The Best of 2005 is a celebration of the best games reviewed here at Jayisgames over the past year. It is not an exhaustive list of all the best games available since we can only review the games that we come to know about. If you have a game, or are part of a team that produces them, and would like to have your game considered for a future review here, then please use the Suggest a Game form to submit a link.
I'm doing things a little differently this year. For this year's Top 10 list there are ...20 games! Yes, that's right. There were too many great games released in 2005 to narrow the list to just 10. So, without any further ado, here are the 20 games you picked as the Best of 2005:
Web Sudoku: a Web version of the game that spread throughout the world in 2005 and held captive the attention of millions of puzzle solvers. This version of the addictive logic puzzle is capable of generating billions of puzzles of four (4) difficulty levels, and all within a clean and accessible interface. The votes this game received may have been more for the general game of Sudoku than this particular version; none the less, your voice was heard. Web Sudoku is now among the best Web games of 2005. [review]
Planarity: another infectious game that spread like wildfire throughout the Web when it was first introduced in the summer of 2005. Planarity is a simple game based on a simple premise: untangle the mess. The addictive quality of the game comes from the gratification the player receives when order is restored. It helps, of course, to have a mild case of OCD. The game's modest appearance is a testament to the fact that a game doesn't have to be pretty to be fun to play. [review]
Deanimator: a creepy horror shooter inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Its well-balanced gameplay sends wave upon wave of zombie silhouettes at the player who at first is equipped with only a single revolver. A lengthy reload cycle demands conservation and planning of every valuable shot. This moody game was created in 2004 by Bum Lee for a studio class in experimental web animation at Carnegie Mellon University. Reviewed here in October of this year, Deanimator is one of the Best of 2005. [review]
3Wish Adventures: when these adorably cute point-and-click games first appeared last summer they were an instant favorite of many visitors here due to their manageable size. Each bite-sized puzzle game in the collection contains charming and original cartoon-style graphics and animation that are commercial-quality. Inventive puzzles and situations make them challenging and fun for most everyone, and put Mink's 3Wish.com puzzle games into the Best of 2005. [review]
Prachka (Orbox): a recreation of the classic sliding block puzzle game, this version excels in its presentation and execution. Simply move the blue and yellow blinking box to the red goal in the fewest of moves. Special graphic effects bring a new excitement to the game, while a trail of bubbles charts your path along the way. These little graphic enhancements help to make a great puzzle game even better, and help launch Prachka into the Best of 2005. [review]
Spybot: The Nightfall Incident: a single-player turn-based strategy game containing remarkably rich gameplay in a ultra-high tech game environment. Created for Lego.com by gameLab, the game features an engaging and unique storyline involving 'databattles' against rogue corporate software to gain control over the nodes of a network. The game's excellent gameplay, accessible and richly detailed interface, and atmospheric soundtrack are all of the best I've experienced in a casual Web game, clearly earning Spybot a place among the Best of 2005. [review]
The Goat in the Grey Fedora: a film noir style detective adventure with personality and an excellent sense of humor. The game features a wide assortment of characters with which to converse, each possessing a fitting personality and extensive dialog options. The player is tasked with tracking down clues as to where the goat is hidden. A rich interactive narrative sets this game apart from most other Flash point-and-click games, and distinguishes The Goat in the Grey Fedora as being of the Best of 2005. [review]
Heli Attack 3: an arcade survival shooter with over-the-top action and weaponry that rivals a console game offering. Gameplay consists of taking down wave upon wave of enemy helicopters with any available weapon, and there are many to choose from. Square-Circle Co. continues to impress with its ability to squeeze every ounce of performance from the Flash Player engine to accomplish its phenomenal feats of magic. Heli Attack 3 is a gorgeous game with addictive gameplay that commands attention as one of the Best of 2005. [review]
Mystery of Time and Space (MOTAS): the granddaddy of all Flash escape-the-room adventure games. This classic point-and-click Web game first appeared back in 2001 and it remains a favorite to this day. What sets this game apart from others is the quality of the puzzles contained within each its 13 rooms; as well as its integrated Java chat client for adventurers looking for a little help along the way. A point-and-click aficionado's dream, and one that's still kicking it after all these years. [review]
The Dark Complex: a gorgeous and original Flash puzzle game presented in 3D(!) Not satisfied with last year's Dark Room game, author Jonathan May set out to realize his vision for a 27-room improvement over his first effort. The result is an equally stunning and yet enormous and very challenging game that will provide many hours of puzzle-solving enjoyment. Its captivating puzzles, LED-like graphics and moody soundtrack create an excellent and immersive interactive experience, and one of the Best of 2005. [review]
Death in Sakkara: a richly detailed interactive narrative and detective drama composed of four (4) chapters. Each gorgeous episode is presented as a 1930's detective comic and contains information and clues to unearth regarding the mysterious disappearance and murder of a museum curator's granddaughter. The game successfully combines elements of point-and-click adventures with arcade mini-games to create a unique game playing experience. Created by the omni-talented folks at Preloaded, there is no mystery why Death in Sakkara is one of the Best of 2005. [review]
Nanaca Crash: an action game remake of the Yetisports penguin tossing games of 2004 in which the player tries to make a projectile travel the farthest. Its deceptively simple click-to-play interface makes this game accessible to casual gamers of all ages, and yet its brilliant combo system is what keeps them coming back for more. It's a simple game with great reward. Nanaca Crash became an instant classic with its immediate gratification browser-based fun, and truly one of the Best of 2005. [review]
