Michael Scott has his coveted Dundies awards. Upgrade has its Upgradies and, now, The Dent has … The Denties!
Welcome to the first ever Denties Awards, where I will pick my favourite things from various categories that I’ve experienced throughout 2021. Some of my picks didn’t necessarily come out in 2021, that’s just when I got involved with it. So, without further ado, let’s get straight to the awards.
Game of the year - PC or console
Resident Evil Village
This was a complete no brainer for me. It’s not the game I’ve spent the most time on in my library this year, but the time I did spend on it (about 19 hours) was amazing from start to finish. Not only does the game look stunning, but it’s a great, interesting story and I found myself getting completely engrossed by it. It was just challenging enough that you had to keep your wits about you, but easy enough that it didn’t become frustrating or stressful.
The game came out just as got to the end of my Resident Evil marathon where I’d worked my way through every (mainline) game in the series, which was perfect. While you don’t need to have played them all before this one, it does help tie some of the story beats together and it’s a perfect follow up to the equally great Resident Evil 7. I can’t recommend this game enough. I was genuinely sad to end it and will definitely be back to run through it again soon.
- Halo Infinite
- Cyberpunk 2077
- New World
Game of the year - Mobile
Legends of Runeterra
As you read through my winners and runners up across each category in this post you’ll start to notice a bit of a Riot obsession. This was definitely the year of Riot for me across various mediums and my first Riot entry comes in the form of the fantastic Legends of Runeterra.
Legends of Runeterra is a collectible card game on PC, mobile and tablets based on various League of Legends characters. I started the game with no idea about who the characters are but there is so much charm, and beautiful animations, and touches in the game you can enjoy it completely without even having heard of League of Legends. I sank a lot of money in Hearthstone in the past, and it was still impossible to stay up on the latest metas and decks unless you played a lot. Runeterra, on the other hand, is far more casual player friendly. It’s also very free to play friendly. While Hearthstone will cost you upwards of £80 every expansion to remain even remotely competitive, Runeterra gives the player a lot of free things as you play, on the other hand. Riot seem happier to make some money via various, optional, cosmetic items. This seems like a fair trade to me. Great game, minimal spend.
- Call of Duty: Mobile
- League of Legends: Wild Rift
- PUBG: New State
App of the year
For me, at least, it’s been a pretty dry year for really fun or original new apps. Matter is one of the few apps that launched this year that I’ve ended up using daily and putting it on my Homescreen. At its core it’s a read later service, but it can also ingest your newsletters directly, you can follow writers, highlight articles, or parts of articles, that interest you and much more beyond. It also has a great feature that can read articles to you, but unlike built in Accessibility features in iOS, it sounds a bit more human like. It’s great for keeping up with interesting things when out on a walk or short trip.
The app is constantly being updated with great new features, and some not so great, but the developers clearly have a lot of love for the app and driving it forward. It’s completely free at the moment, so I’d be keen to know how it will make money in the future, but for now it’s really helping me read more and collate ideas for blog posts. The widget is nice also.
- Remind Me
Film of the year
This film appears to have had pretty mixed reviews from people, and I can see why. It’s basically just a rehashing of the first story for a modern audience. I, personally, had a fun time with it and enjoyed it for what it was. It was also a nice nostalgia trip.
To be honest with you, Die Another Day was a lot better and in isolation that would have been my favourite film, but because of my daughter I had to go with Ghostbusters. She’s 7 going on 17 and we’ve been having a great time recently watching some old films I used to love as a kid, some of which she’s really enjoyed as well. I think quite a lot of it at the moment is about her saying she enjoys things because she knows I did, which is pretty sweet. Sometimes, however, I can tell she really did enjoy it. Goonies, for example, seems to be one of her favourites now (despite a few cheeky swear words, oops!).
