Let’s take a look at the games that made 2017 a good gaming year for me. This past year I’ve once again picked one game per month, one game that grabbed my attention and made my gaming extra fun.This are my 12 favorite games of 2017.
In hindsight, the game where very equally divided over the various handheld devices. Only 2 games where played on the Vita, while I remember 2016 being a year that half of my top 12 were Vita games! Every game that I played on my Switch (3 games) made it to Game of the Month and 3 games where played on the 3DS.
4 Games where mobile games! That really is a first, I guess it shows how the gaming world is changing with power houses like Nintendo entering the smartphone gaming market.
This is my list of Games of the Month for 2017, so this is my Top 12 of the year!
Root Letter (Vita)
The combination of visual novel and mystery was a good one, and the connection to real life Matsue and all the Japanese culture I soaked up through the game was fun. The characters feel real and believable and the game managed to set an atmosphere that I liked. It might not be for everyone though, but I guess that’s the case for every game out there.
The standard price of EUR 39,95 would have been a bit high, but getting the game in a sale was perfect: there were some typos in the texts, and its not a very long game. Overall though, a good and different game. Find my review here.
Fire Emblem Heroes (iOS and Android)
One of Nintendos mobile games, and they did a great job at it. I love playing the 3DS versions of Fire Emblem with their huge strategic battles that sometimes take half an hour to complete. The mobile version has battles on a much smaller scale, and it has less customisation options, but still, it’s a good free to play version.
Part of the fun is in the collecting of heroes and making the best possible team to fight through the storyline. I never needed to put any real money in it, gathering all the free orbs the game offers. If you are new to the gaming series, and are just now getting started in the game, you might want to check out my Fire Emblem Heroes for noobs, to get you started.
Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns (3DS)
If you ever played one of the games that are formerly known as the Harvest Moon series, you’ll know what to expect: a lot of hard work for your little farmer. But the developers manage to add new stuff to the game every time they make a new sequel. This time you have to interact with three towns, each having a very distinct character and inhabitants.
Managing the farm can be hard work, day in and day out. My little YvoCaro tried to do her best, smooching off the villagers to get an extra meal (for much needed stamina). I wrote a blog about it called Freeloading in Story of Seasons.
Atelier Firis and the Mysterious Journey (Vita)
I’m a real fan of the Atelier series: the combination of exploring, crafting with alchemy and turn based fighting is the best. Rorona, Ayesha and Sophie, all have had the title favourite game of the month. Despite the fact that Firis isn’t my favourite character, I do love the open-world gaming, which is a first for an Atelier game. I feel as if they have taken the series yet another step further.
I guess Atelier Ayesha will always be one of my favourites, and I absolutely loved Atelier Sophie too. But for the open world and exploring, I can safely say it’s one of the best Atelier game I’ve played. Unfortunately, the Vita game hasn’t been released physically, neither in America nor in Europe, so you’ll have to go digital. Read my review of the game here.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
I had my doubt before, about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Not if it would be a brilliant game, I was pretty sure it would be. But if it would be the game for me, as Link and I don’t have a lot of history. I was worried the game would be too hard for me, and to be frank, it might still be: I have yet to beat Ganon.
But I love the exploring, the collecting, the cooking and solving the puzzles of the shrines. Conquering the Divine Beasts is a huge kick, but I love playing BotW in a leisurely way! I wrote about it in this article.
Ever Oasis (3DS)
A brand new Nintendo IP, announced at the E3 in 2016 and released a year later. I’d been looking forward to it since I first heard about it, and picked it up on release. The game is a mix of action-RPG and town-building elements with a little farming and synthesizing thrown in. It’s set in a beautifully colourful fantasy interpretation of ancient Egypt.
The game kept me occupied, it’s a nice mix of various gaming elements and loveable little characters. For me, the exploring and fighting are the best parts Though the Bloom Booth management is nice and the various characters that inhabit your town are all one of a kind, that part of the game could have been a bit deeper. You can read my thoughts about the game here.
Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy (3DS, iOs and Android)
I chose to play the game on my smartphone, but later this year it was released on the 3DS as well. Katrielle Layton does a good job of stepping into her fathers’ shoes. This still looks and feels like the Layton games we know and love, and Level-5 has handled the move to mobile almost flawlessly. The visuals are great and the gameplay works well on mobile. What has changed though is that this is a collection of cases, instead of stumbling upon puzzles during a grand adventure.
Egglia, the Legend of the Redcap (iOS and Android)
Egglia is an RPG that follows the story of a Redcap named Chabo. He mysteriously appears in a very small town in the kingdom of Egglia and is found by an elf named Robin and her faerie partner, Marigold. Chabo can restore broken pieces of Egglia, sealed away in Niebel Eggs.
Every location that you add to the kingdom contains three stages to explore which takes place on a hex-based grid spread across the floor. Rolling the dice decides how many places you can move to fight an enemy, open a chest or chop a tree for wood. A nice RPG for a reasonable price. You can find my review here.
Monster Hunter Stories (3DS)
A year ago I played the Japanese demo of this game and I knew that I really wanted the English version. When it was released on September 8 I immediately downloaded it, and was not disappointed. A good combination of the monster collecting genre with an RPG, and it sported a good story-line as well. Loads to do in the game, collecting eggs, taming monsters, doing quests for people and saving civilisation as well. A nice way to get to know the Monster Hunter World from another angle.
Stardew Valley (Switch)
I’m very partial to good graphics in a game, and now matter how you look at it, Stardew Valley looks a bit retro. After a while, you don’t notice the graphics or the way the characters move anymore though. That’s all because the game is so entertaining and fresh. I mean, in the normal farming sims like Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons it can take some doing before everything is unlocked. Stardew Valley has exiting things in store from the get-go, the game keeps you entertained early in the game, and surprises keep on coming! Not all elements of the game are a joy though, as you can read here.
Animal Crossing Pocket Camp (iOS and Android)
At the end of November we finally got the long awaited Animal Crossing Pocket Camp on mobile. It has been a long wait since Nintendo first announced the game. I know many people, including me, had hoped to hear about a version for the Switch by now. Still, I’m happy for this little time waster.
Somehow it’s so easy and laid back to play, and time ticks away while you are giving into every whim of the adorable critters. The game isn’t as top-notch as a full fledged Animal Crossing title, but it oozes the same sort of charm.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch)
What surprised me in this RPG was the amount of story: now I love a good storyline, the characters really come alive. Although you can feel the emotions in the characters, there’s some humor and friendly banter too. I like that, those are the best fantasy books to read as well. The voice acting is good, what interesting dialects! The graphics are beautiful, the world of Alrest contain such detail.
The fighting is something else though, that takes some getting used to. But overall, this game is so huge and engrossing that you can easily find yourself spoiled for choices of what to do next! You can read my first thoughts of the game here.