forever, baby.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker – This game is hot fire. Seriously. This is the single best Mario game to come out in years, if just because it has personality and quality and actually presents an interesting challenge. My kingdom for a Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker 2.
Book of Demons – As I take on more responsibilities as a wannabe adult, it becomes harder to devote time to playing games. The developers behind the Diablo-like dungeon crawler Book of Demons understand and tried to help me manage time by allowing me to set the length of each level, depending on how much time I wish to burn. Sorry to say, this didn’t work too well; I ended up binging more smaller levels at a go. I can’t just stop at one level, you know?
(Khee Hoon Chan)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – I’m loving the main storyline, but not since Red Dead Redemption have I been so tempted to just get on a horse and ride around the digital countryside. The fact that I get to stand around making up ridiculous recipes for hours is just a bonus.
Harmonia – Beautifully conceived IF game by Liza Daly, designed for the 2017 Interactive Fiction Competition. As someone constantly picking at my own IF projects, it’s a real inspiration to see something this fully formed! Daly’s writing and design work in perfect concert to create a fabulous hypertext. I highly recommend this game.