Daniel’s Game of the Year #2 – Ori and the Blind Forest
Logically, in a year that #1 in my list doesn’t come out, Ori and the Blind Forest would way and above be my Game of the Year. That may sound like a disservice to Moon Studios, but you should understand that nobody saw such an emotional, raw, simple but heartwarming story told out over more than a dozen hours of Metroidvania fun.
Ori and the Blind Forest shows how even a small factor can make the biggest impact, similar to that of Moon Studios’ development of the game. It was just a small studio gathered help from around the world, with remote contractors coming in to provide work on the art, engineering, level design, and composition. Ori started out small, too, developing powers from the Spirit Tree and adapting on the run throughout an interconnected map.
There is something to be said about creating a particular feel — fitting together gameplay mechanics, gorgeously layered background art, character design, orchestral scoring, ambiance, and pacing — that sets itself as individualistic, and Ori and the Blind Forest beats its own drum in that regard. While you could see the homages to Metroid, Castlevania and other classics in its routes, by the time you’re finished traversing the Blind Forest, you can’t help but be completely enamored in its machinations. An amazing title worth playing in all demographics.
Next: A Disturbing, Punishing Adventure