My 2013 Games of the Year: Gone Home (PC / Mac)

Gone Home tasks you with exploring your family’s residence, but it’s not the place you grew up in. They’ve since moved into a large, old house, full of dark corridors, faulty wiring, and false spaces. Following in the tradition of 90s classics Myst and Riven, the game favors environmental exploration while dispensing with any of the convoluted puzzles or fantastic plots that complicated those games. Instead, Gone Home weaves a beautiful, human story that should not be missed.

By Alex Griendling / Blog / Twitter

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We see a lot of interesting games at Alpha Beta Gamer, but Gorogoa is 15 minutes of the most unique, innovative and intelligent gameplay we’ve experienced this year.

Gameplay is spilt across four beautifully illustrated and animated panels that helped win it the IGF Excellence in Visual Arts Award.  These four panels can be moved around, zoomed in and out of and placed on top of each other to solve puzzles, allowing your character to continue his journey through the beautifully crafted world.  As you progress, the panels interact with each other in a variety of surprising and delightful ways, allowing for plenty of ‘wow that’s clever’ moments.

Gorogoa is targeted for release late in 2014 for PC & Mac, then subsequently mobile platforms.  With it’s beautiful animation (the GIFs above don’t do it justice), intelligent design and unique gameplay it’s bound to win more awards when it’s released.  Personally, it’s already my GOTY.  Highly Recommended.

Download the Alpha Demo, Free

My 2013 Games of the Year: Papers Please (PC)

Papers Please puts you in the role of an immigration inspector at an Arstotzkan border checkpoint. The game is a brilliant bureaucracy simulator, as you are tasked with enforcing the Arstotzkan government’s reactionary rules while witnessing the impact of these rules at a very personal level. Helping someone in a dire situation that doesn’t have the proper paperwork may help you sleep at night and yield under-the-table bribes; however, doing so will result in a citation, which can mean a salary cut. Too many salary cuts will make it hard to pay the rent and feed your family, but maybe that loss can be offset by bribes? What will you do?

By Alex Griendling / Blog / Twitter

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Spike VGA 2012 Winners

Game of the Year - The Walking Dead: The Game (Telltale Games)

  • Studio of the Year - Telltale Games
  • Best Xbox 360 Game - Halo 4 (Microsoft Studios/343 Industries)
  • Best PS3 Game - Journey (Sony Computer Entertainment/thatgamecompany)
  • Best Wii / Wii-U Game - New Super Mario Bros. U (Nintendo)
  • Best PC Game - XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2K Games/Firaxis Games)
  • Best Handheld / Mobile Game -Sound Shapes (Sony Computer Entertainment/Queasy Games)
  • Best Shooter - Borderlands 2 (2K Games/Gearbox Software)
  • Best Action Adventure Game - Dishonored (Bethesda Softworks/Arkane Studios)
  • Best RPG - Mass Effect 3 (Electronic Arts/BioWare)
  • Best Multi-Player Game - Borderlands 2 (2K Games/Gearbox Software)
  • Best Individual Sports Game - SSX (Electronic Arts/EA Canada)
  • Best Team Sports Game - NBA 2K13 (2K Sports/Visual Concepts)
  • Best Driving Game - Need For Speed Most Wanted (Electronic Arts/Criterion Games)
  • Best Fighting Game - Persona 4 Arena (Atlus/ARC System Works/Atlus)
  • Best Adapted Video Game - The Walking Dead: The Game (Telltale Games)
  • Best Independent Game - Journey (thatgamecompany)
  • Best Graphics - Halo 4 (Microsoft Studios/343 Industries)
  • Best Song in a Game - “Cities” by Beck (Sound Shapes)
  • Best Original Score - Journey (Sony Computer Entertainment/thatgamecompany)
  • Best Performance By a Human Male - Dameon Clarke as Handsome Jack (Borderlands 2)
  • Best Performance By a Human Female - Melissa Hutchison as Clementine (The Walking Dead: The Game)
  • Best Downloadable Game - The Walking Dead: The Game (Telltale Games)
  • Best Social Game - You Don’t Know Jack (Jellyvision Games)
  • Best DLC - Dawnguard – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks/Bethesda Game Studios)
  • Most Anticipated Game - Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games)
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