Posts Tagged ‘Awards’

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Best iOS games 2014

December 29, 2014

While not exactly restricting myself to games that I’ve reviewed in 2014, these are all iOS games that I have played and, most importantly, enjoyed in 2014. Categories have been assigned where they serve a purpose, otherwise you can assume that these games are great just because I say they are.

To put the list into some kind of perspective, I really like RPGs and platform games. Just in case you were wondering.

Hands-down, no argument, my absolute iOS Game of the Year 2014: Battleheart Legacy

battleheart legacy pic 1224

Why? Because it’s insanely addictive, massively replayable and a huge amount of fun. It’s arguably unfinished, with a virtually non-existent story, and gameplay that devolves into a grind-fest almost immediately, but the core RPG mechanics, constant action, diverse playable characters, and hugely entertaining arena mode make it easily my favourite and most-played iOS game of the year.

UK App Store verdict: 4.5 stars from 147 ratings.

Closest second place ever and one of the best iOS platform games of all time: Goblin Sword

goblin sword pic 1614

Why? I’ll refer you to this quote from the Arcadelife review: “Much like dating a really cute lingerie model and finding out that you not only like the same movies but that she also has a twin sister who is “up for it”, Goblin Sword is so much fun that you’re going to have to keep checking that you’re not dreaming while you play it.” It is classic platforming and an absolutely essential game for anyone with even the remotest interest in the genre. The attention to detail alone is worthy of an award. And, yes, I know that the review for this game says it’s the best iOS game I played this year, and it was, but Battleheart Legacy got the award. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.

US App Store verdict: 4.5 stars from 714 ratings.

The best game you never played. Naturally, I’m the best player in the world on it: Revenge of Toxic Frog

toxic frog 2 pic 1834

Why? The developer thinks I’m mad because of what I do with his games, specifically how I apply high scoring strategies that he had never imagined, to the extent that he included an achievement in this game for scoring 500,000 points – called The Arcadelife Cup. Not that anyone will ever know, because nobody else plays the game. Ok, a few people do, but that’s really not enough.

App store verdict: Not enough ratings to have one.

Best Metroidvania games of the year: Traps n’ Gemstones and Space Expedition: Classic Adventure

traps n gemstones pic 1394
space expedition pic_1659

Why? Because they are two different examples of just how great this kind of game can be, not just on a touch screen device but on any platform. Admittedly, Space Expedition is short, but so is Monument Valley, and…

Most gorgeous and jaw-dropping puzzle game of 2014: Monument Valley

monument valley pic 2493

Why? Imagine if Rubik’s cube was actually fun, and had atmosphere, character, and the aesthetics of an Escher style modern art masterpiece. And more than one level. There you go. Pretty good game too, although kind of easy.

Best retro homage in a sub-retro style: Air Supply – SOS

AS SOS title

Why? Jetpac + sheep = awesome. And you just need to play it. Seriously. Although it isn’t serious, just very good.

Best “Endless” game: Doug Dug

doug dug pic_3468

Why? If you’re after a game with depth… ok, yes, I know, I have been waiting weeks to write that. This game is pure gold because it does something that iOS games have been avoiding for way too long: it gives you a genuinely retro game experience where the only way you can beat your previous score is to get better at playing the game. No unlockable hats, boots, pets or coin doublers. No pay-to-win IAPs, or any ****ing kind of IAP. Just the game and your skill, or lack thereof. If you’re a high-scoring strategist, this game is for you. It also has one of the most inspired implementations of a relative touch control method I’ve ever had the good fortune to experience. I play this game a lot.

Best port of a retro shooter: R-TYPE II

r-type-ii pic 0860

Why? Ha ha ha, do you really need me to answer this? Of course, that update where they made the player ship invincible… bit of a colossal screw-up, but what can you do? Still a fantastic game and a truly wonderful iOS version.