Anyway, long story short, there was something about the trailer and the fact I wanted to see it that made her beg to come along so she did, and she had a great time. This led to her really wanting to watch the older films. I didn’t think she’d enjoy a film about some older geezers as much as one more focused on the kids, but again she seemed to really enjoy them. When I was young, Ghostbusters 2 was actually my favourite and, weirdly, she’s come away with the same feeling (completely un-influenced by me).
So, whilst there are better films on my runners up list, this film brought me a lot of joy outside of the film itself which makes it far more important to me this year than the others.
- Die Another Day
- The Suicide Squad
TV show of the year
For All Mankind Season 2
I mentioned above that I’ve been on a bit of a Riot love fest this year. Part of this involved consuming the fantastic Arcane show on Netflix. I started this section of the post by giving this award to Arcane, but as I was writing it I remembered For All Mankind season 2 …
For All Mankind was already one of my favourite Apple TV shows, and season 2 really went next level. It had highs, it had lows, it had laughs, it had terrible sadness. It was just incredible at every level. The visuals were stunning, the acting terrific and the story is moving at a really interesting pace. I almost don’t want it to move on as quickly as it is because I think it will soon evolve into a very different show (no spoilers).
Without going into dangerous territory, all I’ll say is if you have access to Apple TV+ content, you really have to watch this show and catch yourself up ahead of Season 3, whenever that may be. If the show runners can keep this pace up, and retain as much of the acting, writing, and producing talent they have now this show could become one of the all time greats.
- The Wheel of Time
- Squid Game
Tech of the year
The iPad Mini 6th Generation
I really wanted to pick a tech product for this award that wasn’t an Apple product, but I love the iPad Mini so much nothing else really came close this year.
I may write an article at some point about how I use my iPad Mini versus the iPhone 13 Pro Max or iPad Pro 12.9” so I won’t go into great detail here. Suffice to say the redesign is beautiful and the device has quickly become my go-to device for the vast majority of tasks around the house.
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- M1 iPad Pro 12.9”
Blogger of the year
Greg’s been blogging for some time now, but he’s taken this to the next level in 2021. Not only does he post like a machine, his posts are often thought provoking and insightful. He’s recently moved to a new domain, doing this the right way, unlike me, retaining his previous back catalogue as well.
I love general / personal blogs now, after a long time only really being focused on tech news. There’re still great sources for this kind of thing, but Greg’s blog is an excellent example of a blog just being about a person, not their content. The content is almost secondary to just enjoying hearing and seeing the views of another person you like and respect. What topics actually discussed are almost secondary. There’re a great deal of exceptional personal blogs being operated at the moment. A wealth of knowledge and experiences being shared, but Greg’s has stood out to me more so than ever this year and I’ve found him an inspiration to give blogging another real stab again my end, so for this I thank him.
- Matt Birchler / Birchtree.me
- Chris Wilson / LearnCreateShare
YouTuber / Channel of the year
Matt Birchler / A Better Computer
This was actually an extremely crowded category for me. I’m not entirely sure how, or why, but YouTube has become my main source of video entertainment in 2021. The creators on YouTube go to such great lengths to make some incredible content. Every one of the people mentioned in this list deserve a special shout out to really going all out to make some incredibly well thought out and produced content.
I’ve chosen Matt Birchler and his A Better Computer channel as my YouTuber / Channel of the year because of the incredible growth and clear efforts being put in to every single video. YouTube video creation looks like the hardest, most stressful form of content creation on the internet, but Matt makes it look easy. The videos Matt produces vary from opinion pieces, to advice and tutorials and more besides and every one of them look beautiful and include incredible graphics that really enhance the watching experience. Quite often the videos are shorter, sub ten minute entries, which work so well. They’re punchy, to the point, and don’t bulk out unnecessarily with filler. I think Matt (and those on my runners up list) deserves a lot of success in the coming years and for his incredible efforts to be propelled even further. I’m looking forward to what comes next.
And there you have it, the first Denties awards show has drawn to a close. It’s been a fantastic year for entertainment and technology, despite the horrible situation in the world. I hope some of you have enjoyed things to enjoy despite it all.
Thanks for following along!