January 22, 2021

Run Game

Control The Game

2020's best games were all play and no work

Editor’s note: Take a breath. We’re almost there. 2020’s been quite the year, and it’s...

Editor’s note: Take a breath. We’re almost there. 2020’s been quite the year, and it’s very nearly over. Across the festive break, members of the Eurogamer team and our contributors will be running down their personal top five games of 2020, before we announce our game of the year – and before, of course, we hand over to you for the annual Reader’s Top 50. Thanks for being with us this year, and see you on the other side.

The lines between work and play are always blurred with this job, which is often more a privilege than a problem. Playing things for a job is still a treat, of course, but this year the lines have blurred just a little more than usual, for obvious reasons – and so above all my favourite games have felt overwhelmingly not like a job at all and, instead, solely like play.

There are a few I want to shout out: Spider Man: Miles Morales, Astro’s Playroom and the remaster of Demon’s Souls are all right up my street in their own way, I’m sure, but I’ve not played them because of the sheer scarcity (and, honestly, hideousness) of the PS5. But I’m sure they’re great. The first then is Game of Thrones: Tale of Crows, which is also the most obvious one, on the non-work front. It’s been consciously built as a ‘healthy’ take on the idle genre that’s proved so popular on mobile, which suggests a playing experience equivalent to a plate of overboiled broccoli and dusty quinoa but is actually wonderful. It’s a gorgeous, restorative game, full of pastel skies and melancholic wilderness, intricately drawn art, and meticulous writing that you just sort of waft through, deciding the fates of little men with all the considered detachment of an RTS, but none of the stress. I really love it, and it sits at the forefront of everything I love about the new wave of wonderful games coming through on mobile, and the progress of Apple Arcade.

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