The Christmas Leftovers 2014: Part Two

It’s time to mop up the very last parts of the overly obvious food metaphor for the year. As we struggle to swallow down those last few mouthfuls of this trite cliche, let’s move on a far more delicious pudding: the final part of our Bestest of the Restest games of 2014. You can read part one here. And once again, they’re in no particular order.

Titanfall

Graham: Titanfall seemed like a great game that had been hobbled by the nature of its release. I loved its freerunning, its mechs, its capture-the-flag mode, but I was no fan of its lack of server browser, mod support, its requirement for Origin. In a world of games-as-service, it seemed like a crappy service. Was that why I stopped playing it and haven’t been back? I’m not sure, but I do know that I still love the game when I do play it. There’s something in my brain that still can’t believe that it works as well as it does, letting you leap from rooftops and cling on to passing mechs, or to call down and be caught in the arms of your own. Change the business model, offer users more freedom, and this might have been game of the year.

Alice: Big mechs, jetpacks, wall-running, and a chunky shotgun should’ve might’ve made Titanfall a Total Alice Game. Dashing about, shooting men, riding mechs, blasting robots, and stomping on everything was pretty fun and all but Titanfall didn’t quite get its hooks into me. Not helped by waiting around in menus for ages between rounds, I lost interest and haven’t played in months. Perhaps I’m bitter that it locked its big chunky revolver down away inside the persistent progression – a cardinal sin for any FPS.

Alec: As I’ve been saying ad nauseum lately, I’ve fallen out of multiplayer and need to find a way back. However, I spent a cheerful couple of weeks happily playing Titanfall with randoms. Underneath a paltry, thoughtless-seeming structure, there was a really great, really accessible, really exciting multiplayer shooter in Titanfall. I know ‘accessible’ is a toxic word for many people, but in this case it was all to the good as far as I’m concerned: big thrills with a low barrier to entry. One of the surprising benefits to this is that I found playing as a footsoldier more thrilling than doing the robostomp, which I hadn’t at all expected. That sense of being fragile, fleshy boots on the ground, and doing something useful, as the world turned to giant mecha hell was glorious.

There just wasn’t enough of it, and getting access to what there was increasingly became an exercise in time-wasting frustration and restriction. Again, there’s a great game inside Titanfall’s outer husk, and I hope someone finds a way to free it eventually.

Wasteland 2

Adam: Enormous, humorous and smart, Wasteland 2 is a triumph. I’ve met several people who reckon it’s the best game of the year and have enjoyed telling me why that is at great length. I wish I could be as passionate about it but I came away full of admiration but almost entirely bereft of memories. Despite my love of the radioactive wastes, I liked Wasteland 2 but couldn’t muster up any passion for it.

Elite: Dangerous

Adam: I installed Elite: Dangerous on Sunday and actually did a little excited dance when it was finished. Have I played enough to say it’s wonderful? Not a chance. But the sheer size and beauty of it might well make it the Elite Truck Simulator game I’ve been craving for a few years now.

Alec: It’s too soon to offer a real opinion, but clearly this was a big contender for our best of lists. Its depiction of space – or the wide-eyed nerd’s happy dream of being in space – is simply incredible. As a game about a journey – i.e. a truck simulator in the Milky Way – I think Dangerous has absolutely nailed it. As a broader game about galactic adventures I’m not quite so sure yet: there’s a lot of drudge work involved. I think Dangerous’ potential won’t be met for some time yet, but I do believe that it will be met. What we have so far is mere foundations, but they are truly formidable foundations.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

John: Ethan Carter was almost great, but also almost terrible. It’s plodding and cliche-ridden story, and daft, clumsy ghosty crime recreation minigame, ensured it could never be celebrated with end of year glory. But wow, blimey, cor, it was pretty. And while that might sound facile, this was one of those cases where pretty was really important. The artistry on display, the sheer brilliance of the creation of this breathakingly beautiful explorable town, is a remarkable achievement. It’s astonishing, and it should shame every other developer into upping their game, just as Far Cry once did.

