The 9 games we loved in 2021


Will bedingfield

Build a zoo, fill it with dinosaurs, and cross your fingers that nothing goes horribly wrong. (It will, of course.)

This sequel to the 2018 dino management simulation Evolution of the Jurassic World offers a thematic twist to the usual theme park simulator formula. Rather than operating your Jurassic Parks purely for profit and entertainment, you are tasked with coordinating a series of damage control and rescue missions. Wild dinosaurs are now roaming the modern world, and it’s your job to try to lock up prehistoric returnees before they wreak too much havoc on the world’s supposed predators (us).

I knew this game would be a good time before the second campaign mission, when a CIA agent asks you to stop some rampaging carnotaurs from escaping to Canada. The tone throughout the game strikes a wonderful balance between comfortable building simulation and carnivorous madness. It’s the perfect hobby for someone who’s never got past their dinosaur phase.

Build habitats to suit the varying needs of each difficult creature, take care of their health concerns, and in general just make sure they aren’t too freaked out by this weird new world they find themselves in. For a few moments of true serenity, hop behind the wheel of a mobile ranger and drive through herds of triceratops grazing in the Washington state wilderness. Then the next thing you know, a tornado rolled through your park, knocked down a fence, and now a T. rex is eating every human in sight.

Boone ashworth

I waited until Savage rift doesn’t have an open beta anymore to officially review it, but I’ve played it almost every day since it became available in March. In 2012, I installed League of Legends on my computer and I immediately hooked up. Eventually, the game (and its often toxic community) became obsolete, and so did developer Riot Games.

While Riot is still under close scrutiny, its mobile game Savage rift is like a breath of fresh air – and better than the traditional MDR in almost every way. There are a few differences between the two, like shorter matches and fewer champions, but so far Savage rift is the most robust mobile game I have ever played. The goal is the same as the desktop version: destroy your opponents’ Nexus before they destroy yours. But the gameplay and the community couldn’t be more different.

It’s easy to earn new champions and try them out for free in low pressure environments. It’s also easy to mute the wandering tilted troll or two. There are tons of frequent free events and rewards, along with intuitive, customizable controls and settings to fine-tune the player interface. Savage rift is fast, frenetic, and way too much fun, even if you’re a primary medium and even gaming on your phone.

Louryn Strampe

There is no reason to Nickelodeon Star Brawl be as good as he is. But as they say, “Only the kids of the 90s will understand. “

Nickelodeon Star Brawl is like Super Smash Bros, but with Reptar (Rugrats), Cat dog (Cat dog), and over a dozen other beloved characters from nostalgic Nickelodeon shows. It’s absolutely crazy blowing SpongeBob’s bubbles at Space Monster Invader Zim and, if you’re a tough guy, there’s a special thrill that comes with Nigel Thornberry wave-dash.


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