Pip’s Games Of The Year Those Other Guys Missed

We made our list for Games of the Year or Bestest Bests or Advent Calendars or whatever it was but some of my candidates were missed off the list for NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER. I mean, fine, some of them were console games and some of them are from the wrong year but they’re still games that were good this year and I still want to highlight them. Read on for gory janitorial duties, party crypts and the end of Dinklebot. I’ve also included a link or two in case you wanted to read a bit more about those games :)

Viscera Cleanup Detail

Probably the most consistently joyful multiplayer experience I’ve had all year. It combines the satisfaction of tidying and sorting with the bratty fun of working out exactly when to kick over a bucket of mucky water or charge down a corridor dropping entrails to most infuriate your industrious friends. When I last played it there were still issues, like giblets clipping through the floor or desyncing or there being too many objects in play for the game to handle but with some judicious footprint scrubbing and some leaving and rejoining I don’t think we found a problem we couldn’t fix.

I really love that tense bit at the end of a level where you have to decide whether you’re happy with the job you’ve done and how convinced you are you didn’t miss anything. You walk around with your detectors out, trying to work out if a change in the beeping is just natural variation or whether you missed a bullethole.

>> The Curious Pull Of Viscera Cleanup Detail

Crypt of the NecroDancer

Crypt of the NecroDancer is brilliant. It’s a rhythm-based roguelike dungeon crawler which means you explore caverns and kill monsters as you search for your father all to the beat of the music. Above you’ll find Quinns’ Cogwatch episode which looks at how the game mechanics work.

I first played it when it was in early access while writing for cheery RPS fansite, PC Gamer. Looking at my Steam account, I’ve now put 31 hours of boogying into the thing. It’s been a while since I played, although if memory serves, there’s a daily challenge like you’ll find in Spelunky which I played with friends for a while. They were better than me so I ended up dipping out of that. It felt especially egregious given I’d bought the game for one of them – if that happens you should have the decency to be worse at it than I am.

By the looks of things, when I last played I’d customised the soundtrack again to create a personalised party crypt but right now I miss the shopkeeper’s singing voice too much so I’m going to get rid of the customisations and go with the vanilla mode. Also WHY DID NO-ONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS.

SquareCells

SquareCells is a smart, minimalist logic puzzle which manifests as a Picross/Nurikabe. You can read the review from a few weeks back to get more info on how it all works, but it tickles my brain in the same way as Brown’s previous Hexcells series. I’m hoping that the game progresses in that same way, too, expanding as the series develops. This first outing for SquareCells contains 36 puzzles and I’m yearning for more so two more games, each with puzzles to really chew on would be utterly wonderful. Which makes it sound like I’m saying the game would be good if it had two more games. I’m not. It’s that the first game is good puzzling and I’d like more. Oh shit I just reinstalled Hexcells.

>> Wot I Think: SquareCells

Deadly Premonition

It’s still brilliant so I’m still including it.

>> Alice’s Have You Played…Deadly Premonition

Destiny: The Taken King

I’ve not played this in a while because of all the work trips and the gallivanting but Destiny has been one of my mainstays this year and I loved what they did with The Taken King. I think Destiny is actually the first time I’ve properly stuck with an MMO. I didn’t get on with WoW so I left and other people didn’t get on with Wildstar so they left. But there’s a whole bunch of us in Destiny who stayed. Destiny also makes it easy to keep in touch with friends and my partner when we’re far apart, hence the video above.

TTK added new locations, new story, new raiding, it retooled older bits of the game and the UI to make them more approachable or user-friendly, and it beefed up the game’s personality. Maybe that seems like a weird thing to say but in fleshing out the characters in-game the game itself felt more… personable? Pre Taken King I can’t imagine Destiny having a Halloween event where Cayde is wearing an Eris Morn mask and Eris herself just gives you a tiny box of raisins for Trick or Treat instead of the candy being dished out by everyone else.

RIP Dinklebot.

>> Destiny and the Consolation of Consoles

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Blah blah, PC gaming specialist site, blah. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a delightful community sim on the 3DS. I played the Gamecube version of Animal Crossing years and years ago and it got to the point where I was weirdly obsessive. I paid my own mortgage off incredibly fast then sent letters containing massive sacks of bells to my fellow residents – the human ones who had given up playing well before their houses were finished. I then logged in as them and paid off their mortgages. I caught all of the fish (some by resetting the console clock to speed through the seasons) and all the bugs (same time fuckery for these guys as with the fish – I’m basically a timelord) and dug up all of the fossils. I never completed my collection of gyroids, though. There’s these weird singing fire hydrants or possibly cactuses.

I played a fair chunk of Wild World on DS too but by that point it was less delightful because I’d burnt out. I’d also gotten so used to my Gamecube home that everything else felt wrong. Not home. With New Leaf enough time has passed that it feels lovely again. At first I spent a lot of time taking boat trips to the tropical island and spending an hour or three fishing and catching bugs. Right now I’m all about rolling snowballs to form snowmen and catching snowflakes. Unlike last time I’m determined to just play the game at its own pace, experiencing the seasons as they actually turn up. It’s my go-to game for feeling happy and chilled out right now.

39 Comments

  1. pack.wolf says:

    I bet Subterfuge is right up there.

    No? Strange.

