The Alternative Game Awards 2023: A Unique Perspective

As we approach the end of 2023, it’s time to reflect on the year in gaming and explore some of the standout moments and titles that have captured our attention. While there are countless lists and features that highlight the best games of the year, we wanted to take a different approach and present the Nintendo Life Alternative Game Awards 2023. In this article, we will delve into various categories that celebrate quirks, surprises, and hidden gems that deserve recognition. So, let’s embark on a journey through Nintendo Life’s ‘alternative’ Games of the Year.

1. Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don’t Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King

When it comes to unnecessarily long game titles, Mon-Yu takes the crown. Yet, amidst its length, this peculiar title manages to evoke a motivational sentiment, serving as a constant reminder of the hero’s journey. In contrast to the dubious SEO-chasing scam games littering the store, Mon-Yu stands out as a genuinely intriguing title. This year, we observed a decline in excessive usage of semicolons in game titles, a welcome change. However, Mon-Yu’s uniqueness and inspiring message make it a deserving winner in this category.

2. Dredge

Dredge is a game that defies classification, blending elements of fishing, horror, and RPG effortlessly. Its unconventional nature contributes to its wide appeal and captivates players with its uniqueness. If you haven’t experienced Dredge yet, I highly recommend checking out our review, which praises the game as a “wonderful first effort” from developer Black Salt, earning it a well-deserved 8/10. Dredge’s ability to transcend traditional genre boundaries sets it apart and makes it a standout title of 2023.

3. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

While the Switch boasts a collection of impressive icons this year, the Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater icon exemplifies impeccable design and visual appeal. Kojima Production’s long-time concept artist Yoji Shinkawa’s stunning illustrations adorn all three main MGS games, making any of the icons a potential contender for this title. However, Snake Eater triumphs due to its brilliant use of color, creating an eye-catching and visually pleasing icon that enhances the overall Switch experience.

4. Outer Wilds

After a lengthy wait, Outer Wilds finally made its way to the Nintendo Switch, delighting fans eager to explore its captivating universe. Despite not making it onto our Game of the Year list, Outer Wilds received high praise, earning a solid score of 9/10 in our review. Unfortunately, due to its late release, many of us haven’t had the chance to fully immerse ourselves in its wonders. However, with the holiday season approaching, Outer Wilds promises to be a must-play game, leaving players eagerly anticipating the adventures it holds.

5. The Making of Karateka

Digital Eclipse continues to prove its prowess as a developer by breathing new life into iconic classics. The Making of Karateka exemplifies their dedication to preserving gaming history while providing a comprehensive experience for both veterans and newcomers. This remarkable achievement allows players not only to immerse themselves in Karateka but also to gain insights into the game’s creation process. As part of Digital Eclipse’s ‘Gold Master Series,’ The Making of Karateka paves the way for future releases, igniting excitement for their upcoming title, Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story.

6. Vampire Survivors

Vampire Survivors receives our begrudging, resentful respect in this category. A game that simultaneously captivates and haunts us, it has the power to consume hours of our lives without our realization. While some members of the Nintendo Life team adore this addictive time sink, it poses a serious threat to our sleep patterns. One bite from Vampire Survivors, and hours disappear into oblivion, leaving players hissing at the magnitude of their gaming indulgence.

These alternative game awards offer a fresh perspective on the diverse experiences and moments that emerged throughout 2023. From the inspirational title of Mon-Yu to the captivating journey of Outer Wilds, each winner celebrates the remarkable diversity that gaming has to offer. Whether they fit neatly into genres or defy classification altogether, these games deserve recognition for their unique contributions to the gaming landscape. As we bid farewell to 2023, let’s embrace the surprises, quirks, and hidden gems that have made this year in gaming truly memorable.


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