Having just moved to a new town and a new job I was reluctant to buy much early in the year. I was still enthralled by Skyrim as well so that was eating up many free hours away from work. We moved to our own place in February which again culled back my spending but as you can see below I still managed to play quite a bit in Q1.
Serious Sam: The Random Encounter on sale on Steam
Wonderful pixel style, humor and surprisingly fun turn-based RPG gameplay. It is literally the only Serious Sam game I’ve ever enjoyed.
Sonic CD on sale on Xbox 360
Still the best, weirdest Sonic game you can play…
Rayman Origins bought for and borrowed from Maxx
I love Rayman and the look/sound/vibe of this game but it was just a big ol’ bore to play. I also never felt comfortable with the floaty running and jumping.
Rochard on sale on PlayStation Network
A clever gravity gun-based platform/puzzler with a lot of style crammed into a tiny package. Also, Poets of the Fall!
Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 gifted on Steam
Maxx bought me this to play at work but he has a million more hours experience than me. I also felt bad bugging him about actual work and then asking him to explain the minutia of Magic rules. It was my first real, extensive exposure to Magic and card-based battle systems and I appreciate both more for it.
Scarygirl free for review on Xbox
The only game I got to review for free this year and what a zinger! Six hours of frustrating platforming for some pretty visuals is a tough sell. I say save yourself the pain and go right to the source: buy the graphic novel.
Epic IGF Entrant Marathon
With the free internet access of a desk job I was able to pour over 560 indie game entries, playing quite a few of them and settling on my Top 20 favorites. Just follow that link, I’m not even gonna try to recap them all here!
Hydrophobia Prophecy on sale on PlayStation Network
This is the third (and best) iteration of Hydrophobia I’ve played and while it’s gotten more solid and cohesive, the change to Scoot’s voice killed me. Suddenly realizing that this is only a concern to me I say go ahead and grab this one for a watery survival tale with an emphasis on puzzle solving.
A return to Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce on Xbox 360
I don’t remember why I picked up Strikeforce again in 2012 but I sunk enough hours into my never-ending campaign to bring my hands to quivering submission. It’s high flying, 3rd person combo madness that even non-fans could appreciate but it’s built for an epic grind.
A return to Terraria on Steam
For a short time I was excited to play games at work and made some serious strides in my Terraria world. I finally conquered Skeletron, I plumbed the depths of Hell, I found the edges of my world. I even built traps on my main base that nearly killed me! Then my hands fell apart and I had to stop.
A return to Pinball FX2 on Xbox
Thanks to Maxx for constantly playing pinball games and turning me onto the documentary ‘Special When Lit’, 2012 was the year I finally came to terms with pinball. I’m still no good at it but I can finally say I understand it! Pinball FX2 is also a great way to play it with great physics and loads of tables.
Titan Attacks on sale on Steam
It’s Space Invaders with upgrades. A few glitchy moments and a weird autosave function take it down a little but it’s fun and has a great art style.
Triple Town on Google+, Facebook, iOS, Android
Thanks to Katy I fell into the Triple Town hole for a few months. It’s a great combination of match-3 and strategic playfield management. And I love to hate those bears!
Disassembly3D free on iOS
Find inner peace by meticulously taking things apart! Unscrew! Unhinge! And best of all, explode… in slow motion!
Hero Generations Facebook beta
Imagine a turn-based RPG where every move (in and out of combat) costs a year of your character’s life. Explore the map in your youth, maximize your manhood strength and collect resources into senility, all the while making sure you’ve got a mate lined up to carry on your legacy. It was brilliant fun but no longer playable and I miss it dearly!
Rhythm Party on Xbox 360
My ‘Rhythm Game’ and ‘Motion Game of the Year’ winner! Like the original Just Dance it gets the technology out of your face and just lets you dance already! It got chopped up into DLC song packs but the base bundle was enough for months and months of stupid dancing fun.
Mass Effect 3 on Xbox 360
The first of very few 2012 retail releases I played and what a rollercoaster ride. Seeing out Shepard’s story was satisfying but the gameplay wasn’t as much fun and the streamlined side quests felt flat and uninteresting. For the record, the original ending didn’t bug me. And wow, I spent 26 hours in multiplayer mode! That never happens.
Journey on PlayStation Network
A gorgeous adventure whose highs and lows play out in about 3 hours. It never hit me as powerfully as Flower and ultimately it was a pretty big bummer.
Draw Something on Android
Yeah, I got into the social game craze of the month along with everyone else. I didn’t spend money on it and I kinda hate mobile gaming in general so I also dropped it around the time everyone else did.
Disney Universe on Xbox 360
For Katy’s birthday I wanted to make a virtual Disney vacation so I bought her some park decor, made Lighthouse Sandwiches (our park favorite) and bought some games. Disney Universe is basically LEGO Disney without the LEGO. It’s slow and grindy, kid-friendly fun but pretty passe outside of the mish-mash-up of Disney IPs.
Leedmees on sale for Kinect
I liked the concept and the demo I’d played so when it went on sale I bought it. It’s still basically Lemmings for Kinect and as a Kinect game it’s frequently unreliable. Fun, for a bit, but tough to really recommend.
Carcassonne on Xbox 360 to show some friends
For a brief time we were being sociable and wound up playing a bunch of tabletop games, Carcassonne among them. We loaded up the Xbox version to play with a few friends because you don’t have to worry about stepping on Meeples with a video game.
Wrecked: Revenge Revisited on Xbox 360
I loved Mashed on the original Xbox and was super excited for this follow-up but it controls terribly and was simply no fun to play. The original is still the best!
Make No Wonder free on the web
It was sold to me as a Minecraft-alike but it’s really a simple game of exploration, survival and invention. A wonderful, minimalist experience well worth exploring yourself.