I realized at a certain point while going through the list of exclusive games to check out that I was going to miss more than a few downloadable games. Seeing as I wasn’t going to talk about them otherwise, I decided to give them their own article to make sure folks don’t miss out on some of the best games available for download on multiple platforms.
Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” (PS3, PS4, PSV, 360, PC, Mac, iOS, Android)
I feel sorry for those of you who picked up the terrible “The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct” instead of Telltale’s game, because you missed out on one of the best games of 2012. With a focus on story and character development, this graphic adventure game emphases the choices you make during the course of the game and punishes you for not being attentive. It’s an emotional ride that stacks up well to both the original graphic novel and the TV show.
“Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons” (PS3, 360, PC)
“Brothers” is not a challenging game, nor is it long, but it does two things that impress. The first is the controls: you play as two different brothers but use a single controller for both of them: an analog stick and a single button to interact for each. It’s a relatively simple game set in a fantastical world full of friendly and malevolent trolls, beautiful griffin creatures and warring giants. Its controls offer a unique experience, as you sometimes have to fight with yourself to accomplish what you need to get done.
“Braid” (360, PS3, PC, Mac, Linux)
Braid is a very good game with time-control mechanics and a meaningful theme. I could tell you more, but Soulja Boy tell ‘em better.
“Limbo” (360, PS3, PSV, PC, Mac, Linux, iOS)
“Limbo” is a puzzle platformer known for its black-and-white art style with a focus on use of shadows. Gameplay-wise, it doesn’t have the best platforming mechanics, but “Limbo” does offer interesting puzzles and enough people, objects and giant spiders with arms that can skewer you to make you focused on something else to worry about.
“Fez” (360, PS3, PS4, PSV, PC, Mac, Linux)
In “Fez,” you play as Gomez, a little white figure who wears an adorable fez. In fact, this whole game is adorable. The characters, the music, Gomez, all of it. Its main draw, as a unique platformer, is how you can change the perspective from four different angles which, in a 2-D environment, drastically changes what obstacles are in your way, which way you can go and whether the platform you just jumped on was actually there. Did I mention Gomez is adorable?
“Spelunky” (PS3, PS4, PSV, 360, PC, Mac)
A friend told me a week ago that “Spelunky” was the best game ever made. In “Spelunky,” you explore a vast system of caves, gathering items, saving damsels and taking out dangerous creatures and monsters. Tunnels are randomly generated, and if you die, you have to go back and start from the beginning. The last part surprisingly adds quite a bit of replay value, although it could certainly prove frustrating to some.
“Child of Light” (PS4, PS3, 360, XBO, Wii U, PC)
Using Ubisoft’s absolutely dazzling Ubiart Framework to develop the game, “Child of Light” is absolutely beautiful to look at. Supposedly designed to look like the art style of legendary Studio Ghibli (with gameplay similar to games like “Final Fantasy VIII”) “Child of Light” is without a doubt a love letter to the entirety of the JRPG genre.
“Hotline Miami” (PS3, PS4, PSV, PC, Mac, Linux)
“Hotline Miami” is a fast-paced top-down action game with heavy influence from the motion picture “Drive.” Every level, your mission is to go into a building and kill everyone. Enemies die easily when hit: A single bullet or a swing of a crowbar to the head will take most of them down in a splatter of pixelated crimson. However, the player character is just as fragile, a fact that causes as much strain over strategizing how to tackle a building or specific room as it does to your twitch reflexes as you put your plan into action.
“Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon” (PS3, 360, PC)
“Far Cry 3” was an open-world FPS released in 2012 that took place on a group of islands in the Pacific. So you can imagine everyone’s surprise when Ubisoft announced a standalone DLC called “Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon” which basically takes all of the basic mechanics of “Far Cry 3” and turns everything into an 80s action movie: bright lights, godawful one-liners, neon dragon things and anything else you can possibly imagine that could put a game over-the-top. All of it’s here in this one game.
“Skullgirls” (PS3, 360, PC)
“Skillgirls” is an indie 2-D fighting game with heavy influence from games like “Marvel vs. Capcom 2.” The animation in the game is super-sleek, and the gameplay itself solves problems that many other fighting games still have to deal with.