It’s that time of year again, where we roll out the red carpet and celebrate the best that 2020 has offered us. In a year that has otherwise been so terrible, the fact that we’ve had a steady stream of such excellent games to play has been nothing but a relief.
It really has been a great year for games, from the big blockbusters right down to the most humble of projects. We’ve had surprises that have come out of nowhere, and long-anticipated games that have managed to meet and exceed our expectations when we’ve finally got our hands on them.
This year, for the DDNet awards, we have 16 different categories to recognise, and as we always do. Today’s award goes to the best free-to-play game, of which there were many (many) to choose between. Free-to-play has a bad reputation, as microtransactions and gacha mechanics mean that they can become very expensive for people that get hooked on them, and often these games are tailored in such a way as to create addictive behaviour. And yet, when they’re at their best, free-to-play provide enormous entertainment, and allow players to really support the game to whatever level they feel comfortable with. There are actually four winners this year (a two-way tie for bronze), and they’re all worth your time (and, frankly, a couple of dollars in support)
A lot of people gave SINoALICE a spin purely on the reputation of the director – this is the directorial work of transgressive auteur, Yoko Taro, and where most free-to-play games are thematically and narratively reductive, this one pitches higher and loftier. It’s also a gorgeous game, with some excellent mobile-RPG mechanics behind it. And so while people give this a go because of the reputation of its director, an awful lot of them have stayed because as far as the whole mobile JRPG space goes, this one is stand-out good.
Of course, we very much welcome your own picks for each category, so be sure to let us know your thoughts, and we’ll see you tomorrow for the next category!