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December 31, 2017 2 min read
There were a lot of games I loved this year -- Battle Chef Brigade, Cuphead, Ghosts 'N Homunculi, GoNNER, Million Onion Hotel, Puyo Puyo Tetris, River City Ransom: Underground, Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Splatoon 2, The End is Nigh, The Mummy Remastered, and TumbleSeed are just a handful. It's almost unfair to compare them to a game release that I'll remember most from 2017, as they are all "just games," where Axiom Verge Multiverse Edition is a multimedia package that's able to share interconnected information with you through totally different avenues at once. Fair or not, it's the data that goes into your brain that determines what you end up loving the most, and this is the data package that had the biggest impact on me this year.
If a spoiler is information that will make you like a game less if you gain said info beforehand, then my relationship with Axiom Verge has been rife with the opposite of that kind of information from the start. Knowing that the whole game was made by just one person led me to enjoy it far more than I would have if I went in thinking it was made by a team of hundreds. When you know a game came from one personality, hardwired into one set of synaptic connections, everything takes on a different meaning. You know that what you're playing is, for better or worse, a direct download from someone else's mind.
The making of the art book and documentary included in this retail release of the game provides even more inroads into the heart and soul of Axiom Verge creator Tom Happ, and it's not always a comfortable ride. Tom's process, his game, and his personal life are all mutually related and intertwined, bound together by a unified vision, shaded under a dark cloud of tragic irony.
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