The debate is still raging as to whether or not 2010 was an outstanding year for mainstream titles, with some pointing to a lack of originality in the year's roster, but such accusations can hardly be levelled at the indie crowd or indeed the arcade marketplaces, which were stuffed with outstanding games of all shapes and sizes. Jon's already given us the lowdown on his finest XBLIG titles of 2010 and rustled up five of the best that slipped under the radar, and this category pays recognition to the fact that some of the year's finest gaming experiences could be had for only a couple of quid (or free in the case of Privates). We managed to whittle down a shortlist which you can see after the jump, but for this one we've opened it up a little bit for the public vote. Smaller games sometimes don't get the recognition they deserve, so if there's a title you want to shout about that's not on the list...stick it there yourself!
NB. Hit the thumbnail for price comps and the title for our full reviews where applicable.
Simple, effective, brilliant. Flight Control HD came out of nowhere to become one of our favourite titles of the year. Effortlessly making use of the Playstation Move, but finding a home on PC too, pushing tin in bright colours turned out to be one of the best things to do in 2010. It even supported 3D if you had it. Quite quite superb.
We're not sure if we've played a game as thrillingly FUN as Joe danger this year. Hello Games set the benchmark for brilliant marketplace titles this year by proving to some degree that you didn't need big money to make fun games, but also that at times it could be a hindrance. Brendan famously compared it to waking up in hospital the day after a good kicking with Katy Perry sat by your side telling you she’s murdered Russell Brand and everything’s going to be just fine. Outstanding!
This wasn't supposed to happen. Lara stepped out from under the Tomb raider moniuker this year to have her own adventure and, ironically, ended up tomb raiding. Sporting some gleeful combat, excellent puzzle design and choc full of replayability, Guardian of Light actually proved to be one of Lara best adventures...EVER!
I've still not been quite as affected by any game this year more so than I was by Limbo. It wasn't just the shadowy, sinister, enormous arachnid that stalked my nameless avatar through the monochrome purgatory he found himself in, but all of the little details that added to the weighty atmosphere. Gorgeous to look at and challenging without ever over-staying it’s welcome, Limbo was a masterclass in moving minimalism.
We're quite fond of Zombie-Cow Studios here at Dealspwn, and Dan Marshall's team outdid themselves this year with an informative Channel 4 commission that saw them cross Earthworm Jim with STDs. Gloriously rude, brilliantly educational, the five levels of fully voiced wonderment showed that infogames don't have been broing or crap...they can be a barnstorming riot and side-splittingly funny too.
One of the finest platform titles of the year, Super Meat Boy was a throwback to punitive, punishing platforming. There was no room for simpering crybabies here, SMB took no prisoners and instead offered a simply sublime experience for the hardcore gamer. Dripping with retro charm, stuffed with some excellent level design and riddled with humour, it was utterly impossible not to love the square red fella.
Winner: Joe Danger
It came down to the last vote for this one, and Super Meat Boy came achingly close, but ultimately Joe Danger backflipped his way to pole position by being the most fun game on the PSN. Astoundingly good.