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Pat Baer's Top 10 Games of 2019

We're back in the Baer Cave everyone, and Pat's got some video games he's eager to tell you about.

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Pat Baer is a comedian living in NYC who you may have seen at various PAXes with his panels 404ing It, The 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, where he talks about anime and is still looking for full time employment.

Welcome back to the Baer Caev! I didn’t buy a lot of games this year and I only had one bad preorder experience (John Wick Hex, you were on sale and still not worth it). I hope to play Erica, Pokémon Sword (or Shield), and Disco Elysium soon. I imagine at least one of those would have ended up in my Top 10 if I had gotten to them.

10. Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard

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Another year of my list being set and then a Frog Detective game comes out late in the year and screws everything up. Grace Bruxner is one of the funniest creators in games, and anything she makes is a must buy. If you’re looking for a short and clever game to end the year or start the next, check out FD2.

9.‎ Grindstone

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A puzzle game on my phone or tablet, with a fun art style and cool vibe? Yes please. Grindstone has a lot of replayability and yes, they fixed my biggest complaint. Originally, you couldn’t listen to other music or podcasts while playing. That’s been fixed. Now I can listen to people talk about other video games while trying to hit three stars.

8. We Met in May

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You probably heard about the bad dating sim that came out this year from the fried chicken people. This is not that. Nina Freeman made a mini game collection about a series of dates. It’s awkwardly funny and cute, and costs $5. If you’re a fan of Nina’s, go buy it right now.

7. What the Golf?

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I fully expected to play What the Golf? a couple of times and then put it down forever. What I didn’t expect was for it to become one of my everyday games. If I’ve got 5 or 10 minutes to spare, I’ll try out a new level or go back to replay a previous level so I can get another star. Not every stage is top tier, but if you don’t like the gimmick it’ll be over quick!

6. Sayonara Wild Hearts

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What if someone made a version of Ouendan while only listening to Carly Rae Jepsen? You’d get something very similar to Sayonara Wild Hearts, and you’d be grateful. I’d play a whole game of sword fights on motorcycles, but I guess the dance battles were pretty great, too.

5. Later Alligator

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The Alligator Mafia in Alligator New York City is gonna kill a nice alligator named Pat. You need to complete mini games to save him! Humor in games is VERY subjective, but wow is this good. Also the soundtrack was done by 2 Mello, and is, no surprise, awesome.

4. The Outer Worlds

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Fallout: New Vegas is my favorite game of all time. While Outer Worlds isn’t EXACTLY New Vegas in space, it’s still a fantastic experience. While I might not have always loved the combat, taking Parvati or Vicar Max along with me (my biggest gripe with Fallout 4 is that I didn’t care about enough of the companions). Quick question: when do we get third-person view so I can see my cool gear?

3. Judgement

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It took me a long time to find out I love the Yakuza games. Judgement isn’t technically a Yakuza game, but it’s basically a Yakuza game without the strong dumb good men we know and love. Instead you play as Yagami, a former lawyer turned private eye who’s way smarter than Kiryu (though he still makes… questionable… decisions). The combat is exactly what you want, and my only real gripe is that it feels a little too long and there were way too many follow missions. I get that you’re a PI, but it’s almost 2020 and I don’t want to trail NPCs anymore.

2. Untitled Goose Game

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If given the choice, I tend to play the good goose in games. I just never feel like making the mean goose choice. But in Untitled Goose Game, you have to be an awful goose to win. Sometimes I would be forced to imagine that all these townspeople have committed terrible goose crimes of their own. Hell, I’ll admit it: I giggled sometimes while causing property damage and ruining towns folks' day.

1. Control

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I’ve wanted to love Remedy’s games before, but Control is the first one I absolutely adored. The premise is simple and you can imagine writers and designers getting the chance to put all their favorite weird ideas into the same game. Disparate ideas that wouldn’t make sense in another game work perfectly in a world where the Federal Bureau of Control investigates the unknowable. While the boss fights left me frustrated, I was thrilled with every side mission and challenge. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2020 expansions put Control on my Top 10 next year.