My GOTY won’t be at the top of anybody’s list, but if you’re a regular reader or an industry professional who wants to add ‘GOTY – Vulgar Knight’ to your accolades trailer, go for it. Yeah, I’m not expecting it either.

In the past, I’ve made a countdown of titles, but I can’t be arsed to do that this year; but have whittled them down to just three titles. Previous GOTY’s were Lonely Mountains DownhillStrangeland, and Who’s Lila? 

Let’s get on with it.

This Bed We Made

This Bed We Made Game Review - Room without the view
Room without the view. Source: Screen capture

Due to the sheer volume of games for review, and believe it or not, those to play for fun, I haven’t had time to revisit This Bed We Made, but that doesn’t dilute the impact this first had.

As Sophie, you work within a hotel and are responsible for cleaning the fifth floor. Unfortunately, you’re a bit of a snoop and, as per that t-shirt you read, karma’s a bitch, and soon enough, you get yourself in a pickle.

The voice acting here is superb; the character modelling and subtle animations add to the package, and it feels like you’re playing some interactive noir/thriller from the golden age. I’m just waiting to hear Hitch yell, “Cut!”.

A Highland Song

A Highland Song coming to Steam
Source: Steam

A late entry from Inkle, and sometimes, saving the best until last, can be a real game-changer. There was no hesitation in making the grade, however – it’s such a fantastic game on so many levels that it’s an essential purchase.

As Moira, you have to reach your uncle’s lighthouse in less than a week; otherwise, you may miss the surprise they have for you. However, this isn’t a simple case of getting the local bus or jumping on your bike – this is the Highlands, girl. You’re in for a trek.

A Highland Song also features a stellar cast, a brilliant folk score, and amazing visuals. It’s effectively parkour in the Highlands, and I still maintain that Visit Scotland should promote this indie gem. Bloody marvellous.

Dredge

Dredge Review - Not the Maldives
Not the Maldives. Source: PR

I debated whether to follow suit like everyone else did last year with Elden Ring, but it wouldn’t be that kind of move: Dredge is an amazing game and one of the best I’ve played on the Steam Deck. This is my GOTY 2023.

Initially launched in March of this year, it wasn’t until The Pale Reach DLC was released that I picked this up, and boy, it is good. Don’t let the fishing element put you off if that’s not your thing, as it’s a surreal, grotesque Lovecraftian experience that somehow manages to chill you out throughout.

I also have Dave the Diver in my Steam cart at the moment (coincidentally, it features Dredge content), and see why these two are rivals for the indie crown – irrespective of your indie politics. For me, Dredge is the winner.

No honourable mentions this year. If you’ve been following along, I’ve been fairly candid on what games you should look at. Stay peeled for 2024, especially if you’re a point and click adventurer.