When they’re not coding, Boston developers game: Here are their favorites

by Justine Hofherr
June 6, 2017

Developers often have a reputation for being gaming nerds, and employees at Boston startups like Klaviyo and Wizdy are no exception. If you’re looking for your next time-suck, we’ve got you covered. Check out the favorite games of devs from four local tech companies:

klaviyo

Klaviyo is an email marketing company for e-commerce stores like Shopify, Bigcommerce and Magento. The startup helps stores set up email marketing campaigns that range from personalized newsletters and automated emails, to order follow-ups and personalized thank-you's.

What are your top three favorite games?

Chris Conlon: Metal Gear Solid 2 (PS2), Einhänder (PS1), Metal Gear Solid 3 (PS3)

Paul Pollack: Dark Souls (PC); Earthbound (SNES); Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (PC)

But if you had to choose just one? Why that one?

Conlon: MGS2, because it was so well done, was two games in one, and because I was addicted after playing the demo disk hundreds of times.  

Pollack: Earthbound has been my favorite game since the first time I played it; nothing will ever dethrone it. It's got more heart than any other game, and a lot of weird humor. I love RPG mechanics but still find most get tedious as a game goes on, but Earthbound stayed fresh throughout. The music is also top notch.

Jake Cohen: FIFA.

How often do you play? Be honest.

Conlon: Not much lately, max one hour per evening, four hours per week.

Pollack: It's a game with a beginning and end so it's not like I play it every day. I have other games for that. But I'll probably play Earthbound through once every couple of years.

Cohen: Like twice a year.

What was your favorite game growing up?

Ryan Miling: Super Mario 3 on NES

Conlon: Smash TV (Arcade)

Pollack: Probably has to be Super Mario Bros. 3. The first console I ever had was an NES and that was the game I played the most and have probably beaten the most times.

Cohen: Duck Hunt.

Which game's release do you most look forward to?

Conlon: Death Stranding.

Pollack: I'm a dork who mostly plays old games now but I'm interested in checking out Camelot Unchained. I went through a big MMO phase in high school and its predecessor Dark Age of Camelot was my favorite.

 

gamer sensei

Gamer Sensei is a mastery platform for competitive gamers who want to improve their skill by playing with some of the world’s top players of all major eSports titles.

Responses via Kevin Tu, frontend developer at Gamer Sensei

What are your top three favorite games?

My three favorite games right now are League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone. I play primarily on PC, like most eSports enthusiasts.

But if you had to choose just one? Why that one?

League of Legends is still be my favorite. Honestly, I like it the most because it's such a teachable game. Now that I work for a coaching company, I get tons of free lessons so my ELO has skyrocketed.

How often do you play — be honest.

In a typical week, I can play upwards of 30 hours! I'm a hardcore gamer; it's my primary form of entertainment.

What was your favorite game growing up?

Classic MMOs like Ragnarok Online and Lineage are still my favorites. If I have to pick one I will have to say Fantasy Earth: Zero.

Which game's release do you most look forward to?

Final fantasy 7 Remake! Like most people who grew up with FF7, this re-release is going to be huge. I'm also looking forward to the next major Overwatch update. One of my favorite things to do is get some coaching right when a new hero comes out and completely rock the launch week meta.

 

wizdy

Wizdy builds educational apps for kids, focusing on health and empowerment.

Responses via Dylan Agis, developer at Wizdy

What are your top three favorite games?

Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask (Nintendo 64), Dark Souls (PC),  Undertale(PC)

But if you had to choose just one? Why that one?

I would choose Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask. Majora's Mask is set in the land of Termina which after 72 hours of in-game time (around three hours) will be wiped off the map by a falling moon (which stares creepily at you over the course of 72 hours) and unlike other games which talk of impending doom Majora's Mask actually gives you an onscreen clock constantly reminding you how much time is left. Majora's strongest asset however is its atmosphere; over the course of the 72 hours, the moon will draw closer, villagers either abandon town or accept the grim reality that is to come, and the music in the hub town (Clocktown) becomes ever more frantic culminating in a creepy melody that plays in the last six in-game hours. There's a lot more I could talk about but the best way to understand is to play the game.

How often do you play — be honest.

10-20 hours a week.

What was your favorite game growing up?

Banjo-Kazooie was probably the best platformer I played as a kid and to this day I still enjoy it for it's great soundtrack and fantastic level design.

Which game's release do you most look forward to?

I've been following Cuphead for years and hopefully it will make it out this year. It's basically a side scrolling beat'em up/shooter composed mostly of boss battles. The gimmick is the whole thing is in the style of really old cartoons giving it a very distinct style.

 

proletariat

Proletariat is a Boston-based startup built by game-industry veterans from Harmonix, Turbine, Media Molecule and Insomniac. Proletariat creates tablet-first experiences, focusing on building great team multiplayer games.

Responses via Kristen Mukai, producer at Proletariat

What are your top three favorite games?

Right now? Overwatch (PC), Breath of the Wild (Wii U because I don't own a Switch) and Drawful (PC).

But if you had to choose just one? Why that one?

Overwatch because it gets by far the most play time. Team multiplayer games are my favorite games, plus Blizzard's events and content updates always keep me coming back. I've gone from a Mei main to a Junkrat main to Dva to Lucio to Orisa and I keep learning about new playstyles that challenge and interest me.

How often do you play — be honest.

I play games in some form every day, whether I am doing research into what is popular on the market or just playing to relax. I play Overwatch at least every weekend when I can find friends to play with. If I play on random hours I end up solo queueing in competitive mode, which is a recipe for a rage quit.

What was your favorite game growing up?

I got Parappa the Rapper on a Playstation Magazine demo disc and it was the first time I encountered a rhythm game. I loved music and the paper-cutout characters so this was an instant hit for me. After struggling against the Chop Chop Karate demo level for what seemed like forever, the game clicked for me and soon I was spamming buttons into COOL mode. I got the full version of the game for Playstation and replayed it often just because I loved the soundtrack and yes, I still remember all the lyrics.

Which game's release do you most look forward to?

I'm dying for another couch coop or party game like Overcooked to come out, but I'll also take something I can consume in solitude, like Ni No Kuni 2.

 

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