Media Molecule might only put out a game once in a blue moon, but when they're this innovative, the wait is completely worth it. After the success of its LittleBigPlanet series and the joyful Tearaway, the studio doubled down on its Play, Create, Share mantra. Dreams is no doubt the developer's most ambitious work, essentially allowing players to make anything they can think of. It's a massively impressive technical achievement.
There are so many ways this project could've gone wrong. With how many tools are at your disposal, how complex things can get when building something, and how simple everything needs to be, this should've been basically impossible. Here's a game that gives you all the means you need to create original artwork, music, 3D sculptures, interactive worlds, and more. It could easily have been a headache-inducing mess, with overly complicated systems and an impenetrable skill barrier. However, the end result is an elegant, understandable, yet powerful creation suite that's as simple or complex as you want to make it. That, in itself, is amazing.
With an exhaustive series of tutorials, intuitive controls, and ample room to experiment, it doesn't feel all that daunting, either, and there's plenty to be inspired by. In addition to thousands of user-made creations, Media Molecule created a short but brilliant game charting a moody musician's journey of self-discovery. A community has latched onto Dreams, and those that stick with it are making mind-blowing things. Whether it's one-off art pieces, sound effects, or full blown games, there's an incredible array of stuff to see, hear, and play. Naturally, quality varies, but what's important is that people have found a way to express themselves that they didn't have before.
This isn't an obvious choice for Game of the Year, especially in a year so packed with quality titles. However, it absolutely deserves recognition as one of 2020's best, and certainly most innovative. More than any other game on our list, Dreams should still be changing and evolving over time, too. Media Molecule is in it for the long haul; we can't wait to see how it grows, and how the community grows with it.
For more information, you can read our Dreams review through the link.
How do you feel about Dreams? Is it one of your favourite games of 2020? Dream up some thoughts in the comments section below.
How we decide our Game of the Year: This December, our editorial team created a list of nominees for Game of the Year based on our own review scores and a variety of other factors. After much discussion, we trimmed the list of nominees down and asked all Push Square staff and the Push Square community to vote on their five favourites using a points-based system. The ten games with the most points by the designated deadline were then determined as our favourites of 2020.