Well, against all odds, we made it all the way to 2019, and what better way to kick off the year with the right goal-achieving attitude than… making a list! (A lot of us are planner nerds and it shows.)

But player, do not worry—this isn’t a “spend all my money on games” challenge. Tabletop, mobile, and free-to-play games absolutely count, and there’s a wealth of inexpensive or even free indie games you can support on Steam, itch.io, Humble Bundle… you name it. Conflating two or more requirements into one game alone is also valid, because we’re all busy and tired and it’s only January.

So, without further ado, here are 20 games to play before 2020:

#SidequestChallenge: 20 Games to Play before 2020. Full text of list in article, below graphic. Graphic by Zora Gilbert.

  1. A game released in 2019.
  2. A game with a WoC protagonist.
  3. A game that has won an award you think is meaningful.
  4. A game that focuses on written narrative.
  5. A game set in the future.
  6. A game someone recommended to you, specifically.
  7. A game you would like to gift (or recommend, if it’s free) to someone you love.
  8. A game from a genre you don’t usually play (not a genre you hate—we left self-punishment in 2018).
  9. A game without written narrative.
  10. A game that reminds you of your childhood.
  11. A game made by a WoC. (Games are usually made by more than one people. For this challenge, look for a WoC credited in a prominent role.)
  12. A game made by people from a culture other than your own.
  13. A game about animals.
  14. A game that you’re embarrassed you haven’t played yet.
  15. A game with an LGBT+ protagonist.
  16. A game you’ve had on your wishlist for a while (treat yo’self).
  17. A game made by LGBT+ people.
  18. A game set in the past.
  19. A game made in an underdeveloped country.
  20. A game made in a game jam.

Download a PDF of the list and let us know of your progress and your chosen games on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #SidequestChallenge! And if you have extra spicy (or glowing, or thoughtful) thoughts on a game, reach out to us—we’re always looking for fresh reviews and pitches!

Have a great gaming year, everyone!

Note: This Challenge was inspired by WWAC’s and Bookmarked’s challenges, on comics and books respectively. Don’t miss out on those!