The Evil Within

Adam: I nominated this in its very own category – Bestest Best Schlock of the year. The baddies have bits of metal sticking out of their bonces and you collect brains in jars to level up your abilities. There are gothic castles and bloody medical labs. Despite the schlock label it’s a clever game, combining stealth and the occasional stellar piece of level design to create tension and terror.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

Alice: Hi, sorry, I should’ve played more BoI: Rebirth sooner. Only after we drew up our lists did I find time to play this and now I’ve played 13 hours over three days days and crushed Mom’s Heart and I have so much more left to find and see and unlock and murder. Okay, sorry, bye.

Adam: I played too much BoI: Rebirth but didn’t argue particularly strongly for it at all. I don’t know why. It’s brilliant. Bestest Best Poos.

Alec: ‘Bestest Best Freshening Up Of Existent Game’. Wonderfully, monstrously compulsive, and a successful liberation of Isaac from its traditional confines without losing any of the claustrophobic adrenaline.

Jazzpunk

Adam: When I played Jazzpunk at the beginning of the year, I wasn’t convinced I’d remember any of the gags by the end of the year. I do. Top notch gags.

The Forest

John: I’ve had a great deal of fun playing this deeply peculiar and incredibly unfinished game this year. In a year that saw far too many survival games trying to compete for our attention, few got it quite as right as The Forest. It’s often dark, morbid, and terrifying, but at other times bright, cheerful and relaxing. Standing on a beach at dusk, watching the sun set, the moon rise, and the turtles crawl out of the sea to lay their eggs in the sand was only slightly marred by the mutilated corpse lying by the blood-splattered tent pitched nearby. That I was attacked by hideous naked lunatics on my way back to my shelter certainly changed the tone of what had been a pleasant evening’s stroll, but chopping them up into bits with an axe helped me move on.

It seems to be selling very well on Steam, so I hope there’s enough money pouring in for them to continue rapid development, and to see the game fleshing out into something that sustains more than the first few days of play. A first few days I’ve happily played over and over, merrily smashing open suitcases and fighting my way out of godforsaken caves of skin-crawling mutant monstrosities.

Chaos Reborn

Alec:Very early – too early – days for Julian Gollop’s Chaos remake, but the turn-based wizard war is on track to be something rather special. Thoughtful and oddball, encouraging a very different kind of strategic thinking, and I think it’s an alternative we need more than we realise. By Jove, he’s pulled it off. I’ll be writing more about this in January, especially now there’s a singleplayer mode of sorts in there.

Dungeon of the Endless

Adam: Amplitude greedily guzzled our top prize this year but they could have snagged another as well if everyone else at RPS had been as handsome as me. Handsome people, as all of you handsome readers well know, are very much in favour of Dungeon of the Endless.

Deep Under The Sky

Pip Is it okay if my recommendation is just “The best single-button jellyfish ejaculation game of 2014”? Because that’s what it is.

The Blackwell Epiphany

Adam: The end of an era. An era in which David Gilbert delivered one of the best point and click series in the history of games. Roll on whatever comes next.

Twelve Minutes

John: It’s perhaps not entirely helpful to include a game that’s not only not available for anyone to play, but actually in its incredibly early prototype stages. But I did at one point argue for this to get a trophy in the advent awards. A game lasting (actually less than at this point) twelve minutes, in which you Groundhog Day-style time loop back to the same moment over and over, trying to solve the mystery of why a violent cop keeps arresting your wife and murdering you, whether your wife has been lying to you about her father all these years, and why exactly you keep reliving the same twelve minutes over and over and over.

