A few games I played at year’s end

NothingToHideLogo

Logo from Nothing to Hide, made available by Nicky Case as open source code, zero rights reserved.

It’s the time of year when everyone comes out with their “best of” lists. One that came via twitter was the “forest ambassador 2014 games of the year” compiled by merritt kopas and friends. I spent an afternoon playing a good number of them (that’s what vacations are good for, no?) and here are a couple that I especially enjoyed.

To What End” is a very short, charming, browser-based experience that is intended to make you think about what’s important in life and the decisions you make along the way. It’s amazingly effective considering its brevity and the fact that you play as colorful, bouncing shapes. This game was created by Chelsea Howe and Michael Molinari for the 48-hour Global Game Jam 2012 in San Francisco.

how do you Do it?” is a short, browser-based game created by Emmett Butler and Nina Freeman about a little girl trying to understand a grown-up topic. Many of Freeman’s games are about young girls trying to cope with complex adult situations.

I really liked the demo of Nicky Case‘s “Nothing to Hide” (I love puzzle games). It’s still under development. Case also created the Parable of the Polygons (“a story of how harmless choices can make a harmful world,” which in this case leads to segregated neighborhoods), and The Coming Out Simulator 2014 (in which you play as a semi-fictional version of Case coming out as gay).

Other games I haven’t had a chance to play yet: Mountain, in which, incredibly, you “play” as a mountain; Broken Age, which features a young girl and boy leading separate but parallel lives and facing adventures; and Portal (I’ve played through Portal 2, but not Portal). Maybe I’ll get to them before the end of this vacation.