Games of 2016

[titles eligible for 'Game of the Year 2016' accolades]


'New' and/or secondhand
[new: not from 2016, but mint when bought]

1. DuckTales Remastered by WayForward T. [PS3]
Wow. The OG is one of my favourite NES/GB games, and this graphical update ups the ante in every conceivable fashion. Voice acting by the legendary actors, smooth graphical updates, improved gameplay, collectibles, the ability to swim in Scrooge's money bin ... great, great. A fan's dream come true. One of the few (if not only) times I bothered with a Platinum trophy. Completing the game on 'Extreme' mode was quite the challenge (three lives, no continues, all six levels in one sitting). Just one 'but': I first bought the PSN download, because a physical version didn't look forthcoming in Europe. When it was eventually released, the save game from my digital version would not sync with my disc-based version. Which means I had to start all over again, including collecting the, er, collectibles. Quite unfortunate.

2. Pac-Man 256 by Hipster Whale/3 Sprockets [PS4]
"'Pac-Man 256' is excellent. Its simple pick-up-and-play nature makes it addictive as sugar. 'Just once more' will be your mantra. Just like 'Tetris', it's a game that will cost you a lot of sleepless nights. You'll want to doze, but the game is a doozy. 'Pac-Man 256' is a throwback to simpler times, when gaming was just a few coins, a lot of sweaty palms and fun. All this, and more, and all the better for it. Breezy, enjoyable, cute. My favorite game of 2016 so far. Highly recommended."
Full review here.

3. The Land Before Time by Eclipse Ent. [GBC]
Yet another proof that not every licensed video game is a stinker. This is a very challenging game. In fact, I'm still stuck on one of the stages. Definitely not 'for kids only'.

4. Louvre Guide by Nintendo [3DS]
A stunning interactive museum guide, with 600 photos, 30 hours of audio commentary, and more. Who would have ever guessed you could use your Nintendo handheld for this kind of thing?

5. Aladdin by Virgin Games USA [NES]
Graphically limited and not at all comparable to the SNES/Mega Drive version (by different developers), Aladdin struggles to get the best out of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Still, for what it's worth, a fine game. This boxed copy was a thrift shop purchase of $2. Bargain if you check current prices. This is the cheapest PAL copy today:

Honourable mentions

The Adventures of Mighty Max
by WJS Design [SNES]
Game based on the excellent toys from the 1990s. Unplayed as of today, so no opinion.

Passport to Prague by SCEE London Studio [PSP]
Untested as of today, so no opinion. Need to go to Prague to check it out. Have sampled the 'London' version, however, and I'm guessing this is more of the same. An interactive city guide for use on your PSP. Never truly worth the original list price of $30, but as a $2 bargain, I couldn't pass this up.

Frogger by Robert Pappas [Tandy]
A game on a cassette tape! Had never seen one of those in the flesh. Unplayed, as I don't own a Tandy computer. Picked it up, because it was a $0.50 thrift shop bargain you don't see everyday. Never again, in fact.

Julian De Backer, 22 July 2022