These games and awards were decided during the Wardcast’s Best Games Played 2017 episode, where we considered any and all games played by the members of the Wardcast in 2017, even if they weren’t released that calendar year.
Everything is the latest game from Mountain developer David O’Reilly. Playing as, literally, everything, you possess animals and objects to explore the landscape. From subatomic particles to celestial bodies, you control a plethora of actors within this world to simply wander.
At indeterminate points, recorded lectures of Alan Watts, the British philosopher that studied and lectured on numerous philosophies and religious beliefs – including Zen Buddhism, start to play. He expounds upon topics such as the problems with objectifying your life, or the purpose – or lack thereof – of life itself. In this, Everything instead becomes not an idle distraction as you listen to Watts’ lectures, but a representation of his teachings in interactive form.
There’s no true objective to Everything. There’s an encyclopedia that fills with each being you encounter, but even that provides only the smallest of milestones for you to accomplish. You could easily ignore that mechanic and instead roam the world, absorbing Watts’ zen-like ideals through play.
The game doesn’t even need you to play it. Left idle, the current object starts moving on its own, jumping from vessel to vessel, rolling around the landscape, playing out like a modern, tranquil screensaver. All this is to impart to the player some small glimpse of nirvana, becoming a part of everything and nothing.