Trippiest dual-stick shooter of the year: Inferno 2

inferno2_icon

Why? Despite having the least inspiring app store icon ever (see above), Inferno 2 manages to outdo not only its predecessor in the trippy neon graphics stakes but also delivers the kind of insane bullet-hell action that keeps you playing long after all sense of feeling has left your thumbs. Look, this is what I’m talking about:

inferno 2 pic 3404

Second opinion – I asked a friend for his list of the best games from 2014 (where they were different from mine) and this is what he came up with:

Leo’s Fortune
Skullduggery!
Skyforce 2014
2048
Candy Crush Soda Saga
Valiant Hearts

That’s it from Arcadelife for 2014 – See you next year if I’m not too busy writing novels.

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Arcadelife iOS Game of the Year 2012

December 31, 2012

Welcome to the 2012 awards, in which I look back through all the Arcadelife reviews for 2012 and realise that sometimes, ok quite a lot of the time, the scores I have initially awarded have been a bit wacky. That’s a little bit of a disclaimer, in case anyone can be bothered comparing the games that win awards here with their original review scores. I’ll tell you now, there are some inconsistencies!

I’ll just be doing Winner and one runner up in each group, unless I feel like mentioning more games in any category, but that’s up to me. I’m also not dividing up iPhone and iPad games but I might mention if a game is not universal. If you don’t want to read all the other categories, the GOTY award is the last one.

First up, a category I like to call Best Arcade / High Score Game. Essentially, this does not include pure shooters because they have their own category. The games have to be arcade style with either lives/health or a pure scoring objective and no silly star ratings or infinite lives.

Best Arcade / High Score Game

Winner: Toxic Frog

toxic frog - icon

Arcadelife review quote: “Toxic Frog goes beyond just being a great iOS arcade style high-scoring game by totally recapturing the feel of playing an early 80s arcade game.”

I haven’t checked recently, but I’m probably still #1 on the leaderboard. Not because I’m a brilliant player (although I am, of course) but because hardly anyone else has ever played this great game. Sort it out.

Runner Up: infinite

Next, let’s do Best Casual Game. Your opinion of what constitutes a casual game may be different from mine, but I am fairly sure these two fit into the category.

Best Casual Game

Winner: Skylanders Cloud Patrol

skylanders - title

This game was just so much fun and incredibly addictive, even for an old fossil like me with no previous exposure to Skylanders.

Runner Up: SpongeBob’s Super Bouncy Fun Time 

I loved this game, as did my son, who was 4 at the time we were playing this. Just a huge shame it has never been on the UK app store.

Here’s another popular genre: Tower Defence. So this award is unsurprisingly…

Best Tower Defence Game

Winner: iBomber Defense Pacific

ibomber defense - title

Although Kingdom Rush (runner up) is a great example of TD, I remember enjoying iBomber Pacific Defense just a tiny bit more because of the WW2 theme, weapons and memorable maps.

Runner Up: Kingdom Rush HD

This next category is packed with great games, but only two get awards I’m afraid… It’s time for Best Shoot-em-up Game. This was such a hard one to call; Jeff Minter could have ended up with both awards but I flipped a coin – ok, I didn’t, but it was that close – and this is what happened:

Best Shoot-em-up Game

Winner: Gridrunner

More of a remake than a pure iOS original, and showing some remarkable restraint from Jeff Minter (not a lot of mooing animals or Manic Miner graphics), Gridrunner is everything that’s good about playing a hectic shooter on a touch screen.

Runner Up: Dariusburst -sp-

Others that you may want to seriously consider include Blazing Star, Metal Slug 3, Caverns of Minos, Super Ox wars and the really rather excellent Raiden Legacy. As I said, it was a really tough one to call.

Oh, and here’s another category that took me a while to figure out. Yes, it’s Best Platform Game. If anything, this category will be the most controversial one.

Best Platform Game

Winner: Swordigo

swordigo - title

I’ll talk more about this one later. That’s a clue.

Runner Up: Wimp: Who Stole My Pants?

Extra Special Mention: NinjaBoy

I had to mention NinjaBoy here because I thought it was just such an excellent game. The reason it hasn’t done anywhere near as well as it should have done is the tilt control method which seems to put people off almost the instant they hear about it. There is nothing wrong with the tilt control method in NinjaBoy, although I find the game easier to play for long periods on the iPod/iPhone than on my iPad. That’s just a device size issue.

