My favourite games of 2012

Its been a funny year for me, I’ve bought a lot of games but haven’t had time to play/finish them all (note to self – wise up!). I’ve also become a bit jaded with playing games that are basically small iterations on a popular design format. This year I’ve been more involved in consultancy and have really enjoyed providing advice on serious game design for local companies. I’m finding that I’m increasingly enjoying game design and development over playing – maybe I’m just getting old!

On my play list from 2012 are Halo 4, Halo Anniversary, Dishonoured, The Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning, Diablo 3, Guild Wars 2, Assassin’s Creed 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Gear of War 3, Carcassonne (iPad), Lord of the Rings Lego, Journey, Dear Esther, Fez, Spelunky, The Walking Dead, Skylanders Giants, Rayman Origins, Okami HD, The Unfinished Swan and many others. As usual, I haven’t played a few of the most highly rated games and I have my eye on Far Cry 3, XCom, and either Need for Speed or Forza.

All of these games are excellent in their own way but my choice of favourite games are influenced mainly by how easy it is to get into the gameplay and by how novel they are. So, in order:

  1. Fez (10% completed)
  2. Journey (completed main part)
  3. Rayman Origins (20% completed)
  4. Spelunky (can it be completed!)
  5. Guild Wars 2 (Level 60)
  6. Halo 4 (completed)
  7. Lord of the Rings Lego (just started)

I’ve only started playing Dishonoured and The Kingdoms of Amular but they are looking really fun. Okami and Ico are old games that I still love in HD.

2012 was a year that the Wii died for me – still only playing Zelda games (and Mario Galaxy if I had the time) – and I haven’t got excited about the Wii U yet. My PS3 is still mainly being used for Blue-rays as I can get most of the same games on Xbox 360 and I love Xbox Live Arcade. The gaming platform for me this year has to be Steam though – I love being able to access my games on any machine via the cloud. Steam has a great mod community and they now sell software as well. GameMaker was released on Steam this year and the availability of development software through Steam could be a significant development.

In 2013 I’m planning on buying less games so I can finish the mountain of classics that I already have!