Every year, we talk about what we loved about the past 12 months of geeky entertainment. It's usually under the guise of discussing what to honor with our Escapist Awards, but we always seem to gravitate toward that list of five unique things that especially moved us this year. It could be cute, it could be have emotional impact, it could be just downright silly, but each of the things on these lists means something to us.
Here's what some of The Escapist's most passionate tabletop players picked for their five favorite things from 2014.
Favorite Things? Sounds like something Stephen King ought to have written. The odd thing is, a lot of my favorite things for this year are actually due next year; Pelgrane Press' Dreamhounds of Paris being one. That's on pre-order for delivery next year, a kind of post-Christmas Christmas, and yes, I am incredibly jealous of the people who got to pick up their copies at Dragonmeet in London this year. However did you guess?
5. Next Year's Roleplaying Games
Dreamhounds, for those of you not familiar with the concept, takes the surrealists of the 1930s - Man Ray, Dali, Kiki de Montparnasse - and puts them in H.P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands. The people who wanted to change the world through images and art end up battling for control of humanity's dreams, against both themselves and forces of the Cthulhu Mythos. Yes, that's all my boxes ticked. Next?
The TimeWatch RPG is another one that will probably be a favorite next year rather than this one. Delivery's been delayed for this Kickstarter, darn the luck, but I'm looking forward to the Dracula Dossier Timewatch add-on. Patience is a virtue, I keep telling myself. Patience is a virtue ...
4. The Lego Movie
I'm a huge movie buff, and The Lego Movie hit all the right notes, for me. Great fun to watch, plenty of action on the screen, action driven by the characters and not the other way around. Laughed my ass clean off. Incidentally if anyone should find the darn thing, let me know, won't you?
Odd side note: I had no idea until just this minute, as I frantically checked to make sure that The Lego Movie really was released in 2014, that some optimists in Italy are making a Left4Dead movie. Postproduction's due to finish later this year, which means, like so much in life, I have to wait till next year to find out if it's any good. Intrigued? Yes. Yes, I am.
The Jack Chick flick Dark Dungeons was everything it promised, and more besides. I do loves me some gallows humor, and that one has a whale of a time playing with the base concept. Everything Chick said is true! EVERYTHING! Pity about Black Leaf, but you can't make a Satanic omelet without breaking a few eggs. I'm so glad I supported this Kickstarter; best of luck to the production team, and everyone involved. I hope you guys had as much fun making it as I did watching.
Oh! I recently picked up Five Nights at Freddy's on Steam. Sweet Jumping Jeebuz! Immediately shot to the top of my scary games list. Such a simple idea, and yet so remarkably effective. No, I did not survive the first night. Yes, I do want to go back to Freddy's, and don't ask me why; I must have a thing for minimum wage jobs with a high body count.
1. Some Novels for Good Gaming
I'm going to end with two good books. This was the year I discovered zombie novel A Questionable Shape, by Bennett Sims, a story with brains as well as heart. 'At seven this morning, an hour before Mazoch usually arrives, I sit down with a sheet of loose leaf to write out some of the sites we'll be searching for his father today. The list is for Rachel, who's still asleep. I'll leave it on the coffee table by our copy of FIGHT THE BITE, the infection-awareness pamphlet that the Louisiana Center for Disease Control doled out back in May ...' Any zombie novel that quotes Freud before the action even starts has something special going for it.
This was the year I read Chris Brookmyre's Flesh Wounds. 'Stevie was one of Scotland's top gangsters. Had to be true: he'd read it in the Daily Record. Like there was a league table or something, or a chart. Up two places this week, it's Steeeeeevie Fullerton!' It's Steve's birthday, and he's about to get one hell of a present. Top prize, for most interesting use of a pumpkin in fiction.
That's it for me! I think that adds up to five, right?