It’s that time of year again, everyone, where we celebrate the best games of the year. Despite being a heavily disrupted year thanks to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, 2021 produced some incredible games, almost from day one, and as a result, our awards this year has the most variety of games ever – almost 50 different titles got at least one award, and as you’ll see as we announce each category, it really is an endless stream of incredible experiences.
This year we had a special, expanded judging panel, with the entire DDNet team participating, but we also invited some prominent people from independent game publications outside the Website to participate, so we could get a broader range of insights and thoughts into the winners from each category. Our additional judges this year included Pete Davison from Rice Digital, Thomas Knight of Nook Gaming, Robert Allen of Tech-Gaming, Matt Ryan from Shindig, and academic and freelancer, @TsuChanJohnson on Twitter. The total judging pool for the awards was ten people this year around, and there was some heated discussion about the worthiest titles in each category indeed!
These days the cross-overs between console and PC are such that there aren’t many games that aren’t available on both (aside from Nintendo). Even Sony drops all its games on PC. Nonetheless there are games that do work better (or at least feel more natural) on one or the other, and today we celebrate the games we’ve enjoyed the most as PC experiences.
Idol Manager is the last game you’d expect to be great. Just the title of it suggests something that will preference fan service over any kind of deep gameplay, but when you play it… this thing is really quite magnificent, and a nuanced simulator that will really test your abilities, no matter how familiar you are with the genre.