It’s bloody incredible. Three rooms, twelve minutes, three characters, and yet it doesn’t get boring to repeat. There’s enough smartness even in this early stage that lets you skip through the stuff you don’t want to see every time, but room to try to behave and respond differently to all the tiny details that occur. And the AI at work is like nothing I’ve seen before, adapting to such microscopic details. Who serves up dinner, for instance. Oh, I can’t wait for people to be able to play this to see why I’m so excited.

Darkwood

Adam: Alien: Isolation might have been my pick for Bestest Best Horror game of the year, but nothing scared me quite as much as Darkwood. A top-down crafting and creeping game, currently in Early Access, it’s startling, sinister, surreal and exquisitely constructed. It doesn’t fit neatly into the crafting survival box or into the survival horror box, but it is a crafting horror survival game. I wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself writing about it again next December, should the planned summer launch go to plan.

With Those We Love Alive

Alice:I felt alone, alienated, oppressed, bored, and tired, and horrified by how quietly I accepted that, trying to find beauty and pleasure in the small things when I could until even that was too much. Pretty good, that. It stayed in my thoughts – and drawn on my body – for quite some time.

Game Of Thrones (Telltale)

Alec: Wolfamongous scooped our best adventurey thing gong, but if it were based on just a single episode, Telltale’s HBO-endorsed follow-up series based on That Television Show With All The Killings would have pipped it. Its first act was a great surprise, rich in characterisation, dilemma and terror – recreating the key beats of the show/books but with a brand new cast whose fates we can’t even begin to guess at. Really looking forwards to where Telltale take this one.

Dream Quest

Alec: I frothed about how unbelievably great this unbelievably ugly CCG/roguelike was on iPad a couple of weeks ago, unaware that there was a completely unpromoted PC version too. I haven’t tried that version of it yet, but here it is. Hurrah! It’s one of the games I’ve most loved this year. More on this in the new year, I think.

Innumerable Small Games I Can’t Recall Right Now

Alice: 2014 was a wonderful year for small games. Each week brought several new short, weird, and wonderful games that were done and dusted within 20 minutes – and many were free. They don’t cram in padding and fluff, they do what they came to do then leave in time to catch the last train. They’re more free to be weird, playful, funny, experimental, and just plain imaginative. I find them some of the most exciting things going on PC games.

Let’s see if I can remember a few. Froggy. 2:22AM. Offline. Mario Cars 2. Meadows. Photobomb. Keep Walking EP oO. Heartwood. Lisa. Realistic Kissing Simulator. Hypnospace Enforcer. Oracle. Three Fourths Home. This list is absurdly short given that I know I’ve played and enjoyed dozens this year. My evidently failing memory aside, that’s fine. They’re short experiences to enjoy then move on from, but they get stuck inside somewhere. I smile whenever one pops into my thoughts.

51 Comments

  1. Creeping Death says:

    I absolutely love Dungeons of the Endless! But I am not a pretty person :(

    Titanfall – I picked it up recently for cheap. Haven’t had a chance to play it yet due to visiting relatives with naff internet, but seeing it here has gotten me thinking. Has there been a bit of a drought for FPS games this year? I can only really think of Titanfall, Wolfenstein (another brilliant game) and then the usual franchise entries of Borderlands and CoD. Maybe I’ve just not been looking for them this year….

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Isn’t that enough FPSes? There are way too many nowadays and all exactly the fugging same. Hooray for 2014, the year of only quite a lot of FPSes!

      • Creeping Death says:

        Well I don’t like CoD or Borderlands, and like I said I’ve literally just picked up Titanfall. So this year there’s only really been one FPS for me. On the other hand, I’ve been absolutely drowning in RPGs this year.

        I do find it funny that your complaint is that all FPS games are the same, yet the four I mentioned couldn’t be more different.

    • TheTingler says:

      You’re not wrong, it’s been a tough year for the FPS genre. In fact this is the year I finally acknowledged that the RPG had taken its place as my favourite genre.

      There’s also Far Cry 4 at least, and I’m looking forward to (Christopher Brookmyre’s) Bedlam coming out of Early Access.

