Ben Haderle

Game Designer and Programmer

Best of 2017

1/1/2018 9:03 PM

This is a list of my favorite media in 2017!

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

Disclaimer: Bennett Foddy is one of my professors at NYU and his inclusion on this list could be read as an attempt to influence his unconscious bias towards me. His game is also the reason I'm finshing this list at 1 am on New Year's Day. Getting Over It is the game that most reminds me of running, which might be an ironic thing to say about a game by the man who made QWOP. But in Getting Over It there was a sense of losing track my thoughts and meditation that I have never experienced playing QWOP. Contrary to the many rage videos of people falling down the mountain, I actually didn't mind falling down. I consider myself a pretty patient person and the act of falling down and climbing back up was just a part of the game, a necessary act of participating. I loved it.

Twin Peaks

Get ready for an onslaught of David Lynch. Before watching Twin Peaks, I couldn't have said there was a drama TV show that I loved in the same way that I love my favorite games, meals, and books. Twin Peaks changed that. It's just a brilliant combination of the soapy and the low class with the abstract and the avant garde. I want to make my home in the theme song.

Eraserhead

Part two of my discovery of David Lynch was taking the rite of passage of Eraserhead. Raw, unfriendly, brutal. It's horribly beautiful to watch it and even more so to listen to it. It just captures this feeling of dread so perfectly.

Lost Highway

I saw other David Lynch films, but this one rounds out what made it on the list. Lost Highway is a terrifying look at a man so horrified with what he's done his mind plays tricks on him to make him cope. This movie is fascinating when taking into account its distance from the OJ Simpson trial.

Olmstead

My girlfriend and I went to Olmstead as a combination celebration for our birthdays. The meal there was superb. My favorite dishes were the delicata squash rings, the uni and sweet potato pierogies, the rutabaga tagliatelle, and the lavender honey frozen yogurt. The food was exceptionally fresh and innovative.

Doner Kebab

After my summer in Berlin, I dream of doner kebab regularly. The dish has all the nessescary qualities of street food: hot, cheap, salty, fatty, and spicy if you want it to be. It's really annoying that the only place I've been able to find in NYC seels doner for more than triple the price than in Berlin and are of poor quality. It pretty much ensures that I have to go back to Germany in the future.

A People's History of the United States

A People's History is the required follow up to your highschool history class. Howard Zinn is a far left historian and it's easy to find his bias, but you won't find a better record of everytime we've betrayed our stated values.

Bloodborne

The combat in Bloodborne is like improvisational dancing, requiring the player to develop a sense of options available to them and then quickly deploy actions congruent to their oppponents. It's fast and bloody. Not quite as good level design as in Dark Souls, but the imppeccable combat is a treat.

Purple Rain

Prince was always one of those musicians that I was aware of, but had never really dived into. While in a remote part of the Swiss Alps this summer, I accidentally foudn myself with only 2 albums downloaded on my phone. The first one of those was Purple Rain. The album is just so funky, so electrifying. It makes me want to dance.

License to Ill

The second album I had downloaded was the Beastie Boy's debut. My highschool art teacher used to play the Beasties all the time, so I'm no stranger to their music, but it wasn't until this year that I really fell in love with a set of their songs. This album is like Eraserhead in that it's a strong, unrelenting, honest first impression from a young artist. Maybe it's because I now live in Brooklyn, but I find the Beastie Boys accompanying me on more and more of my commute walks.

Threes

I've played Threes on more days than not for the past couple years.

Hang

Hang was the first album I listened to from Foxygen. They put forward this grand, groovy sound that somehow embodies the quaint happiness of suburbia. I'm a sucker for brass in my music and they've got that too.

Superiority Burger

Superiority Burger serves the most interesting, yet quotidien vegetarian dishes of anywhere I've ever eaten. Please please please do yourself the favor and get the burnt broccoli salad there. The thruline through the dish is extraordinarily well thought out.

Overwatch

I don't play online games, let alone competitive online games. But I play Overwatch. Blizzard has managed to create a first-person shooter that doesn't require you to be good at shooting. I expect that Overwatch will be on my list next year.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I played Breath of the Wild like a maniac. I hunkered in for a blizzard and played 70 hours in 5 days. The game met all my highest expectations for Nintendo. It's a lite immersive sim meets an open world game that fixes what I hate about open world games. The only thing lacking was the music. This game was truly a surprise after the series has been bankrupt in design for so long.