Happy holidays, everyone! It’s been a while, I know. The last time I posted was way back in September, but I’m looking to get back to regular blogging soon. I’m currently working through Octopath Traveler and the new year has a lot of new games that I’m already excited to try out! But in the meantime, I’ve got a year end round up list to create!
If you remember last year’s post, you’ll know that this isn’t exactly a Top 5 list and it’s in no particular order, but I did want to highlight some of the games that I’ve played and really enjoyed throughout the year! Since I’ve been streaming a lot more on Twitch lately, about most of this list will include games that I solely played on my Twitch channel but are still definitely worth a look!
Battle Chef Brigade
I’ve been in love with Trinket Studios’ Battle Chef Brigade since I first saw it, with its addictive Iron Chef-inspired gameplay and its fantastical premise that makes for a thoroughly enjoyable culinary experience. Battle Chef Brigade uniquely combines side-scrolling combat and Match 3 puzzles and forces players to race against the unforgiving clock to create a dish that would make the judges proud. I find myself continuously going back to this game to discover more recipes through trying the different challenges, using different ingredients, and creating different combinations of dishes, and with that race against the clock, the thrill of the challenge never becomes dull. The story is clever with its integration of gameplay with narrative: it follows Mina’s Battle Chef Brigade dreams and her cooking challenges while also creating a mystery surrounding poisoned ingredients that will pose as a challenge to the player throughout their journey.
Battle Chef Brigade is available on PC, OS X, and now on Nintendo Switch, so I definitely recommend picking it up if you have the chance!
Kingdom Hearts II
I reviewed the first Kingdom Hearts game on my blog earlier this year after their E3 trailer for Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts III inspired me to give the series another chance. I am so happy I did. Since then, I have been playing through the entire series on Twitch (and I still am) in preparation for Kingdom Hearts III. While I have loved how each installment creates a unique gameplay style different from any other title in the series, Kingdom Hearts II has been one of my favorite titles in the series to date (followed very closely by Birth by Sleep). There is a certain level of epicness that comes with this installment, following Sora as he tries to piece together everything that’s happened between the first game and now. Players who have played through/read/watched Chain of Memories and played through/read/watched 358/2 Days will understand everything that has happened to or around Sora, and throughout the game and visiting new Disney worlds, Sora and friends are realizing that their problems are only beginning. Kingdom Hearts II felt like it flew by with how fun and fast everything felt.
There is still time before Kingdom Hearts III comes out and I highly recommend checking out this series if you haven’t had a chance to yet!
Check out my review of the first Kingdom Hearts (because there is only so many times you can write about the darkness).
This is one of the games I played solely on Twitch, but it has been a wild and hilarious (and vastly inappropriate) ride every time! Beautiful Glitch’s Monster Prom is a multiplayer, competitive dating sim set in a monster high school with 6 highly eligible prom dates. You have the genocidal mermaid princess, the hipster vampire, the jock werewolf, among many other hilariously wonderful options (and more coming with future DLC). You can play alone or with friends, and the game is full of pop-culture references, hundreds of scenarios, and each character has several secret endings, so it is so easy to keep coming back to this game.
Warning that this game is definitely not kid-friendly.
Michelle over at A Geek Girl’s Guide wrote a great review of Monster Prom!
I stumbled upon Digital Sun’s Moonlighter by complete accident, only briefly hearing about it through Dexbonus’ Twitch streams. Moonlighter is an action game with rogue-lite elements, about a shopkeeper who sells the materials and rewards from his explorations of the nearby dungeons. These dungeons are surrounded in mystery and filled with danger that few dare to explore them. Will, the descendent of a long line of shopkeepers, sells his wares by day and moonlights as a dungeon explorer, fighting all sorts of monsters along the way. The game is split between these elements. By day, you manage the shop, choosing at what price you want to sell your materials (or not sell them), keeping an eye on supply and demand, and shooing away the occasional thieves. By night, you pack up your weapons and head into the dungeons, fighting your way to discover more secrets these dungeons keep.
Moonlighter is one of those really pleasant games that I love to play on Twitch; the gameplay may seem repetitive, but there is a joy in running a small shop in a village and having your adventures by the moonlight. There’s currently a winter update and sale, so do go check out this game!
Last, but most certainly not least, is ConcernedApe’s Stardew Valley. I am very late to the party on this game, and I can hardly believe I only started playing this year! There is a soft place in my heart for cute farming simulators after my childhood with Harvest Moon, and this game brought back all my nostalgia for it. This is a wonderful game to relax to and just enjoy on a lazy weekend. The characters are very unique and dynamic, the farming has just the right level of engagement and challenge to it, and there is so much to do that it is hard to get bored of it.
There you have it! My 5 Favorite Games for this year! Let me know what were some of your favorite games this year!
One more announcement before I go: I know I haven’t been very active on here the past couple of months, but I’m hoping to change that next year. Next year, in order to dedicate more time the games I’ll be reviewing, my plan is stream the whole game on Twitch and then write up my review. That way you can join me for the adventure, and I can write more reviews! This will start after I finish playing through the Kingdom Hearts series. For those of you unfamiliar with my Twitch channel, I can be found at twitch.tv/thegamersjourney! I stream Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8pm PST and Sundays at 2pm PST. Hope to see you there!
Happy gaming and a Happy New Year!