Games of the Year 2019 - Biggest Surprise


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Nick: Wreckfest


The definition of fun, Wreckfest caught a lot of people by surprise - myself included. The carnage is impressive and the physics just make the chaos that much more interesting. I had few to no expectations for this title coming in, so my unadulterated enjoyment easily made this my biggest surprise of the 2019.

Pierre-Yves: Fade to Silence


Sleeping hit? Maybe? It's not the only entry into my 2019 Games of the Year that is far from perfect, but, it was fun to play and I appreciate what it went for. End of the world. Check. Crazy assed demons that came out of nowhere? Check. You're all alone? Not quite as you start off with your daughter at the base but can find others to bring back in order to help out. Balancing a rogue like survival where you really have to work hard to carry something over to your next life and pushing forward to be able to build new items and structures, it was rough, but it was like a diamond in the rough.

Robert: Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order


Let's be real here a minute, even though Respawn was behind Fallen Order we all had our concerns with EA at the helm. After the letdown that was Star Wars: Battlefront and the absolute affront to gaming, Star Wars: Battlefront 2, I went into Fallen Order with a lot of trepidation. While it is not as good as many say (to be frank, even our very own head cheese, Nick, was far, far too nice to it), Fallen Order was a huge surprise because it was actually good. Shallow, linear, dull gameplay, horrible camera angels, a fake progression tree, and the absolute worst gameplay element that I have seen in gaming (those damned slides) aside, Fallen Order was largely adequate. Why is "adequate" a surprise? Because EA was at the helm and their history of hating consumers combined with an incredibly notorious stance of disrespect for all things Star Wars and well 'nough said. Still, for all of its shortcomings, Fallen Order is a fun 13-15 hours of lightsaber stabby goodness.

Susan N.: Islanders


Alright I have to say that I ended up getting a cute little game called Islanders during 2019.  It looks like it's a simple game but it can get complicated in its own way. Players start on a large island. They can choose a path for their citizens to take like the lumber pack or the farming pack. Which ever path you take will give you access to buildings related to the pack. And your objective is to hit the total score with those buildings. Each building will award more points when close to certain buildings where others require a more solitary location. As you build up the island, it get progressively harder to acquire points. If you do manage to reach the point threshold, then you have the option to move to another island. Get the idea? The casual strategy thrown into this cute little game surprised me, and I absolutely love playing it. It's actually a neat game to stream because you can have viewers vote on which pack you open. Honestly, it is awesome!

Richard : World End Syndrome


Whenever I get a visual novel style game to review, my first thought is generally "oh boy, what's this one gonna be?". World end syndrome totally threw me for a loop with its engaging story and characters, the aura system, the beautiful "live 2D" scenery, and the fact that the illustrators actually made side and back portraits for the characters. I was honestly expecting something rather bland and cliche, but I ended up with something I didn't want to put down.

Natasha: River City Girls


Omg... I loved this game. I'm usually one to shy away from beat em' ups, but this takes the cake, adds a bucket load of extra cream, sugar and spice, then throws it in your face. Wow... that's one hell of a cake. The style, characters and music are to die for and this is one game I'll gladly play with a friend.

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