52 points, 4 votes, 1 TOP GAME vote
Nhex: A complete surprise to me. Admittedly, I have a weakness for these little-indie-PC-games-that-
could, and graphically this game looks like it could’ve been done on the original Playstation, but this was a wonderful little game. Recettear has an interesting structure in that there’s an extreme range of choice in how far the player wants to take it – one could play it as a casual shopkeeping sim, and “complete” the game at the end of the first month, or you (well, me) could spend endless hours going through the random dungeon generator, hunting ingredients to get 100% completion. It’s suited for pick-up and play, long sessions, or grinding and farming. The story, characters and world are slight, goofy, and charming, which is completely appropriate and ingratiating. I actually feel guilty about getting this for effectively $1 in a Steam sale over Thanksgiving.
abanana: a fairly generic japanese sim game, but without as much of their usual sexism. short and sweet.
a passing spacecadet: I am slightly ashamed by how much I loved this given how awful I find the graphical style and how wildly inaccurate the tutorial’s own instructions are. Can’t stop to think about the game any more or I’ll talk in nothing but high-pitched Japanese exclamations for the next day. Ganbatte kudasai!
30 points, 2 votes, 1 TOP GAME vote
Brilliam: Someone on ILX said of Audiosurf, “if you hate this game, you probably don’t like good music.” Pretentious, probably a bit inaccurate but there’s a seed of truth there: if you don’t like Audiosurf, you’re playing it wrong. I’ve listened to new records using this and it makes it even easier for me to absorb them on first listen because I am so intently focused on little idiosyncrasies.
Nhex: Audiosurf sets an example of what the PC platform of 2008 could be – a wonderful, independently-developed niche game with great appeal to a hardcore base while still accessible to a broad audience. It’s sold purely through digital distribution at a very low price (I bought it for a mere $2.50 on sale) and uses online scoreboards and friends lists to cement the game’s sense of community. How much one enjoys this game really depends on how much you’re into falling block puzzlers (especially stuff like Panel de Pon or Puzzle League) and how appropriate your music collection is to ‘play’ to. I also love getting emails that someone across the world has beaten my score on a track.
Will M: I totally still boot this up every once in a while. I like listening to new records on it because it puts you in this great head-state halfway between DISTRACTED and PAYING ATTENTION VERY ACUTELY that’s just like “Whoa, I am digging this ‘Love Is All’ record more than I thought I would…”
JimD: It’s buggy as hell, the online scoreboards only work intermittently and every now and again it gives me a blank screen to play on, but still addictive. It’s just fast and smooth and pretty and fun trying it out with different songs to see what effects they have on the tracks. Fantastic idea! Addictiveness +10!
Dom Passantino: ‘Beating Heart Baby’ by Head Automatica becomes the best song ever when played on this.
Melton Mowbray: Really enjoying this at the moment. Everyone keeps watching me play, which is a good sign because no one likes to watch me play computer games.
Jeff LeVine: I’d say it’s worth ten bucks. Works great with the 360 controller. I tried out all the different sound effects, then tried it with none – which I like the most, I guess – there’s a little controller vibration every time you hit a brick, which is actually a better indicator than the built in sound effects – and doesn’t distract from listening to the music as much. Erik Satie was a very good suggestion.
Trayce: OMG YES AUTECHRE. Autechre is AWESOME on this thing. So is really heavy shit like Meshuggah, and 65dos. Give it a try.
Forksclovetofu: Can someone please explain why this isn’t on XBLA yet?
84 points, 7 votes, 2 TOP GAME votes
Forksclovetofu: PVZ kept me up past three in the morning two nights in a row. $20 might seem expensive for a desktop defense clone, but damn is this ever polished. Never stressful! And the music is incredible!
Antexit: One of the most perfectly balanced and endlessly satisfying games I’ve ever played. It’s also the only game this year that every single person I showed it to went nuts over. Almost every one of the fifty or so plants in it was my favorite at one time or another– when does that happen with the weapons in other games?
Ledge: Does this game get hard, ever? (ed. note: Nope.) I am on stage four and I think I’ve let a grand total of two zombies through, pretty much by accident. I have 2000+ sun power left at the end of every game.
JimD: Hard to even remember what I loved about this, but it’s here cos I know I spent a big chunk of my year on it and really enjoyed it at the time. I guess this is a great example of a relatively new game design trend: games that don’t need to challenge you to keep you entertained. They can just keep giving you new toys and that’ll have the same effect. It’s only valid because it’s true… well, at least until you’ve seen all the toys and then that’s it and there’s little point of ever playing it again. But hey, that’s not the end of the world: who has time to replay games these days anyway?