March 2016: The Division
Phil: The Division's plot being about money going bad made me laugh, and this was mostly created as a way to get that onto a page. Me and Sam joint wrote this, and it's one of my favourite back pages of the year. Sam's "Only Jack Ryan can dropkick Black Friday into next Thursday" line is magnificent.
Samuel: Oh my god, that's the best thing I came up with this this year. I also chuckled at the idea of Literary Review calling The Division's novelisation 'A gorgeous disgrace'. Global Mail originally said Daily Mail, I think, but I must've had one of my infamous panics about being sued at the last moment before changing it. I wish I had left it as Daily Mail, now, just because it would've made them sound daft(er).
Tony: PC Gamer readers have no idea how different the magazine would look if you didn’t keep having your infamous panics about being sued, Sam.
April 2016: No Man's Sky
Samuel: One of mine, and probably a joke made by the internet dozens of times before I came up with it. They didn't have a professional art editor to mock this up as part of his real job, though. Also, what is hyglese? Is it just hydrogen with a hat on? I assume someone eventually named a planet 'Your mom' in No Man's Sky.
Phil: I wasn't here for this one. I came back from a trip and discovered we'd made a your mum joke.
Andy: At least one person on the No Man’s Sky subreddit thought this was real.
Chris T: This is art.
Tony: Oi, I suggested the “Your-Mum… discovered by everyone” line, Sam. I think that’s the best bit, by the way.
Samuel: Sorry, Tony. There I go taking credit.
May 2016: Stardew Valley
Samuel: Gentrification lolz in Stardew Valley. This was one of Phil's ideas and one of my favourite of the year for subverting that game's relentless, welcome optimism. Fun fact: for the US edition of the magazine we had to change Deliveroo to Uber Eats because it doesn't exist there. And yes, we even changed the pound sign to a dollar sign.
Phil: I've spent a lot of this year poking fun at Stardew Valley, but that's only because I love it. Here, I'm mostly just channeling Samuel's long-standing criticisms over the state of Bath.
Samuel: Bath is 50% too small and 30% too expensive.