The 2013 Game-Wisdom Awards

It’s that time of the year for the Game-Wisdom best of awards. This means that I’m now forced to go through all the games I’ve played to try and narrow those down to the ten I liked the most. And this year I’m going to do my best to actually get this all posted in short order.

Before we get to the list, I have some other awards to present.


The Opening Act:

As always the rules for the Game-Wisdom awards are as follow: The awards are rigged as only games that I’ve gotten around to playing will be eligible, sorry to Super Mario 3D World and The Last of Us. If you would like to contest this point, please send an extremely huge bribe and we will get around to it eventually.

DLC episodes or packs are not eligible for awards as they are considered supplementary content to the main game, but downloadable or standalone expansions do count. If a game belongs to an episodic series that is still in production, it also does not count.

Lastly, any early access games or in other words, those that are available in Alpha or Beta form are not eligible as they are technically not done.

With that said, I have a few special awards to give out before we start the real deal tomorrow.

You’re dead to me award:  Xbox 360

Thinking back, I’m pretty sure I didn’t use my 360 at all over the course of 2013. There just wasn’t anything I was interested in playing for it and most console games were just ported to the PC.

Most disappointing Console Game of 2013: Ni No Kuni

Taking the veteran JRPG studio Level 5 and teaming them up with Studio Ghibli should have been a winner. But this massive slog combined with a dumb down take on Pokémon soured the good things that Ni No Kuni did. In the end I finally gave up playing from boredom at around 30 or 40 hours in.

Most disappointing PC Game of 2013: SimCity 5

SimCity 5 was one of the biggest failures this year and a massive blow to Maxis. Every preview video that was put up was great and at one point I was debating installing Origin for it. But then the reviews started coming in and the online requirement, small city size, microtransactions, bugs, gameplay problems and so on.


There had to be some causalities this award season

At this point, we don’t know if there was one person entirely to blame or just simply the failure of the studio as a whole and it remains if Maxis can salvage anything out of SimCity 5.


Missed it award: Super Mario 3D World

Unfortunately not owning a Wii-U meant that there was no chance that I was going to be playing the latest Mario game. And reviews have been overwhelmingly positive about it.

It’s not getting an award from me so don’t even ask award: Call of Duty Ghosts:

If you’ve read any of the posts on the AAA industry this year, then you know why.

Most visually stunning game: Bioshock Infinite

While the gameplay of Bioshock didn’t win me over, I still need to give a shout out over the visuals and art style. The city of Columbia looked amazing and just shows off the level of quality that Irrational’s art team has.

Best Value: Card Hunter:

Free to play games are all the rage these days and it can be hard to stand out among the crowd. Card Hunter by Blue Manchu easily has the most value for a F2P game released this year– By offering an entire single player campaign and multiplayer access for free on your browser. While the game does have micro transactions, the only things that are locked behind them are new character models.

Combined with an incredibly unique take on CCG design, Card Hunter is one of the best games you can play on your browser.

Reserved space for  2014 award winner: Clockwork Empires

The latest game from developer Gaslamp Games looks to hit every item on the list of dream concepts for me. A steampunk lovecraftian city builder is an idea that I’m surprised that I never thought of in my wildest dreams.

The it could have been a contender award: Planetary Annihilation

Planetary Annihilation was a game that I was looking forward to after pledging to it on the kickstarter. Unfortunately the game has gotten so big that Uber wasn’t able to meet their planned December date and had to push it back to “when it’s done”. But hopefully it will be a candidate for the 2014 awards.

The 11th place award:  Marvel Puzzle Quest

Marvel Puzzle Quest is a game that I’m conflicted about. On one hand the gameplay of building your party of heroes and pseudo PvP tournaments was great. But the game’s monetization model and general grinding of missions belongs more on a mobile game rather than a PC release at this time. If the developers can adjust things to not be so monetized then I think they will have a winner.

Originally Marvel Puzzle Quest was going to be my #10 game on the list but thinking about it and other F2P games that were released; they were able to deliver both on quality and without mechanics designed to force you to spend money. So I decided to bump it down to here.

And with that, tomorrow we’ll start the awards.

# 10

# 9