Ballots: Jenn Frank


1. Minecraft (25)
2. Portal 2 (25)
3. Terraria (10)  
4. Glitch (10)


It was the year of collaborative play. Fans of Portal were startled, no doubt, by the sequel’s two-player mode, which encourages cooperative puzzle-solving. (And pantomime, of all things!) To succeed, both players need to coordinate their rhythm and timing. Was there ever a game so much like couples ice skating? Minecraft, in the meantime, may well have established an entirely new game genre: to play as you build, yes, but also to play what you build. Oh, sure, other games have encouraged a similar creativity; 2006’s Dungeon Maker, a DIY roguelike, comes to mind. But Minecraft is a never-ending, anything-is-possible boundlessness. Moreover, the repetition of (ahem) both mining and crafting captivates the type of player you’d never find grinding away at WoW. (Maybe Terraria didn’t further the form, no, but it appealingly flattened it.) These games were perfectly addictive in single-player modes; in multiplayer, they were sublime. Glitch, a free-to-play MMO, is very much its own monster. It is all these things at once—a social game, a game about communication and collaboration, a game about making and crafting and gardening—even as it combines all the elements of every awful Facebook time-suck you’ve ever been fired over. And even then, Glitch is still something else. It is poetry.

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