Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 Game of the Year

Game of the Year: Chocolate Castle

I have said it before, and I will say it again: puzzle games are all about the puzzles. The rules and mechanics of Chocolate Castle take only a few minutes to learn, but the depth, breath, and pacing of the puzzles in the game are amazing. The best way to appreciate Chocolate Castle to is play Jelly Blocks, a flash based game with similar rules but weak puzzles. Making good puzzles is hard, and this is what Chocolate Castle does well.

Runner-Up: Block 5

Block 5 is your basic collect the whatever (diamonds in this case) and get to the exit game with the usual assortment of items such as lasers, blocks, one way tiles, and teleporters. The reason it ends up in second place is not the novelty of its rule set, but the quality of its puzzles and its high production values. For a freeware game, the graphics and audio in Block 5 are amazing. There are also a large number of user made levels, always a sign of a good game.

Honorable Mention: DROD: The City Beneath

If it was not the sequel to DROD: JtRH, this would be my game of the year. It might be unfair to hold one game to a higher standard because it is a sequel, but there just was not enough new to push it to the top spot in my mind. That aside, DROD:TCB is a great game. It is also one tough go. This a hardcore puzzle game; the weak need not apply. I also really liked the, at times campy, voice acting.

Honorable Mention: Portal

It might seem odd that I only giving Portal an honorable mention when it is getting mentioned as a possible game of the year in some big gaming sites. But, playing through it again a few a days ago, it felt like a tutorial or sampler. It took me a hair under two hours to complete this time. When are we going to get the full game? At the very least, they should have included a level editor and an easy way to load levels. I sense that the next version will be amazing, and it is great to see main stream gamers raving about a puzzle game.

A look back to my previous Game of the Year posts:

2006 Game of the Year: Hex-a-hop

2005 Game of the Year: DROD: Journey to Rooted Hold


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