Best of Bio Break 2013: Other games

bestThe 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.

clementineDue to the nature of MMOs and everything else I have going on, I didn’t spend that much time playing games in the larger video game market.  However, there are a few titles I did want to mention, so mention them I now will.

1. The Walking Dead season 1

For me, The Walking Dead won’t be the comics or the TV show, but this game.  Even with stripped-down puzzle-solving mechanics and a cleverly hidden linear path, season one was one of the most affecting, gut-wrenching, and involving video game experiences I’ve ever had.  I agonized over my choices, I got to know the cast of characters very well, I mourned the loss of key people, and I jumped once or twice due to jack-in-the-box zombies.  Can’t wait for season 2!

2. The Wolf Among Us

Speaking of Telltale Games, The Wolf Among Us — at least the first episode — was a terrific portrayal of the Fables universe and a pretty cool ride.  Instead of a zombie survival setting, it’s more about being a detective in a fairy-tales-meets-the-modern-world.  A little peeved that Telltale is taking so long with episode 2, especially considering that I paid for the whole game up front, but I have no power here.

3. The Simpsons Tapped Out

Yes, it’s one of those freemium Farmville-style games that’s so easy to hate and criticize, but even so I was just tickled yellow playing it over the year.  Slowly growing my Springfield while laughing at the hilarious quest text and enjoying the holiday events made this worthwhile to me.

4. Hearthstone

I was really excited about Blizzard’s WoW-themed card game, and while I haven’t played in a while, it is one of those perfect games to pick up every now and then.  Very slick and easy to learn, too.

5. Kingdom Rush: Frontiers

Probably the best tower defense game I’ve played in a long time and a source of countless evenings of fun on my iPad.

6. Starbound

Need to spend more time with this space-themed Terraria, but it’s pretty promising.  I love the look and the exploration aspects, although I don’t know how much I’m suited for the constantly-crafting sandbox focus.

7. Card Hunter

Another terrific card-themed game that was more of a tactical strategy title than a proper CCG.  I liked it — still like it — but I guess I go through waves of interest in card games.

8. Pocket Trains

After the stumble of Pocket Planes, Nimblebit did a great job getting rid of what didn’t work and putting in some more stuff that did to make a pretty engaging train management simulator.  It takes just shy of forever to expand one’s network and get more trains, but that’s par for the course with games like this.

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