Excellent (and traditional) start to the New Year is here, a new game by Mateusz Skutnik!
As 2017 draws to an end and we celebrate another year of amazing reviews and games here on JiG, I wanted to highlight some of them that were some of your favorites. Together with Jeff's help for number-crunching, we're proud to present the top 15 games of this year ranked by you, loyal readers to JayIsGames, the ratings, the number of votes and the comments you gave them. You'll find a diverse mix of different categories from indie to point and click, and of course an old favorite, escape games. So if you have a little extra time around the holidays this time of year and want to show someone a good one, or if you haven't had much of a chance and are want to get straight to the best of the best for 2017, this is an article of interest for you!
We exist in the world as people defined by the places we go. We go to work, we go to the mall, we go to the doctor's office, we go on vacation. Always thinking in absolutes, we so rarely spend much effort considering the places we pass through on the way to the places we go; the bus stop on the way to work, the parking lot outside the mall, the waiting room outside the doctor's office, the baggage claim at the airport. But what happens in these wistful places where we spend so little of our time? What greater purpose do we not see as we merely pass them by?
You're Quidget the Wonderwiener, a genius dog and best friends with Peninja and it so happens to be that you need to deliver a present to him, but how...? Well, you are a genius, and you own a labratory, AND you have a lovely assistant named Beatrize, so it shouldn't be that hard to find a way to deliver a package, right?
What do you get when you combine a point-and-click featuring retro graphics with UFO sightings and a club devoted to observing extraterrestrial phenomena? Well for lack of a better word, you get Sol705, the club's namesake, trying to entertain themselves during a (whole) week of vacation. Of course, part of the greatest mystery for this group of boys comes in the form of interaction with what might feel to some of them like an extraterrestrial race: the opposite sex!
Last year over at JIG, we reviewed a quirky little game known as Romance Detective, in which a dynamic duo team up to fight crime. But it's not just any kind of bad behavior that Chrys, a local cop, and her partner, the infamous Romance Detective seek out to investigate. It is crimes of passion, or ones committed in the name of love that piques their interest. After all, all's fair in love and war, so why not justice? Before reading further, I'd suggest playing the previous game (linked above) to avoid spoilers.
I played Beglitched a few months ago, so my excitement about it isn't as high as it was then, but I do know that I enjoyed it. What may turn people off about it initially is that looks like another match-3 game, but like Gridland, the Match-3 mechanic is paired with a strategy element that makes it engaging, in addition to the visual aesthetic and art and dialogue.
Growing up is naturally one of life's most fun adventures. But with that being said, it can also be challenging. Sometimes these challenges come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and several different adjectives.
Butterfly Soup is labelled on the tin as a game about "gay Asian girls playing baseball and falling in love" but that one-clause description really doesn't do it justice. The meticulous attention to detail and effort placed into character development set it a tier above many others in the genre. Using an optional feature showing the internal thoughts of the characters, you are shown a much more complete picture of their thoughts, feelings, and fears. The pacing of the story is also constructed well, showing how the four girls' stories intertwine as you change point of view throughout the game from one girl on to the next.
Quick, think of something you wouldn't be caught dead doing. Basketball? Springing off a trampoline? Mini golf? KabisCube has taken the concept literally in their refreshing platformer Corpse Box Racers, built with Unity. Your character is a ragdoll type stick figure whose time on this world may have come to an end, but fun with them is only beginning! Your objective is to keep their body safely inside a cardboard box as you race through levels and do all sorts of stunts, some no less than throwing the body through a hoop to score points. I recommend playing through the campaign mode first to familiarize yourself with the controls and mechanics, then moving on to some challenges or infinite mode.
One day, you find a stranger's phone and pick it up to examine it. As you start to dig through it, though, it isn't long before the phone's built-in software, IRIS, senses something is amiss. "Where is Sara?" it demands of you, asking for its owner. It becomes clear that you're going to need to help find Sara, and that this knock-off intelligence system is quite capable. You interact with it in a realistic mockup of a smartphone interface, inputting commands, flipping through apps, and typing in questions or comments with a prefilled palette of options.
Life is full of adventures, and in A Tale of Caos: Overture, you dive straight into a particularly fantastic one. Playing as female protagonist Terribilia Van Quinn (or Terry, for short) under the direction of your master Albion McMaster and alongside your trusty mechanical avian friend Heimlich, you set off on a dangerous mission to obtain a dangerous artifact. But things are not as simple as they seem, with McMaster shrouding himself in mystery, secrecy, and cunning, compounded by the naivety and impulsive, whimsical nature of Terry.
Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the doll-est of them all? Could it be YOU? Have you ever played with dolls as a kid, or maybe as an adult too? When you wake up in The Puppet Master, it turns out that it's time for a bit of role reversal! Your reflection in the mirror confirms your suspicion that your soul has been trapped in doll form, and you are soon accompanied by a voice of a woman. Simply solve a few puzzles and try not to cringe too badly at inaptly timed puns, and you will have your body returned to you. Fair enough, right?
You've probably heard the siren call of a midnight snack or had a thirst for water at least once. But in Atelier Sentô's point-and-click adventure Yûrei Station, something deeper and darker is at play. You play as a girl who sneaks out at the crack of dawn, careful not to disturb her parents, who wouldn't know what is going on anyway. Sitting in a train compartment in the pre-dawn hours, a heavy presence abruptly sits beside you, sending shivers up your spine. Not daring to get up, your phone suddenly receives a message. "I see you..."
Good fortune (and fun!) will come to those who dig through the archives.