I voted in the Quarterlies, as any stout and loyal Quartermaster must do, but I have to say I felt a little ambivalent about my picks this year. They’re all good games, but they’re not actually the games that captured my attention most strongly this year. So, in that spirit, these are the top three games I played this year that actually were hard to stop playing at times:
- Noita (2020)
So annoyed I missed voting for this one last year, but I didn’t pick it up and start playing until this year. What an absolute joy (and absolute frustration!) this game is, just totally chock full of secrets and potential and mystery. I have yet to make it to the end. It’s hard! But I keep trying. The game includes the option of making a gif out of the moments of your death, and I have a fully updated imgur album of most of mine (I didn’t realize it existed until maybe my 25th run). Come see the violence inherent in the system!
- Total War: Warhammer 2 (2017)
Speaking of the violence inherent in the system, I’m way behind the curve on this one (I didn’t even play the first on), but I’ve got I think 60 hours and counting in this one since I picked it up last fall. I started and just…couldn’t stop. I am currently running a “Four Beastmen of the Apocalypse” campaign as Malagor where I plan to recruit the other legendary lords and send them all in a different direction, with the ultimate goal of wiping out everyone else. Yes, everyone.
- Monolith: Relics of the Past (2019)
This one was the real dark horse. I’d known about Noita and, of course, Total Warhammer, but this one I didn’t hear about at all until four years after the base game and two years after the expansion, and I think someone on here mentioned it and I picked it up and my goodness what a wonderful little game. You play a spaceship, but it’s really a room-based roguelite in the vein of Isaac and Gungeon, and it does such a very good job of masquerading as a NES game that would have occupied me for hours and hours on end as a kid, and it’s a beautiful little thing. I plan to keep playing this one for quite a long time to come, too, just like the others.
All three of these kind of blew my Quarterlies picks out of the water in terms of raw obsession. So what non-2021 games occupied you in 2021?