This year – 2015 – has been one of the finest years for games ever. The new console really hit their strides, and we saw some superb games really start to leverage the power that they offered. At the same time, the independent developers really started to break out and produce games that are creative and artistic, but every bit as refined as the finest of the AAA-titles.
Every year we run a series of awards, celebrating the finest games that we’ve seen across each platform, and a number of key categories (art, narrative, sound, and so forth). Each day we’ll unveil the winner, as well as the key runner’s up, one category per day.
What were your favourite games of the year in each category? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
The mobile platform continues to be quite under appreciated as a gaming platform. The myth persists that the games that appear on mobile are exclusively free-to-play or time waster experiences, but this isn’t the reality at all; there are all kinds of premium games that appear on mobile devices these days, and with the quality of game controllers for mobile improving by the year we’re getting to the point where there is no fundamental difference in experience between these devices and game consoles.
Rollarcoaster Tycoon 3
Otherwise known by many as the best entry in the venerable series, Rollarcoaster Tycoon 3 is a quality simulation game from a time before simulation games were based on timer countdowns and “no lose” states. The port to iPad is near perfect, with dozens of hours of play and scenarios to work through, plenty of rides to design, and plenty of things that can go wrong (to hilarious effect).
The finest anti-war game ever developed, This War of Mine does a breathtaking job in showing players the impact that war happens on people. A survival game that makes survival brutally difficult, and requires players to make incredibly difficult moral choices in the process. Characters aren’t soldiers; they’re simple humans trying to survive through a war, and the experience is nothing short of harrowing. We need more games like this one out there.
One of the longest-running franchises out there is Heroes of Might & Magic, which has been appearing on PCs and, rarely, consoles, since back in the DOS days. Of that series, Heroes of Might & Magic 3 is perhaps the most respected and beloved. The HD port doesn’t do a whole lot to the base game, but with dozens of scenarios and plenty of challenge, this is one of the biggest iPad games developed to date. Take this one along with you on your travels, and you could be gone for weeks and not need anything else.