Welcome to The Free Cheese Game of the Year 2017. It’s our pleasure to welcome you on this journey with us as we celebrate the best of video games this year. Our first day features the nominees for:

  • I’ll Play It Next Year
  • Best Mobile Game
  • Best Style
  • Biggest Disappointment
  • Please Don’t Suck (Next Year)

I’ll Play It Next Year

Ruiner

This category starts off our awards ceremony by illustrating our inability to play everything that releases in a calendar year. 2017 was especially tough, as it seemed that every month was littered with releases that were worth our time. Of them all, only one game can rise to the ranks of the one we really wish we’d spent more time with.

Ruiner hit in the back half of the year and looks to be 2017’s answer to Hotline Miami. It’s brutal and complex, but set in a cyberpunk future. The art is all 3D, as opposed to something like Hotline Miami’s sprite work, and it seems like a natural evolution of this style of game. Despite its presentation and invitation, we just didn’t get to it. Still, we’re excited to play it first thing after wrapping up all of these awards.

Runners Up: Nioh • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Best Mobile Game

Hidden My Game By Mom 2

There was a moment during a Nintendo Switch presentation where a weird looking game was announced for release on Switch. If you weren’t paying close attention, you may have missed it entirely, as we had with this game’s predecessor last year. Thankfully, its sequel made its way onto our phones and into the winning spot for Best Mobile Game.

Hidden My Game By Mom 2 is almost what you’d expect based on its title, but somehow even stranger. Filled with quick-hit puzzles that thwart your impulses and knowledge of past puzzles, this game kept us equally entertained as it did scratching our heads.

Runners Up: HQ Trivia • Stranger Things

Best Style

Cuphead

We try to approach every category with a big enough list and start to tick away candidates until we get to a final few that make it tough to determine a winner. With Best Style, it was hard not to know from the start of our deliberations that Cuphead was the winner.

Cuphead is a lot of things but even if it were none of them, it would certainly be stylish. Its presentation as a classic cartoon is present in every frame of animation and every note of music. This game from Studio MDHR painstakingly recreates and embodies a different era and lets us play through it.

Runners Up: Splatoon 2 • Sonic Mania

Biggest Disappointment

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Last year during these awards, we were all curious to see how Mass Effect: Andromeda was going to shake out. It is the first game developed by BioWare’s new team and the first in what we believed to be the beginning of a new trilogy.

Sadly, the game shipped in a pretty broken state and even after some patches, it never quite hit the same notes that its predecessors did. There were areas of the game where the character clipped through the environment and forced a reset when the proper animations weren’t triggered to open progression. There were a handful of empty quest lines that led to nothing more. Worst of all, after completing the game with the hope that at least the sequel would pull in from this game’s save, we learned that the franchise is going back on ice for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, we got this.

Runners Up: Sonic Forces • Splatoon 2

Please Don’t Suck (Next Year)

Anthem

This award goes to the game that has the most hanging on its shoulders. It’s the game that could potentially make or break a studio or a console, or maybe even change the industry. With a lot riding on it, we’re hoping that it all pays off in the end.

For this year, we’re really hoping Anthem doesn’t suck next year. After a disappointing release in Mass Effect: Andromeda, BioWare needs a win. Further, Anthem looks pretty rad. A quick glimpse during E3 showed us what might be our new answer to Destiny, but this time with rocket suits. However, after the year that BioWare’s parent company, Electronic Arts, has had, we’re really nervous about this one. Here’s to hoping that Anthem doesn’t suck when it finally ships.

Runners Up: Crackdown 3 • Sea of Thieves

 

Posted by Joe Dix

Joe is the creator of The Free Cheese. He eats a lot of pizza and takes thousands of pictures of his pugs Oswald and Earl every day.

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