Monday, January 21, 2013

Overlooked Gems...More Best Games of 2012

When it came to cumulating a list of 2012's best games, the competition was fierce, especially in some categories. It was impossible to include everyone's favorites, short of cage fights and pony tossing contests, we had to make compromises to account for a variety of factors. As a result, some games didn't make the list, as awesome as they were. Imagine an episode of Chopped where two chefs each made three exceedingly amazing dishes; someone gets "chopped" for the smallest of errors. Well, the same was true behind the scenes of Jayisgames' Best of 2012.

Thus, here's my own list: More Best Games from 2012 (part 1 of 4)...

TOGETHER ALONE This narrative puzzle game from Jan Niestadt and Gijs Rosengarten of Qwok Games is unique, artistic, engaging and thoughtful. First made for a game jam competition, the authors improved their creation, smoothing the level progression and fleshing out gameplay. Deserving of kudos for originality as well as overall quality, Together Alone didn't quite muster the attention it might have gotten if the puzzle category of 2012 hadn't been brimming full of strong contenders.

KVEENDOLNITZA The charm in Jacek Szleszyński's Samorost-like point-and-click adventure far exceeds its boundaries. On first look, the surreal artwork alone is attention-grabbing. While, upon play, it seems to lack a bit of flow and polish, Kveendolnitza's every component and quality work together to exude the personality of one tiny protagonist: Triton. Which is why this game is worthy of a second look.

WEIRDOS ON A TRAIN Part of the Something Amiss series of games, Tucker Bowen's escape adventure manages to be, yes, weird, but also quite lovely in how it presents the story and draws its players into the atmosphere, which is an offbeat yet perfectly logical mish-mash of strange characters traveling on a train. Here's a game series that manages to strike its own chord, especially for those who highly appreciate uniqueness.

And...if you liked Weirdos on a Train, be sure to also check out: Stupid Cat Snatching Goblins.

THE WISH It's hard to describe this lovely piece of art and music as "merely a game." This BeardShaker Games creation is much more like a diminutive interactive postcard, one that is outstandingly gorgeous and emotionally effective albeit lacking gameplay. It is completely unique in format and style for that reason. Whenever you want to share something beautiful with someone you care about, try sending him or her a link to The Wish.