Pat Baer is a comedian living in NYC who you may have seen at various PAXes with his panels 404ing It, Improvised Postmortem, and League of Heels. You also may have encountered him on Twitch, where he builds Gundams, DBZ figures, and LEGO. You can also find Pat on Twitter.
Welcome back to the Baer Caev!
Please note before you look at my list that I barely touched a console in 2018. I’m sure God of War or Spider-Man would have made the cut if I had actually played them. Also I didn’t include Hearthstone, but I want you to know that Academic Espionage is a great card.
Is it a game or an app? Either way, I played A LOT of Monster Girl Maker. It’s a great time killer on iOS and the game/app saw plenty of updates throughout 2018 to make even better Monster Girls.
9. Pokémon Go
Updates and improvements in 2018 really make Pokémon Go one of my favorites this year, despite it coming out in 2016. The research missions (pretty much quests) and friend system help out players who don’t live close to Pokéstops and gyms, and Adventure Sync lets the game pull step data from your phone even when the app is minimized. You can earn buddy candy and hatch your eggs while just going about your day. Also Honchkrow is in the game now and that’s one fancy bird.
8. Hitman 2
I have a rule: no one watches me play Hitman. I’m TERRIBLE at it. Often my kills are dumb luck and my escapes look to be the work of a spree killer rather than a trained assassin. Hitman 2 is just more Hitman, and I’m very happy with that. I’d always been curious about the series and this (and the previous game) have a logic to them that makes failing fun and unexpected successes gratifying. More of the same never felt so good.
At first I treated Celeste like I do all platformers: respected it from a distance and had no interest in playing it. But then I heard snippets of Lena Raine’s incredible soundtrack and I learned about the Assist Mode. I gave Celeste a chance and I’m so glad I did. No spoilers, but the story touched me in a way I wasn’t expecting. Celeste would rank higher, but I’m so bad at platformers that even with the Assist Mode I was cursing some segments with genuine frustration. Overall, though, it’s well worth playing.
My list was set, and then in late November I heard about this game. Another puzzle game with a cute art style and funny dialogue? Yes please. I’m probably still a bit under its charming spell since I just finished it, so I won’t put it higher on my list. Oh, it’s also cheap and short and funny.
Hey did you know that I love mechs?!?! While turn-based strategy games are far from my favorite, any game about building teams of mechs that also involves time travel piques my interest. Add in a mechanic I’ve personally not seen before (damaged buildings and other destroyed terrain are useful in combat), and you’ve got a quality game I keep coming back to.
I love a great puzzle game. It’s a bonus that this game’s monochromatic art style reminds me of Apple games of my early childhood. Obra Dinn made me pull out a physical notebook and write down nonsense phrases, always the sign of a quality puzzle game. I also don’t think I’ve played a game as an insurance adjuster, which is fun twist on the usual detective story.
I have been a fan of Dragon Ball for 23 years, since the first 13 episodes of Dragon Ball were dubbed and broadcast in the US. I’ve played A LOT of terrible Dragon Ball games. I’m not much a fighting games player, but I put a ton of hours in various living rooms talking about classic DBZ moments and being just so terrible at the game. You might say that FighterZ is a Kamehameha Wave of nostalgia. I’m sorry.
The last year has been A LOT. I hunted all year for wonderful games that made me feel better or at least forget my troubles for a bit. Focusing on painting a bedroom or cleaning a living room felt very satisfying. Side note: who steals a radiator when they move out?!?! I honestly don’t even play the part of this game suggested by the title: the house flipping. I’m much more interested in picking a job at random, turning on a podcast, and making a digital house into a digital home.
1. Donut County
As I previously stated, I needed relaxing NICE games this year. A “reverse Katamari” game with art that looks just as good on a PC or a tablet certainly fits that bill. While you, the player character, certainly aren’t a nice person in Donut County, the ever expanding hole you create to swallow up a version of Los Angeles is SOME KINDA metaphor for 2018. A great year for games and not much else.