Next, Best Strategy Game. Once again, loads of contenders but only two awards.

Best Strategy Game

Winner: Eufloria HD

eufloria - title

I swear I won’t use the word “polished” in 2013. Honest. Now, what was I going to say about this one?

Runner Up: Hunters 2

This next category is more important than you may realise. This one is called My 5 Year Old Son’s Favourite Game. This one was actually very easy to sort out; I just asked him what his favourite game was. Then he changed his mind so I got both of them.

My 5 Year Old Son’s Favourite Game

Winner: Random Heroes

random heroes - title

It doesn’t matter what I think of this game, my son loves it. What this means is that I’ve spent hours killing the second boss over and over again (while my son is asleep) so that we can unlock all the guns and costumes. And they keep updating the game with more guns and costumes… Aargh! Make it stop!

Runner Up: Offroad Legends

Loads of great, mediocre and fairly crappy games have been ported, emulated or otherwise transferred from various platforms to iOS. I like to call this category Best Port / Retro Game. And, because the shoot-em-ups had their own category, they missed out on the awards here. Sorry!

Best Port / Retro Game

Winner: The Lords of Midnight

lom title

There are just so many reasons why I think this is the best ported game of 2012. The updated, yet almost perfectly reproduced graphics; the excellent touch controls; the deceptively deep gameplay and the surprising mix of emotions every new dawn when you find out which of your heroes managed to make it through the night.

Runner Up: Carmageddon

Hilarious game. I play it way too much on my iPad and even quite a bit on my 4th gen Touch. It would have won easily if TLoM hadn’t shown up.

Next, and I’ll try to keep this short – Best Auto Runner Game. I was going to call it Best Endless Runner, but some of the ones I like aren’t technically endless.

Best Auto Runner Game

Winner: Nosferatu -Run from the Sun

nosferatu - title

In the end, it came down to this – which one do I keep going back to? Which one keeps getting updates and seasonal specials? Which one is always fun? And, yeah, it’s this one. For me, anyway.

Runner Up: Punch Quest

I had a few other categories I wanted to include, such as Prettiest Game (nominees including Lili, Ravensword 2, Sky Gamblers Air Supremacy) and Most Bizarre Game, with gems like Box Cat, but I’ve run out of time. Best Puzzle Game is Incoboto, but I didn’t have a runner up for that category.

So, this is it, Arcadelife’s Best iOS Game 2012

In this category, there can be only one. There is no runner up, just a whole bunch of losers. My favourite game from 2012 turned out to be:

Best iOS Game 2012

Winner: Swordigo

swordigo - young one

Swordigo just gets pretty much everything right. It’s a big world of platforms, chasms, puzzles, secrets and some infuriatingly hard boss fights. It’s one of the few iOS games I completed in 2012, keeping me hopelessly hooked all the way through. The controls are splendid. The platforming is old school, very 16 bit console era, with no speedruns or star ratings for beating dozens of tiny sub-15 second levels. It’s a proper game and it is very hard in places. After completing every achievement I went back and started again, just to see if I could do it all more efficiently a second time. Swordigo is full of memorable moments and the admittedly clichéd sword & sorcery plot is instantly both familiar and intriguing. For me, this one is the best of 2012. If they do a sequel next year, I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Thanks to everyone who has submitted games for review in 2012 – I know I haven’t reviewed them all and I apologise for that.

Good luck to all of you next year and a rather huge SPECIAL THANKS to everyone who has visited this site. Keep coming back! You never know, there might be something worth reading here one day. 

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Arcadelife Game of the Year 2011

January 1, 2012

Here’s my list. I’ve restricted myself to games that were reviewed or written about by Arcadelife in 2011, so there may be some rather obvious omissions.
Links to related websites or iTunes are included where applicable.

Game of the Year:
Skyrim (PC)

Reason – I’ve played it more than any other game this year and I’m still having a lot of fun with it after 100+ hours.

