Game of the Year 2023 - Guilty Pleasure

Not every game sports AAA visuals and voice acting, or has the most intricate story or even the best systems baked into its gameplay. That’s okay. In the end, we just want games to be enjoyable, and while a Game of the Year has a tendency to do a lot of things at an incredibly high level, sometimes we just need a bit of video game comfort food to sit back and enjoy instead.


Antstream Arcade

As an old-timer gamer, this massive collection of old titles just appealed to me on every level. Sure, the interface could use some touching up, and the performance is not always ideal, but the games tend to rotate pretty frequently and it’s just an incredible variety to choose from. I’ve sunk so many hours in this title, and it’s often just in bite-sized play sessions.


My Time at Sandrock

Over the last couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in closed and open betas of My Time at Sandrock before it’s official release. The My Time series has always been a cozy game that I could enjoy building cool structures to help foster the town. It has elements of romance, ruin crawling, friendly competition, fantastic graphics, and an excellent story. The game also has a unique multiplayer mode that doesn’t conflict with the single player campaign! Your friends are encouraged to help build different features of the town and go ruin diving together. What’s cool is that there are community goals (for you and your friends) and there are personal goals. Even if you pick up commissions on your own, you can improve your skills without worrying about holding the others back. I’ve had a blast trying out various iterations of the game before it released, and I’m genuinely happy with how the game has developed. I play My Time at Sandrock (and Palia) off stream all the time. If you are into cozy games like Stardew Valley and such, I highly recommend giving this one a try. It’s a not-so-guilty guilty pleasure for 2023.


Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed Director's Cut

Alright, let's be honest here: stripping vampires in the middle of a busy street is surprisingly fun. Even moreso when the game barely takes itself all that seriously. With a wacky cast, a lot of customizable equipment, and some pretty hilarious finisher moves, Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed Director's Cut is definitely my guilty pleasure.


Final Fantasy Theatrhythm Final Bar

Ah guilty pleasures. We all have them and from a gaming perspective, Final Fantasy Theatrhythm was mine. Chibi-esque renditions of characters from every series, loads of musical tracks to listen to, and, andddddd, plenty of adjustable settings for players of every type. Want it to be easier? Done. Harder? Done. It doesn't lock anyone out of the fun.



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