Undertale: Spooky-Cute Adventures With Skeletons
So I've been playing Undertale and it is such a cute and perfect game. There are so many elements I love, such as the obvious Earthbound/Mother influence, the many satirical deconstructions of RPG tropes, the genderlessness of the player, the incredibly rich characterisation of numerous cool characters, and a weird and ever-evolving battle system, off the top of my head.
This is the game I always dreamt of making. The constant mesh of cute stuff with playful humour and cultural references (like two lovable characters named after - and speaking in - the notorious fonts Comic Sans and Papyrus), the very cute pixel art style, and that sense that you never quite know what's coming next due to the cartoonish eccentricity of the game mechanics and narrative. All of that stuff is so what I always pictured as the ideal kind of game that I would love to make in the fictional universe where I can code stuff without bursting my brain. The visual style even reminds me of an old game screen mock-up of mine.
I guess what I love most about Undertale is its creative humour. There's an enemy who is a dog, and every time you pet this dog enemy, its neck gets longer. The sheer amount of variation and depth of personality in both NPCs and enemies is amazing. You can see that so much care must have gone into this game, because there are so many little details that make it incredibly immersive. There is personality pouring out of every wooden sign, and everything is so funny and sweet.
It's also such a visually pleasant game. The colour palettes and shadows and glittering stars are so magical, and the music sets the tone so well for every scenario. Undertale has all the beauty of various cutesy RPGs (e.g. Melon Journey, Very Retrouvaille), all the option choices and bafflement of a complex piece of interactive fiction, and all the sweetness of a cinnamon roll.