84 points, 5 votes, 2 TOP GAME votes (includes votes from 2009)
JimD: Picross in 3D stops being a pen and paper logic puzzle and turns into a hammer and chisel logic puzzle! Chipping away at a big block until you’re left with a little 3D sculpture is just hugely satisfying. And the chewiness of the puzzles is just right too, they’re consistently challenging, sometimes infuriating, lots of fun. Even the time limits are perfectly judged (man, the number of times I’ve lost a star by being 5 seconds too slow…). So somehow this has ended up being my game of the year.
Forksclovetofu: As killer as apps get; easy to pick up and play and immediately engaging. Holds up phenomenally well; I’ve played it for two years running now!
abanana: My most played game of the year.
Nhex: I actually don’t like this nearly as much as the previous one – it’s not even in the same league IMO – and yet I’d find myself going back to this in little free moments, so it must be pretty good despite my natural distaste for it. (So much orange.)
Euler: only played it a little bit due to getting it only pretty recently & due to Pic Pic obsession when I want a puzzle game, but it’s fab & will be a regular puzzling mainstay in the near future.
41 points, 6 votes
Nhex: Layton is a top quality DS title: great production, lots and lots and lots of puzzles of varying quality, lovely art design and characters – just a really pleasant time and the best game I had the chance to play in this great year for the DS.
CraigG: This one’s a bit of an anomaly: it’s just a bunch of crappy logic puzzles but the animation sequences and storyline tied it together surprisingly well.
JimD: I’ve been playing this for the last week or so, I guess I’m about two thirds of the way through now and it’s completely adorable! Cute story, lovely atmosphere, fun puzzles at just the right level of difficulty and a very broad range of appeal: I can totally imagine Nintendo’s target DS audience of fifty-somethings digging it and yet I keep thinking about how perfect it would’ve been for me when I was a precocious 9 year old too. I totally recommend it.
Abbott: I solved half these puzzles from ’2347 Classic Riddles’ type books as a child but I forgot most of them, so… The moving blocks around puzzles are so satisfying. I kind of have a crush on Layton.
ZS: I like this game a lot, but why is the first “hint” you get always so useless?
Puzzle about numbers: ‘Try thinking about the relationships of the numbers to their surroundings’
Oooooooh, THAT’s it.
73 points, 5 votes, .5 TOP GAME vote
If: Very much Phantom Hourglass all over again, but PH is one of the better realizations of the Zelda series so it’s hard to feel too aggrieved.
CraigG : I’m just starting the second temple, which may be a bit early to be adding this to my best games of 2009, but I can tell I’m going to like it. That said: I hate the train and I am amazed they managed to find something worse that the boat (dear Nintendo; stop with the shitty vehicles and stick with Epona). Ultimately, the game seems like more of the same from Phantom Hourglass, so I’m pretty certain I’ll continue liking this as much as I did that.
Euler: My first Zelda since the SNES… maybe even the NES? Of the few 2009 releases I played, this one has maybe the highest production values and it’s certainly fun. Still, I’d appreciate more depth.
Salsa Shark: Sometimes I think this is fun, other times I am annoyed beyond belief. I am especially angry right now after some very aggravating attempts to buy a shield that involved trying to get Beedle’s stupid air balloon to the ground, trying to board it while being shot at by pirates, having the balloon float away, subsequently dying and then repeating the process. I am SO tearing up my Beedle membership card.