2020 is almost at an end…a year that most of us are very happy to say goodbye to. Still, there was some good gaming to be done. Let’s see which games made 2020 a good gaming year for our writers! This time, it’s Ash’s turn!
Genre: Puzzle Platformer
A little indie gem, brought to life through the magic of Kickstarter. In Wildfire you play as a simple villager turned witch. After soldiers burn your village and capture everyone you know and love, you are granted the ability to embrace the elements and use them to your advantage.
Set things on fire (like, a LOT of things), create patches of grass to hide or vines to climb walls and cliffs, or turn water into ice and freeze your enemies. There are many different ways to make it through each level.
The game has a heavy stealth element, and the goal of most levels is to sneak through without being noticed at all. The controls are fluid, and using the elements will make you feel invincible; however, you most definitely are not. If soldiers, or bobcats, get one sniff of you you can consider your level restarted.
At the time of writing, the Switch version of this game suffers from some lag issues, especially if playing in couch co-op mode (which is a very fun mode). I’m hopeful for a patch to help fix lag issues.
The pixelated art aesthetic is a delight to the nostalgic gamer’s eyes, and the music is on point.
Genre: Puzzle Adventure
An adorable little platforming-puzzle-adventure starring a two-headed dog! Connected only by a stretchy belly, you control your head (if you’re playing co-op, otherwise you can control both heads in solo mode) and maneuver around each level, solving puzzles and getting pets!
This is one of the cutest games I have played this year! I loved the colourful art style, and each area is very distinct artistically from each other.
The themed worlds are Play, Food, and Sleep, and each world has different puzzle mechanics to figure out. PHOGS! is one of those games that takes a silly-sounding idea, and turns it into pure gaming glee!
As well, the game is full of collectables: each level will have several bones to collect, and these bones are your money! Spend your hard earned bones at the hat shop to make your doggo dapper!
I definitely recommend this game! It’s one of those games that just feels like a warm ray of sunshine. James reviewed it on the site, check his thoughts out here!
Pikmin 3 Deluxe
Having played, and LOVED Pikmin 1 and 2 on the Gamecube, I was disappointed that Pikmin 3 was only released for the WiiU (a system I never invested in).
I had resigned myself to living in a world where I would never play Pikmin 3. But then, most gloriously, it was announced for a re-relase on Switch. Oh happy day!
It was everything I hoped and expected it would be! The adorable new cast of characters, and I am speaking not only of the new Koppaite
Heroes Alph, Brittany, and Charlie. Our standard, and beloved, original trio of pikmin are all accounted for: red, blue, and yellow. Two new little cuties join the party! Rock pikmin: throw them at things like crystals, or enemies, and their landing packs a punch! Also, flying pikmin: these cute little pink guys hover in the air! They’re great at aerial combat, and can carry things back to your ship in a jiffy since they don’t necessarily have to traverse the path.
Of course, I miss the little white pikmin, and the chubby purple pikmin, but these new recruits are just as easy to love.
On top of the main story, there is a side adventure starring Olimar and Louie that you can partake in. So if you miss Olimar, do not fret, you have the chance to play him again!
Paula reviewed the game, and she was just as impressed! Her review is here.
Genre: Party Arcade
Perhaps it is the bleak feeling that 2020 has given to the world this year, but there’s something about those bright, colourful, and cute games that really gets me right now. PHOGS!, Pikmin 3, and now Cake Bash.
Published by the same group that brought us PHOGS!, these guys are knocking it out of the park so late in the year.
Cake Bash is a battle royale fighting game where you, and up to four friends (online or local), are cute and delicious looking cakes beating the crap out of each other in order to be crowned the tastiest cake!
Caution: may turn the best of friends into forever-enemies. You can read my review of it right here! Consider putting this one into your Switch library if you like a good party game, for it is that.
Chicken Police – Paint it Red!
Genre: Puzzle Adventure
My last, but certainly not least, favourite game of 2020 is a little title called Chicken Police – Paint it RED!
A black and white film noir visual novel with puzzles, sleuthing, and investigative action! The best part of this game, and one of the things that really separates it from the genre, is the art; everyone in this game is a human-animal hybrid. The hardboiled main character, Sonny, is a chicken. The body of a human with the neck and head of a chicken. Every character in this fictional world is some kind of animal.
Taking place in a special city, Clawville, that was founded with the hope and belief that all animals – predator and prey – can live together in peace and harmony.
Of course, the truth is that the Clawville Police Department is always being kept on their toes, keeping the peace. Sonny stumbles upon the biggest case of his life, and he and his plucky partner Marty MacChicken set out on a noir adventure that just might cost them their lives.
Magnificent writing, terrific art, a jazzy noir soundtrack to love: Chicken Police – Paint it RED! is one heck of a game.