Contenders:
Order & Chaos Online (iOS / Universal)
Where’s My Water? (iOS / Universal)
Air Supply – 1bit Run (iPod/iPhone)
1-bit Ninja (iPod/iPhone)
Emberwind HD (iPad)

iPad Game of the Year:
Order & Chaos Online (iOS/Universal)

Reason – Despite the flaws, annoyances and the fact that I (and many others) eventually just gave up due to boredom at the level cap, while it lasted this was a load of fun and a significant example of what could be achieved with a massively multiplayer game on a mobile device. I’ve put it in as my iPad game of the year because I hardly played it on my iPod, apart from checking the auction house while in the gym cafe.

Contenders:
Army of Darkness Defense HD (iPad)
Anomaly Warzone Earth HD (iOS / Universal)
Emberwind HD (iPad)
Jetpack Joyride (iOS/Universal)

iPod/iPhone Game of the Year:
1-bit Ninja (iPod/iPhone)

Reason – It elicited a range of emotional responses! It’s a fantastic platform game; very hard, very unforgiving. Levels need to be replayed over and over in order to successfully complete them. The controls are very good. The Gameboy style graphics (with the surprising use of 3D) are simple and perfect for this type of game. I have memories of specific jumps on particular levels that will haunt me for a long time.

Contenders:
Where’s My Water? (iOS / Universal)
Air Supply – 1bit Run (iPod/iPhone)
Goat Up (iOS / Universal)
Tiny Wings (iPod/iPhone)

iOS “Endless Runner” style Game of the Year:
Jetpack Joyride (iOS/Universal)

Contenders:
Air Supply – 1bit Run (iPod/iPhone)
Lame Castle HD (iOS/Universal)
Spooky Hoofs (iPod/iPhone)

iOS Retro/Shooter Game of the Year:
Minotron 2112 (iOS/Universal)

Contenders:
Forget-Me-Not (iOS/Universal)
Coverfire HD (iPad)
Retro Dust HD (iPad)
Space Junk (iOS/Universal)

iOS Puzzle Game of the Year:
Where’s My Water? (iOS / Universal)

Games that should have won something but didn’t:

Tiny Wings (iPod/iPhone)
Battleheart (iOS/Universal)
Mage Gauntlet (iOS/Universal)
Bike Baron (iOS/Universal)

Special mention for one of the best movie tie-in games ever:
Army of Darkness Defense HD (iPad) 

See you soon for a whole new year of reviews. Look out for Arcadelife’s first anniversary on 31st January 2012!
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GOTY delay apology

December 31, 2011

I have to apologise for my failure to post the Arcadelife Game(s) of the Year 2011 awards today. It’s taking me a lot longer than I expected to trawl through the year’s Arcadelife reviews and I don’t want to just pick some random pretty game that was released a few weeks ago and claim that it’s the best game ever. No, because that’s my normal review style and I think it’s time for a change…

Happy New Year and I’ll see you tomorrow (hopefully) for the Arcadelife GOTY awards.

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Game of the Year 2011 – Nominations

December 21, 2011

Arcadelife will be doing “Game of the Year” awards for 2011 … very soon. If you would like to nominate any games, please send an email to arcadelife@planetshooter.com or add a comment to this news item.

Categories are likely to change, but will be along the lines of:

Best Game Ever (2011)
Best iPod/iPhone Game
Best iPad Game
Best PC Game
Best iOS Action Game
Best iOS Puzzle Game
Best iOS Role-Playing Game

… and so on. There will also be some rather less serious categories, although probably nothing blatantly offensive or derogatory.

Note to developers – you are encouraged to nominate your own games. There’s no shame in that and you might even win something*.

* – There are no actual prizes, just the possibility of getting a mention in the award listings.
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Arcadelife Awards – May 2011

June 8, 2011

Welcome to the May 2011 Arcadelife Awards.

All games included were reviewed by Arcadelife in May 2011. That’s the only criteria for inclusion. Being truly awful does not exclude a game from being nominated, just from winning. Mostly.

