Do Yourself A Favor And Go Watch The Best Speedrunning Event Of The Year

Gif: Summer Games Done Quick / Remedy Entertainment / Kotaku
Gif: Summer Games Done Quick / Remedy Entertainment / Kotaku

It’s the first week of July, a liminal period between the not-E3 marketing machine festivities and a surprisingly stacked summer release schedule. As Americans prepare to celebrate another glorious Independence Day in the wake of unhinged Supreme Court decisions and a sunsetting president, I can’t imagine a better time to sit back, pop open a cold one, and blast your eyeballs with dozens of hours of top-tier speedruns.

Summer Games Done Quick is back with a weeklong festival in which speedrunning experts showcase their favorite games and the high-level strats, secret shortcuts, and absurd glitches they exploit to beat them as quickly as possible. The event kicked off on Sunday and runs through Saturday, July 6 with around-the-clock streams of everything from recent blockbusters and indie darlings to retro classics and forgotten gems. And the whole event raises money for Doctors Without Borders which provides medical assistance to those in need all over the world, including victims of Israel’s war in Gaza.

The full schedule of speedruns is available on the group’s website, but there’s a ton of stuff that’s already happened and is worth checking out via VODs uploaded to the SGDQ Twitch and YouTube channels (they’re a lot better at immediately getting runs uploaded than they have been in years past). There’s also a really handy rundown of every stream so far and its corresponding VOD link on the Speedrunning subreddit.


Highlights so far include ShovelClaws’ playthrough of Pepper Grinder, a beautiful 2024 game full of rad mechanics and mesmerizing gameplay, Carrarium’s mastery of custom Celeste maps, including Kaizo-inspired levels, Stelmo98's run of Sonic P-06, an unofficial remake of 2006's Sonic The Hedgehog, Cixah’s domination of poker roguelite Balatro, and monkeysmb’s tour through the dread-filled pixel adventure Metroid Fusion.

Other all-time great games have also been featured, like Halo 2, Tomb Raider I-III Remastered, and Silent Hill. But while it’s always great to watch a savant walk you through a classic, some of my favorite moments from any SGDQ are the ones meant purely to entertain, bring people together, and show off the personalities of the participants, like people wobbling along to the Cloudjin in Yoshi’s Story or performing the Herald of Darkness dance number from Alan Wake 2.

What’s coming up the rest of the week? I don’t even know where to start. There’s a power block on Wednesday of Mirror’s Edge into PowerWash Simulator, with Kaizo Mario Galaxy later that day. The 4th of July will feature Celeste 64, Halo 3, and Sekiro. I’m also really looking forward to Animal Well on Friday, an incredible new Metroidvania bursting with puzzles and secrets that’s one of my favorite games of the year so far. Things go out with a bang on Saturday with Baldur’s Gate 3, Elden Ring, and a ton of Mario.

Whatever you’ve got going on the rest of the week, carve out a few minutes here or there to bask in the incredible vibes of SGDQ. I mean it when I say it will restore your faith in gaming and maybe even humanity, at least a little bit.

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