Word/Puzzle Game of the Year 2013

By Owen Faraday 06 Dec 2013 0
Solved. Solved.

If awards were doled out based on play time alone, then our Word/Puzzle Game of the Year would rank among the best games ever made. But really, it's not that good. But if I had at my disposal all the time that the PT staff has collectively spent playing it, I could probably be writing this post in French.

"This is our victory dance." "This is our victory dance."

When I polled the other PT contributors for their thoughts on these awards, there was only one category that came back with a unanimous decision, and it was for Paint it Back.

It's maybe the simplest game we've given any coverage to this year: it's just nonograms, a basic puzzle familiar to anybody whose dad ever bought them a 99-cent puzzle book to keep them entertained on a road trip, or who played one of Nintendo's popular Picross titles. But you can take a simple idea and make it shovelware, or you can make it something amazing -- and that's what Edward Brown did with Paint it Back.

The central joke -- that you're an amateur artist impressed into service restoring a gallery of accidentally erased paintings -- never gets old because Brown's presentation is so good-natured and his paintings are clever. The interface is so perfectly thought out that it just melts away, and it's easy for an hour to vanish while you're playing. Probably not the best game to play at the office as a result -- there's no such thing as a 5-minute Paint it Back session.

"Paint only what you know to be true," the museum curator says in the tutorial. Here's something true: Paint it Back is awesome, and I can't wait to see what Edward Brown has got for us next.

Runner-up: Device 6

Honorable Mention: Symmetrain, Simple Rockets

To see all the games recognized in the Pocket Tactics Best of 2013 Awards, visit the awards index page.
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