Adam Tierney's favorite games of 2014


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[Game developer Adam Tierney took to our Community Blogs to share his short list of 2014 favorites. Want to share your own GOTY stories? Go write something! –Mr Andy Dixon]

Hey Destructoid! I’m Adam Tierney, a videogame designer/director from Los Angeles, CA (I also wrote a cartoon once). Check out my appearance on ‘Sup, Holmes? if you wanna hear me talk about games and life and things!

I’ve been in the games industry for about 12 years and here is a short list a some of my favorite games of 2014. Go buy ’em! They’re great.

Best HEARTBREAK of 2014: Lisa: The Painful RPG

I knew going in that Lisa was going to be a dark, harrowing gameplay experience. What I didn’t expect was that there would be so much heart and humor in the game as well. One-man-dev Austin Jorgensen understands that loss and pain only mean something when the player first develops a deep emotional bond with their characters, and it’s evident five minutes into Lisa that this is a game that will break your heart. Repeatedly.

Best CHARACTERS of 2014: The Wolf Among Us

Telltale Games is unstoppable. Nobody – on mobile or console – can touch this studio right now for developing consistently deep, satisfying characters. And for me (a comic book fan) the vibrant neon colors, cel-shaded rendering, and immersive camera work made The Wolf Among Us the most impressive game they’ve ever produced. I could wade through the fairytale noir world of Bigby and the other Fables forever and ever.

Best NOSTALGIA of 2014: Shovel Knight

What’s most impressive about Shovel Knight by Yacht Club Games isn’t that it looks or sounds retro. Anybody can accomplish that by self-imposing some arbitrary tech limitations. What’s impressive is that, perhaps more than any other “retro” game I’ve ever played, it genuinely feels like the late-generation NES games I adored when I was ten years old. And even better, it accomplishes this while introducing new types of gameplay, not just cherry-picking from what worked before (see: the game’s wonderful checkpoint system). Shovel Knight is an expertly-crafted time warp that works as well today as it would have 25 years ago.