2020 TechRaptor Awards - Best Evolving Game Award

2020 techraptor awards best evolving game

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2020 TechRaptor Awards - Best Evolving Game Award

January 13, 2021

By: Andrew Otton

 
 

When you think of an evolving game, you're likely thinking of something that's a "game as a service" type game like Destiny. However, there are plenty of other games that see continued support without that sort of service model. As cynical as we can all be about the seeming nickel-and-diming by some games with these models, there are plenty of labors of love that have fostered amazing communities, and you'll see them represented in our awards.

Here's all the nominees for our Best Evolving Game Award (and check this link for all of our awards):

  • Among Us
  • Destiny 2
  • Fortnite
  • No Man's Sky
  • Stardew Valley

So here's the winner of TechRaptor's Best Evolving Game Award 2020 for outstanding continued development on an existing game.

Readers' Choice - No Man's Sky

Developer: Hello Games | Release Date: August 9th, 2016

No Man's Sky could have very easily taken this in 2020, 2019, and 2018 (it did win our award in 2018). The sheer amount of new content and interesting mechanics is staggering, and Hello Games doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. No surprise our readers thought the game worthy of this award.

 
 

Third Place - Stardew Valley

Developer: ConcernedApe | Release Date: February 26th, 2016

stardew valey

By Kate Mitchell Jewett 

Farming simulator Stardew Valley was for many years designed and built entirely by a single person, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone. Although Barone now has a small team to help him, the amount of content he puts out on a consistent basis is extremely impressive. In 2020, Stardew added hours of new material in the form of the Version 1.5 update, which allows players to travel to a tropical island, tackle difficult end-game quests, and more.

Stardew's additions and expansions are consistently high quality, consistently fun, and, best of all, consistently include quality-of-life updates requested by fans. Version 1.5 included a method of implementing shortcuts to more easily travel around the island, more content for players who had already completed the main Community Center quest, and UI improvements to remind you which NPCs you have and haven't talked to each day. Stardew Valley consistently evolves in a way which keeps players engaged and eager to explore each new update.

Second Place - No Man's Sky

Developer: Hello Games | Release Date: August 9th, 2016

no mans sky

By Robert Grosso

No Man’s Sky is the type of game all games should strive to be. One that adapts, changes, and becomes something beyond itself from when it was first released. I was one of the few out of the gate who enjoyed No Man’s Sky heavily at launch, and in the years following its rather rocky release, it has become a juggernaut in its own right—one of the most in-depth and unique video games on the market today.

The latest update to the game, No Man’s Sky: Origins, is just an example of what the series has become. More than just another expansion pack, Origins added quality of life improvements, from interface changes to increased color variety of planets and solar systems. Heck, the once famous sandworms from videos long ago are now in-game and a credible threat to your exploration, a testament to how far a small studio like Hello Games has come with their continued support.

 

If there is one game that should be played, that should be given the accolades it deserves, it is No Man’s Sky. It has proven definitively that the sky is literally the limit when it comes to what you can do with video games. 

Winner - Among Us

Developer: Innersloth | Release Date: June 15th, 2018

among us

By Nirav Gandhi

Like all the rest of the world, I only first discovered Among Us this summer after the two-year-old game exploded on Twitch. When a friend suggested we try it, no one had a good enough reason to object and we all bought the game for $5 on Steam. Something about Among Us, much like the popular party games Mafia or Werewolf, appeals to the side of us that likes to feel intelligent, and tricking people into trusting you only to gut them in electrical is a different kind of high. Especially if it’s your best friend of seven years.

The thing I must most commend Among Us for, however, is its accessibility. By the fall, I was playing this game with friends who had never even owned a console. They hopped on their phones and made a Discord account to join 6 or 7 person groups, made up largely of people who wouldn’t last ten minutes in a Mario game. The accessibility of Among Us was crucial to its success in 2020, helping us beat the isolation blues by giving us a reason to just hang out and dunk on our friends online, with gameplay so simple your grandma could hop in.

 
Andrew Otton
EIC

Editor in Chief at TechRaptor. Writing about games since 2014, he has long believed Dynasty Warriors 4 to be the pinnacle of gaming.

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