  2. Blackcompany says:

    Agree on Elite. Lots of potential – and my god the sound is so good – but the game needs to realize that potential. Right now it feels hollow and empty. Coupled with the always online nature and the enormous learning curve and I just hope it manages to achieve its potential before turning the lights out due to lack of revenue.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I don’t think it’s in danger of having the lights turned out any time soon. This isn’t the only game Frontier develops, it’s just Braben’s pet project. They do a bunch of other games on mobile, and recently released something funded by Amazon for its smartphone. Maybe a little mutual backrubbing there, since Elite’s P2P matchmaking servers run on Amazon AWS.

      I agree it’s in a semi-complete state right now, somewhere halfway between a brilliant tech demo and a fleshed-out game. But there is a fanatical fan base to support it, and they’ve been waiting for something like this for years. It also has a level of singleplayer support that differentiates it from Star Citizen, so that will retain a large group of players who might otherwise jump ship. And yes I know SC has a singleplayer project and private server options, but in ED it’s more central to the game design.

      If they can crank out a major expansion every year, like the planned “walking around” and planet landing expansions, that’s probably enough to keep the game funded. Content is crucial though, to avoid having too many players burning out for lack of an “end game.”

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      I think part of the problem with that hollowness is actually not embracing it.

      Yeah… wait, bear with me a minute there: as of now i set off to that huge-ass red nebula you can see on the skybox, and it definitely is something you can approach, you can check that with the galaxy map.

      I don’t care when i’ll get there, it’ll take more than a week i’m sure, but as of now i’m loving the random scrappyness of the frontier systems, the fact that many of them now require you to either have the exploring equipment or to buy maps, how they tend to be politically independent and run by weird clans and syndicates with almost untouched markets and little influence. It makes sense and it works for me.

      I’m still burning towards my goal with a Viper while i bounty hunt for better jumpdrives, as it’s getting harder and harder to bounce between systems now that they are more sparse, i could already buy a type 6 with all the upgrades i got but i don’t care, my golden ( black friday deal ) ship is my personal treasure and it will make it there, i can jump 13,5 light years at once now and nothing can stop me!

      In my opinion, this is Elite and in this way it works, especially if you end up doing everything from pirating, bounty hunting, smuggling and all the rest, and it feels even more special since my cargo bay still holds some rare drugs from a system very far away that are getting more and more valuable the more light years i travel away from their source. It’s a nice diversion from the usual trading, you feel like you have your own personal treasure to keep you warm as you end up being more and more alone among forgotten stars.

      • Blackcompany says:

        Having played countless hours of it tonight, I actually have come to agree: the emptiness just…belongs…in this game. Space is huge and its hard work to make it out there. And Elite probably comes closer to that than any space game I have played recently. Which should make it feel more like a job than a game. And maybe it even does feel more like a job than a game, in sort of the same way Eurotruck does.

        But if these are jobs then they are jobs I have always wanted to do. Exploring the frontiers of space. Launching headlong into the unknown, trying to scrape out a living amongst, literally, nothing. Never knowing what’s around the next bend or waiting at the next warp point.

        No hero story. No magical powers or invincible characters. Just a fallible human being working like hell alongside everyone else to earn what they can, in a way that’s enjoyable while you’re doing it.

        I think that helps me relate to a game and my role in it far better than I do in most games these days.

        • aircool says:

          It’s starting to hook me in the same way. Last night I discovered a way to find all those planets that aren’t on the system map in an unexplored system. Even though I only have the basic scanner (my only upgrade so far is a fuel scoop), I’m making enough money to buy another ship. I might pick up an Adder and settle down in one of the rich mining systems and break rocks, or maybe just carry on discovering whilst hauling a bit of cargo.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Aye, and by all means, keep varying your style and “job” everytime you feel like it, it’s enormously encouraged since as far as i know the various upgrades don’t lose value almost as if the game wants you to try everything.

