Rebekah’s Game of the Year – Honorable Mentions
#13 – Codename S.T.E.A.M.
What do you get when you throw a bunch of historical and literary figures together in a steampunk universe to fight aliens? Apparently, this. Codename S.T.E.A.M.’s bizarre, quirky universe featured challenging, strategic gameplay threading together an over-the-top, comic book universe. On my initial playthrough, the two elements didn’t mesh. Tedious enemy turns and repetitive deaths made the hyperbolic dialogue less enjoyable, but S.T.E.A.M. managed to redeem itself somewhat after release. A post-release patch smoothed out the gameplay, and ongoing multiplayer competitions have given the game some longevity. These quality of life improvements helped me better enjoy the game’s good humor and clever references, making it worth telling my friends about.
#12 – Fallout Shelter
Not being a huge fan of resource-gathering mobile games, I have to say I was impressed by Fallout Shelter. Somehow, setting fairly typical mobile game gimmicks in the Fallout universe with minimal hounding over microtransactions made for a delightful experience. Day by day, I checked my Vault, slowly filling it with dwellers of all sorts and giving them useful jobs to do for the good of the community. The goofy conversations between dwellers and nods to adventuring experiences from the main games as I sent my dwellers out to explore were a delight to stumble upon as I played. Fallout Shelter certainly succeeded in hyping up Fallout 4, keeping series fans busy while we waited.
#11 – The Legend of Zelda: Tri-Force Heroes
For those of us who remember Four Sword Adventures with fondness, Tri-Force Heroes was a welcome addition to the Legend of Zelda franchise. Tri-Force Heroes allows one or three players to team up as differently colored Links to solve puzzles and clear dungeons with the full breadth of Link’s arsenal. The single player gameplay is weaker than the multiplayer, but the 3DS’s excellent online capabilities essentially allow you to tackle the kinds of challenges you faced in Link Between Worlds with your friends. With 32 levels containing multiple stages in each, plus Challenge modes and lots of costumes to collect, Tri-Force Heroes is a delight to play with pals local or long-distance.
Next: #10 - Intrigue, romance, and a big to be continued.