There are slightly less reviews from May due to quite a few previews, news articles and a couple of days I missed completely because I was playing Order & Chaos Online too much.

I’ll make this as quick and painless as possible. The winner is the one at the top of each category list and the only one with an iTunes link in each list. That’s the best I can do as far as coming up with an actual award. Yeah, I’m cheap. I know.

Best puzzle, physics or match-3 type game

House of Mice
Spoing HD
Blupt!
Kebab Manager

Best ‘Endless Running’ (or bouncing, jumping, driving, whatever) type game

Aero Bear
Mechanic Panic
Clumsy Bob
Crazy Coaster
Bounty Hunter

Most remarkable graphics (for whatever reason)

Army of Darkness Defense HD
A.I.R Defense HD
Storm in a Teacup
Flick Golf HD
Order & Chaos Online

Best turn-based or strategy type game

Tactical Warrior
Orions 2

Best Defence type game

"Hail to the king, baby."

Army of Darkness Defense HD
A.I.R Defense HD

Best game that didn’t fit in the above categories

Storm in a Teacup
Sky Combat
Art Heist HD
Bee Farm

And now, the “Arcadelife’s Favourite Game” award, for the game played most after the review was posted. This was never even going to be even slightly in question. I’ve pumped countless hours into this game and most of them have been fun. Ladies and Gentlemen, the first clear contender for Arcadelife’s Game of the Year ….

"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it."

Order & Chaos Online

Well done to all the winners.

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Arcadelife Awards – April 2011

May 14, 2011

Welcome to the second Arcadelife awards show. Due to conflicting commitments, tonight’s special guests can’t make it to the Arcadelife awards show, claiming that they get more publicity sitting on the toilet at home. Ah well, it’s their loss. Let’s just get on with the show and hope that next month’s celebrities bother turning up.¹

Remember – all games included were reviewed by Arcadelife in April 2011. That’s the only criteria for inclusion. Being truly awful does not exclude a game from being nominated, just from winning. Mostly.

Here we go… Under each category is a list of nominees. The winner is the one at the top of each list. The rest are in some kind of approximate order of merit. The final category, Arcadelife’s favourite game is the game that got played most after the review was finished.

Best implementation of retro style

Minotron: 2112

Minotron: 2112
Pac’n Jump
Mos Speedrun
Platform Hell Pro

Best clone, port or re-imagining

Defender!
Scramble!
Doodlebug

Best Sport or vaguely sport related game

Super Stickman Golf
Deadball Specialist HD
Flick Golf!
Golfstacle!

Most remarkable graphics (for whatever reason)

Asphalt 6
Minotron: 2112
Collision Effect
Platform Hell Pro

Best puzzle, physics, reaction or match-3 type game



Collision Effect – Joint WINNER

Drop The Chicken – Joint WINNER
Choo Choo Steam Trains
Zepi HD
Ink Ball HD
Roly

Most bizarre or surprising game

Ninja, Please! (Note – the winner is the most bizarre game, not necessarily the best game)
Pac’n Jump

Best ‘Endless Running’ (or bouncing, jumping, whatever) type game

Pac’n Jump
Angry Rhino Rampage
Air Penguin

Best game that didn’t make it into one of the other categories

Monster trouble HD
Coin Drop
Neon Mania
The Relic

Arcadelife’s favourite game

Super Stickman Golf
Asphalt 6
Pac’n Jump

And there you have it. If I wasn’t so lazy (it’s Saturday night, ok) I’d put iTunes links in for all the games, or at least all the winners, but I haven’t Go and read the Arcadelife reviews, the iTunes links are in there. That way everyone wins. Well, I possibly win. And Charlie Sheen, of course.

¹ – Ok, I’m really having too much fun playing Army of Darkness Defense HD and Order & Chaos Online so I had to stick with a short review format this month. Maybe next month the fake celebrity nonsense will return. Who knows?
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Arcadelife Awards – March 2011

April 8, 2011

Welcome to the Arcadelife Awards for March 2011. This month, the awards are being co-hosted by Charlie Sheen¹ and Kim Kardashian².