            Even this way it won’t be fresh forever without new ways of doing things and various other mechanics, but it sure helps a ton.

    • Arithon says:

      Having spent two days taking missions in the Empire to achieve the rank of “Knight of the Empire” so far, I would argue with anyone that says the game is empty or there’s nothing to do. I still have two ranks to go before I make “Baron of the Empire” when I can obtain an Imperial Clipper, then I’ll take my combat Cobra back to Founders World where I stashed my Lakon Type 7 and go buy myself an Imperial Clipper.
      The game is amazing and is THE game to have for Oculus RIft, but not everyone wants a game that is driven by the player. That’s neither a criticism or the fault of the game, just the nature of play. If you want linear scripted corridor shooter game-play, this isn’t the game for you. It’s an almost unlimited sandbox. There’s no finish line.

  3. TomxJ says:

    Yey! Leftovers! All my favorites are leftovers! Gang Beasts, Jazzpunk, Blackwell. Nom!

  4. subedii says:

    Glad to see The Evil Within get a mention. It doesn’t neatly fit into a category as such. It’s not scary like Alien, and it’s not a full fledged 3rd person shooter. It hews closer to the original Resident Evils than the latter ones in a lot of respects, going for tough enemies and limited ammo, tension instead of scares.

    And there was an occasion or two, I have to say, where it made me genuinely feel a little queasy. Usually when the protagonist has slid down a chute and landed in a vat of… something.

    Started playing Jazzpunk. Should really finish it. Again, it’s not really something that can easily be categorised (I’m hesitant about directly calling it a “game” in the traditional sense), but it’s more just a collection of rapid fire sight-gags, visual and literal puns, and spy agency guff. They know roughly how long to run with a joke or a gimmick, and don’t let them overstay their welcome.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Helianthus says:

    Transistor and This War of Mine aren’t even in The Christmas Leftovers? Oh well, at least The Banner Saga got some recognition…
    Also, no sight of Child of Light and Valiant Hearts. Those are flawed enough that I can live without them being promoted more by RPS. But I salute Ubisoft for trying their hand at indie-style games. This is a great milestone for gaming, I hope to see more small projects from big teams in the coming years.
    This is the first year when I’m clearly out of sync with the Crew. Maybe that’s because Adam alone wrote, like, 150% of this year’s list?)
    But still, more good games than any list can hold is better than too few games.
    Happy holidays! *<:)

  6. derbefrier says:

    Titanfall was a lot of fun but seemed to fizzle out quickly for me. After a few months of it I just stopped playing with no desire to go back to it at all.

    Dungeon of the Endless looks really cool as does the Talos Principle and Invisible inc.. will probably buy one of these before the weekends over….

  7. AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

    Looks like the Keep Walking pic kept walking up the page! Eventually it’ll become the site banner and RPS will be the Best Retro Walking Simulator & Weird Music Site Since 1786 and all shall be as intended.

  8. Cockie says:

    No Cloudbuilt? Aw :(

    • gsilver says:

      Cloudbuilt was incredible.

      But my favorite game of the year was Freedom Planet. It pretty much brings together the best of the 16/32-bit classic 2D action games, like Rocket Knight Adventures/Sparkster/Gunstar Heroes/Sonic with Saturn-level visuals. Some of the boss battles in the game were amazing.

      • Cockie says:

        Freedom planet had been put on my wishlist some weeks ago, good to hear it’s as good as it looks :)

  9. CarthAnne says:

    Jazzpunk was my personal game of the year this year for the simple fact it was the only game I played this year (that came out this year) that didn’t feel like a slog to get to the end, and that remained charming and engaging throughout. I am very glad it was recognized here. Cheers!

    • caff says:

      Totally agree – I loved Jazzpunk from start to finish. It’s absolutely crazy, and was the sort of game I’d probably make if only I had the talent and inclination.

