2013 saw Sick Kids Save Point’s best total yet, with a record number of gamers taking part all over the UK, and over £23,000 being raised for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation charity. What made this our best year ever? The people of course: the gamers who braved 24 hours of non-stop gaming, pushing past the fun and sleep barriers for a good cause, and the friends and family that supported them.
However, behind every great gamer lies a great game, and this year saw the current generations of hardware reach its peak, alongside an expansion in crowd funding which realised an upstart console and some nostalgic re-imaginings.
Here are SKSP HQ’s top ten games of 2013:
This stylish action-platformer took us by surprise and looked particularly shiny on the Vita screen. Viva silly Mexicana!
9. Ni No Kuni
A welcome return by Studio 5 to the realm of sprawling jrpgs, but with added Ghibli HD loveliness.
8. Animal Crossing New Leaf
Cute but devilishly addictive, this real-time micromanagement sim leads to arguments with your four year old over whose turn it is on the 3DS.
7. Hotline Miami on Vita
Controversial because the PC original was released in 2012, but we think this ultra-violent 2D throwback is better on consoles, where the neon soaked brutality become a twin stick shooter. Especially the Vita version, which had a cool touchscreen addition.
6. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
An integral part of Tom’s pacifist marathon, this short Nordic sibling fairy tale is jam-packed with puzzles and emotion. Ico come home.
Another example of how a short game can pack an emotional punch, as you guide a badger set through an increasingly hazardous forest. You can read Tom Freeman’s review on Calm Down Tom.
Edinburgh company Lucky Frame turned the ipad into a top-down versus arcade machine, with clever use of gravity switching. 4-player mayhem on Ouya, too.
Another epic sandbox by Rockstar North, dripping with satire on the American dream. The online open-world promised much, but is populated by people too young to buy the game.
2. Shadowrun Returns
The SNES classic finally got a worthy sequel, with superb writing and plenty of scope for user generated content. So ka, chummer?
1. The Last of Us
Naughty Dog surpassed Uncharted with unprecedented levels of integration between story and gameplay. Simultaneously the best acting, stealth gameplay and story in a video game, ever. We cried. If there’s a Holywood depiction of the apocalypse that better describes the need for human intimacy, let us know.
What will we all be playing during our 2014 Sick Kids Save Point gaming marathon? The future is an enigma…
In the meantime, Merry Christmas!
Ross and Tom, SKSP HQ