Editor’s note: Take a breath. We’re almost there. 2020’s been quite the year, and it’s very nearly over. Across the festive break, members of the Eurogamer team and our contributors will be running down their personal top five games of 2020, before we announce our game of the year – and before, of course, we hand over to you for the annual Reader’s Top 50. Thanks for being with us this year, and see you on the other side.
Where are games travelling? For me, this year, they were travelling inward. Spelunky 2, of course, heading deeper and darker, offering more complexity and more mystery, more dangers to think about down there, and more wonders! All of it driven by clockwork so brilliant that it does not need much in the way of additional complications. Inward for Umurangi Generations, too, a team exploring its own culture to thrilling and generous effect. Never has travelling inwards seemed like so much of a gift.
Onwards and inwards, though. How do you make a game about the inwards territory of death?
If you’re I am Dead, you make it anything but sombre. You bathe it in Clarice Cliff colours and send us into a pocket universe armed with a fearsome curiosity. How do the dead feel about the living? A kind of nosy envy, a greediness to understand the people left behind and make sense of their worlds, to touch the surfaces of the world one last time. It helps that being dead sort of turns you into an MRI and allows you to slice through objects to peek inside.