  10. Banks says:

    Honestly, I prefer the bestest of the restest to the bestest of the bestest. Anyway, great summary of the year RPS guys. As always, the bestest in the world.

  11. jonahcutter says:

    Darkwood is very good, and getting better.

    In a shambling horde of horror games, it stands out as something genuinely creepy and weird. It startles and disturbs. It is grotesque, though not a gross-out. The encounters feel desperate. The world is malevolent. The path it follows is idiosyncratic and strange.

    A dark, fever dream of a game.

  12. piedpiper says:

    Dear RPS. Stop naming games from Early Access. They are still not released so they are not games from 2014. Only a small percentage of gamers wants to play them now, when they are buggy and unfinished. Judge them when they are finished. Thank you.

    • jezcentral says:

      I second this. Games like Invisible Inc will benefit from being given the time to develop rather than having people being told it’s better than finished games.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      Dear piedpiper – you don’t give the orders around here.

      These are games we loved playing in 2014. Those are the criteria.

      Love John

      • jezcentral says:

        Fair enough. :)

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        I demand you love something else.

      • eggy toast says:

        Yeah this. “Not released yet” is a valid point, but if I sunk 60+ hours into a game this year then I really liked it this year

      • Deano2099 says:

        Is it though? There was a mention int he last article that some game didn’t make it because it was released in December and there wouldn’t be time for much play until January, and it wouldn’t be eligible next year.

    • green frog says:

      I was also surprised by the number of unfinished games, but no one’s forcing you to play them now. Just mark them as one to try when they’re done. If the game is already good enough to be worthy of recognition now, it’s probably going to be even better by the time it comes out of Early Access.

  13. caff says:

    I’m glad to see the last of the Blackwell games given a nod. I would never have discovered the series were it not for RPS. I went on a Wadjet Eye binge at one point and bought most of their catalogue, discovering such gems as “Gemini Rue” too. Well worth a look if you like adventure games – you just need to get over the clunky interface!

  14. caff says:

    Elite Dangerous and Chaos: Reborn both need following over the next few months – I think they can both blossom into something special.

  15. Steve Catens says:

    I’ve trumpeted this elsewhere, but the standalone version of Shadowrun: Dragonfall (The Directors Cut) is not getting enough love. I’ve played all the major RPGs frequently discussed this year, enjoyed many of them for succeeding at various aspects of rpg craft, but Dragonfall Directors Cut is the one that best delivered on all fronts. It’s an expanded and revised game from the one that RPS originally reviewed, with new content that makes a big difference in the player’s emotional investment in the characters, and some moments that I guarantee you will add to your “classic RPG memories” file. It’s got great writing in terms of dialogue and an unconventional story, intriguing characters, lots of roleplaying conversational options, proper full party control in satisfying tactical combat, and a brilliant, fresh setting.

    It’s a shame RPS wasn’t able to review this version of the game. The original Dragonfall expansion dlc was a good game, but Shadowrun: Dragonfall Directors Cut is a great cRPG in the traditional mold, and in my opinion, an all time classic. It’s on sale on Steam, and isn’t very expensive otherwise. If you enjoy traditional cRPGs and aren’t overly hung up on big budget graphics, please buy it. I think you’ll enjoy it, and the developer really needs the support.

    Happy Holidays to all!

    • soco says:

      I second the motion for Dragonfall: Director’s Cut! Probably my favorite from this year of a game that actually came out this year.

      I’m very excited to see what they have cooking up for their next shadowrun kickstarter starting next month.

