25 points, 3 votes
Euler: En realidad I didn’t play many 2010 games this year but I happily played a lot of this on a bunch of transatlantic flights so it ends up near the top kinda by default. (If this were “best of what you played in 2010” by contrast, the winners would be Pic Pic, Strategery & Civ Rev for iOS, and Assassin’s Creed, but you go with the year you have not, not the year you had at some previous date.) But Clash of Heroes was worth the time because leveling! new units! fast improvement! kinda puzzly! plot a helluva lot better than Puzzle Quest!
abanana: puzzle rpgs still struggle with plot. but the puzzles were innovative here.
Will M.: I can’t wait to try this out against other people whenever I end up buying the XBLA one.
25 points, 3 votes
ledge: Made me realise my favourite puzzle game is one where everything is controlled and determined, not random like bejewelled, or dependent on perfect timing and touchpad control like angry birds or cut the rope. It’s all about thinking, not doing. Also a beautifully produced game, with a lovely look and feel and wonderfully tuneful sound fx.
Euler: A problem with puzzlers on this platform is the small screen real estate but this one gets it right.
MattD: A really cute little train puzzle game with a feature I don’t see in many; most of the problems have multiple possible solutions. You can upload yours to the online database and see how other solved any given puzzle differently or more / less efficiently. It gives it some sold replay value as well as cutting down on the frustration that often ensues from trying to find the exact right way to solve a problem
17 points, 2 votes
Jamescobo: Who gives a shit how easy it is? Have you seen how gorgeous this game is? Don’t you want to see as much of it as possible? Thank God it’s easy!
Iroquois Pliskin: Think of it as ‘Parappa the Rapper meets Aquanaut’s Holiday’ and you’re getting in the right frame of mind to appreciate what it’s trying to accomplish. The series’ trademark acrobatic platforming has been reimagined as an exercise in rhythm-based gameplay: you hit various buttons with correct timing to transition from wallruns to bar swings to longjumps. By eliminating death from the scenario (your magical companion swoops in every time you fall into an abyss and cheerfully deposits you on the last bit of stable ground you touched), the game encourages you to traverse the game-world without stopping to think about your next move. And this is how Prince of Persia goads the player into pursuing its core experience: falling into a rhythm, sight-reading your path on the fly and losing yourself in the simple joys of motion. The legibility of the environments (there’s always clear visual cues– scratched-out patches on the wall, woodlined crevices, blocky hooks– that indicate the right course through the world) removes the ‘puzzle’ from ‘puzzle-platforming’, but your compensation is the fact that the world itself is a shimmering, colorful treasure. It’s the closest approximation of an inhabitable painting yet seen in video games, and over the eight hours it took me to complete the game its relentless beauty never wore on me. It’s a world that exists to be seen, not beaten. Bits of rhythm-based combat and simple lever-pulling puzzles interrupt the platforming at points, and while both are diverting, these elements seem to exist in order to punctuate the platforming segments rather than compel in their own right.
27 points, 2 votes, 1 TOP GAME vote
Forksclovetofu: I tend not to dig handheld RPGs; they either demand all your time and then you’re staring at a tiny screen or they try to pack too much into the experience and I lose interest. SMT: DS bridges the gap nicely; each fight is only about fifteen or twenty minutes; the storyline is surprisingly not lame, play mechanics are easy to use and engaging (love the demon auction and fusion system!) and the atmosphere/art is great. This is what I wanted The World Ends With You to be like. Totally recommended and would have made my list if I’d played it before I cast my vote.
Cozwn: devil survivor is rad btw fuiud
Will M: This game manages to be both familiar (grid-based tactics gameplay, Dragon Quest-style battles, hip-kids-in-Shibuya storyline) and somehow simultaneously refreshing and new (I am not sure I can justify that, because I don’t understand why it’s actually “new” in any way). It also has the most clever “who you make friends with defines your ending” mechanics I think there’s ever been in a game; it susses out your philosophy on life and crisis and shapes the fate of Tokyo around it.