I got into augmented reality games in a big way this year. I’m fascinated by the intersection of the digital world and the physical world and have been impressed at how developers have created other realms that really take off with a little imagination. The added bonus of getting a couch-potatoid figure like me out and about has really paid off too!
My runners-up for game of the year were:
‘Dimensions’ by RjDj
I often play this one when I’m in the supermarket or when my flatmates are having a party and I’m trying to sleep. I don’t know exactly how RjDj have managed to warp all the incoming audio from the outside world into the alternate-dimension sounds that come through my headset, but I’d sure like to know!
Coderunner by RocketChicken Interactive
In this Orwellian ‘Enemy of the State’-style game you are thrust into the world of espionage, cyber-warfare and blackmail. Dead-drops are set at real-world locations (not just ones provided by foursquare either) and venues listed online are used as destinations in the game. The story is well-acted out and if you take it one mission at a time will keep you going for a while. You can play the whole thing in two hours if you have nothing better to do, but you better make sure you have plenty of battery power left. I’m eagerly awaiting the next episode of this series.
Ok, those were my runners-up, now for my winner. If you’ve been keeping up with anything I’ve been up to this year then it should come as no surprise to you that my game of the year for 2012 is…
Let me give you a little background.
This is me (the one on the left) about this time last year:
I was tipping the sacles at 107 kg. Gabriel Iglaceas would have called me ‘big.’ Not ideal at all. I was cycling as regularly as Dunedin weather allows, but I didn’t seem to be getting any smaller. In the autumn, while I was studying in Invercargill I came across an episode of the late, great AppJudgement show where they talked about this running game where you had to complete missions in a zombie apocalypse. Now, I don’t like zombies. I talk a mean game when it comes to 28 Weeks Later… but I don’t like the walking dead (or The Walking Dead, for that matter) but I decided I was willing to give this a go and see if running through queens gardens late at night in a state of abject terror would make me any smaller.
According to Weightbot, it did.
Granted I did cut bread out of my diet as well, but over the ~6 months I’ve been playing this game I have dropped around 15 kilos and am now sitting on 91.5.
Ok, aside from the psuedo-miraculous weight-loss story this is a great great game. There’s a ton of gameplay to be had (I’m still not finished season 1 and I probably won’t be before season 2 drops) and the audio-centric storyline is awesome, especially when you’re out in the middle of a starless winter night, running down a dimly-lit path in the town domain and even the crackle of your ‘comms’ bursting into life gives you a mild fright. I’m not sure if it was just me of if runs actually got longer the more often I played concurrently, but I approve.
The added mechanics of the game are based around the supplies you collect on your runs and how you distribute them, as well as sharing your run stats and maps via ZombieLink. The app is a suprisingly full-featured run tracker.
Now that I’m back in Dunedin for a bit I’ve taken a break from the running over summer, getting back to my cycling instead, but I’ll be right back on it once I’m down south again.
Who knows, I might even hit 90kg.