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.
Every list and review of 2020 you’re going to read will begin with the usual, expected and deserved rant about the complete shittiness we’ve all had to deal with, individually and collectively. And many of them, like this one, will tell you how grateful all of us should be for being able to enjoy the escapism provided by video games. For me, from a crude list of over 20, there were five in particular that stood out.
Guildlings made its debut at the tail end of last year on Apple Arcade and received a substantial enough update in October for me to include it here. It’s a charming, upbeat game about Coda, who becomes stuck in a hand-me-down smartphone and convinces her sister and friends to use their special abilities to help set her free by saving the world. This involves tackling kitchen appliances, crabs and garbage bags, as they can become sentient obstacles during your journey. But you don’t use violence in this fantasy world. In fact, a snide remark is just as useful as recharging your characters’ phones during your “battles”, as the only objective is to manage your guildlings’ moods. It’s so refreshing and unlike anything else in recent memory, but as enjoyable as watching weekend cartoons as a kid.