Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Games of the Year - 2014

Well, after revisiting many of my old reviews, and indeed getting the urge to play many of the games again too (I don't often get the time to play games simply for pleasure these days), we're finally up to date! The biggest difference with this list is the presence of several indie PC games - a type of game I've increasingly become a fan of since delving into that dauntingly-large world - but this year also featured some landmark arcade titles and I finally reviewed my very favourite game of all time too. Behold, the ten best games I've played (and reviewed) this year are:

10. Oids by FTL Games (1987) - Atari ST

For many years, every time the subject of 'gravity games' comes up I've heard three names - Gravitar, Thrust, and Oids. The latter is one that I never played until this review but it's turned out to be the best of them all - as well as loads of stages featuring all the usual stuff but it even has a level editor too! (full review here)

9. Golden Axe by Sega (1989) - Arcade

There can't be too many arcade-goers that didn't play this Sega classic in the late 80's. I certainly did, as well as various conversions, and despite its fairly short length it's still a game I've never gotten bored of. That alone surely says much about its quality and hugely appealling nature. (full review here)

8. Mercenary Kings by Tribute Games (2013) - PC

This is probably the newest game I've reviewed so far and I was very eager to do so since it's the second game from Tribute after the fantastic Wizorb. Like that game it's a RPG-ish take on a distinctly un-RPG-ish type of game - the run 'n' gun, and it once again works wonderfully. The best run 'n' gunner I've played. (full review here)

7. Toki Tori by Two Tribes B.V. (1992) - Game Boy Color

There must be so many Game Boy gems I've missed out on due to my own idiocy. This one is a type of game I love but encounter all too rarely - the platform/puzzle game - and it's a very good example. It looks and sounds really nice, has an appealing main character, and the difficulty curve is just right. (full review here)

6. R-Type by Irem Corp (1987) - Arcade

I had a milestone post coming up when this post was being planned (100th shmup review and 100th arcade game review) so I just had to select a game worthy of the accolade. What better than one of the most famous and revered of all shmups? R-Type isn't a perfect example but it is one of the most important. (full review here)

5. Treasure Adventure Game by Robit Studios (2011) - PC

I received this game completely free without even knowing it existed beforehand so I naturally expected its quality to reflect its price. Remarkably, it almost immediately because one of my favourite arcade adventures ever thanks to its ultra-pixelly retro graphics, wonderful soundtrack and immersive game-world. (full review here)

4. Chuckie Egg by A&F Software (1983) - BBC Micro

I grew up playing the splendid (and neon green) Dragon 32 version of this but the version I've been playing more recently is this superb BBC version. Few platformers are as immediately-accessible as A&F's classic and even less are as addictive. Still one of the best single-screen platformers around. (full review here)

3. Bomberman '93 by Hudson Soft (1992) - PC Engine

Any Bomberman game is special (well, almost any - see the Bottom Ten Games!) and this is definitely the best one I've reviewed here so far. Wonderful, colourful, varied graphics, appealing music, and not only an immensely enjoyable game for one player but one of the finest multi-player games ever made. (full review here)

2. PixelJunk Shooter by Q-Games (2009) - PlayStation 3

By jingo, what's this - a modern(ish) game?! Yes that's right, for despite its humble origins (being a PSN indie and all), this addictive cavern-based shooter has proven to be the most enjoyable game I've played for years, and certainly the best I've found so far on my PS3. I haven't played the sequel yet either... (full review here)

1. Star Control 2 by Toys For Bob / Accolade (1994) - 3DO

I bought this game for peanuts, purely on the strength of its decent prequel, and didn't expect a great deal, but I soon found myself lost in its immense, intricate world of alliance building... and breaking. Don't let the un-3DO-like graphics fool you; this is quite simply the finest video game I've ever played. (full review here)

Don't worry, there'll only be one of these next year, now that I'm all caught up! ;)


  1. You liked Oids??! I played that many many years back on the ST and found it frustrating. Bomberman is sweet and R-Type is ultra cool but tough.

    Did you see the Star Trek mini retro I did on my Google community? thought you might like that one :)

  2. Yes, I liked Oids a lot. More to see and do than most games of its type, decent difficulty curve, and the level editor too!

    I didn't see your Star Trek post, sorry. I'll look for it now :)

  3. That's quite an eclectic mix of games, Simon! I approve :) I feel like we've talked about this before, but what's your opinion RE: Bomberman '93 vs. Bomberman '94? Personally, I've always preferred '94, but only just, and I obviously still like '93 a ton. That said, Saturn Bomberman is my favorite BY FAR!

  4. I think you're right - I prefer Bomberman '94 marginally. It's a contender for the best Bomberman game of them all, although so is Saturn Bomberman of course. I'm sure they'll be in 'Best Of' lists once I've reviewed them; I believe the latter was in one of my very first posts here at RP - My Favourite Games :)