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Kat Brewster's 5 best games of 2018

Some of these might surprise you

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I wracked my brain over the past few weeks, trying to think of games I played in 2018. This seems to happen every year around GOTY time — much like when someone asks you what your favourite movie is, and you forget whether you’ve actually ever seen a movie. Did… Did I play any video games? Did any games even come out? Surely there must have been at least one.

In the precious little free time I scraped together during term (like coins from sofa cushions to get a snack from the office vending machine), I managed to discover (or re-discover) a handful of games this year. They’re a bit covered in lint, but I promise they’re still good.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

This is the first Assassin’s Creed game that has stuck with me. I’m glad it was this one, because in 2018 it is important to be able to run around ancient Greece with huge arms and thighs that could kill a man. Odyssey is unfathomably vast and beautiful, full of rolling hills and flowers and sea monsters. I haven’t even approached the midpoint of the game, and I don’t know that I ever will. I spend my time climbing statues and following proud roosters around small islands.

Silent Hill 2

Don’t @ me.

Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall

It’s possible that this is the best Nancy Drew game, and if you play this one you will be ruined for all other Nancy Drew games. Do NOT waste your time playing the one set in Japan. Do NOT play the one about the fashion house in Paris. Thornton Hall is the one to beat. This game has everything: A marriage plot; a haunted Georgian estate; intrusive questions from a nosy teen detective; point and click puzzles which appear so suddenly, you’ll get whiplash.

Go on then, sassy detective.

Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game

With deliciously cheesy neo-noir writing and more secrets than Gretchen Wieners’ hair, Detective was this year’s Gen Con darling and is a legacy board game like no other. Out of every game I played this year, this might be the one I have spent the most time with and the one which has gotten my blood pressure the highest. I think this game gave me a stomach ulcer. This game runs my house. This game got me to tape up butcher paper to my walls, writing words like SUSPECTS and CRIME and TIMELINE. This game simultaneously put my friendships in jeopardy and made them stronger than ever before. I love this game.

Go on then, sassy detective.

Super Mario Party, but specifically the rhythm-games and specifically the rhythm-games’ encore that goes really fast

When I was a kid, I didn’t have many video games. I did have Mario Party, however, and on truly dull days I would set the turn-limit to 50 and play against the computer. Just for the whole day. I got to revisit this truly sad insight into my childhood this year when Super Mario Party came out, but these days I have friends who play video games. Some of the most wonderful moments of my year were the ones I spent in the living room of a Vancouver AirBnB, crying with laughter as my friends and I rode horses and pulled tablecloths off of set tables and wiped windows in time with upbeat tunes that got faster and faster and faster. This year has been garbage. But those moments were golden.

Honorable mentions

Fortnite’s cube, and Doll Makers.

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Who am I?

Kat Brewster


Kat Brewster is a sometimes writer, sometimes game designer, and most-of-the-time academic based out of the University of California, Irvine. Kat's research focuses on play, the future of digital work, and queer archives. You can reach out on Twitter @katbamkapow.

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