Steam gift cards – $20 and $50 increments
Okay, what are you telling me, you don’t love your friend/significant other/secret Santa enough to build them a computer, buy them an SSD, or get them a great mouse? You cheap bastard. Here, get your person of interest this and be forever demoted to “Uncle-Class Gift Giver” in the eyes of Elf Law. But hey, at least they can get whatever they want, right? Such as…
Thirty Flights of Loving – $4.99
Sure, the game is only 20 minutes long. Sure, it runs on a modified Quake II engine. But that doesn’t stop Thirty Flights of Loving from being my game of the year. This game does so much with the narrative that it’s absolutely baffling. For years, I’ve been thinking of ways to incorporate film editing techniques into games, and then Blendo Games just does film editing in their game. And you know what? The result is a brilliant work of art that leaves the player to their own devices, having to think about what just unfolded before them. I love this game. Give it to someone you love.
Hotline Miami – $14.99
Imagine the best parts of Drive and A Clockwork Orange all wrapped up into a Smash-TV style shoot-em-up. The end result is Hotline Miami, and probably the coolest damn game released this year. Few games take their setting and infuse it so well within the narrative and artistic direction of the finished product, while also having great and addicting gameplay to boot. If Super Meat Boy was the end-all be-all of platformers, Hotline Miami is the end-all be-all 2D shooter. Also, rooster masks.
FTL – $9.99
2D rouge-like space exploration game with a heavy emphasis on manning a working space vessel. If this doesn’t scream “PLAY ME” to your inner Trekkie, nothing will.
To the Moon – $9.99
“We’ll just regroup again on the moon, silly!”
Few games have left me with such a brilliant and poignant quote such as this. But to delve into the meaning behind the quote would be to ruin such an intricate and beautifully told story. Just know going in that you’ll need your Kleenex, and you’ll come out laughing and crying. Few games can tell a story in such a traditional way and be so powerful.
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