Few things were worth looking back on in 2020, the year where everything could (and did) go wrong – but games were one bright spot that, dare I say, kept a lot of us sane. Iâ€™d always thought of myself as an introvert and thus, never fully realized how much I derived joy from interactions with friends…until the year 2020 hit.
Games and Discord, thank you for being my MVP this year. Truly.
Here are the games that got me through 2020, in no particular order:
This year was undoubtedly the year of casual games with friends – for more reasons than one – and this was just what I needed. Among Us exploded into popularity out of nowhere, and with its mobile game being free and thus highly accessible to my friends and colleagues alike – we were soon playing this everywhere, including at office TGIFs.
Animal Crossing: New Horizon
With prices doubling at the height of the lockdown, this game allowed me to spend a calm, relaxing time hanging out with my villagers and checking out my friendsâ€™ villages. This year was finally the year I decided I needed my very own Nintendo Switch.
No Straight Roads
Rhythm action game made by a local studio + my voice is in it. Enough said! You should 200% check it out. #notbiased
Yet another game youâ€™d play with friends, except this blended my love (or should I say masochistic love) for horror and the ability to inflict it on friends as we tried to navigate haunted houses together. *evil laughter* That aside, Phasmophobia was truly a game that surprised me with how polished the concept was and how much fun being a ghost detective could actually be. And boy, was high school scary..
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
If you know me, youâ€™ll know that I hang out quite frequently with a group of friends who were former COD pros. There was a point in 2020 when I played this game every single night with them without fail, accompanied by voice comms on Discord – the main stressbuster that got me through the early months of lockdown.
Iâ€™m ever grateful for this bunch. Thank you, Team ESP!
Ate too much during the lockdown. Had to work out. Why not make use of my Nintendo Switch? No-brainer.
League of Legends: Wild Rift
Truth be told, I never really got excited about Mobile Legends. It had always felt like a watered-down version of League of Legends, so when Riot finally released Wild Rift, it was like a nostalgia trip come true. I enjoyed the beta tremendously, but again, another game Iâ€™d play only if my friends were playing.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
I didnâ€™t buy this one or play it myself but watched Letâ€™s Plays on YouTube purely for the amazing story. Itâ€™s an engaging one, and I think a gem that a lot of people may have missed out on.
Giant robots, schoolgirls, incredible art, great voice acting, and a plot that jumps across multiple time periods and settings – if that sounds like your thing, you may want to check it out.
Again, not a game I played, but a game that everyone else around me did. The voice acting was incredibly impressive across both English and Japanese, and with crossplay making it super accessible – really, the only reason why I havenâ€™t picked it up yet lies in the cautionary tales of hearing friends spend thousands just to roll for their favourite anime waifu. (I have terrible RNG)
Jackbox Party Pack
Give thanks for the Jackbox franchise, for bringing together people across the internet, even those who arenâ€™t proper gamers, to be able to play together and have fun. My favourite party pack offering this year would have to be Talking Points, a new improv-style game that I really enjoyed playing with the No Straight Roads voice actors on stream. You can find the VOD here.
Michelle â€œLyliaâ€ Tan is an emerging voice actress, livestreamer, and former esports shoutcaster. She can be found across the internet at her website lyliatan.com, or on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @lyliasea.