Well now, what can we say about 2020? In all likelihood, the last 9 months or so will, at best, have not been quite as good as you might have hoped, and at worst will have been a real shitstorm. Whatever your circumstances, we do wish you all the best for the year ahead.

But we are about old games here, and those games, and this site, serve as an occasional escape from whatever might be going on in the world, so let’s confine our look back at 2020 to the collection of ramblings we’ve managed to post here over the last 12 months.

The reduction in options for social and other activities certainly seems to have led to a modest increase in the amount of #content on FFG this year. Back in January, though, it was business as usual, with a gap in our Need for Speed coverage being filled at long last. I wish I could say it was worth the wait, but sadly ProStreet lived up to its reputation as one of the crappier NFS titles.

Proper Retro Gaming(tm)

Then we went further back into the past for some DOS-based platforming action in the form of Jazz Jackrabbit. 90s platformers became something of a recurring theme throughout the year, as Stoo added reviews of Jill of the Jungle and Commander Keen in Keen Dreams later on in the year.

At the newer end of the spectrum, for once my private resolutions to cover certain games within a certain time period were actually kept, with Alpha Protocol and Alan Wake both being added to the site this year. And the latter (a spooky game) was even added on 31 October (a spooky date), like there was some kind of plan behind it all (it was of course a complete accident, unlikely to ever be repeated).

But there was still a healthy mix of the old and new, and with the Netflix documentary The Last Dance sending many of us in lockdown into a 90s NBA reverie, I went back to the big basketball titles of that decade: NBA Jam and NBA Live 95. Delving into the memory banks for old games previously owned threw up some titles of dubious quality: whyever did I buy Quarantine II: Road Warrior or Iron Assault?

Both Live 95 and Jam TE still stand up pretty well.

We continued to revisit such sentiments with semi-regular trips to the Vault of Regret, one of a number of recurring series that now supplements the review content. I had hoped to make a bit more progress with another, Soundtracks, in 2020, but somehow momentum was lost in the middle of the year.

We also built upon a discussion Jo and I did last year by turning that into a semi-regular attempt to play and discuss modern indie adventures (with spoilers). The games chosen thus far have all been quite short, undemanding titles that take little effort to play and enjoy, and it was a good opportunity to stay in touch with some aspects of modern gaming (as well as with each other).

Alan Wake: an enjoyable yarn, if not quite what I expected.

Who knows what the next year will bring? On here, likely more of the same, with a mixture of stuff from the 90s and 00s for review, no doubt. Personally, I’d like to catch up with some FPS games of a certain vintage, but there’s currently an imagined roadblock that either needs to be tackled or ignored before I make any progress on that score.

And, inexplicable as it may seem, 2021 is the 20th anniversary of the site, so no doubt we should try and plan something special to mark the occasion. Here’s hoping by that point we’re all able to celebrate an upturn in our fortunes. Thanks, as always, for reading, and Happy New Year to you.