    • caff says:

      I agree too! Best storyline in a game 2014.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Mumble mumble…

      I think i need to check this thing out.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Playing through the director’s cut for the first time right now, having never played the DLC version, just Shadowrun Returns. Have to say I agree wholeheartedly thus far – it’s already one of my favourite RPGs in years, and most importantly from my point of view, I utterly adore the characters. I’ve always loved Shadowrun as a setting, but it’s when a game does PEOPLE right that I really fall in love with it, and Dragonfall delivers.
      Combat feels much more balanced and satisfying this time around, too. (I did run through Shadowrun Returns as a pistol street samurai though…)

    • Devenger says:

      Recently fished Dragonfall – Director’s Cut out of my Steam library (“how did that get there? oh, cool”) and have been enjoying a second visit to the Flux-State. Having previously played Dragonfall very much in the shadow of the Kreuzbasar’s former leader, it’s been delightful to switch things up and play a trigger-happy mage who adores the thrill of needless violence. First new mission I’ve seen was a real treat in terms of multiple possible outcomes, too.

      Still can’t tear me away from Valkyria Chronicles though, having picked up the port when it was on sale recently. Combat that’s a puzzle, but a fairly easy and forgiving one – XCOM with less stress and more plot. (I say ‘easy’; I should probably stop getting my engineers perma-killed in my bids to save turns. Never let me command real soldiers.) Thanks RPS for writing about it, otherwise I wouldn’t have had my eye out for it :)

      • Steve Catens says:

        The “Lockdown” mission added in Dragonfall Directors Cut where you investigate the cyberdoc’s old lab is hilarious, and worth the replay in itself. It’s these little bits of flavor that really add the “tilt” factor to the Directors Cut.

  16. Chris D says:

    Oh RPS, while I will forgive you much for giving the top spot to Endless Legend, you have squandered much of that good will by making no mention of the incredible One Finger Death Punch.

    Yes, it’s simple but no game has captured the sheer thrill of cheesy kung-fu movies anywhere near as effectively. It’s cheap and it’s incredibly good fun. Buy it unless you hate yourself.

    Also missing is Infested Planet. It’s a game that rewrites the rules for RTS in much the same way Endless Legend does for 4X. It starts simple but becomes really tense on higher difficulties. It’s basically a game that puts you in the shoes of a little dutch boy trying to stop the dam from leaking and realising he needs to find an extra finger somewhere. Only instead of fingers they’re space marines and instead of water it’s an inexorable horde of ever-evolving, face-eating aliens.

    I would also have liked to see more love given to Age of Wonders III. It’s not as innovative as Endless Legend but the tactical combat is some of the best I’ve seen.

    Overall, much as I would have liked to have had my opinion confirmed as objective fact, I shall make do by knowing in my heart that this is true and at least I can console my self with a sizeable list of interesting games I’ve still to investigate.

    • Banyan says:

      +1 for One Finger Death Punch. For a game that has two actions – attack left and attack right, I don’t think I got more joy out of game. Delighted laughter the only rationale response when the tempo gets insane and all of sudden there’s a nuclear explosion behind your kung fu guy with a light saber. And it costs probably what you have in change in your couch cushions. So. Much. Fun.

  17. green frog says:

    Well, that settles things. A month ago I was trying to decide between Age of Wonders III and Endless Legend, but now that Endless Legend is RPS GOTY and Age of Wonders didn’t even make the Leftovers, that’s good enough for me. I’m sure I’ll get around to AoW 3 eventually anyway.

  18. LionsPhil says:

    On the note of through-the-cracks indie stuff: The Last Federation: Betrayed Hope is evil-tastic, you guys.

    It is the perfect counterpoint to the diplomatic wrangling of the main game. Here you are a bastard. The king of space-bastards. And you are going to exterminate them all, no matter how chummy-chummy they may be as they look around and see nothing inhabiting other planets but mindless dronebots and your many darkly smiling heads. They will shower you with praises and you will drive a space-knife into their back because they are all going to die.

  19. wondermoth says:

    WOT NO…. Crypt of the Necrodancer? Early access, and that, but easily the best value for money of any game I’ve played this year.

  20. colorlessness says:

    BoI: Rebirth was my GOATEE, if only measured by hours played in 2014.

  21. Morph says:

    Good to see a mention of Dreamquest – my most played game this year. Really addictive.