The Best of Bio Break 2013 is a series of “end of the year” lists that talk about various forms of entertainment that I enjoyed this year. They’re not awards, but they are ranked. Each entry doesn’t have to be something that came out this year, but merely something I encountered this year.
2013 will go down as the year in which I really invested in my PC retro games library. Thanks to a couple of great GOG.com sales, I beefed up my collection to around 50 or 60 games — and then realized that if I didn’t give myself a good reason to play them, I might succumb to the “Steam syndrome” where I was buying just to collect titles but not use them. So I started a journey through this collection with my retro playthrough series, and here are the top games that I enjoyed so far.
1. Planescape: Torment
It took me just shy of forever to get through, but I had a blast coming back to Torment from start to finish. Even with the worst box art of all time and a creaky game engine, it was still an engrossing experience that was more adventure game than RPG at times.
2. Master of Orion
My strategy was pretty flawed as I returned to this old favorite, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t having a great time. It was simply fun to make up a story of a grand intergalactic space conquest and have it play out over a few weeks.
3. King’s Quest
It was one of the shortest runs through a complete game playthrough I did this year, but it was a terrific experience from start to finish. This is one of those titles that holds up well even after 20 years.
4. Master of Might and Magic III
Winner of “the most bang for your buck” award, MoMM3 holds up very well due to its colorful sprite graphics and strategy-RPG gameplay. I was fumbling all over the place getting my footing, but in the end it was quite worthwhile to do so.
I hadn’t played this classic RPG since I was a wee kid back in 1988, but the fascination that it imbued in me with the post-apocalyptic genre continues to this day. I would still choose Fallout over this game for mechanics and graphics alone, but at the time it was pretty mind-blowing to experience.