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 is focused on short games. In an industry that is obsessed with “time played” as though it’s a marker of quality, it’s worth remembering that some of the greatest narratives and art works have been brief experiences, and this applies to video games too. A developer that has the confidence to take a “short” idea and not try and pad it out with content for the sake of content is a rare breed indeed these days… but when you see the quality of some of these games you can’t help but wish that more of them did it.
Part non-violent dungeon crawler, part puzzle game, part rhythm game, Giraffe and Annika is a short, brief, and yet heartfelt little game with personality and charm from the opening moments right through to the end. It’s not perfect, but it does have an eye for detail and an understanding of the emotional power of video games far beyond what most achieve, and the richly realised, bright, charming world is one that won’t be soon forgotten.
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!