The Walking Dead Season 2
The first episode
of The Walking Dead Season 2
is perhaps the best that Telltale has ever been. There was a lot riding on that one, following the triumph of Season 1
– the protagonist would be Clementine, beloved Clementine, and the writing had to hold up separately from the narrative momentum of those first five episodes.
The rest of the season was similarly brilliant, for the most part – my issues with The Walking Dead Season 2
lie almost solely in the final episode
, wherein the fragments of Telltale's narrative formula are on clear display. Still, Telltale is a master of point-and-click drama and The Walking Dead Season 2
proves that the series – and Telltale – is far from dead.The Talos Principle
Timing is a bitch. I truly believe that if The Talos Principle
had launched just a little earlier in the year, it would be all over Joystiq's Game of the Year list. It's a puzzle game wrapped in a philosophy lesson and littered with questions of morality, humanity and technology – yet it's still light-hearted, it's still quirky, it's still fun. The puzzles are wonderfully balanced, deep thoughts allowed to simmer while players complete light-bending or block-stacking riddles. The Talos Principle
is tense and gorgeous, and it somehow doesn't become preachy, even with all of the talk about gods.Towerfall: Ascension
Damn the rules – Towerfall
for GOTY 2014! Technically, it came out in 2013 on Ouya, so this one is out of the running for 2014's lineup, but Towerfall
will always find a happy home with me. Towerfall
is local co-op at its finest, featuring retro sounds and design, and a fast-paced, competitive platform. Each round of Towerfall
usually ends in loud cries of, "Did you see that?!
" or "No way, that was amazing!
" and every level, co-op or competition style, is charming and unpredictable.
I will be playing Towerfall
for years to come, guaranteed.Murasaki Baby
Murasaki Baby performed a miracle – it made me OK with the Vita's rear touchpad.
This little game snuck into my heart in 2014, featuring that odd little girl with her upside-down head and heart-shaped balloon wandering the terrifying and strange roads of a Tim Burton-esque universe. Murasaki Baby
takes full advantage of the Vita's controls, using every bit but never over-using a single mechanic. The platforming and power-switching designs are absolutely on-point, and Murasaki Baby
is a must-play game for anyone with a Vita. It's weird, kind of sad and insanely happy – but mostly, it's a great game.
[Images: Asher Vollmer, Telltale, Devolver Digital, Matt Makes Games, SCEE]