by Byte’s Editorial Staff
It’s the end of 2015, which means it’s time to select the best games of the year. To celebrate, members of Byte’s editorial board picked their favorite games to highlight. The games below are the favorites of Meghan Duffy (@Smalls2233), Byte’s Creative Director.
3. Spooky’s House of Jump Scares
“Can you, humble player, make it through a thousand rooms?”
For the most part, jump scares are cheap, lazy ways to scare players or viewers used by lazy developers. However Spooky’s House of Jump Scares turns that upside down. Far from the scariest game of the year, this free to play indie game is filled with charm and interesting character designs. Each area that you traverse has a different theme inspired by a different horror genre or idea. From spooky deer guys, to a weeping angel crossed with the Happy Mask Salesman, to the traditional evil Japanese girl ghost, trying to find out the origin of the design is good fun.
I’m a big horror fan and usually the words “indie” “jump scare” and “horror” all merged together to describe something tends to set off my “this is going to be terrible, Meghan, don’t subject yourself to this torture” radar. However I’m glad I ignored that and set off on this weird, wild chase to leave this maze of rooms. My only complaint is the rooms become monotonous after about one hundred of them. This could be used to set the tone of the game, to spook you when you come across something that’s not the norm or just because it’s a free game made by one or two guys, so it’s hard to complain too much.
Are we kids? Or are we squids? My sign is vital, my hands are… well they’re covered in ink. I’m on my knees looking for an answer, why is this game so dang addicting?
For the most part, shooter games don’t interest me. I’m not a fan of the normal shooters and whatever those darn kids are playing these days, but Splatoon has that Nintendo charm that makes me never want to put it down.
The brightly colored presentation and cute, stylized Inklings are such a breath of fresh air to the shooter genre that seems bogged down in browns and attempts at hyperrealism. Of course, that has changed a bit with games like Sunset Overdrive and Borderlands, but the vast majority of games still remain at that boring stage of trying too hard to be realistic. Splatoon is good, clean fun that anybody can pick up and learn how to play in a couple of hours.
“Don’t you have anything better to do?”
Very few games put me through the vast range of emotions that Undertale did. It has brilliant characters, incredible music, and gameplay that, for the first time in a turn-based RPG, kept me interested and invested. I’ve been into Undertale since the demo was released way back in 2013 and Toby Fox has been on my radar way before that, but not as a game developer, as the guy who did a ton of rad music for Homestuck.
I don’t think I could say any bad things about Undertale, to be quite honest. Everything about it is made with love and it’s obvious to tell how much care went into it. The world is vibrant and awesome and I never felt bored once while playing it. Frustrated and wanting to smash my head into the wall while battling the Mad Dummy? Oh you can bet that I was madder than the Dummy, but I was never bored.