To give you a bit of an explanation about how the award nominations work, any game that was reviewed by Arcadelife in March (that’s reviewed in March, not released in March) will be entered into any applicable category where it has at least some chance of winning. As all the games reviewed in March were for iPod/iPhone or iPad, this is pretty much an award show exclusively for games on those platforms. Exciting stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree!   

Without wasting any more time, let’s hand over to the two hosts for a brief introduction:

"Welcome to the awards. I bet you can't guess what I end up doing when I play videogames. Winning, that's what."

"I'm just so proud to be here! I think videogames are cool and I also want to be a Bond girl."

Ok, that’s great. Thanks Charlie, thanks Kim. We’ll be hearing some more from them later but, for now, let’s get on with the awards show. I’m very pleased to announce that several of the nominees have been able to join us here this evening; let’s hope they can make it as far as the microphone later to deliver some acceptance speeches³, if they’re lucky enough to win an award!

The first category is Best implementation of a retro style and the nominees, in no particular order, are:

Air Supply – 1bit Run
Forget-Me-Not

Gravonaut
Interstellar Force

Robot wants Kitty

I’ll just hand over the mic to Kim Kardashian so that she can open the envelope and reveal the winner…

KK: *giggles* “I’m just opening the envelope, and the winner is …”
CS: “Duh!”
KK: “Forget-Me-Not!”
CS: “As if anyone could.”

I’ve checked the result and I can confirm that in that hotly contested category, the winner was indeed Forget-Me-Not. I’m sure they’ll be arguing about that long after the pubs shut tonight. Well done to Nyarlu Labs for picking up the first award of the night! Unfortunately, Brandon from Nyarlu has been unable to make it to the show and has asked for a ‘pretend celebrity’ to accept the award on his behalf. I don’t know what he means by a pretend celebrity, but here’s the very real⁴ Henry Rollins to accept the award for him: 

Congratulations, Nyarlu Labs. A speech, huh? Ok. Remember this: "I've always seen it as the role of an artist to drag his inside out, give the audience all you've got. Writers, actors, singers, all good artists do the same. It isn't supposed to be easy."

Thanks, Henry, that was great! The next category is very interesting, Best clone, port or re-imagining. There are only two nominees up for this one.

Operation Wow HD
Speedball 2 Evolution

Over to Charlie Sheen for the announcement.

CS: “I don’t have a tuxedo that fits anymore because my chest and my biceps are too big. Operation Wow. Winning.”
KK: “That trophy is really shiny!”
CS: *drops microphone and wanders backstage*

Thanks Charlie. I think the winner there was Operation wow HD. Well done, Ivanovich Games; make sure you polish that trophy regularly. Ah, I see Ivan from Ivanovich Games making his way towards the stage, acceptance speech at the ready. Over to you, Ivan…

Ivanovich Games: “We would like to thank Arcadelife.co.uk for giving us this award. Our main goal at Ivanovich Games is to keep customers happy with our products and we are proud to see we are accomplishing this with Operation Wow.”  

Thanks, Ivanovich Games, nice speech. No crying and no babbling about the incredibly hard life of a game developer! Excellent! Next up, a category I know you’re all going to love: Best sport, gambling or pinball game. The nominees are:

Meatball Joe
Roulette for iPad
Speedball 2
War Pinball (HD)

Hmmm… Kim Kardashian is supposed to present this award but Charlie appears to have a problem with that because one of the nominated games,War Pinball, features two tables based on movies in which he was the star. Over to Kim and Charlie; let’s hope it remains civil…

KK: “Charlie, please, if I could just have the envelope…”
CS: “I think my passion is misinterpreted as anger sometimes.”
KK: “Envelope?”
CS: “Kim, you don’t need to open the envelope. Platoon. Navy Seals. Winning.”
KK: “Like, wow. You know the winner already!”
CS: “There have to be more important things going on in the world than my past.”

