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Best of Casual Gameplay 2009

Voting is now closed. Results are up! >>

JayAnother year for the record books, 2009 sure had its ups and downs. Throughout the year we aimed to bring you the very best online, mobile and downloadable casual games available on the Best of Casual Gameplay 2009Web, and now it's time for you to choose the best of the best, la crème de la crème. Yes, it's time for our sixth annual Jay is Games "Best of" feature. Vote for your favorite games of 2009!

Casual games are at the epicenter of the games industry these days, and independent developers from all over the world are contributing to the cause. Whether you play games at home or work in a browser using Flash, download games on the weekend, or take games with you wherever you go on your mobile device, chances are you love playing casual games. And it's never been a better time to be a lover (or a developer) of them.

Every year we hunger for innovation and artistic creativity in our entertainment, and every year casual game designers exceed our expectations. What this means is that every year we at Jay Is Games have more material to work with than ever before, and this is yet again the largest "Best Of" collection to date. The nominations we've listed below are culled from the top-rated entries in each category, as voted on by you, our loyal JIG audience. We've had to cut some excellent titles from the bottom of the ranks, in order to keep each category to no more than about 20 nominees, but with any luck, your favorite games are there for you to support.

In a creative field that thrives on new ideas, it can be hard to divide work into neat little categories. Should this point-and-click adventure go in Point-And-Click? Or Adventure? Does this action puzzler belong in Action? Or Puzzle? We've done our best, but you're bound to find decisions that you disagree with. And in our efforts to drag out gems that have slipped through the cracks, we've listed some games that were not released in 2009. This year-end extravaganza is for the games we've featured in 2009, regardless of release date. We're going for internal consistency here, rather than bowing to mere reality.

You can vote for one game in each category, and once each day during the voting period! Simply click the "Vote" button adjacent to the title of the game of your choice on each of the following pages. You don't have to vote in every category, but once you vote for a game, you will be automatically taken to the next page, and you will not be able to change your vote. So think carefully about each selection.

We'll be publishing the results right here very soon, so vote now! The games that you, the JIG community, vote on top will earn the coveted JIG "Best of 2009" award. The JIG reviewers and editors may also choose a game in each category to share the title, but this time we're leaving most of it up to you.

Thank you for all your visits, your comments, and your support. Truly, this community is one of the most positive and enthusiastic on the Web, and it's always a pleasure to be able to help entertain you. Once again, all of us here at JIG Casual Gameplay would like to wish you a very Happy New Year! =)


Here are the categories:
And the nominations are... >>

51 Comments

Chiktionary Author Profile Page January 6, 2010 6:44 AM

First time first poster and first time voter :)
Great selections there, some tough choices. Can't wait to find out the winners...

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When I tried to vote for
"Bunni: How we first met" it took me to this page http://jayisgames.com/best-of/2009/escape-the-room

which showed me and nothing else on the page:

The requested page could not be found.
Page not found - /best-of/2009/escape-the-room

I refreshed the page and the voting option is gone, I am guessing some error occurred that did not send me to the next page but did send my vote in.

Next:
I voted on "GlueFO 2.0" on shooter and it went to the simple idea page. There was no voting option and i went back to the shooter page and it was like I never voted. If I voted it went back to simple idea still with no vote options.

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The new url for 'escape' category is just 'escape', not 'escape-the-room'. It also tries to take you to 'multiplayer' at one point, which obviously doesn't exist. Jay, can you fix these? Except for that everything seems to work (and look!) fine.

Pe-ads

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Slightly disappointed that we're once again using the "vote every day" mechanic.

I still don't really see what this adds to the voting process, other than more page hits.

On a more positive note, as always I'm amazed by the quality and diversity of the games featured here. Thanks for a great 2009!

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I'm also getting the same error while trying to vote.

"The requested page could not be found.

Page not found - /best-of/2009/nominations/download/time-management-or-simulation"

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There's another error similar to what SHA experienced between the download Action and Adventure categories. There's also no VOTE buttons on the Simple Idea page.

jimbog - for one thing, it lets people support multiple games; if you just can't decide between your top choices, you can vote for one today and one tomorrow.

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The link for morning star didn't work for me, it just took me to an error page.

