Lisy Kane of Kepler Interactive shares her Best of 2023

Kepler Interactive Producer and VicScreen board member Lisy Kane somehow has time to play games. Here are the ones that occupied her most in 2023.
Best of 2023 Lisy Kane Kepler Interactive

As part of GamesHub’s Best of 2023 celebrations, we asked a number of developers and friends of the site to share some thoughts about the games that defined their year, impressed them the most, or were simply the ones they spent the most time with.

Lisy Kane is a very well-known figure in the Australian games industry – she’s a Lead Producer at Kepler Interactive (Tchia, Sifu, Scorn) and Kowloon Nights, and was formerly a Production Director at League of Geeks. She was also recently appointed to the board of the state creative agency, VicScreen. Somehow, she also finds the time to play Dota 2, among other things.

Here are the games that occupied her most in 2023.

Warcraft Rumble

A collection of Warcraft Rumble characters from the Alliance Faction standing and posing on two open palms
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

One of my greatest game secrets is the sheer amount of simulation / casual games I doom dopamine dive for. I was quite pleased to play Warcraft Rumble through Beta, to launch. A refreshingly casual approach to the Warcraft franchise that doesn’t have the punishing competitive play of Hearthstone but with enough variety of game styles to keep me coming back for Daily Quests.

There’s a nice balance in how the main quest line’s difficulty curve increases, there are so many ways to grind single-player, PVP, daily quests, Arclight quests, or stomp through weekly Class dungeons. Don’t tell Blizzard, but so far I haven’t spent any money, or had any pop-up third-party ads. For a free-to-play title, the grind hasn’t felt aggressive enough to feel necessary to spend anything, which is super refreshing.

Dota 2 

It’s been a weird year for Dota 2. For the comfort game that I’ve clocked about 4,800 hours on, and been to multiple live esports events for, it can be said – I love this game dearly.

But back in April, we got the New Frontiers major update, and with this, the meta changed significantly, with a 40% increase in map size. What is going on? The pacing of games has shifted significantly, especially in Turbo mode (sickos only), and it’s become 30 minutes of scrappy fighting over Tormentors and getting jostled around by Roshan as he moves from Pit to Pit.

The International returned “home” to Seattle – but came and went with less fanfare than years before. The Prize Pool for TI has usually been the big headline and drawcard to see teams fight for a pool of up to $40 million (back in 2019). Now, 2023 rolls around, and the pool just ticked over to $3 million.  I hope we’ll see a return to its heyday, and I know that Valve had to shift focus to CS2, but still – I’ll be back online tomorrow.

Dopamine Game Menu

Ok,  I’ll share my list of casual games I’ve been playing on rotation – I’m okay to air my dirty laundry in hopes of getting more recommendations from you other time-poor, dopamine-devoid gamers:

  • Nonograms: During the great lockdown of 2020, I was looking for recommendations for more calming games and have continued to 100% of all those Nonograms. It’s a relatively straightforward logic number game that unlocks a larger painting. 
  • Frozen City: A classic city builder game with a pretty obvious gear towards pay-to-win but have managed to avoid it and continue to grind. 
  • Happy Clinic: Hospital-based simulation game that I also continue to 100% enjoy with the variety of events to avoid having to pay to win.
  • Airplane Inc: You guessed it, an Airplane management simulation game. I don’t know why I keep playing this one, but it’s on rotation.

Game Graveyard 

As someone with negative time available to play video games but existing in the 2023 rush of incredibly high-quality games, I’ve collected a list of titles I’m going to be playing this summer holiday now that I’m on university break:

  • Baldur’s Gate 3: Only played for 3 hours, let me back!
  • Disney Dreamlight Valley: I want to come back to this. I played a lot in 2022 and the beginning of the year, but haven’t returned. 
  • Fae Farm
  • Vampire Survivors
  • And hopefully, I’ll get a better sleep score in Pokemon Sleep.

Catch up on the rest of GamesHub’s Best of 2023 coverage, including more guests posts and our Top 10 games of the year.