2019 in Video Games

This year I’ve added some narration to the video which is duplicated below for the hearing impaired. Below all that you’ll find my favorite video game of 2019!!

Stardew Valley: I was a big fan of Harvest Moon when it came out on the GameCube. My future wife and I spent way more time than we should have playing it instead of studying in college. When Stardew Valley first came out, it piqued my interest. Maybe it could scratch the same itch. But I was busy at the time so I put it off until this year when it was on Sale. I immediately loved the trip back to SNES-era graphics and the love and care that ConcernedApe obviously put into the game. As I advanced in the game, each new level of skills brought new fun to the game. It’s pretty easy to see why it has such a dedicated fan-base on its subreddit. I will say that I’m a little surprised when I see people on the subreddit who have farms that are way past year 3. There’s definitely a lot to do in Stardew Valley, but the biggest reason I haven’t finished (get to the end of year 2) is because I’ve reached a point where I essentially have infinite money and nothing else I truly want to buy – it’s the same thing that ended up killing Harvest Moon for my wife. Now, I *do* understand the replayability factor – there are many reasons for that, including the fact that there are 4 or 5 different maps which require different farm strategies. I hope sometime in 2020 to “finish” the game and maybe in late 2020 to start a new farm.

Civ VI: To be honest, I COMPLETELY FORGOT I had played any single player games for Civ VI. I thought it was all going to be multiplayer turns. Yet in this year I played as Seonduck, Washington (as my first Gathering Storm game), Poundmaker, and Kupe. And, yes, I played a ton of multiplayer turns.

Cities: Skylines: In the aftermath of EA screwing up Maxis’ classic, Sim City, I checked out Cities XL. It was alright and I had some fun with it. But soon after I started hearing a lot of good things about Cities: Skylines. Recently it was available as part of a Humble Bundle so I installed it and got re-addicted to city-building/running.

Spelunky: I started off the year very frustrated because something changed – either in Spelunky, GOG, Windows, or the Nvidia drivers – which made it impossible to record a game session. Then I just switched to recording the screen and that seemed to make the encoder happy. Spelunky was back on and the kids got even more into it than they had been the previous year.

Pokemon Red: I didn’t remember doing any Pokemon this year. I thought we’d last played in 2018. I’ve never played the games, as they came out when I was older, but I’d like to see this one to the end. Maybe Scarlett and I will pick it up again in 2020.

Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing: The funny thing about this game is that when I got the Sonic bundle from Humble Bundle, I was intending to play the more traditional Sonic games with the kids. But they really glommed onto the racing game. It was even more of a surprise since they haven’t really ever wanted to play Mario Kart.

Rogue Legacy: If you’ve been following my yearly video game wrapups, you know that I’ve been really enjoying the heck out of Rogue-lites and Rogue-alikes. As is par for the course in the latest generation of the Rogue descendants, this one has a fun sense of humor, particularly from the deficits that each character has. If I remember, I’ll probably come back to this game in 2020.

Grim Fandango: I’ve always wanted to play this game, but I was also hesitant because of the way that the old point and click adventure games were often absurdly hard in really weird ways. Often there was no way to win without reading a walkthrough. They also take a long time. But, I figured I’d give it a shot on Extra Life Day. It did, indeed prove to be quite frustratingly difficult. Time will tell if I return to it.

FTL: One nice thing about rogue-like games is that they can be nice and short. You can die quickly and just have a fun little game session. So I think I’ll probably have a little bit of FTL and other rogue-likes appearing on each year’s lists.

Contraption Maker: Just before I made this list, my wife asked me why I hadn’t played Contraption Maker this year with Scarlett. I told her Scarlett just hadn’t asked. But, it turns out she *had* asked, it’d just been months since then and I’d forgotten.

Plants vs Zombies: I just played this game to remember exactly what it was like when I was making Glitch Garden, a PvZ clone.

Crypt of the Necrodancer: I think it’s hilarious I only played 7 minutes in the whole year.

Video Game of 2019

Well, I don’t think it’s too much of a surprise given the hours played, but 2019’s Game of the Year for me is Stardew Valley. Strong runner up in Rogue Legacy, for providing me a lot of fun and laughs.