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The Official Insomnia Game of the Year Awards (1962-2019)

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Unread postby icycalm » 25 May 2018 15:01

I moved my lengthy preamble from the top of the page, to the bottom, with the notes. I did this because this page is now the second-most popular one on the site, with 23,000+ views since about a year ago, when I launched it. For comparison, the Genealogy has 25,000+ views, but that number only includes the three-four years it's been on the new site, so it could well be double that if we include the several years it spent on the old site, for which I don't have statistics. In any case, at the rate at which the GOTY page is being viewed, it will be Insomnia's most visited within six months to a year, so I think that moving the wall of text to the bottom and presenting the new visitor with the game list right away should help focus more people's attention more efficiently.

In other news, the GOTY curator will pass 1,000 followers within the next few days.

I am looking forward to covering the remaining games on the list with at least preliminary in-depth reviews well before summer's end. And then I'll methodically start personally reviewing everything on Patreon.
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Unread postby icycalm » 30 Aug 2018 04:46

Phoenix Point was pushed back to June 2019, so I replaced it with Ymir as provisional 2018 GOTY runner-up. Universim just came out, but it seems quite barebones, as most of its content will be added via updates (you can only tech up to some primitive age currently), so it's probably out of the running for this year. There aren't that many GOTY candidates left before the year runs out, so it seems that Kingdom Come and Spider-Man will retain their slots, although I might switch them around when I get around to playing them. It is the third slot that might prove tough to fill. No idea if I'll end up keeping Ymir, but currently it's a decent bet.
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Unread postby icycalm » 06 Sep 2018 05:12

I switched places between Until Dawn and Dying Light, so that the latter is now 2015 GOTY and the former is second runner-up.

I did this because I caught a bit of stakkir's stream of Dying Light today and I was blown away by it. Then Diamond said it's one of his favorite games this decade, which confirmed my two-minute impression.

I moved it up my playlist, though I might have to try Dead Island first to compare.
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Unread postby icycalm » 12 Sep 2018 09:10

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Unread postby icycalm » 01 Nov 2018 03:24

On the occasion of linking my Wing Commander essay off the list, I updated the 2018 candidates, replacing Ymir with Astro Bot as second runner-up. I have not considered Post Scriptum, because my understanding is that it's merely an update of Squad, so if anything it is Squad that should be considered for whichever year it released in.

Kingdom Come and Spider-Man seem pretty secure in their positions, especially now that Phoenix Point's been pushed to 2019. We may well end up with the three choices I have there now, when all is said and done. Or at most with one change.
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Kingmaker replaces Astro Bot

Unread postby icycalm » 13 May 2019 22:45

I replaced Astro Bot with Kingmaker, and with the Spider-Man review now up, and Kingdom Come retaining its position as GOTY, that completes 2018 for now. If you've played a 2018 game that you think should replace one of my selections, I am all ears. In the meantime, I am turning my attention to 2019, to figure out what's the best that has been published so far.
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Life is Feudal: MMO, Outer Wilds and Ymir

Unread postby icycalm » 14 Jul 2019 12:53

Some big changes to the list today.

First off, LiF replaces For Honor as second runner-up for 2017. I have played both games extensively now and there's no question that the LiF experience is on a whole other level than For Honor's. For Honor should basically be copy-pasted into LiF to replace its atrocious combat system, and then you'd have the best game ever. But the combat system is only a tiny part of the LiF experience, and the rest is worth way more. Still, For Honor is right behind it as experience of the year.

Moving on, we finally have three solid candidates for 2019, all of them reviewed. Sekiro keeps the top spot, but DMC5 and RE:2 are replaced by Outer Wilds and Ymir, respectively. Either of them might get displaced by Satisfactory, but we don't have any... satisfactory reports on that yet, so we'll bide our time. Keep in mind also that RE:2 is a remake and I've heard reports of underwhelming level design and story in DMC5. Kind of reminds me of DMC3 if true... Read my review of the latter if you need a reminder on why that'd be a deal-breaker.

chevvy is the only one of us who has finished both Sekiro and Outer Wilds, so if he thinks they should switch places, he should let me know and I'll do it.

And that's it for today. The list looks much more complete now and there's no game on it that's not been reviewed all the way back to 2007.
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Unread postby icycalm » 02 Nov 2019 19:06

As the year draws to a close the hunt for GOTYs intensifies. Of course the process never ends, as I've repeatedly made clear, and the 2019 choices will be reviewed and revised indefinitely, but it's nice to do all we can to make sure that, by the end of the current year, we have some pretty solid choices up.

So in that spirit I have replaced Ymir with Disco Elysium as runner-up. Ymir and Satisfactory were early favorites of mine, but I've played both now, and they are nowhere near the expected and hoped-for level of quality (reviews on Patreon soon).

Moreover, since Disco Elysium, if the current Insomnia review is correct, seems considerably more innovative than Sekiro, I've moved it up to GOTY and demoted Sekiro to first runner-up, with Outer Wilds therefore moving down to second runner-up (yes, the runner-ups are ranked too). And I am now quite happy with these three choices as multiple CULT players confirm or partly confirm all of them.

Meanwhile, I have still not played any of the three, so that's definitely on my to-do list asap. I did play and rule out Ymir, after all, which had been GOTY runner-up for months, so I am doing my job, even if belatedly. And I'll keep doing it, and the list will keep improving.

Any other games to investigate for 2019?

Manifold Garden is one I will be checking asap. Stars End is another. Then there's Astral Chain, the new Fire Emblem, and finally DMC5.

Planetfall is good but doesn't belong in the list. I've played it quite a bit and I'll play it a lot more. And finally Phoenix Point is the only future 2019 release (coming December 3) that seems to me to have a shot at unseating the incumbents. So I'll definitely be playing that and I am sure many CULT players will too.

And that's all I've got up to now. Any suggestions, keep them coming, in the forum and on Discord, as several people have been doing.

This is the first year where the hunt for GOTYs began at the start of the year, so I haven't been playing catch-up all year as I did in 2018 and earlier. And next year I'll be even more proactive about it, intensifying my attempt to play anything that remotely smells of GOTY as soon as possible after release.
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