Beloved classic ideas merge together to form: Pure Evil.
I’m a sucker for retro. Give me some faux-8-bit graphics and some simple game mechanics and I’m hooked. Make the game challenging where I have to force myself to hone reaction times and I’ll put in hours to rack up high scores. Combine two classic game types into some new great thing and I’m likely to be smitten for months. Enter Wizorb with its Dragon Warrior RPG aesthetic and Breakout style battles, and I was drooling. That was months ago. My drool has long since dried, and now so have my tears as I’ve come to accept that Wizorb is just too damn difficult.
Quick pick-up-and-play fun.
If you were to set Art Style: Orbient, Pinball, and a side-scrolling shoot-‘em-up on a collision course, the result would be StarDrone Extreme. It's an odd combination, yes, but one that frequently provides some quick thrills. However, like Plants vs. Zombies, StarDrone Extreme seems to suffer from being on the wrong platform. While fun in short bursts, the experience fails to engage for more than a level or two at a time.
Fly, you fools!
Similar to the classic arcade games popularized in the early 80s, Canabalt is a fun, arcade-style game that can be played with a single finger. It has a simple premise that anyone can immediately understand: run, run for your life! As giant robots lay waste to the city in the distant background and space ships rocket overhead, all you can do is run from the destruction, jumping over obstacles and hopping gaps between crumbling buildings. This is a game scored not in points or lives, but how far you can make it before the inevitable happens and you fall to your doom.
One of the best family games this year, full of the same humor and charm as the movies.
I've learned over my years of playing video games, not to expect much out of a title based on a movie, TV show, or anything in our current pop culture. They are usually cheap, quickly thrown-together pieces of media created without any care for quality, because the character or topic it is based on is usually the only thing necessary to convince parents everywhere to shell out money for it. This is why I was genuinely shocked, as well as delighted, at the quality I found within Toy Story 3. While it is not a perfect movie game, it contains significant depth, great variety, and a gaming experience that is not only fun, challenging, and thought-provoking for its target audience, but enjoyable for adults and parents as well.