Best of the Rest: Kevin's Picks of 2008

Kevin Kelly
K. Kelly|01.01.09

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Best of the Rest: Kevin's Picks of 2008
Boom Blox
My Wii gathered so many cobwebs this year that it looked like it was a prop from a creepy old Boris Karloff movie. The phenomenon of Wii Fit had me dust it off and breathed some new life into it for a few days, but before long it was relegated back to its hiding space under the couch. That is until Boom Blox slid smoothly into the disc slot. Two days later, I could barely move my right arm due to my newfound obsession, and I still fire it up on a regular basis just to hurl balls at Jenga towers.

Age of Booty (XBLA, PSN, PC)
I love board games so much that my collection is threatening to outgrow the storage closets and cupboards that they inhabit, coming to life in a Frankenstein-like amalgam of pawns and dice that will choke me to death. That's where the digital delight of downloadable games comes to my rescue. The only problem? The the bulk of them are boring. However, if you love piracy and giving your enemies a broadside from your galleon, Age of Booty is just about perfect. It's got that board game feeling without the need to gather everything up afterward and cram it into a cardboard box.

Defense Grid: The Awakening (PC)
Tower defense games are nothing new, but one problem with being a Mac and console gamer is that there aren't really any available to you. Earlier this year at PAX, I got a sneak peek at Defense Grid, but I hadn't been able to give it a proper whirl until recently, when I finally joined the PC masses. I love that you get tutored through the stages by an ancient -- but wonky -- A.I. program, and with over 20 unique levels and 10 different tower types, it's got a lot of replay built into it. That, and a pretty brutal level of difficulty. Developer Hidden Path has hinted that this might come to consoles, so cross your fingers. It'll be worth the wait.
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