Games of the Year according to Niek

It is of course not easy to succeed a rock like Rogier. Still, I’m going to try to list my five favorite games of 2021! I’ve said here before that I didn’t think 2021 was a strong year in terms of games. While games from 2020 were already completed enough not to suffer too much from Covid, it was this year’s games that saw a lot of postponement. Not that there wasn’t a single topper, but I very much hope that 2022 can improve it. Anyway, here’s my top five!

5. Cyber ​​Shadow

Many of you may already scratch your head when you hear this name. Cyber ​​Shadow was released in January by Yacht Club Games. They are the mad geniuses who created Shovel Knight. However, the development was in the name of Mechanical Head Studios, consisting of only one developer. Cyber ​​Shadow is a 2D pixel hack ‘n slash game, in which you have to take on various platform and combat challenges as a ninja. The game is nice and spicy and contains a variety of interesting enemies and bosses. I have no nostalgia for the 2D pixel era, so then you know that Cyber ​​Shadow can stand completely on its own two feet.

4.Road 96

Maybe I’m being very pretentious, because I’m adding another lesser-known game to my top list. Road 96 is a procedural generated story driven game, in which you have to drive on road 96 to escape from a land. The levels of each playthrough are a certain stop you have on your (possible) path to freedom. Along the way you will meet various characters and hear parts of their stories. In the meantime, you make various choices that shape the story. But here’s where it gets more interesting: if you die or reach your goal, the road over Road 96 starts again. However, this time you play as a different character at a later point in time. Nevertheless, you come across earlier characters, who slowly reveal a little more about themselves and the dangerous world around them. Recommended if you like story games that you can play for about an hour per level.

3. Moncage

Moncage is what every indie game should be. It is a simple and unique concept from which the developer knows how to extract all the potential. Moncage is a puzzle game where you look at a cube throughout the game. The sides of the cube then each show a different scene. By applying perspective tricks you can then unlock new elements. For example, put an asphalt road in perspective on two sides of the cube, and a car can drive from one side to the other. That car will then be able to unlock all kinds of things in the new area. Meanwhile, some subtle storytelling is taking place in the background. The environments in the cube, and its course, tell a story about war, loss and recovery from trauma. Beautiful game!

2. Hitman 3

Look! Here come the AAA games at last! Hitman 3 was another game from early 2021 that I put a lot of time into. The gameplay of the series should be clear by now. You get to choose an open level where you have to kill a person in all kinds of ways by means of an assassination. Developers IO Interactive have now been able to polish this concept into a gem with Hitman 3. I spent countless hours going through the same levels, looking for new and creative methods to kill my target. A highlight was the level set in an old British villa, in which Agent 47 can pretend to be a detective. Perhaps many of you have already forgotten the game after a year, so I would like to bring this to your attention.

Hitman 3

1. Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village has many beautiful things to offer. The game is action-packed, bursting with great designs and is also terrifying in some places. One specific level still terrifies me. People who’ve played the game know exactly what I’m talking about. Village just showed a wonderful mix of action and horror, something the series often balanced perfectly. This made me rediscover how influential the series has been in the modern gaming landscape. Resident Evil Village so my game of the year. This is not because of the reason you all have in your head right now…