The process: Earlier in the year we asked you, our readers, to rank nine different games per category in order of preference (or how interested you are in a game, if you haven’t played it before). We have taken those rankings, averaged them up, and the resulting list below are the top four games – three runners up and the winner.
Games that make you think. Games that inspire you. Games that make you wish you could study games at university; arthouse games are a topic dear to the hearts of many of us here at Digitally Downloaded, and the below four games are the finest examples that we’ve seen this year.
Papers, Please: Papers, Please is one of the very few games that we haven’t reviewed this year… we should really get on that. We’ve played it, of course, and it’s a brilliant example of independent arthouse game development; Papers, Please is a hugely insightful analysis and criticism of the flaws inherent in an immigration system where human attitudes and errors can be brought into something so crucial to so many.
Attack of the Friday Monsters: While many would argue that this isn’t much of a game, what Attack of the Friday Monsters is is a wonderful deconstruction of the nostalgia for youth and the very real fears of growing up. It’s also a brilliant recreation of regional urban life in Japan, and brilliantly encapsulates some of the social strains that are an everyday part of Japanese youth life.
Deadly Premonition: Released this year as a director’s cut, Deadly Premonition is a masterful game that was unfortunately overlooked by many because it looked like a PlayStation 2 game. It’s unfortunate, because once you started to play the game itself that initial impression is rendered moot by the simple fact that this is a surrealist masterpiece and one of the most creative horror games to ever hit the games industry.
Killer is Dead: You can’t keep a good surrealist experience down. Killer is Dead is darkly comic, brutally critical of gender roles in the media, and simply filled with pop culture and biblical references and interpretations. This is a game that demands to be played multiple times in order to fully comprehend… it’s a pity that so few people saw it as more than a mindless hack-and-slash brawler.