Steven T. Wright reached out to a number of freelancers to discuss their favorite games from 2018. These lists are being hosted in Into The Spine, and all credit belongs to the authors. Make sure to follow Khee Hoon Chan’s work on Twitter.

Khee Hoon Chan GOTY List 2018 1

1. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

This is the prequel to Life is Strange 2, and it’s still every bit as good as the original. There are some scenes in this game about a boy and his abusive father I would constantly revisit. One is that of the game’s most pivotal scene, in which he, in his superhero persona, dug for buried treasure in his backyard. The other seemed a lot more inconsequential; it was the sight of the drab brown cardboard boxes scattered everywhere in his home—a stark contrast to that of his own room, full of color and vibrancy.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit was a short journey of about an hour, but there is incredible depth in Chris’ character, which somehow left its finale even more heartbreaking.

Khee Hoon Chan GOTY List 2018

2. Octogeddon

Probably one more of the more underrated titles this year, Octogeddon is a twitchy action-strategy game developed by George Fan, the original creator of Plants vs. Zombies. Octogeddon thrives on simplicity and offers just the barest of plots, but it’s astounding how well this works out, particularly for its brand of physical humor.

As an Octopus bent on destroying those who disrespected you, imagine it as reverse bullet hell, in which you’re the one supplying the hits. I really wouldn’t want to make that mistake, so give this mollusk the respect it deserves.

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3. Fortune-499

How would you like to partake in the divine, all the while getting bamboozled by the confusing cluster of corporate buzzwords and the drudgery of the business world? This is clearly a position made for Cassandra, a talented fortune teller for one of the bigwigs listed in the prestigious Fortune 500 list – or is it 499?

In essence, your goal to ward off spirits and magic users who threaten the corporation’s profit margin by predicting their attacks in advance with her deck of tarot cards. What makes Fortune-499 a clear winner, at least in my book, is how deftly it pokes fun at the absurdity of corporate culture and the soul-crushing spirit of capitalism.

Khee Hoon Chan GOTY List 2018 6

Best Early Access Game: Sunless Skies

Sunless Skies would have easily been my GOTY pick this year, if not for the fact that it’s seeing a full release only next year and is thus technically a 2019 title. There are world-building efforts by other games that are probably more grandiose, but none has captured my imagination quite as much as this RPG did.

Every word and phrase uttered are meticulously chosen and put together, forming a hauntingly beautiful horror story about Eldritch Gods and unfathomable beings that live in the depths of the skies. Making this only more riveting is its clever use of roguelike elements, adding a layer of intensity to the play. Don’t forget about this game in your GOTY list for 2019.

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