    • knight666 says:

      For those who don’t know, Pip was part of Cool Ghost’s amazing and terrifying Subterfuge Diaries:

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        Grizzly says:

        Also, more people should tell their stories trough the medium of the cutest loveliest plushies.

  2. Pazguato says:

    Deadly Premonition it’s not a 2015 game, and it’s not a “brilliant”… wait, have you all gone crazy in RPS?! O_º

    John, have you played this “gem”? If not, please, follow the recommendation.

    • Beva says:

      Deadly Premonition is the best game of all years past and all years yet to come.

      It is simply so.

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    Phasma Felis says:

    Oh God, the singing merchant’s name is Freddie Merchantry. Oh God Oh God.

  4. int says:

    Is Animal Crossing some kind of sick gene manipulation game where you cross human and animal DNA?

    That monkey-like character in the background seems to yearn for the release of death.

    • Dorga says:

      Laugh were laughed

    • ExitDose says:

      Tom Nook won’t let them die till he gets his bells.

    • Nereus says:

      Humans are animals.

      Also, you share 30% of your genes with broccoli. I hope that puts your comment into perspective.

      • int says:

        Are animals also humans then? Dear god! What the hell kind of meat have I been eating with my own broccoli helices?

      • Unclepauly says:

        So Einstein can thank his breakthroughs partly due to my gene’s as well? Wait til I tell mom!

  5. Vandelay says:

    As someone who will be a PS4 owner tomorrow, I’m very tempted by Destiny, but I know no one else with the console, let alone the game. Is it worth playing solo?

    • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

      I personally didn’t think so. I thought it was tremendously boring by myself, despite my friends having it. We could never coordinate our schedules for whatever reason. But I only played the vanilla version, not Taken King, so maybe it’s a little different.

    • Imbecile says:

      Destiny is decent solo, but I felt no compulsion to continue the grind beyond completion. Borderlands was more entertaining.

    • yogibbear says:

      Just get bloodborne.

  6. TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

    I share an Animal Crossing town with my girlfriend and it’s indeed a very special and lovely game.

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    mickiscoole says:

    I missed about a week of visiting my Animal Crossing game, and then decided to never go back, ever as I’d already screwed it up.

  8. Premium User Badge

    garfieldsam says:

    So glad to see Crypt on here, Pip. IMO perhaps the most under-appreciated game of 2015.

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      Hodge says:

      I think it’s more that people forget it was properly released this year, since it was brilliant for yonks in early access. Fantastic game.

  9. Zekiel says:

    Well I take this as permission to name Call of Juarez Gunslinger and Skyrim for Games of the Year.

  10. welverin says:

    Pip, have you checked out Tearaway Unfolded?

  11. OctoStepdad says:

    I wanted to love crypt but after the first zone it got too difficult for me. I still appreciate the game but haven’t played it awhole lot.

    I still need to plug in my old dance pad & try it out.

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I found that you really want to get either a spear or a broadsword early on. Try using the beastiary to learn the patterns of the tougher enemies.

    • Kitsunin says:

      In my experience each zone was tougher by an amount which will set you back doing as well as you did in the first zone on your first try. Though the second was definitely my least favorite…the theming is a bit drab (swamp, meh) and the music is slightly off-kilter rather than heart-pumping like the rest of it.

      If you can, it’s worth sticking through because the third zone is fantastic, as are the bosses at the end of the game.

    • Crafter says:

      I am definitely rhythm challenged and I have finished all 4 zones, so there is very probably hope for you as well.

      Each run should be an opportunity to learn something new : an enemy pattern, a trap, …

      If you really have trouble with a particular enemy type, the devs have even added a training room.

      The good thing about Necrodancer is that most of the time your deaths are entirely preventable if you don’t do something stupid, you ‘just’ need to train enough to get the right reflexes (get out of the way of a rolling armadillo, beware of swamp monsters, …). There are no insta death unfair trap.

  12. Crafter says:

    If you have not already done so, please do yourself a favor and try out Necrodancer.

  13. Gorm13 says:

    I completely forgot Necrodancer even came out (of Early Access) this year, partially because it wasn’t mentioned in any other best of ’15 list (but mostly because it was in EA for so long, reducing the meaning of the actual release date).

  14. Tacroy says:

    Speaking of DS games though, I found that I really like Rune Factory 4 – it’s like a cross between Legend of Zelda and Harvest Moon

  15. JB says:

    A kindly benefactor got me Necrodancer for Christmas earlier today. I checked it out a little while ago. It’s awesome, go and play it. That is all.

  16. Llewyn says:

    Right, how come none of you lot told me about Squarecells? Yes, I know Pip wrote an article but I’ve been working away a lot, so that’s not an excuse.

    Read the above, bought it, will spend the afternoon being unsociable.

  17. falconrise9 says:

    hi

  18. HeavyStorm says:

    Destiny. Is that out on PC?… Or has RPS become a more of a generalist?

  19. Ragnar says:

    I really don’t understand the appeal of Animal Crossing. I played New Leaf for many hours, and it seemed the entire game was composed of doing repetitive tedious tasks and fetch quests. Am I missing something?

  20. Cederic says:

    Thanks Pip, I just had to buy Crypt of the Necrodancer and a £30 dance mat with which to play it.

    Still, will help with the chocolate and vodka I’ve been adding to my waistline this week.