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.
Due 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.
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.
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.