One thing that the 2010s were certainly dominated by, for me, was megagames. It’s the hobby that took over my life in 2014 and has had a pretty sure footing ever since. So as the year ticked over to the next one, it started me thinking – what are my favourite games from the past decade?
It’s no easy feat to choose. Megagames are also so totally different, and the hype you get when playing them often fades over time as it’s replaced by newer, fresher games.
But there are a few games that rise to the top whenever I think about my best experiences. So here are my 10 favourite games from the past 10 years (well, the 5 and a half years since I started megagaming).
10. The Pirate Republic (2017, Pennine Megagames)
I don’t know whether it was the briefings, the pirate costumes or the boatloads of rum (both in and out of character), but this game was incredible fun. I skipped out on the politicking and questing sides of the game in favour of setting up a rum business aboard my ship. The good ship Rumbumyum will go down in legend!
9. Washington Conference (2015, Megagame Makers)
Completely at odds with the Pirate Republic, Washington Conference was about has hardcore as megagames get. While other players spent the better part of six hours arguing about submarines and trade tariffs, I spent the time writing long-form opinion pieces about those arguing about submarines and trade tariffs.
While dressed as a witch because it was Halloween.
8. Not Over By Christmas (2016, Megagame Makers)
My top operational game, where I first met Chris Brown. I was AFCENT of NATO, he was Head of the Warsaw Pact – can I make it any more obvious? He threatened to nuke me if I didn’t stop chem-bombing him. I told him I’d stop if he stopped chem-bombing me first. We had actually both run out of chem bombs… Then later on I nuked him. Well, it was a warning shot…
The start of a beautiful friendship, clearly.
7. Watch The Skies (2014, Megagame Makers)
I’m talking about the original run. It was my second megagame, and a crazy intense day for me as the solo press player. I even got a shout-out in the debrief for being hardest working player, having released one paper per half-hour turn single-handedly!
WTS not only kicked off my own interest in press roles, it also is part of my own impact on megagame history where I was the highly stressed lady in red appearing in Shut Up & Sit Down’s famous video.
6. City of Shadows (2015, Megagame Makers)
I’ve played in this game twice, and while I ended up as mayor the second time, it was actually the first run that stuck in my memory. I was head of a team called the Griežti Vaikinai (The Tough Girls) and I accidentally supplied the Judge with an unlimited supply of broads and started a high-profile affair with him while he ran for Mayor with my number two as his running mate.
It all came crashing down: he didn’t win and I discovered his wife and kids, so I sold my story to the papers.
5. Lights in the Sky (2019, True North Megagames)
True North’s first game was a Cold War spin on Watch The Skies. I played a… let me get this straight… an alien pretending to be the CIA pretending to be an alien. I betrayed my CIA team mates so that the Queen of England, the Supreme Unified Commander, the Chinese delegate and myself could do a little dance in the raves of West Berlin. Then the world was taken over by the Vlorg and we had to call on our Promarathaen home world to conduct the O.S.H.I.T. protocol to save the world.
4. The Spanish Road (2016, Megagame Makers)
As Queen Elizabeth I, I had just a few objectives. Stay unmarried, don’t get involved in any stupid European wars and don’t piss off the Catholics.
I was excommunicated by the Pope and then pissed off Catholic team mate Howard, who bribed the French, Portuguese AND Spanish to attack me. I nearly ran off with Robert Dudley to get married, but instead managed to get myself un-excommunicated, flirted with the French and spent most of the day cursing the Irish rebels.
I also accidentally dyed my hair neon orange.
3. Mirrorshades (2018, Horizon Megagames)
Another free-wheeling game where, as Chaos Theory, I joined up with chief hacker Fastjack to break into buildings and secure servers across the West Coast Sprawl. I gained so many lifestyle points I topped out the tracker. Fastjack may not have won the election, but I had collected eight lovers and we held his consolation party at my new bar, Chaos Bar.
I also think this was actually my favourite outfit ever at a megagame.
2. Monsterville Mansion (2019, Horizon Megagames)
Abby, Party Kid for the Greek Council, had a top time at Monsterville Mansion – shotting tequila, going on romantic quests with her boyfriend, accusing Matty live on air and being accused in turn by her girlfriend Daphne, getting covered in stickers and finally becoming a vampire (even if they did lose the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny right at the end of the game).
Special shoutout to the Harrowing Haunted Houses presenters for bringing their A game and telling the REAL story about what went on in the Mansion to at least 10 valued subscribers.
1. Everybody Dies (2016, Megagame Makers)
Okay, I couldn’t not mention it. But my favourite megagame of the decade HAS to be the first ever run of Everybody Dies. Where the Red Priest ended up with two injury stickers and everyone thought he was immortal, even though a light breeze could probably have finished him off. Where Aerys banned all dogs in King’s Landing then got pushed off a boat, and Rhaegar named the one remaining dog to the Small Council, then went mad himself. When 17 players died, included one person TWICE.
The subsquent runs of ED and the first run of Trope High all had their top moments, but my first run of my first game will always hold a special place in my heart.
Looking ahead to 2020
There are sure to be some excellent games on the calendar this year. Unfortunately with the wedding and a three-week honeymoon, we’re going to be missing a lot of excellent games, but here are a few that I should hopefully get to attend:
- Another spin on WTS, Horizon are running Watch The Skies: 1898 on May 30th
- If I can get up to Dundee, I’m excited for The System Has Already Won by Ciaran O’Sullivan and True North Megagames on 27th June
- Chrissy Sliney-Biss is running her first game, Thirteen, through Horizon on 1 August
- And Pennine has yet to announce its calendar (which is partly my fault since I’m now Chair) but there’s a couple of excellent sounding games on there as well…
And I’m returning to the megagame calendar myself, this time down at Horizon Megagames in London, with Trope High: Class of 2020. Watch this space for more info.