Favorite games in 2017

December 31, 2017

For my own record, here are my favorite games I played in 2017. Just like last year, I don’t real­ly mind if a game was released this year or some­time before—just that I played it in 2017. The list is no par­tic­u­lar order.

Cosmic Express

Alan Hazelden’s Sokobond was a bit too com­plex for my taste, and while A Good Snow­man was charm­ing, it was a bit on the sim­ple side. Cos­mic Express feels like the exact in-between option, and also one of the bet­ter and most acces­si­ble track-draw­ing puz­zle games I’ve played so far. It also gets pret­ty hard once you get to the bonus chal­lenges.

2064: Read Only Memories

A sur­pris­ing­ly well thought out sci-fi sto­ry with a fan­tas­tic lo-fi graph­i­cal style. Although the sto­ry is good, I find the lev­el of detail, char­ac­ter and world build­ing sur­round­ing the plot even more inter­est­ing than the sto­ry itself. The voice act­ing real­ly is the top­ping on the cake.


Although I’m not sure if this game was inspired by Under­tale direct­ly, it seems to fol­low many of the same val­ues, and also has some curi­ous pro­gram­ming wiz­ardry, con­stant­ly break­ing the fourth wall as part of the sto­ry. It seems Undertale’s suc­cess sent a mes­sage to the (indie) game indus­try: Start mak­ing more thought­ful and non-vio­lent games, which I sus­pect we’ll see more of in the com­ing years.

Stephen’s Sausage Roll

Behind the rough graph­ics lies one of the best thought-out puz­zle worlds of all time. Sausages are both the means of reach­ing the goal, obsta­cles and the goal itself at the same time. The sim­plic­i­ty in mechan­ics allows the dynam­ics to real­ly shine, pro­vid­ed you take your time to fig­ure it all out.


Won­der­ful­ly min­i­mal­ist and feels like a joy to play. Feels very much like a puz­zle game while also being a twin-stick shoot­er, and this com­bi­na­tion works won­ders. The sound design is just as much ambi­ent good­ness as 140 was (which also got a new lev­el this year).

Card City Nights 2

The won­der­ful team at Ludos­i­ty keeps putting out inter­est­ing spins to well estab­lished gen­res (like Ittle Dew 2). It’s a good thing these games just can’t take them­selves seri­ous­ly, since CCN doesn’t shy away from inject­ing a bit of non­sense into sto­ry and game­play from time to time, keep­ing things fresh through­out.

The Jackbox Party Pack 3

The future of mul­ti­play­er gam­ing. Ever since I intro­duced this game to my friends, we bare­ly play any oth­er mul­ti­play­er games. Some incred­i­bly well thought out game ses­sions that are gen­uine­ly comedic.

Wonders between Dunes

This year’s walk­ing sim award (last year’s was Nais­sanceE). While you could take the touris­tic route by fol­low­ing the bread­crumb trail, you’re free to explore between the dunes. All vis­tas are won­der­ful­ly craft­ed and thought­ful, with won­der­ful sound design to boot.

80 Days

Sto­ry and strat­e­gy majes­ti­cal­ly com­bine in this round-the-world trip. While you want to see as much of the world as you can, you have a dead­line to meet, so you’ll have to make some tough deci­sions. The sto­ry itself is incred­i­bly thought­ful and diverse, as well as grand in scope.

Honorable mentions

Zel­da: Breath of the Wild — A breath of fresh air for the open world genre and the dis­cus­sion on play­er auton­o­my.
Super Mario Odd­essy — Takes a new spin on the open world genre in a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent way than Zel­da did it.
Puyo Puyo Tetris — Guess all I’ve ever want­ed in a Tetris game was a good story/mission mode. Still learn­ing how to prop­er­ly play Puyo Puyo.
Hack­net — Good puz­zle game that also sort of teach­es you how com­put­ers work!
Social Cater­pil­lar — A game that attempt to explain what it’s like to be an intro­vert by abstract­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion and social sit­u­a­tions. Bit rough around the edges but still excel­lent food for thought.
Scrolling Sur­vivor — Final­ly some­one man­aged to make a good auto­scrolling plat­former. Awe­some one-bit art style, very well thought out game­play and quite a bit of con­tent to uncov­er.
Find­ing Par­adise — This takes ludo-nar­ra­tive dis­so­nance to the extreme, and just like To The Moon, pro­vides excel­lent com­men­tary on the mean­ing of life.


Well, I hear Runner3 is releas­ing! No idea what Nin­ten­do is up to after Mario and Zel­da. Oth­er than that, I see myself grav­i­tat­ing more towards small­er exper­i­men­tal/non-tra­di­tion­al games (this is the first year I’m includ­ing games host­ed on itch.io on this list) and expect that trend to con­tin­ue.