Robin Vilain wants everyone to be able to enjoy games

A curated and accessible list of games released last year that everyone can enjoy.
Mar 20, 2019

If you’ve been playing games for long enough, people will often ask you what you think are the best games, what they should play, and what is fun.

Robin Vilain is a game developer currently based in Montreal, who has created Games For Friends, an annual list in its second year that beautifully curates and breaks down accessible games for a non-gaming family member, friend or colleague.

Gris by Nomada Studio

Robin says that it all stems from that core question around why games have value.

“A big question I always ask myself all the time when making games is: 'why?' Why would I keep making games in this economy and in the world that we live in today, isn’t it a bit futile?”

“The answer that I always go back to is and that I find the most helpful is, that [making games & Games For Friends] is the thing that I can do best and even if it doesn’t have a very specific use, it probably helps people go through with their day.

It makes the lives of some people more enjoyable, and that’s a good thing to aim for."
The Haunted Island: A Frog Detective Game by Grace Bruxner

Games with Friends features 36 titles released in 2018 that are chosen to welcome new people to play and it aims to challenge some of the more negative elements of culture surrounding video games.

“Another side of it is to contribute to the culture, I guess you’re as aware as I am, that there’s quite a toxic culture around games sometimes.

So by kind of going against that by making something that’s inclusive, that’s open, that’s welcoming, I think that’s important.”
Return of the Obra Dinn by Lucas Pope

A large number of the titles featured were made in Australia, and Robin says that while living in Australia it was clear that there was something special about the local game development industry.

“A lot of Australian game makers are really making waves and there is a really interesting feeling, a movement slash wave of games that are coming out of Australia that are really good, really interesting, really wholesome and that’s really great.”

“I think it’s something that both people within Australia and outside of it need to be aware of because it’s interesting and should be celebrated.”

You can find the full list of Games with Friends selected for 2018, as well as the titles selected for 2017 over on gamesforfriends.club

Touch Melbourne by Andrew Gleeson & Cecile Richard