Wrought with horrors, Limbo emerged king of a menagerie of quality XBLA titles released in 2010. Its simple puzzle mechanics fared better during the opening two hours spent in the haunting forests of Limbo but even when the game traded eery woodlands for stark machinery the game was a joy to play. Limbo’s real achievement though was in creating a world that was so effortlessly entrancing, macabre and twisted that I played it through 3 times in a week.
Runner Up: Minecraft
The breakout indie hit that became a darling to pretty much anyone with a PC and resounding proof that PC gaming is alive and well. No matter how many times suicide bomber zombies destroyed our meticulously built cave structures; Minecraft had us crawling back for more. Addictive in a whole new, worrying way because there’s still no end in sight and it’s still not even out of Beta stage. A constant trickle of updates continue to compliment an already impressive array of tools and some of the structures built within the world of Minecraft are incredible. Just make sure you don’t set fire to your work of art.
Runner Up: PacMan: CEDX
Possibly the biggest surprise of the year this 30th anniversary edition of the weathered classic is the best iteration since the original. CEDX’s Pacman is built to 21st century specification meaning it’s faster, prettier and comes with leaderboard integration. Bombs and slow motion do little to sully the revered formula, instead turning proverbial mechanics into something fresh and invigorating. The result? Proof that 30 years on there’s still plenty of life left in one of gaming’s oldest friends.