Your Personal Top X Games This Year

There’s a lot of posts in the Score Predictions thread that start out with “This isn’t my personal top 10, but…”, which begs the question - rankings aside, what are everyone’s personal favorites?

In no particular order, here’s mine:

I Contain Multitudes

I saw the description and immediately went "Oooh, Return of the Obra Dinn meets Sunless Sea! That description is doing it a bit of a disservice since it has its own strong identity and doesn’t feel derivative at all, but I’m happy to say that it did not disappoint.

The Last Night of Alexisgrad

@The_Xenographer and I frequently play Comp games together (well, by “play” I mean one of us plays and the other, usually me, gives semi-useful suggestions). Having an explicitly 2-player game in the comp was a match made in heaven.

Extraordinary_fandoms.exe

I’ll be honest: I didn’t expect to like this one since it deals with a fandom for a thing I’ve never been interested in (idol groups). But despite the limited choices on offer I found myself really invested in the story and Pinecone’s struggles. I look forward to seeing more works from this author.

Beneath Fenwick

I suffer from parser envy so I was happy to see someone tackle a parser-like game in a more-accessible-to-me format. And in such high quality! My only complaint is that it ended too soon.

You Are Spamzapper 3.1

A well-written romp from start to finish. The “Greatest Email You’ve Ever Seen” is hands-down the funniest thing I encountered in the Comp this year.

(A note: I didn’t play nearly as many games as I wanted this year due to 1) a lack of free time and 2) being Very Bad at parser games, so I’m sure there’s plenty of gems that I missed. I hope to get to them in the coming months.)

I’m very interested in seeing what everyone else loved as well.

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My only 10/10 this year was And Then You Come To A House, but I definitely got the most enjoyment from The Last Night of Alexisgrad, which surprised me as I typically have little interest in war stories. I found the game’s 2-person design satisfying and really enjoyed playing it through multiple times.
I also played Taste of Fingers while extremely drunk and remember feeling quite enthused about it. I wonder how it stacks up when I’m sober?

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My personal favorite is Ghosts Within. I hope it ranks well.

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Top Whatever Parser Games that Aren’t mine (AardVarK):

Dr. Horror’s House of Terror,
Codex Sadistica,
Hercules,
The Libotonus Cup,
Sting,
Closure,
Finding Light,
The Song of the Mockingbird,
And Then You Come to A House…,
What Heart Heard of, Ghost Guessed

Choice:
Cyborg Arena,
The Golden Heist,
The Best Man,
Fine Felines,
A Paradox Between Worlds

Notes: I like parser games, so I tend to enjoy them more. Like pizza. A bad pizza is still pizza. These parser games are all at least a step above chain pizza. Choice games take a lot to stand out for me. Not that that means these choice games are better than the parser games, objectively. Because there is no such thing as objectivity in art.
Also, I was trying to play/review all the games, but I only got through about half?
Last, it’s late and I was up early today - if your game isn’t listed, my apologies. I probably didn’t play it, or somehow missed it while writing this post.

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My personal favorites…

  • Sting
  • What Heart Heard Of, Ghost Guessed
  • And Then You Come to a House Not Unlike the Previous One
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As IFcomp is taking his time for reporting results, you can search at ifdb the current aside results:

https://ifdb.org/search?sortby=ratu&searchfor=tag%3AIFComp+2021

My favourite games, parser games between those I have played are:
Darkun
Ghost within
The house of highfield Lane
Grandma remarkable egg
What heart head of ghost guessed
Closure
Sting
Finding light
The last night of Alexisgrad
The library
And then you come…

Random order.

  • Jade
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Of the games I played (maybe, like, 10-15 of them?) my top 3 would probably be…

  • A Paradox Between Worlds
  • And Then You Come to a House Not Unlike the Previous One
  • The Best Man

The Best Man is interesting because the experience of playing it is awful, but it’s definitely memorable and invokes some very, very strong emotions. I will never replay it but I’ll also not forget it.

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From the thirteen games I’ve played, so probably missing many great ones:

  1. The Best Man

  2. And Then You Come To a House & 4x4 Archipelago (shared second place)

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I didn’t give any 10s, but my top 3 favourite ones in no particular order are ‘And Then You Come to A House’, ‘4x4 Archipelago’ and ‘Doctor Horror’s house Of Terror’.

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I’ve managed to play about half of the games of the IF Comp so far, and thus, I present you with the following:

Top 5 Parser Games (excluding my game, Ghosts Within)

  1. And then you come to a house…
  2. What Heart Heard of, Ghost Guessed
  3. Libonotus Cup
  4. Sting
  5. Infinite Adventure

Top 5 Choice Games

  1. The Golden Heist
  2. Fine Felines
  3. You are the SpamZapper 3.1
  4. How the monsters appeared in the wasteland
  5. Walking into it

Finally, my favorite game, which also received my only 10/10 during the judging period, is:

  • And then you come to a house not unlike the previous one

I wish all the best to each and every one of the authors awaiting the final rankings! Good Luck! :blush:

— Kyriakos

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My favourite games, which are the (only) ones I gave an 8 or a 9 rating, are, in this order:

  1. And Then You Come to a House Not Unlike the Previous One
  2. The Best Man
  3. At King Arthur’s Christmas Feast
  4. What Heart Heard Of, Ghost Guessed
  5. Ghosts Within
  6. Dr Horror’s House of Terror
  7. The Libonotus Cup

I managed to play 54 out of the 71 games. Out of the current top 15 games on the IFDB, I didn’t play A Paradox Between Worlds, 4x4 Archipelago or D’ARKUN. So I guess I might have given these a high score too.

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The sensible thing to do would be to make a book on this and take bets, with profits to the next prize fund.

I managed to get through 6 in the end, plus another 8 tested (not bad going for me) which didn’t include the hot-tipped favourites And Then You Come to A House… & 4x4 Archipelago.

My favourites of the ones I did experience:

  1. Ghosts Within (sprawling, story-driven puzzley parser game = exactly my cup of tea)
  2. Sting (beautifully crafted and affecting)
  3. At King Arthur’s Christmas Feast (excellent literary adaptation)
  4. You are SpamZapper 3.1 (wordy, but compelling)
  5. Dr. Horror’s House of Terror (fun frenetic comedy horror)
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I only managed just under 20 games this year, so there are surely good ones I didn’t play. But here are my faves, in grouped order:

And Then You Come to a House…
4x4 Archipelago / Dr. Horror’s House of Terror
The Song of the Mockingbird / The Best Man / At King Arthur’s Christmas Feast

(Looks like @Kara_Louise and I share the same top three!)

In one of my reviews I mentioned that my personal #1 game from the last four IFComps has not made the top ten in its year. I’ll go ahead and predict that that streak will be broken in IFComp 2021.

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I wasn’t able to play as many as I would have liked, but my favorite was A Paradox Between Worlds.

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I absolutely loved the writing in A Papal Summons, or The Church Cat.

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Well, that prediction came true, in a big way. :grin:

Congratulations to BJ and everyone else!

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I didn’t play through many games but Spamzapper and Goat Game stand out among the choice-based entries.