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Master of U Author Profile Page January 6, 2010 12:40 PM

Silent Conversation vs Small Worlds vs Today I Die choice is a pain

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Blackrabbit January 6, 2010 1:32 PM

Sorry to be a whiner (and, let's be clear, I LOVE the JIG end-of-year roundups; I always find new, great stuff), but the IF category is a bit frustrating. The best game of the category, now considered a classic and winning multiple awards, was made over six years ago, while the two best pieces of IF that actually came out in '09, Jack Toresal and Blue Lacuna, weren't even reviewed. I know that part of what JIG does is unearth older gems for today's audience, and moreover, that JIG has done more than perhaps anyone else to bring IF to the casual crowd; these are two of the many reasons I love this site. I suppose what I'm asking for is a bit of a wider net in IF coverage...but perhaps this is in the works; there is the Escape! Comp, after all! (a popular and respected games portal offering prizes to learn Inform 7?! Unreal!) Anyway, thanks for hearing me out and keep up the good work.

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Ah, my favorite time of the JIG year...I will not sleep until this voting madness is over! So many games I missed this year, so many new games to play in the next...well, however many days until the deadline (since I can't find it on the announcement). Sigh. Casual gaming overload=happiness!

[Edit: There will be about 10 days of voting, give or take. I don't want to post a deadline because I want everyone to vote now and vote every day!. :) -Jay]

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aw maaaaaaaaan...

Why do there have to be so many good platformers?

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stupidcheeseboy Author Profile Page January 6, 2010 2:41 PM

I like the ' vote every day' option. It means that you can register your vote for several nominations in a category when there are just too many good ones to pick one!

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Plently of great games listed there, it's pretty hard to narrow it down (even with the vote-a-day policy). On another note, should I be voting on which game I enjoyed the most out of the selection or which game best represents the genre?

[Edit: I think either way is good, and may the best game(s) win. :) -Jay]

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Many good games in the Interactive Art/Webtoy category. Had a hard time deciding between Small Worlds and Windosill, since both were so amazing.

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why isnt "Harvest Massive Encounter" on here?

[Edit: We reviewed that game in 2008, and it appeared in the Best of 2008.-Jay]

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The ads on the right side of the page are blocking some of the vote buttons, which is preventing me from voting for my faveorite game ever! (The company of Myself) Please fix this so I can vote for the best game that I've EVER played.

[Edit: The pages have been tested in all the major browsers on all the major platforms and I cannot reproduce the issue. Try clearing your browser cache and reload the site, or try a different browser. If you're not using a recent browser (for example, IE6) please upgrade to a modern browser. IE6 is no longer supported. -Jay]

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Anonymous January 6, 2010 8:16 PM

Is Minecraft anywhere on here? I'm not sure which category it would be in.

[Edit: Interactive art or webtoy under browser games. -Jay]

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ArtAndroid January 6, 2010 9:13 PM

BrokenPictureTelephone has been literally broken for some time now and no updates on the situation for a month.

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Chiktionary Author Profile Page January 7, 2010 6:42 AM

In agreeance with ArtAndroid,
I really uuummmed about voting for BPT, because I loved it when it was working, but haven't been able to play for a few months. Is there eligibility criteria for being a part of the contest, such as 'Game should be currently playable'?

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Person Of Awesome January 8, 2010 10:32 AM

Sigh, this whole thing makes me wish I could vote for Cave Story. Best thing that ever happened to this site.

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I'll most likely forget to check back here, but wow, there were a lot of awesome looking games I missed. Can you keep the nominations up, so I can check back at them later?

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Jerome Morrow January 9, 2010 8:35 AM

No multiplayer award this year?

[Edit: Correct, there is no multiplayer category this year. -Jay]

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After I registered, the Vote buttons disappeared.

[Edit: There is nothing connecting the functionality of the voting buttons with registering on the site. Try reloading the page, or try using a different browser to see if that helps. -Jay]

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This vote has a problem with selection bias.

Due to a combination of the "vote-every-day" mechanic and the tedious voting interface, no truly casual gamer will have that much influence over the results, because those people are not going to sit down every day and go through the motions over and over -- they will get bored and move on.

The people with real weight are the people most determined to slog through -- which to be honest isn't really a quality I like to see rewarded.

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Dave again January 11, 2010 4:29 AM

Of course, but you could make it a lot less biased by just removing the every-day thing.

I know I would have voted, if voting once counted for anything.

[Edit: Voting once does count in large amounts. The results are a lot closer than you think. -Jay]

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I agree with Dave, not necessarily out of anything with this particular contest, but I've just never understood the "vote once every day" gimmick in general. What does it accomplish? What advantage does it have.

To me it seems like nothing but a cheap way to have a poll double as a temporary traffic booster by forcing people to come back every day if they want their vote to count, thus driving the traffic stats up, thus making the website look good, at the expense of any actual accuracy of the vote.

