We’re Right, 2013
We were very surprised to receive mails to the effect of “what happened to the We’re Right Awards,” seeing as we stopped doing them because it seemed sort of whatever, but I have to tell you that if I’m going to be spending a week in the fucking Pain Mines, scooping anguish out of blisters in the Earth with the largest, most contiguous skull I can find, “whatever” sounds pretty Goddamned good.
And anyway, it’s super useful to be able to go back and see what we thought of a year. Much, much easier than trying to strain posts for that kind of data. So, let’s remember it together, in real time.
- Situated near the top of the nine we have chosen in total are two slots which we can each have without having to argue about the particulars. We decided on the order via one of the standard schoolyard mechanisms, but my choice was and is Papers, Please. There is another game later in this list that does something similar: that is to say, it communicates a profound amount of data in a purely mechanical way. Obviously, it has a theme - and it’s a great theme, which reinforces it, but it’s not the thing. It winds up a functional microcosm of surveillance, human intelligence, family, responsibility, resources, and impetuous, always shuffling forward time and then installs it in your brain. I don’t know if I liked this sensation, exactly. But to this day, it is always stealing a cycle or two of my consciousness.
- It may be that our own Gabir, of Gabir Motors, will be by to tell you about Tearaway. All I know about Tearaway is that every person who plays it emerges from the experience as though hopped up on goofballs. It’s from Media Molecule, so you could guess that authorship would play a role, and it does. Even when you couldn’t literally reach into their games, as you can here, they’ve always been tactile in their way. They’ve always been handmade, in all the senses we can mean that word, and with all the senses we would use to know. In any event, it was the sort of thing that makes a person become evangelical about hardware. As someone whose Vita had spent several months in a drawer, watching the change overcome him was novel.
- I had a soft spot for Monaco long before one could even monac, or whatever the verb might be for playing it. I saw Andy Schatz approach the podium more than once to receive awards for the work he’d already completed on it at the IGF, and he was shocked both times. That made me want to keep an eye on him. The game took as long as it was going to take to make, which meant that I saw him for years at every PAX, each time with a version of the game informed by the previous six months. I thought I was going to have to play it solo, or build a crew outside the office to play it; I thought it would be a “Tycho Game” which is less a game and more a symptom of my weird brain disease. But Gabriel liked it even more than I did - and I loved it. They’ve just gone through and streamlined the entire game with an eye toward cooperative goodtimes(™) over arcade challenge with the new Enhanced campaign, while leaving the Classic available. Good people making good shit and then giving you a bunch of free shit for no Goddamn reason other than why the fuck not. If you don’t own Monaco, I envy you. Get it, and play it over the holidays.
I’ll see you on Christmas for four, five, and six if you can make it back. If not, don’t you worry none; we’ll circle back around come Friday. Have a good one, whatever shape it happens to take.