Now that September has finally reached its timely close, we’re really getting into the heart of fall right now, and changing leaves and pumpkin carving are only a few short weeks away! Some of my fondest video game memories took place during the fall, like coming home directly from school to sit in front of my TV and play video games, or just staying home from school altogether to sit in front of my TV and play video games.
There were a lot of amazing new releases this month that truly worked wonders towards making it a September to remember in the video game world: from whimsical point-and-click adventures that took players to all ends of fantastical new worlds; to exhilarating action games that pushed the limits of what mobile games could really be capable of; and to just all-around good browser-based fun that had us battling cards with our older brother Gary and dropping a few pretend coins on our favorite virtual slot machines. Have any guesses as to what those games might be? Well keep on reading to see Gamezebo’s top games of the month for September 2013!
PC/Mac Game of the Month
Over the last handful of years, German developer Daedalic Entertainment has managed to craft their own niche of adventure games that has simply gone unmatched by many others. From the beloved Deponia series to the recently released The Night of the Rabbit, Daedalic knows how to craft an utterly magical and whimsical world, and fill it to the brim with all sorts of fantastical beings and happenings that stretch our imaginations to the outermost limit. But their latest release might very well be one of Daedalic’s most crowning achievements yet (or at the very least, it was certainly a crowning achievement to us here at Gamezebo for the month of September!). Memoria is a direct sequel to Daedalic’s Chains of Satinav, and the twisting dual narratives of Geron and Sadja, the thoughtful puzzles steeped in logic that permeate throughout the journey, and the absolutely breathtaking visuals all work in complete harmony here to cement the Daedalic name alongside poignant point-and-click adventure games for many more releases to come.
Surface: The Pantheon (Runner-Up)
It looks like Elephant Games has done it again this month, as the latest entry in their acclaimed and fan-favorite Surface series raises the bar even higher for what kind of beauty is truly possible in a hidden object adventure game today. Adopting a more noir-style approach than in games past, Surface: The Pantheon follows the harrowing tale of Gina, a tragic young woman whose entire family disappears into a treacherous fantasy realm that’s hidden on the other side of an abandoned magical tunnel. Everything about the game’s presentation is completely top-notch and utterly memorable long after the adventure comes to its inevitable close, from the imaginative storyline, to the rich and vibrant graphics, to the heart-thumping soundtrack, and to even the voice acting, which is often a stumbling block for many like-minded HOGs these days. But Surface: The Pantheon never disappoints, and its charisma and charm were easily enough to make it one of our clear favorites for the month of September.
Mobile Game of the Month
Infinity Blade III (Winner)
I can think of very few other games, let alone trilogies, out there right now that are so widely used to showcase the true power and prowess of mobile gaming in the 2010s than Chair Entertainment’s Infinity Blade. Now with Infinity Blade III, Chair not only brings their epic action trilogy to a fitting close, but they also give us a glimpse as to what the future of mobile gaming might actually hold in 2014 and beyond. Here’s a hint: it looks and plays like some of the finest console-quality experiences you can think of. And even though the exciting third installment brings us a lot of the same things we’ve already seen from Infinity Blade games of old, virtually every aspect has been upgraded to near perfection, and there’s an especially nice emphasis on the overarching story and implementation of Infinity Blade lore here, not to mention the series’ first new playable character in the form of Isa. Looking for a game to show off what your new iPhone 5s can do? Then Infinity Blade III is easily the game for you.
Boson X (Runner-Up)
What happens when you take the traditional mechanics of an endless runner game like Temple Run, blend it together with the blisteringly difficult short-fuse kind of gameplay from Super Hexagon and Impossible Road, and then coat the whole thing in a bright and colorful sheen with remnants of science and technology being tossed around at every turn? Why, you would get Ian MacLarty’s Boson X, that’s what: you’re next I-just-need-to-get-a-little-further mobile obsession, and also your very likely next source of unleashing all your pent-up gamer rage. But I’m totally okay with letting my frustration show when it stems from a game that’s as hopelessly fun and addictive as Boson X. The gameplay itself is a simple matter of rotating the cylindrical world and “quantum jumping” over gaps in the platforms that come at you faster than the speed of light. Boson X is also a shining example of how varied and wonderfully complex the visual changes in something as basic as an endless runner game can (and should) actually be today in 2013.
Web-Based Game of the Month
Card Hunter (Winner)
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a base Card Collecting Game that contains as many gaming and pop cultural references as Card Hunter does, all while providing the gameplay thrills of an action-packed tabletop fantasy RPG. The very meta storyline in the game actually revolves around your character trying to impress your older brother Gary, who’s apparently this big hotshot around the house when it comes to CCGs and the like. Not only is the game extremely fun and challenging (not to mention an excellent amalgamation of multiple game genres), but the presentation has just the right amount of quirkiness, and there’s so much about the experience that’s just downright funny. I mean, if you can come up with some other CCG and tabletop fantasy RPG hybrid that uses Pizza Slices as its primary form of currency, then all the power to you: but until then, Card Hunter continues to be one of the most unique and unexpected browser-based surprises that we’ve seen in quite a while.
Hit It Rich! Casino Slots (Runner-Up)
I’ve never really been that much of a gambler, but when I do decide to drop a few coins and try my luck at some slots, I’ve been known to like my slot machines fun, virtual, and never actually taking any of my real money. Hit It Rich! Casino Slots from Zynga and their newly acquired studio at Spooky Cool Labs takes everything you know and love about real world slot machines and translates it into a fun and friendly package, full of flashing digital lights and all kinds of surprising casino bonuses. The game’s aesthetic is especially nice, with specific regards to the Wizard of Oz themed machine that has you lining up characters and items from the iconic classic film for big winnings. And the base game is only going to get better from here on out, as more and more fun casino features are already in the works to be introduced in future game updates. Hide your imaginary wallets now!