- Here they are, the five games that defined the year for me. As always, keep in mind that I'm only picking games that I've actually played. So if there is some awesome game that I'm missing, it's likely that I never played it. Or maybe you have really poor taste. Whichever excuse works for you.
- Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer - Although it came out in 2011, I didn't get a chance to play it until I got my iPhone this year. For all of the talk about how Apple's App Store is better than the various Android offerings, Ascension is the only game that makes me glad I switched. A simple deckbuilding game in the vein of Dominion, I have lost hours to building a card engine and watching it go. Whether I focus on Lifebound heroes to build up victory points or Void heroes to slim my deck to a perfect killing machine, I'm always excited to draw new cards and see how they will interact. With all of the apps available on the phone, this is the one I come back to time and again.
- Fallen London - I think it was Tom Chick who convinced me to finally try out Echo Bazaar, the game that would eventually become Fallen London. You would think that after reading all of the tweets and blog posts, I would have been tempted sooner. But as soon as I did, I was sucked in to a fascinating world. The writing is excellently flavorful, giving me a reason to come back to the stories again and again. My exploits were amazingly varied and always exciting. I ended up playing for several months (partly because I could play in a browser at work) right up until I hit a grind that could be measured in astronomical units. So I may be done, but I sure had fun. You can try it out yourself right here.
- Guild Wars 2 - Everything leading up to the reason of this game turned into anti-hype for me. Nonetheless, I could not miss the launch, buying my account just hours before the game opened. I'm glad I did. Guild Wars 2, while not the MMO messiah many were hoping for, is a smart, lovingly crafted attempt to answer the problems with the genre. I played it hard for a couple weeks, then went back less and less often. But it was glorious while it lasted.
- Mass Effect 3 - My troubles with the ending notwithstanding, Mass Effect 3 is an amazing culmination to the best series this console generation. I could go back to that galaxy time and again and always be excited to see something new. If the conversation about the game has scared you away, put that aside. Mass Effect 3 is as good as we expect from the series. And, hey, the ending isn't quite so bad any more.
- 10000000 - If there was one game that pulled be away from Ascension for a couple of months, it was 10000000. It is a simple match three where, instead of matching gems, you match melee and spell attacks, keys, items, and crafting ingrediants. Along the top of the screen, your character runs through a dungeon. The matches you make determines your progress, whether you unlock a chest or defeat the monster. With crafting and leveling mechanics, I was hooked on yet another Bejeweled clone. Once I hit the titular ten million points and won the game, I only have gone back occasionally to best my high score. But it was an absorbing run for such a simple premise.
- Now that you've seen my list, varied and eclectic as it is, what were your favorite games of the year?
© 2012 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.