Top, But Not Top Ten

by Thom Kiraly

I’m used to getting maybe five visitors per day when I post stuff on this blog. Yesterday, I posted my look back at 2013 and now I’m past a hundred for only that one post. With this in mind, I want to share some of the stuff that didn’t make the top ten list, but that were pretty close. Follow the links if you’re curious to see what else I wrote about the games in previous Play Journal entries.

Monaco sessions with Josef – We got pretty good at it after a while, but I would have wanted two more players to join to see where the game could really go.

Malmö Playdays – Unfortunately, I was too busy organizing it to get any good play of my own out of this event. I’m still very proud and happy about it, though.

Hamley’s – Playing with kids and staff while visiting London. I know that the staff gets paid to be enthusiastic, but some of them really seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Roskilde – Joust in the rain, Get on Top, Giant Starfish Kraken Rodeo. Also, a million billion drunks.

City Walk / Play Stroll in CPH with Invisible Playground – Very similar to what I’ve wanted to do in Malmö. The Invisible Playground people are great.

Call of Cthulhu – Scenario: Fall Without End. Not sure what creeped me out so much, but something sure did. A rare treat in a game that more often than not ends up camp and trite rather than unsettling and scary.

The Matrix RPG session – Me and The Matrix have some serious history. Getting to play in that delicious setting was beautiful. Needs a proper Fate hack.

The Stanley Parable HD Remix – One of the few single player experiences on this list. A true sense of awe and discovery. Loads of laughs.

Gone Home – The feels, oh the feels. I do, however, feel like I’m approximately ten years too young for this game to hit home with me.

The Touch of Your Voice – The larp my group created as part of the Larp Exchange Academy. Running it was draining and stressful and hard and awesome and sad and funny and scary and cool.

Spelrum:Digital – The Night Club/Game Nights I helped organize as part of my job (yes, sometimes it’s that awesome). Served as preambles to the Nordic Game Conference afterparty, which actually made onto the top ten list.

Super Hexagon – I play this basically every day, so it’s hard to pinpoint a single instance. If I had too, I’d probably mention the time I beat the final hyper level. I was sitting through one of few boring program items at Knutepunkt and panicked as I realized I was about to beat it and miss the big payoff in the shape of the whole reverse-thingy that happens.

J.S. Joust – Once again, as with Super Hexagon, I’ve played this a lot of times and it’s almost always a fantastic experience. Here’s three: Jousting on the streets of Malmö during the Malmö City Festival (loads of people joined). Jousting at Container, a very summer-campy convention (we tried out almost all special modes and played around with the settings a bunch). Jousting… with swords!!! (Larp swords, but still).

Automat – It’s extra nice to go to these events when you’re not organizing them. Leaves more room for play. Coolest moments: Getting non-gamer friends to play LAZA KNITEZ, setting a new record on the super cool Super Hexagon arcade cabinet, and playing a strange darkroom game with a projector pistol.