Again, nothing specific against JIG, just can't understand this gimmick in general whenever I see it. Don't see what's so wrong with "one person, one vote", aside from it not generating cheap traffic (and the results actually meaning something ;) ).

[Edit: Harry, the problem is that one person doesn't equal one vote when you're collecting anonymous votes across the Internet, and there are many ways of 'gaming' a one-person-one-vote system. As much as I would love to agree with your view of voting in a perfect world, the world we live in is far from perfect. -Jay]

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Dave once more January 11, 2010 12:03 PM

Okay, I can maybe understand voting two or three different ways in a section, but ten?

Come on, nobody is THAT indecisive.

[Edit: Maybe someone would like to vote for 3 games, but doesn't want those votes to count evenly? Perhaps someone would like to vote for 2 games, but wants her votes to count twice as much for one game over the other? As I said before, please try to design a new voting system that takes into consideration all the Internet and anonymous voting-based exploits, and also the issues faced with a large number of nominations, and I'd be glad to consider it for next year. I'm fairly certain you will be unable to improve much on the system we have now without making it prohibitively restrictive. -Jay]

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Maybe next year there could be an election to nominate the games to be voted on.

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Chiktionary Author Profile Page January 14, 2010 9:03 AM

First year voting, and I don't mind that it's vote each day, if you want to. No-one says you have to vote every day.
I'm glad for it because it means I can go back after replaying the games and realising that many links are no longer active, I can vote for the games that are still current.
It's a real shame about BPT...

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awesomelyawesomeAJ Author Profile Page January 17, 2010 3:45 PM

It would be nice if next year you guys put "Babylon Sticks" as a category.

I like the "vote every day" thing myself... I can vote on all the games I like, and many of my favorite games in the year are all concentrated in two or three categories.

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Person Of Awesome January 17, 2010 4:26 PM

I myself have voted every day for Time Kufc. That's the best game I've seen all year. Probably the best game I've seen all decade, in fact.

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I guess you could just allocate each person 20 votes in each category or something, and then let them vote all at once, but it really wouldn't be much different to the once-a-day thing.

@Harry

What? I really don't think JIG is using the 'gimmick' as a traffic-driving thing. For crying out loud, I visit the site everyday anyway, so it doesn't make any difference.

Even if you don't normally visit everyday, then surely more traffic is a good thing? It means that:
(a) more people will find JIG and
(b) more people will probably vote, leading to much better results.

Pe-ads

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How soon is soon?

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Take as long as you like, Jay. 2010 isn't going to end soon.

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This totally doesn't bother me, but out of interest, why do you have a sidebar ad for "Results Soon"?

[Edit: As a status update? To let people know that the results are being compiled and tabulated and will be up soon. -Jay]

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Thanks Jay and Staff for letting me be a part of this! Guess I better check out the winners that I didn't see coming.

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w00t, icebreaker ftw :D

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having read through the complaints about the voting system - there's an alternative option that would fit the 'vote only once' ethos, but also weight some games heavier than others

you vote for your top 3 games from each category.. your fave game gets 3 points, second gets 2 and third gets 1.

you don't HAVE to vote for 3 (sometimes there aren't 3 in a section you feel worthy), but you can vote for up to 3.

it would only require a simple calculator programme setting up to count the votes, and whilst the interaction of the voting would need tweaking it wouldn't be difficult to do.

undoubtedly some would moan about it but it's an alternative and alternative suggestions were what was asked for so there it is

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Thank you to the JIG team for the "Best of 2009!" I really enjoyed voting and seeing what everyone else liked best.

I have been using tags to search for my favorites (escape-the-room and point-and-click) and thought I'd found just about everything in those categories. The list has quite a few that are new to me.

Now that I know there's an archive of your annual "bests," I won't be getting much work done for the next few weeks.

Thanks again! This site is the absolute best.

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Amor Lassie Author Profile Page January 24, 2010 5:09 AM

Thanks peeps for voting :) Unfortunately I did not do so because I don't visit here often enough to remember and test all good games.

But because of all you more active visitors, the random visitors like me can enjoy of what's been the best during the last year :D

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I discovered this site through one of the Best of features a few years back. It was the year that FLoW came out.

I played that game and it was like a revelation. If it weren't for this site (and the yearly Best Of Feature) I would have missed out not just on that game, but on some of the best games I've ever played.

You guys do an amazing job and frankly even if you required people to send in a piece of cheese for every vote cast I'd do it and I'd do it with a smile on my face. A bemused, what the heck are they going to do with all this cheese sort of smile, but a smile all the same.

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