BLOG: The year is coming to an end, and it’s high time we returned to one of our favorite blog topics: games.
This year we had our fair share of options to choose from – and despite the quality of games like Resident Evil 6, Assasin’s Creed, Far Cry 3, and X-Com: Enemy Unknown (for example), we had to be selective and we wanted to show some of the more artful and just plain weird sh*t that’s out there. To be fair, we got a good deal of help from some of our favorite animators at Titmouse Studios in Hollywood (we included the recommender next to the title). So here are our picks, in no particular order.
Last year we had a lot to say about Keyboard Drumset Fucking Werewolf, where you accelerate to the next level by losing your clothes and becoming a werewolf. (As the dudes at Game It Or Hate It say, “It’s not the world’s best game. But it’s not the world’s worst game.”) KDFW was made by one of our favorite game designers, Cactus, who happened to have designed one of our favorites for 2012:
Hotline Miami (recommended by Chris Prynoski, president of Titmouse)
It’s a maze shooter for people who like the idea of wearing giant animal heads just for fun. Chris Prynoski gives it a thumbs up – so do we. Get it off of Steam and go nuts.
The Walking Dead (recommended by Meg Waldo, Titmouse animator)
This game sticks closely to the settings and even some of the characters of the comic, with the entire game broken up into episodes like the award-winning series. The game itself has won numerous awards, and is an intricate and layered detour from your typical zombie-action game. Like for example…
ZombiU (recommended by Leo Parada, Titmouse producer)
The other zombie game of 2012. 1, When you die, you are ejected from your now un-dead body, enter a new not-yet-zombified character, and forced to kill the character you just were. 2, Zombies. Sometimes the graphics are more bark than bite, and it can get a little monotonous, but… zombies, people! Zombies!
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (recommended by Steve Kellener, Titmouse compositor)
Insanely Twisted is exactly right. When all you’ve got to do is shoot at things and escape other things, it’s really up to the design of the levels and the leaders to give a game it’s extra umph. And this game just looks really cool. And why not, considering it’s designed by famed cartoonist Michel Gagné (The Iron Giant, Osmosis Jones, etc)?
Journey (recommended by Maha Tabikh, Titmouse animator)
Erik Kain at Forbes calls Journey “some of the most powerful, beautiful, and awe-inspiring art I’ve ever witnessed.” There is no dialogue in this game, no fighting, and it is, as Kain asserts, beautiful. But it is also compelling as a game – when was the last time you played a game where you don’t battle anyone, escape bad guys, wind through mazes, or attempt to defeat some evil meanie to ascend to the next level? This could be the next generation of gaming… less a game and more a world its players experience.
Limbo (for LINUX) (recommended by Antonio Canobbio, creative director at Titmouse)
The game came out 2 years ago, but we had to close with it. (Plus, it was just released in 2012 for LINUX.) It’s absolutely gorgeous, German Expressionist style, it’s actually a challenge to play, and, really, in the words of Antonio: “Look at the dead bodies!”
And lastly, our projection for 2013 Favorite….
Johann Sebastian Joust (general recommendation)
Grab a motion controller, listen to J.S. Bach’s concertos in midi, and try to steal controllers out of other players hands to the tempo of the music? Uh, yeah, sold. Johann Sebastian Joust is not yet commercially released and none of us have actually played it… so this more like a very very hopeful future favorite.