Dr Tony Pellicone: my top five favourite games

10 April 2024

Tony Pellicone
Type: Text
Category: Interviews

This article was written by Games Academy Senior Lecturer, Tony Pellicone. Tony’s been working at Falmouth since July 2023 and his work focuses on game-based learning, social production in game-related spaces and understanding player experience.

One of the simplest joys of loving games is talking about your favourite games – the ones that stay with you, the ones that inspire you and even the guilty-pleasure ones that you just can’t seem to put down. So, I’ve put together a list of my top five games. If you see me around the Games Academy, don’t hesitate to tell me your thoughts!

Bloodborne: The Dark Souls games are all among my favorites, but Bloodborne (a horror themed entry in the Souls series) feels like the closest to perfection for the formula. The fast-paced combat, moody gothic environments and a story that borrows heavily from multiple staples of the horror genre all come together to create an experience that I think is still unmatched within the genre.

Spelunky HD: In Spelunky, you play the same game over and over again with significant randomized changes that make each run its own unique challenge. Spelunky has nailed this formula like no other game. The secret to Spelunky’s success lies in giving the player a fun set of tools that can be used creatively to solve problems. This is enhanced by excellent music and fluid 2D animations.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: I love exploring in games and that’s kept me coming back to Symphony of the Night over the years. Dracula’s castle (a staple of the series) is expanded to be fully open instead of being segmented into individual levels, with each area of it housing multiple secrets and points of interest rendered in beautiful pixel art.

The Getaway: A pinball table has to fit a bunch of complicated design elements like narratives, quests, and progressively increasing challenges into a limited physical space. Getaway does this with the theming of a driver who is on the run from the police. Your ball rockets around loops, the sound of an engine roars, and you need to take big risks to advance in score, which really locks you in and makes you feel like you’re part of a high speed chase.

Morrowind: Open world games transport the player into a new location and give them a huge amount of freedom to explore that world however they want. Morrowind does that incredibly well. You can make major political choices among warring factions, explore forbidden magic, delve into legendary ruins, or simply go off and pick flowers. This all takes place against a backdrop of a fully realised and unique setting that responds meaningfully to player choices.

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