We’re in the midst of the longest console generation ever. While that in itself is kind of a bummer (new tech lust is a real thing), it hasn’t had any sort of ill effects on the PC market. The progression of technology is a little more fluid there, which means there’s almost never any sort of gap where at least some interesting PC games aren’t getting released. 2012 turned out to be a banner year for the platform, with notable releases of both the major and indie variety arriving on a regular basis.
In fact, we figured we’d go ahead and compose a list of what we considered to be the year’s five best! And, as is par for the course ’round these parts, we encourage you to tell us what your personal favorites were in the comments section.
There are pros and cons to the staggering amount of hidden object games currently on the market. The downside is that it’s hard to find time to play them all; the upside is that the sheer volume of them means developers must work hard to rise above the competition. Spirits of Mystery: Song of the Phoenix doesn’t attempt anything too innovative, but its production values and quality put it a cut above the majority of its genre-mates. That quality is most noticeable in its appearance, but it also extends to its puzzle design and gameplay.
We’ve all at one point or another pondered what being a psychic would be like. Angelica Weaver happens to know firsthand, and chooses to flex her talents by assisting with investigations. In Catch Me When You Can, she’s asked to help track down a serial killer loose in a Chicago city. Not long after the investigation begins she finds herself warped back to another century, where she discovers another killer just like the first. This is the basic plot of the game, and it paves the way for a brilliant hidden object game with well-written dialogue and clever puzzles.
#3 – Botanicula
You don’t have to be a nature lover to appreciate Botanicula, but it certainly helps. It’s an adventure game that tells the tale of a group of bugs trying to figure out why the tree they live on is slowly dying, and from that humble concept comes an endearing experience replete with gorgeous scenery and brilliant puzzles.
Entomophobic or not, you’ll be rooting for the bug protagonists from the get-go.
There’s no denying past Scribblenauts games were a little rough around the edges. The central concept of summoning creatures and items by typing in nouns has consistently been enjoyable, but the framework of unrelated puzzles that surrounded it was always kind of disappointing. With the simple inclusion of an overworld and cohesive storyline, Scribblenauts Unlimited manages to fix those issues.
The game was released on several platforms, but it’s best when played on PC. That’s because there’s a whole lot of typing involved, and the simple inclusion of a, you know, physical keyboard, makes typing out “gigantic Cthulhu” that much easier.
#1 – The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead isn’t like any game we’ve played before. It’s an adventure game at its core, sure, but that doesn’t totally encapsulate what it’s all about. The best way to describe it, really, is a season of a TV show where you play a role in the story progression. It’s about as gripping an experience as we’ve ever seen in video games, and we’d even venture so far as to say it’s on par with (and sometimes better than) The Walking Dead show and comic.
We finished the final chapter over a month ago, but these tears just keep on falling. It was a brilliant conclusion to the experience, and one that managed to simultaneously respect the many choices the player made along the way and acknowledge the sheer bleakness of the game’s world. Needless to say, we’re already greatly anticipating season two.
With another year come and gone, Gamezebo is looking back at the best games that 2012 had to offer. Our month-long retrospective will touch on just about every type of game you can imagine – so be sure not to miss any of it! Check out our full collection of Best of 2012 articles, and vote for your favorite games in our 2012 Reader’s Choice awards.