And there you have it, the winner is War Pinball, specifically the HD version because it’s bigger. Unfortunately there’s nobody here to accept the award so I think Charlie is going to just take it away with him. Yeah, that seems to be what’s happening.

Moving on to the next category, and that’s Most innovative use of touch control. There’s only one nominee in this category, Slice HD, so we don’t really need anyone opening an envelope…….. However, as Kim missed out on the last presentation… 

KK: *opening envelope* “Ooh, this is exciting!”
CS: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. If at first you succeed, then what?”
KK: “Oh wow, Slice HD won!” 

Thanks Kim. Nobody has shown up to accept the award, and we have plenty of spare ones, so I don’t see anyone objecting to me giving Kim Kardashian one. 

Next, it’s the Best strategy or tycoon game award. We had to combine these genres because we didn’t have enough of either of those types of games to review in March. The nominees are:

Fruit Juice Tycoon 2
Starfall HD

Over to Charlie Sheen to open the envelope. Charlie…

CS: “Fame is empowering. My mistake was that I thought I would instinctively know how to handle it. But there’s no manual, no training course.”
KK: “Charlie, you’re so deep. Can we open the envelope now?”
CS: “You’re either in my corner, or you’re with the trolls.”
KK *opens envelope* “Yay!”
CS: “Starfall HD. Winning.”

Thank you, Charlie. Thank you, Kim. Sadly, once again, there’s nobody here to accept the award, just like a proper award show! Ah, ok, I was wondering when this category was going to show up. <call from offstage – dress change Ms Kardashian>. I’ll just give Kim a few seconds to change into the appropriate outfit and then we’ll announce the winner of the next category: Most gratuitous use of a bikini in a videogame. The nominees are as follows:

KissIsland
Operation wow

Ah, here’s Kim Kardashian, appropriately attired in a bright red bikini. Over to you, Kim.

This is NOT Kim Kardashian in a red bikini. This is a character from Operation Wow.

KK: “I’m glad it’s so hot under these studio lights, this bikini is totally tiny!”
CS: “I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen.”
KK: *opens envelope* “Oh wow, like Operation Wow won another award! Wow.”
CS: “Here’s the good news. If I realize that I’m insane, then I’m okay with it.” 

Well, there you have it. Operation Wow won another award! Maybe not quite the award they were hoping for, but that’s show-biz. Personally, I don’t blame them for not coming up to make another speech because that award is obviously a joke and not at all in keeping with the pompous, po-faced spirit of this awards show.

Next, a slightly more serious category, Most remarkable graphics (for whatever reason). At least we have more than two nominees for this award:

Slice HD
Meatball Joe
Air Supply – 1bit Run

It’s Charlie’s turn with the envelope. Let’s see what he has to say about these games…

CS: “I’m dealing with fools and trolls and soft targets. It’s just strafing runs in my underwear before my first cup of coffee. I don’t have time for these clowns.”
KK: “This is easily the most surreal night of my life.”
CS: “I am opening the envelope. I am taking out the piece of paper. I am reading the name…”
KK: “When do I change out of this bikini?”
CS: “Air Supply 1bit Run. Duh! Winning!”

Outstanding! Great news there for Quantum Sheep – minimalist monochrome graphics beat huge photorealistic knife blades and pinball tables covered with seafood any day of the week! This award ceremony is really warming up now, and I’m not just talking about bikinis. Hmmm… it appears that although Quantum Sheep is in attendance and has a speech prepared, he is currently out in the car park listening to some Pink Floyd on Jeff Minter’s car stereo. Well, in the totally unexpected event that Air Supply wins another award, maybe he’ll pop back in and do a speech for that one.  

Next, a huge category with a mammoth … two nominees … again. This time, we’re looking for the Best puzzle game and the nominees are…

Land-a Panda HD
Implode This

Kim Kardashian has the envelope for this one. Over to you, Kim.

KK: “I’m so pleased Air Supply won an award. Hopefully the night’s not over yet for Spaceman Sam. Do you think he’s still single?”
CS: “We’re on the next category. Please open the envelope.”
KK: *giggles* “Of course, silly me. I forgot. Here we go…”
CS: “Land-a Panda. You know what, Kim; life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them.”
KK: “Heavy.”

