For the Best of 2004's Top 10 list, I used a combination of votes received from the voting page and of the favorite games that have been saved using the Favorites feature. Unlike the other awards and honorable mentions posted previously:
...the Top 10 represents the voice of the people. My sincere thanks go out to each and every one of you who visits and participates by using the features here.
And now, the Best of 2004: Top 10 list...
10 - ten juu shi diez zehn dix
Viridian Room: a point-and-click adventure game in which the goal is simply to escape the room. Hidden items in the room present the challenge of piecing the puzzle together. What makes this game successful, thus raising it above others in its class, is the soulful narrative that unfolds as the player progresses through the game. Engaging gameplay balanced with immersive narrative equals one of the best and most popular games found on the Web in 2004. Click.
9 - nine kyuu jiu nueve neun neuf
Alien Hominid: a 2D side-scrolling shooter with an old-school flair. The game features intense over-the-top action that borders on insane, a unique and responsive control scheme, and lots of hand-drawn animations that are hilarious and fun. Originally released in 2002, Alien Hominid was later converted into a console game and released for PS2 and Gamecube, and still remains one of the best Flash shooters available in 2004. Click.
8 - eight hachi ba ocho acht huit
DHTML Lemmings: an action strategy game, though Lemmings might be considered in a class of its own. What makes this version of the classic game remarkable is that it was developed entirely using DHTML. That means it will run in a browser without requiring any plug-ins. Trouble is, DHTML Lemmings was developed without the consent of the current IP rights holder, and therefore the legality of this version is questionable. Still, if you are lucky enough to find the DHTML version on the Web somewhere, you will be rewarded with a remarkable rendition of the game. It is the DHTML that makes this game one of the best of 2004. Click.
7 - seven shichi qi siete sieben sept
BMX Backflips: an extreme sports action game in which the player performs stunts for points to complete missions under a time limit. What sets this game apart from others like it is the fluidity of motion, physics, and control the author achieves in the game's Flash implementation. The result is an experience that is both captivating and fun, and earns BMX Backflips a spot among the best and most popular Web games of 2004. Click.
6 - six roku liu seis sechs
A Murder of Scarecrows: an action arcade game in which the player must protect three scarecrows from the ravenous ravens that attack them. While A Murder of Scarecrows shares similar gameplay with the classic game of Missile Command, it also redefines it. Excellence in game design is demonstrated by the consistency with which all of the game's elements express its theme, revealed in a poem during the game's commencement. From the artistic simplicity of its graphical style to the eerie animations and atmospheric sound effects, A Murder of Scarecrows will draw you into its world. Without a doubt, one of the best of 2004. Click.
5 - five go wu cinco fünf cinq
Grow: a puzzle game solved by adding pieces, one at a time, in a correct combinatorial sequence. What elevates this game above others is its unique design of puzzle pieces that interact with each other, and the fascinating animations that result from their combination. Grow is wonder, curiosity and enchantment packaged and disguised as a Flash game that is deceptively simple to pick up and play. Unique, original and fun, this game belongs amongst the best of 2004. Click.
4 - four yon si cuatro vier quatre
Chasm: a point-and-click adventure in which the player sets off on a journey to save the town of Chasmton after an unfortunate event dries up the water supply. The game features AAA quality animation and design, elaborate and challenging puzzles, and a complementing soundtrack, all in a small, bite-sized package for the Web. In light of its top-notch production values, Chasm shines as one of the best of 2004. Click.
3 - three san tres drei trois
Ultimate Flash Sonic: an action adventure that accurately recreates Sega's classic Sonic experience in Flash. This version of Sonic was not endorsed by Sega nor granted permission to use the name or likeness of the Sonic characters, and that speaks volumes of what the author was able to accomplish on his own. A full-featured Flash game that rivals commercial offerings, paired with the popularity of the Sonic franchise rockets this entry well up into the best of 2004. Click.
2 - two ni er dos zwei deux
Tontie: an action arcade game in which the player strikes numeric keys corresponding to events on the screen. Accessible to anyone with a numeric keypad, the elegant simplicity of design affords this game an almost universal appeal. Immersive and challenging gameplay is achieved through the introduction of increasingly more complex rules of engagement between the animated characters on screen and the corresponding keys used to combat them. A system of monetary award and power-ups for purchase provides the gameplay with added depth while extending the replay value of the game. Tontie is exceptional game design, the second game in the Top 5 for its author, and certainly one of the very best games we played in 2004. Click.
1 - one ichi yi uno eins un
Samorost: a point-and-click adventure game in which the player controls the main character on a quest to save his planet. Without words, the simple yet engaging story unfolds to the delight of the unsuspecting player in scenes that are beautiful works of art and interactivity. Samorost features an array of unusual characters and environments, and presents them all in a tight little package that captures the thrill of discovery and the essence of fun. If you have played this game—and it is likely you have—then you understand why it is the Best of 2004. Click.
Congratulations to all of this year's winners. And while I look forward to doing this again next year at this time, I also eagerly await another year full of fantastic games as 2004 had been. Bring on da games! =)