July 2012 was the hottest month on record for a lot of places.  When we should have all been enjoying great summer days at the beach or in the cottage, many of us found ourselves hiding from the sun in our homes, sitting next to a fully cranked air conditioner unit.

Thank goodness we had games to play to help us pass the time.  :)

There were a few real winners hitting the scene this July, with everything from Outwitters to Cloudstone blowing our proverbial socks off.  But while they were great, those game didn’t quite make the cut.  Neither did Thomas Was Alone, Adelantado, Emily’s Wonder Wedding, or Tynon.  So what did?

 

Games of the Month – PC/Mac

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Grim Tales: The Wishes (Winner)

Elephant Games has had a string of great releases in 2012, and the latest Grim Tales is no exception.  Beautiful scenes, a great narrative, and well-constructed hidden object scenes help this one stand out at the top of the pack, with plenty of fresh puzzle concepts added into the mix too.

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Eternal Journey: New Atlantis (Runner Up)

Hey look!  A hidden object game that’s not about an abandoned city or haunted house!  Science fiction seems rife with HOG possibilities, but few developers every try to explore it.  That’s why Eternal Journey: New Atlantis is such a notable release – not only does it root itself in the world of sci-fi, but it does so with style and grace, demonstrating that the genre can be a perfect match for the hidden object world.

 

Game of the Month – Mobile

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Summoner Wars (Winner)

Turn-based team battles seem to be all the rage in free-to-play mobile nowadays.  Hero Academy and Outwitters are great examples of this – but neither of them offer the depth and breadth of content that you’ll find in Summoner Wars.  Originally a print board/card game, the digital adaptation is a perfect offering for gamers on the go.  You’ll get to play with two teams for free, but once you do, it’s only a matter of time before you click “purchase” to unlock the whole collection.

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Fieldrunners 2 (Runner Up)

Tower defense may not have their roots on mobile devices, but over the last few years, this is where they’ve clearly found their home.  And the granddaddy of all mobile TDs?  That would have to be Fieldrunners.  Now, four years after its release, a sequel has surfaced – a sequel that may very well set the tone for every tower defense game that follows it.

 

Game of the Month – Social and Online

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Outernauts (Winner)

Pokemon was – scratch that – IS a phenomenon.  More than 15 years after its debut, this Nintendo franchise is still seeing sales in the millions. And after all this time, other developers are still trying to crack that magical monster capture formula and failing miserably.  Well… most of them are failing miserably.  Insomniac Games, however, might just have struck paydirt.  Not only is Outernauts is pretty much everything you’d want from a free-to-play pocket monster game, it’s one of the best games available on Facebook, period.

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Wordox (Runner Up)

Scrabble, Words With Friends – crossword games have been done to death, right?  We thought so too – that’s why we were so surprised by Wordox.  With a few simple twists on a familiar formula, Wordox breathes plenty of new life into a somewhat stale genre.  Quick games, shared tiles, and an emphasis on stealing words rather than building big ones has put Wordox on our must-play list for any fans of competitive word games out there.