Well it’s great to see Charlie and Kim getting on so well and it’s also great to see Land-a Panda HD winning the best puzzle award. Good job, Big Pixel, shame you couldn’t be here tonight to wallow in the glory. Before we announce the winner of the final category, here’s a brief musical interlude – Motorhead playing Ace of Spades… 

Whoa, that was very loud! And now, that brings us to the final category, the ultimate accolade, the award we like to call Arcadelife’s Favourite Game From Last Month. The technical explanation for this category is the game that was played most after the review had been posted. There’s no opinion here, no guesswork, just the total amount of time I kept playing a game after reviewing it. The most-played nominees are:

Air Supply – 1bit Run
Gravonaut
Land-a Panda HD

I’m not sure where Charlie has gone, so it’s over to Kim Kardashian to announce the winner, and the game Arcadelife played the most in March 2011…

KK: “This is SO exciting! Where’s the envelope?”
<offstage> CS: “The only thing I’m addicted to is winning.”
KK: “Charlie! Have you got the envelope?”
<offstage> CS: “What you come to discover is, it isn’t how you get there, it’s that you get there.”
KK: “I think that’s a clue. I think he’s giving us clues about who won!”
<offstage> CS: “My success rate is 100 percent.”
KK: “I knew it! Air Supply has won! Yay! Go Spaceman Sam!”
<offstage> CS: “Goodnight, Kim.”
KK: “Goodnight, Charlie. See you on Twitter.”

Amazing. In amongst all that I got the distinct impression that the final award, the BIG ONE if you will, was nabbed by Air Supply 1bit Run! Congratulations, Quantum Sheep, you took more minutes from my life in March than any other developer. Ah, here comes Quantum Sheep now, acceptance speech clutched in his hand. Let’s hope it’s not quite as long as his Arcadelife interview, eh readers!

Quantum Sheep: “Thanks to ArcadeLife for your support, and thanks to all the major sites for believing in me when everyone else did!”  

Ah, that was great! Short, too. And on that note, thanks again to Charlie Sheen and Kim Kardashian and goodnight from me. See you all at next month’s award show!

Full list of winning winners:

Best implementation of a retro style – Forget-Me-Not
Best clone, port or re-imagining – Operation Wow HD
Best sport, gambling or pinball game – War Pinball HD
Most innovative use of touch control – Slice HD
Best strategy or tycoon game – Starfall HD
Most gratuitous use of a bikini in a videogame – Operation Wow HD
Most remarkable graphics (for whatever reason) – Air Supply – 1bit Run
Best puzzle game – Land-a Panda HD
Arcadelife’s Favourite Game From Last Month (March) – Air Supply – 1bit Run

Don’t forget, winners, – you can now legitimately refer to your game as “Award winning” – because it is! Congratulations.

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Legal Disclaimers
¹ – Charlie Sheen was played by one of his stunt doubles from Hot Shots Part Deux . Many of the CS quotes used in this award show were genuine quotes from the real Charlie Sheen, or at least as genuine as you can get when using Google.
² – Kim Kardashian was played by me in a wig. Hardly anything said by KK in this blog entry was ever actually said by the real Kim Kardashian. Probably. 
³ – Any acceptance speeches attributed directly to developers or publishers of games were genuinely supplied to Arcadelife by those people. And we are very grateful for their participation. Where a ‘pretend celebrity’ made a speech on behalf of someone else, the quote used was all or partially a genuine quote from that person, although not originally made with any reference to this blog.
4 By ‘very real’ I meant ‘pretend’. Henry Rollins is great, and he looks a bit like me. He won’t mind this at all. Hopefully.
No offence is intended by this blog entry. If you, your family, friends or pets find anything here that upsets you, please can I refer you to some other website or maybe a nice book and a cup of tea. As Banksy says, copyright is for losers. Please feel free to copy, re-use, distribute and otherwise promote as much of this stuff as you like.