N: an action platformer game of speed, dexterity and physics created in Flash and yet available as a free download only for PC, Mac, and Linux. The game features an advanced collision detection and physics engine that draws the player in with its qualities of immersion. A plethora of 90-second levels keeps the pace quick and the scenery fresh at all times, and a level editor is even included for creative individuals. The game saves high scores as well as a complete 'run' of a level to watch at any time. Winner of the Audience Choice award at the 2005 Game Developers Conference and for good reason: N is one of the Best of 2005. [review]
The Asylum: a simple and yet surprisingly rich interactive narrative involving psychotherapy on cute cuddly toys. The game is played by selecting from a list of possible therapies and then watching the results unfold. The player is at times rewarded with elaborate cut scenes that reveal information about the patients and their distressing past. Originally reviewed back in 2004, this delightful game was expanded over the summer to include an additional patient, Sly, thus making it eligible for this year's awards. Packed with emotional stories that create a sense of immersion in the player, this interactive narrative is diagnosed as one the Best of 2005. [review]
Kingdom of Loathing: a turn-based, text adventure RPG with a self-mocking twist. The ultimate goal in this DHTML adventure is to help in the fight against the Naughty Sorceress and save the kingdom. The real fun is in its "stunning hand-drawn images" and unusual items and monsters, such as the Can of Asparagus with a knife. The game features a very unique class system, and hundreds of offbeat weapons and armor to collect: titanium assault umbrella, bloody clown pants, a pasta spoon, etc. Familiars, or pets, are also available that will aid you in battle. With its many quests, player vs player battles, cooking and cocktail making, there is something for everyone to do, and very little reason to exclude the Kingdom of Loathing from the Best of 2005. [review]
Hapland 2: a point-and-click puzzle game with a unique and original style all its own. The second in a series of games by the genre defining author, Hapland 2 gave credence to those drawn to the original Hapland game's charm. This game includes more interactivity and more puzzles in a longer and more complex sequence of events the player must perform to open the stone portal and unleash the power within. It is every bit a sequel to a creative and innovative and phenomenally successful game that captured the hearts and minds of millions. Was there ever any doubt that this would be one of the Best of 2005? [review]
Hapland: the point-and-click game that started a revolution. It didn't? Well, it should have. Hapland appeared as a strange and unusual interactive painting when it was first released back in early 2005 by its author Robin Allen. The notion that it could be a game captured the curiosity and attention of many casual gamers until they had it figured out and solved. Hapland is amazing and gratifying, and it is a game the likes of which had never been seen before. Similar to a point-and-click puzzle game, and yet different since some sequences of actions lead to no-win scenarios thus making a reset button necessary. The original Hapland game launched a genre of Flash point-and-click games, and lands itself squarely in the heart of the Best of 2005. [review]
Samorost 2: the point-and-click sequel to last year's Best of 2004 number one (1) game, a game that was instrumental in raising awareness of the Flash platform as a viable one for games and other creative interactive experiences. The sequel to one of the best loved Flash games of all-time lives up to the hype and lofty expectations of its predecessor and offers another glimpse into, as well as a trip through, the Samorost world and universe. Samorost 2 features many more highly detailed and stunningly beautiful interactive environments with many more puzzles to solve. An even more extensive soundtrack accompanies this iteration of the series and does well in capturing the essence of this gorgeous game. Remarkable and enjoyable, Samorost 2 is out of this world and one of the Best of 2005. [review]
Grow RPG: yet another amazingly creative and original point-and-click puzzle game in the top ranks of this year's Best of 2005. This second game in the Grow series adds RPG-like elements to the mix and gives the game a greater sense of purpose and story than the original game had. The experience of playing Grow RPG is like building a magical storybook world and helping the tiny inhabitants fight the evil menance that lurks in the sky above. Simple and accessible gameplay packaged in a unique and original puzzle game. Grow RPG follows the success of the original and earns an even higher spot this year as one of the best of 2005. [review]
Grow Cube: a simple and delightful game in which the player clicks on the materials icons in sequence to add them to the cube. As the player gets closer to the correct sequence the resulting animations become more involved, elaborate, and complete. This is the third game in On's wildly popular and successful Grow games, and the third in the series to earn a spot in the top 5 games featured here. On of Eyezmaze packages wonder and excitement into every one of his games, especially the Grow games, and his games continue to delight casual gamers of all ages and from all corners of the world; this year's Best of 2005 proves that beyond a shadow of doubt. This represents the Best of 2005. [review]
Congratulations to all of this year's winners. And after going through all of the games again I realize that the real winners are you and me, the casual game players, as we have seen and played some truly remarkable titles this year.
Considering the wealth of excellent and free entertainment being made available on the Web today, let's give thanks with our hearts by making a donation or purchase that download of one of our favorite games. It will help to ensure that you will soon be playing the next game in the series.
Thanks also to all of the game developers out there eager to create and build wonderful magical environments for us to explore and play in. Your efforts will be justly rewarded.
And if you missed them, be sure to play all of last year's winners in the Best of 2004.
I'm looking forward to another great year of games and doing this all over again next year! =)