Tiny Video Game Reviews, 2017

All the video games I've played this year, in order of appearance.

Linelight - I may be biased, but this game is superb.

Hidden Folks - Relaxing and adorable. So many little details, a few that made me think "What did we do to deserve this game?"

Hexcells - Finally caved and bought it. A surprisingly smart game.

Night In The Woods - Hilarious, charming, surprising. Holy cow this game is so good. Such a relatable narrative. Possibly too relatable. A true depiction of life in a rural town and living with and dealing with mental illness.

* Tharis - Picked this game back up and it is even more amazing than I remember.

* FTL - Better than I remember, but I kept wanting to play more Tharsis.

Card Thief - I have a lot of thoughts on this mobile game. It is a very good game buried behind a menu that is too artistic to be useful, an equipment system this is elegance drowned in poor interface, and a tutorial that fails to explain the most important element of the game. Maybe I'll do a more constructive write-up in the future, but for now, play with these hints: You can only be caught if 1/ An enemy takes you from 0 or above to below 0. Positive to negative = caught. 2/ You are at a negative sneak and in the light while occupying the same space as an enemy or a space an enemy is looking at.

Cosmic Express - Very difficult puzzle game that explores its own mechanics wonderfully. I am a huge fan of Draknek and while I couldn't say anything bad about this game I didn't finish it.

Typeshift (mobile) - The clue puzzles in this game are amazing. The rest gets old, but not until I'd played over 50 of them.

Chicken Scream - LOL!

Zip-Zap (mobile) - This games is very, very fun. So playful and simple. Brilliantly varied.

Recursed - A clever little game in need of some love. Even 10% clearer art (not better, just clearer) could have made this game a hit. The controls took a ton out of it for me.

Breath of the Wild - Only got to play a few hours of this game, but it is SERIOUSLY GOOD. I can easily see this game having something in it for every player in every mood. The tone is delightful and its open world incredibly full and realized.

Don't Starve Together - This game is wicked fun. Charming, creepy, odd, and worth figuring out.

4D Toys (mobile) - Expensive, but mind-blowing and amazing. Haven't had much luck showing to friends.

Monument Valley 2 (mobile) - Genuinely builds on its predecessor but doesn't stay long enough. The star of the show is the sound design.

Pokemon Go (mobile) - It's back on my phone and it's... significantly better? Not in any of the ways I expected, but the new Raids are great cooperative fun.

Darkest Dungeon - What an incredibly ambitious game! The combat mechanic is brilliant and must have been demanding to balance alone, and it's not even the main draw of the game. Really enjoying this so far.

illi (mobile) - An interesting puzzle platformer, I think I mostly got it to warm up for Super Meat Boy Forever.

Triple Agent (mobile) - Funny and short! Easy to play, a good mix of deception and info. It's quick and higher in information than most other bluffing games. Great that it's a pass-and-play with one phone. Still looking for that good bluffing game for less than 5 people.

DATA WING (mobile) - Very good game design, but may take more practice than I'm interested in investing.

Human Fall Flat - A puzzle gem buried in a sillier, more frustrating physics game. Co-op is fun, if you can find a partner to look past the wonky controls.

Shenzhen Solitaire (mobile) - A brilliant solitaire game. Just a solid design. I kind of like its simple brutality (no undos, 1 game token every two hours, max two) it really makes you ponder each movie.

Geostorm (mobile) - A surprisingly good puzzle game! The minimum moves challenges are going to be the end of me.

Flip-Flop Solitaire (mobile) - A fun quick card game, may not stay on my phone long.

Jackbox Party Pack 4 - More innovative, but not as good or approachable as JBPP3.

Fibbage 3 (JBPP4) - Enough About You is brilliant (use extended timers!) and challenging. Regular Fibbage is solid as always.

Monster Seeking Monster (JBPP4) - This game is brilliant and funny but due to the flirting nature can take some contextual overcoming to get people to play.

Civic Doodle (JBPP4) - More fun on paper than in practice, disappointingly. Extended timers helped the frantic feeling, but hurt the overall experience.

Survive The Internet (JBPP4) - Could be fun but hard to explain even after playing twice because each round demands new context.

Bracketteering (JBPP4) - Probably the gem of the pack, very light and surprisingly funny with good bonus rounds.

Pocket Camp (mobile) - Cute but I burnout quickly on these kinds of games. I wish it were more like actual Animal Crossing and not a free-to-play model.

* Burnout 3 - It's just as good as I remember!

Getting Over It (mobile) - A good game about progress and patience. Does well to present itself as a careful meditative experience. Maybe could use a touch clearer direction? Not sure where to go after the crane.

Tabletop Simulator - Fun! The Workshop brings this to life, but just messing with the physics stayed fresh for an hours long session.

Oxygen Not Included - Can Klei do no wrong?! This game is a ridiculously ambitious simulator that demands the same ambition of its players. Made it to Cycle 100 on my first colony, I do not see a prolonged future for Alpha Doomus.

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