Rebekah’s Game of the Year – #1: Undertale
For some reason, I just can’t stop talking about and thinking about Undertale. This bizarre little RPG about a child who has fallen down into an Underworld of monsters has captured my heart and imagination in a way that a game hasn’t in a long time, and may not for a long time to come.
The monsters you meet in the Underworld are full of silly quirks, excellent dialogue, and hidden tragedy enough for you to thoroughly ride a feeling rollercoaster in a single playthrough. Then there’s the bullet hell battle system that somehow provides story information about the monsters you face through the very act of combat, while still being sufficiently challenging as you try to dodge attacks and perform the correct ACTions for the desirable battle outcome.
Yes, because you can FIGHT or SPARE monsters you run across, and depending on who you kill and who you save, the ending will change in various subtle or dynamic ways. In several crazy meta twists, the game will remember your choices through various saves, and restarting the game from a prior savepoint or even starting a New Game over an old file may net new dialogue options. And then there’s all the hidden secrets in the form of goofy bits of text or secret items like quiches under benches or dogs in drawers. And of course there’s the soundtrack, which is stuffed full of leitmotif and meaning.
With Undertale, Toby Fox somehow struck a beautiful balance of laughs, tears, heartache, and lingering thoughts in me that I’m sure I’ll still be discovering new ideas within its universe for months to come. Above all, Undertale made me really, really happy, and it’s easily my Game of the Year. Even now, thinking about the characters and music and game…
…well, it fills me with Determination!