All this week I’m going to be sharing thoughts on stuff from 2015 that I liked. Kicking things off are what video games and general online stuff I was into and not into. Yes, this list is missing lots of things but these are all the things that tickled my little pickle all last year. CHECK IT.
Best Clicktivism: Petite Timid Gay’s Kylie Jenner Clap Back
This girl is adorable and, while she posts way too much on Tumblr, this particular “FUCK YOU, KYLIE.” post sparked a large conversation about ableism, sexuality, and appropriation.
Fuck, I Hated This Game: Mr. Jump
I don’t even know why I played this garbage. It looks bad, it plays poorly, and there are so many other better versions of this game out there: don’t play this one.
Best Internet IRL: Animated Text Cards
Cat had a big year last year and these cards are such a funny, unique way to translate her successful Animated Text offline. I actually bought two of them!
Best Non-Game Game: Her Story
This wasn’t a video game but more of an investigation. It was a new way of thinking. It was so weird too in that you are basically constructing a movie, acting as a detective to sort through stories and place them in order. It keeps you thinking for quite a long time, too.
Fun!: Ori & The Blind Forest
This game was fun! It was much fuller (and cuter) than it should have been and is a great little ride.
Fun! Then Forgettable.: Mortal Kombat X, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Prune, & Runbow
Eh. These started off with the feelings I had for Ori and fizzled out very quickly.
Favorite Vine: See below.
Best Excuse To Be Artsy: Clapping Music
This gamified take on Steven Reich’s classic anti-music music piece made for a challenging and fun app. It was very frustrating, yes, but—when you perform it correctly—you feel like a fucking musical savant.
Worst. Just The Worst.: Worst Things On The Internet (NSFW)
This Tumblr ran by Buzzfeed people is a shady rip off of Gross Internet and Penis Hilton. It’s kind of frustrating but, even though it isn’t hurting me, it makes me mad.
Best Gaming Related Channel: Did You Know Gaming
This channel has been operating for years and it’s heady, thorough take on gaming history is always fulfilling. Their branching into movies this year is interesting, too.
Best Gaming Related Series: Monster Factory
Polygon’s manipulating of character design is fucking fun and silly and great. Yes, the videos are waaaaaay too long but they are well worth skimming through.
“Best Shooter”: Splatoon
The “best” “game” involving “shooting” that doesn’t “involve” “shooting.” Quite addicting and an excellent time.
Most 2015: The Below Vine.
Best Trend Piece: Gran Text Auto
Emojis! Grand Theft Auto! Apps! Cool grans! This had it all.
Best Literal Reflection: S P O O K Y S E L F I E S
A skeleton that takes selfies? You know I am about that.
Enough.: Five Nights At Freddy’s
Thank god this fucking fright fest is fucking over but, duh, a movie and more games will surely be out soon enough. MAKE IT STOP.
Get Off The Internet: JCPenny’s
Why do you torture me.
Worth The Wait: Strawberry Cubes
This game took forever to come out on IOS and, yes, it was worth the wait. It’s so fun and weird and like a poem you can walk around in. It also reminds me of a Michael Brough game, who is my favorite new game designer.
RIP: The Dissolve
Still in mourning. Never forget.
Best New Emoji: Upside Down Face
Taco all you want but this upside down face is so fulfilling. It’s weird and funny and serious and sad and means everything and nothing.
Best Website: Broadly
This new Vice website is their strongest and feels like it is setting the pace for conversation about gender, culture, and body politics. No other new website kept me interested with consistently smart, fun writing. Kept it up, Broad!
Best New Viner / Vine Account Of The Year: Actual GOP
What a time to be remixing politics. Thank you, Actual GOP!
Best Online Petition: Getting Laura Jane Grace Into Star Wars
This late-in-the-year effort was sparked after a Twitter conversation between Grace and the Star Wars account. And? They almost have 19K people trying to get her in the new movie! How wild would that be, if she got a little walk on role? That would just be great.
Best Use Of Social Media: Clickhole
The parody site’s skewering of all uses of anything online is exactly the type of release from the insanity online that I need.
Best Online Media Group: Vox
All of the Vox sites are on point. Y’all keep on Voxing, y’all.
Best Party Game: Quiplash XL on Jackbox Party Pack 2
People still play Cards Against Humanity? Y’all need to get with the program.
Best iPhone Game: Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire
This is a very specific type of game, one where things fall and you have to dodge them in a very specific way. What makes Magic Touch so wonderful is its means of challenging you, of moving your fingers in weird ways and using a strategy to keep the game going. This game wouldn’t work as well on any other platform but an iPhone which is exactly why it works so well.
Best IOS Game: Her Story
This was the mobile game of the year and it benefitted from an iPad because it can really suck all the space and battery from your phone. This game is just so great.
Best Game For Apple TV: Pac-Man 256
I wasn’t a big Crossy Road fan but Pac-Man was the first game on Apple TV that really worked for me. It’s fun, it’s inventive, it looks great, and you can get a whole group of people interested.
Best Two Player Game: Resident Evil 2: Revelations
The age of the two player game seems to be over but this admittedly stupid Resident Evil entry made working together fun and interesting and a definite challenge. If you’re into scary shooters, grab a friend and take on this challenge. (Note that you can also play this solo, too. It’s different however you play it, which is nice: there are no advantages to either playing style.)
Best Game Of 2015: Super Mario Maker
If you didn’t play this game, you failed. It is so inventive and fun and makes you feel like a child. No other game kept you coming back and got you as creative as this game did. Will it mean more DIY games like this will be coming out? Most likely, yes. It’s exciting to see a game be rethought and retooled in such an imaginative way. Just when you thought Nintendo was bowing out, they hit you with shit like this (and Splatoon).