This masterpiece is 98 percent of the reason I bought an iPad. Okay, maybe not quite -- it's more like 99 percent -- but Sword & Sworcery is a puzzle so perfect in its assembly, I haven't fully recovered. I'm sad I won't ever again experience the drive for discovery I felt the first time I was thrust into its picturesque locales. At the same time, I'm grateful I could spin that vinyl so long ago and step into another world.
After that E3 press conference, I found myself less than excited by People Can Fly's shooter. Its raunchy dialogue and advertised potential to frighten my John Longfellow away immediately turned me off. But a few months after the game's launch, I decided to give it a try and experienced one of 2011's treasures. Next thing I knew, I was going for every skill shot and marveling at each new set piece. There was nothing to frighten me, only excitement.
I can only imagine how difficult it is to be a smaller team working on a brand-new property, especially when that property isn't a first-person shooter about military space dudes. Orcs Must Die! is a perfect example of tower defense: challenging; never the same game twice and unapologetic in its education. Orcs Must Die!'s massive, complex environments, a sly-speaking protagonist and a constantly evolving set of traps and enemy types made for one of the best tower defense titles I've ever played.
Having experienced the missteps in the single-player campaign, all I really wanted out of Revelations was some closure and a more substantial multiplayer suite. While I won't comment on that first thing, Ubisoft made great strides toward my vision for the latter. Revelations showed me there was room for the cat-and-mouse multiplayer to grow, and deliver to both the co-op and competitive crowds.
A tower defense title like Orcs Must Die!, Double Fine's Iron Brigade gave me pretty much what I'm hoping for in a sequel to Orcs Must Die!: classic tower defense style gameplay, but with friends. The customization options and loot kept me coming back and comparing my rig with my buddies until we all unlocked gold in every mission.
Joystiq is revealing its 10 favorite games of 2011 throughout the week. Keep reading for more top selections and every writer's personal, impassioned picks in Best of the Rest roundups.