My Five Favorite Video Games Of 2013!

I did not play a lot of new games in 2013 since I was saving up for my Xbox One.  Maybe next year I will be able to play more (oh wait, I am having a kid so I guess not).  Of the ones I did play, here are my five favorites in reverse order:

5: The Cave


The Cave was fairly simple, and it didn’t have the most creative puzzles ever, but it was incredibly charming.  It made me smile the whole time I played it, so for that it makes the list at number five.

4: Shadowrun Returns


I played a lot of the pen and paper role playing game Shadowrun in 2013, so to be able to play it on the computer was great.  This crowd-funded indie’s major flaw was that it was lacking a save anywhere system, but it looks like they are going to fix that in early 2014, so it is only going to get better.

3: State of Decay


2013 was the year that indie games really took off with them filling two of my top five slots, and State of Decay was one of the best.  It combined rouge-like gameplay with zombie survival.  Microsoft was very smart when they locked this title up for themselves for a few months.

2: Assassins Creed 4


I have not done a proper review of this game since I just started playing it on my Xbox One, but of what I have played, I have been very happy.  I am only in the early going, but it is far more engaging than Assassin’s Creed 3, and I am guessing it has to do with having my own boat and sailing the ocean blue!

This game is awesome.  I have never felt more like a pirate in any game I have ever played.  Sid Meier’s Pirates finally has some competition!  Got a new Xbox One and need a game to play?  Look no further.

1: Peggle 2


Oh man I love this game!  It makes me happy to play it, and in the end that is what games are supposed to do.  If you want to play a game celebrates your success as much if not more than you do, than this should be on the top of your list.

So what were your favorite games this year, or why is my list completely wrong?  Leave a comment below and let the world know.

It Is Hard To Go Back Again: Fallout 2


Fallout 2 a 1998 RPG by Black Isle Studios made my list of favorite games of all time, so when it was free on, I jumped at the chance to play it again.  I am glad that I did, but it is play sessions like this that prove how far we have come in making video games.

The plot continues some time after the first game, and the village the Vault Dweller from the first game founded is in trouble.  It is up to you to find a Garden of Eden Creation Kit to save the village.

The things I loved about Fallout 2 fifteen years ago are still what I love about the game now.  It has a wide open world, and you can do pretty much whatever you want.  The dark humor is fantastic, but much like all things in life, my mind forgot the bad parts of this game.

This game has one of the worst interfaces of all time.  It requires you to press down on the mouse with just enough force not to select an action, but kind of click hover, and than drag the mouse up or down to select the action you would like to preform.  It is so frustrating kind of picking all sorts of things, but not having them work.

It also lacks a good quest log, so I am always trying to remember exactly what I was trying to do, or that I accepted a quest at all.  Than add to that, there is no auto-save, so if you die and have not saved in like fifteen minutes you will have to hover-click and figure stuff out all over again.  This is particularly troublesome because for the first part of the game just about everything can and will kill you.

Not to mention if you, like me, decide to make a smart fast talking character, you will have to get used to the word “missed” a lot because you cannot hit anything.  You will just sit there and stab at that scorpion for what seem like an eternity.  In the mean time you will have no antidote for all the poison that has been thrust in to your frail frame, so you will just have to watch yourself die a slow and painful death.

I am not taking Fallout 2 off my favorite games list, because once I got used to all limitations of the game I started to really enjoy myself.  It is always difficult to play old games because of all the streamlining and tweaking that has taken place over the last few decades, but if you tough it out you can still find what made you enjoy them so much in the first place.

Use Your Imagination With Scribblenauts Unlimited!


I have always wanted to play around with the Scribblenauts franchise, and thanks to the recent Humble Bundle I was able to do so very cheaply.  Scribblenauts Unlimited is the fourth game in the Scribblenauts franchise, but the first to come to a home console the Wii U and to Windows PC.

The story is about a young boy Maxwell with a notebook that can create anything he writes in it, but this has made him spoiled.  One day he meets an old man who wants some food, so Maxwell plays a trick on him and creates a rotten apple.  The man is angered by this, and puts a curse on his sister that is slowly turning her to stone.  The only way to fix the curse is to do good deeds for people and collect the Starites that appear when they are happy.  Get enough Starites and save your sister.

