Best of 2013
Boy howdy, there sure were some mighty fine and dangerous new ideas during this, the year of Luigi. While our patron saint may not qualify due to his age, these fresh faces are sure to leave you impressed. Or refreshed. Or confused. Or laughing. Or angry. Or frightened. Or confused again. So many emotions.
Here are the nominees for the best original concept of 2013:
And the winner is ...
Kentucky Route Zero
Telltale's The Walking Dead might have helped remind us that adventure games can still be huge -- it was out Game of the Year 2012, after all -- but Kentucky Route Zero reminds us just how moving games can be as interactive fiction.
Despite only two of a planned five episodes having yet been released, Kentucky Route Zero made it onto quite a few of our Game of the Year lists. There's just something to it -- the layers of magical realism and spook tale mythology -- that are just captivating.
The blend of traditional, gorgeous point and click with even more old school text adventure sub-stories (and the occasional stark audio accompaniment) is engrossing. The warmly spiritual southern bluegrass setting is relatively uncharted territory in the medium. I expose and explore more of myself making seemingly innocuous choices in Kentucky Route Zero that actively author Conway's backstory than I ever will making grandiose A or B decisions on who to save in Mass Effect. Learn something about yourself, or just learn your way around The Zero. Either way, you won't be disappointed.
For our community poll, you all voted for The Stanley Parable HD as your number one best new concept of 2013. That was followed by Tearaway, and DiveKick.