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Honorable Mentions for gaming in 2021.

2021 was a great year in games for me personally. I sadly didn't get a new console but I did find time to play some games on my brother's PS5 when I got to see him. I also played 24 games that came out this year and 36 games total which is quite a lot. But this list is dedicated to the 2021 games that I played and while they didn't quite make it into my top 10 of the year, were games that I mostly liked and want to give their due. There is one Honorable Mention techincally that I won't put here yet because I want to give it a spotlight on my top 10 list (which will be top 10 +1). But here's what I'll put down as my honorable mentions of 2021, with the 1st 2 being not so honorable:

List items

  • I spent $40 on a lackluster Smash Clone starring voiceless versions of Spongebob and Nigel Thornberry. And that was on a discount! Granted it sounds like this game is getting better with the devs taking feedback and now Garfield is in the game. But at launch I’ll quote iconic Nicktoon Mr. Horse: “No Sir I don’t like that.” Well, that might be a little too harsh. I liked what I played of Oblina so there's that.

  • Granted I only played the Tutorial of this game so I never gave this game a fair shake. But once I played thru the tutorial I knew from there that I’d never get into Moba’s. At least I didn’t spend any money on the microtransactions so my Wallet won there, unlike NASB.

  • Playing this with a joystick on Switch is abysmal as Pac Man won’t respond to your turns all the time. But on D-Pad its much better and it’s a decent take on Pac-Man and Battle Royale. Just not as good as Tetris 99.

  • • I played this for a handful of hours with some friends. Didn’t quite get addicted to this shooter compared to others but I liked what I played and I’m into the idea of just making Halo Multiplayer with Portals from…Portal. It’s a nice apple and caramel combo for the FPS genre.

  • I first heard of this game from seeing it in the lineup for the PC only, PS1/horror themed demo collection for indie games called the Haunted PS1 Collection 2. I noticed it was only 99 Cents on the Switch e-Shop and what I got is a fast paced, tightly designed little platformer that has 9 levels that can be beaten in 30 minutes. It definitely nails the aesthetic of looking like a 90's platformer from the PS1 running through levels as a bird with 'tude. But also like I said about where I first heard of it, it does have horror elements that will give players a jump scare or two. Nothing too scary, but it'll get your attention.

  • They made a sequel to Toree 3D this year too. Like the first game its got 9 levels, can be beaten in half an hour and its only 99 Cents. I'd argue that Toree 2 is a better game as the levels have more gimmicks that make Toree's movement feels faster and smoother. It goes from Toree running through speed gates to boost through levels to jumping on beach chairs for a higher jump. I'd say it's less of a horror game than the first Toree as I didn't see as many jump scares in 2 compared to 3D. But both Torees are solid little platformers that have super cheap price tags.

  • • I played Back 4 Blood once this year with some friends of mine. I never played Left 4 Dead so this was my debut in zombie slaying for co-op. I enjoyed my time shooting down various zombies and really dug the PvP mode. But playing this felt like a curiosity and this wasn’t something I was completely hooked on. Seemed like a decent co-op shooter for what it was if you asked me.

  • Going back to games starring cute birds.• KeyWe is fun co-op puzzler where you and a partner are two Kiwis who were recently employed to help run a mail room to send packages and messages in the Bungalow Basin. I played this game with my brother for one session in Colorado and we had a lot of fun playing this together. In fact I’d say this game would be higher on the list if it didn’t fall victim to me not finding anyone else to play it with after I got back home. KeyWe can be played Solo for the player to control the two Kiwis, but its not the same.

  • • A beautiful looking game that has some great guitar music and Francis Vendetti’s story of breaking through this folk musician role he’s pressured to to then travel thru space to find his true Musician identity is worth playing to see. I wish the gameplay could have been more nuanced as I found the guitar focused gameplay more tedious than I hoped. Still worth checking out if you have Game Pass.

  • An FMV adventure game that almost isn’t a game I’d say since the real “gameplay” moments are menu navigation to get to certain areas, making dialogue choices and 1 puzzle. But its definitely worth playing to watch the FMV cast act their way thru a pretty bonkers story of a man trying to find his missing kids. Especially for Rupert Booth’s incredible performance as the evil Space God Gedeon. Yes, you read that right, Jenks is an alien deity. Also a shout out to Anarosa Butler's manic performance as conspiracy theorist Alyx.

  • • A Game that I desperately need to fin more time to play. I’m only 2 hours in but I’ve enjoyed the Zelda like gameplay of exploring mines and bashing slugs with a frying pan. Eastward has some stellar pixel art and some solid music too. But this was a late 2021 purchase and another game I played late in the year got more playtime and cracked the top 10.

  • MAN I was stoked to see a new Warioware get announced. I bought this and was so excited since I missed Warioware games. After playing it for about 5 hours its for the most part that wacky, fast paced Warioware gameplay that I first loved from the GBA days. It even has some great Multiplayer modes. But I eventually got tired of the multiple character gimmick this game had and fell off of it after September ended.

  • • GASP! Halo Infinite isn’t in my top 10?!?! Look, I’ve played that multiplayer and despite being garbage at FPS games, I had an amazing time playing Team Slayer and Oddball. The problem is that my PC feels underpowered to play Infinite on a consistent level so sometimes the game would boot me out or put me in a weird part of the map that I had no control of. So its my PC’s fault for Halo Infinite getting snubbed on my list.