Top 100 Games of the ’10s: #100-91

So if you haven’t been listening to the Make Me A Gamer podcast, you’ve been missing out on the fact that I’ve composed my top 100 games of the decade list – from 2010-2019. I’ve been doling out a few numbers here and there as part of our Countdown Cauldron segment and while I won’t be going over every number in the podcast, I did promise to write up companion pieces that outline all the games.

In the podcast we’re working through sets of 10. We started with 100-91 and in the most recent episode moved to the 81-90 set, which means now it’s time for me to release the first group of ten. I tried writing up my Top 100 games of All-Time a few years back and ended up burning out in the 60s, so I’m going to try and keep the descriptions a little more brief so I don’t fall into the same trap. I will note the ones that were discussed on the podcast (and link to the related episode) and keep those even briefer.

Without further ado, #100-#91 of my personal favorite games of the 2010s.

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The Case Against Fail States

So I’ve been thinking a bit and I’ve decided that video games need to rethink the “game over.” In fact, I think the idea of a fail state in games is an unnecessary holdover from the games where you had lives and continues. Yes, having a game over and having to restart from a certain point adds challenge to the game. But in general, with the way games are developed nowadays, often times the fail state just adds aggravation to what is otherwise a wonderful gaming experience.

The problem, of course, is that most games are based around death. Killing enemies to progress is a large chunk of gameplay loops, and the easiest way to add challenge to the loop is for the enemies to, you know, kill back. Health bars/indicators/numbers are the main tracking agent and when you hit 0, time for a fail state to show you didn’t live up to the challenge!

But, and bear with me here, what if that wasn’t the case? What if we figured out a way for games to keep their challenge but eliminate the need to make the player feel bad because they didn’t shoot the guy with the one-hit KO attack fast enough? What if we eliminated the silly QTEs that if you missing pressing a single button you have to do an entire sequence over again?

I’m going to talk about some games that have recently opened my eyes to how good a lack of a fail state is, and how some games have been hindered because of fail states, and how some games have given you an illusion of a fail state but don’t actually have one and that’s what games should try to live up to.

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