Now we come to the finale, the conclusion, the denouement. Laura and I had some difficulty in deciding our combined list for 2012. We shared in so many interesting and fun games over the year, but only a few select titles truly defined our twenty-twelve. What follows are not only our favorite games that we mutually played over the past year; these are the titles that we would recommend as a shared experience. Whether you are a romantic couple searching for some great games to enjoy together, or a group of friends looking for the next title to bring to the weekly Game Night, you cannot go wrong with these marvels.
Chompy Chomp Chomp: If you haven’t bought this game for yourself and every one you know yet, then I don’t think we can be friends. Chompy is always such a hit with everyone who has ever entered our home, BECAUSE YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PLAY IT AS SOON AS YOU ENTER. Really? No, but every person I have forced to play it has enjoyed it immensely. Including (and especially) people who don’t play video games. Within a few rounds, even the novice player is laughing along with the group and winning. Plus, it only costs a dollar. If you haven’t bought it already, just go do it now.
Persona 4 Arena: There is a basic fact in our relationship: Chip is the fighting games kind of person and I am not. Quarter circles and I were not meant to be friends. I simply cannot do them. You know how some people can’t whistle? Well, I can’t input quarter circles in any direction with any sort of competency. I can’t whistle either, so I fail on all fronts there. But this game has given me hope. The combo system is forgiving to people of my deficiency without sacrificing the complexity and fun to more experienced fighting game fans. If you ever want to introduce your girlfriend to the world of fighting games, watch the Persona 4 animated series, then play this game. The anime will get her invested in the characters, while the simple controls and gorgeous visuals will make her love this game.
Journey: 2012 was a busy year for the GIMMGP Crew. I started taking classes in Game Design at our local college, Laura continued her training in bellydance with a seminar on the West Coast. Trips were taken, conventions were attended, and family obligations abounded. To top it all off, after an extended engagment, we were finally able to tie the knot back in the Fall. As any couple planning for a wedding will tell you, preparations can be exciting, but the devil is in the details. Month after month of planning and coordinating on a limited budget became our daily routine.
As the year wore on, our schedules were packed tight and we were both exhausted. We had very little time to relax, and even less time to play video games with each other. So when we would sit down to enjoy our mutual hobby, it was important that the game we played would not only be fun, but relaxing as well. Thatgamecompany’s Journey was a soothing balm for our wedding-weary brows. The plot of the game is simple: guide a lone pilgrim in a red cloak towards a light in the distance. There is no lengthy backstory, no complex controls or moves to learn, and the heads-up-display is basic to the point of being peaceful. As we led our mysterious crimson Bedouin to their goal, the excellent soundtrack and beautiful visuals immersed us in a tranquil desert world. The stress from our daily routine melted away, and we could focus on what mattered most: relaxing and sharing quality time with the one you love.