The gameplay is very simple.  You walk around and find a challenge or some unhappy people and create things that fix the problem or make the person happy.  You can create just about anything provided it is not copyrighted or vulgar, unless you get the Wii U version and you can summon Nintendo characters.  You can also edit the objects/people around you by either adding adjectives to change the object’s attributes: For instance if you see a beggar you can add that he is a rich beggar, and he will have a bunch of money.  You can also edit them in a truer since by opening the object editor that looks a little like MS paint and change all of the object’s attributes:  Like turning a phone booth in to a flying phone monster.

The one problem with all this power is that it makes the game pretty simple, and for me the biggest challenge is just remembering how to spell what I want to make.  However, it is still very fun just to see what crazy things I can come up with to fix the problem at hand.  The graphical style is quite charming as well, and makes the whole world just fit together.

This game is quite good, and if you have not played a Scribblenauts game before this seems like a good place to start.  It works quite well on the PC since you can use the keyboard to type out your commands.  Due to its low difficulty, it makes it the perfect game to just relax and play around with, or let younger gamers exercise their creativity.  I think the game is currently $20 on Steam, but it is always going on sale, so it can be an affordable addition to your game library.

Shmee Plays The Dark Mod 2.0!


Do you like the Thief Games?  I like the Thief Games, but The Dark Mod was made by people who love the Thief Games, so they decided to make their own version of them, but update them a bit using the Doom 3 engine.  Things really went their way when Id Games released the Doom 3 Engine as open source, so now you can download and play The Dark Mod for free on Windows and Linux, and you don’t have to install Doom 3.  They really should change the name of the game now that it is no longer a mod.

If you have never played Thief than you are missing out.  The game is a first person stealth game where you club people on the back of the head or shoot people from the darkness with your bow and arrow and of course steal stuff.  All based in kind of a steam punk dark ages world.  The Dark Mod is exactly the same, but with a minor difference.

The Thief games always had an overarching story, but The Dark Mod is a series of fan created missions that you can download in game, or find them on the forums.  They also encourage you to make your own missions and share them with the community, so there is a lot of content.

As you can guess, I think this is a pretty great game, and since it is free and it runs on the older Doom 3 Engine there is no reason not to download it and see if you like it as well.

Playing Around Like A Godus!


I was kind of torn about whether I should write anything about this game or not because according to the developer 22Cans it is only 40% complete, but they are selling it on Steam Early Access for $19.95 (or if you are like me you got it through Kickstarter), so I figure it is fair game.  The game is being designed by Peter Molyneux, and like I wrote before developed by his new studio 22Cans.  It returns Molyneux to his roots in god games.

What is a god game you ask?  It is a game where you play as a god, and you use your mystical powers to influence a civilization.  As you get more powers, your people get more advanced.  As they get more advanced they give you more praise, and you get cooler mystical powers.  It is a simple yet fun concept, and it is quite addicting.

Godus is billed as the reinvention of the god game, but it still feels like the god games I grew up playing, so I am not sure what the reinvention is, more clicking perhaps?  Maybe that will come in with the next 60% of the game.

The graphics have a fun layered look that almost makes the entire game look like a large paper-craft model, and the buildings and people are reasonably stylized.  The layers are also practical as well since by grabbing them and pulling or pushing you mold the ground.  You will be doing this a lot to either make suitable area for building houses, or looking for resource cards.  Changing the land costs “Praise” that floats in little balls above your peoples houses after awhile.  You can also use the Praise to build totems and statues that further alter your peoples’ abilities and motivations.

If your people are working to slow you can build one that makes them work faster.  Sick of clicking Praise bubbles?  You can build a statue to collect it all in one large bubble.  You can build one that makes people run to it, so you can move them around the map.  Pretty much all the advanced stuff is done with totems.

There are also diamonds that you can spend on upgrades if you do not want to wait for enough Praise.  I think this is where the Free to Play aspect will come in, but I am not sure.

All and all it is a fun god game, and it is a great time sucker.  I always want to flatten a little more land, find just a few more cards, or get a few more advancements, so it is already successful in that regard.  It may not be “done” yet but since there are very few new god games to play (Sand is the only other one I can think of) it is still worth checking out if you like the genre.