2010 Aggie Awards

Best Adventure of 2010: Last Window: The Secret of Cape West

 

 

Choosing a game of the year is always a challenge. Only the top games are still in contention at the end, and each of them is rightfully deserving of acclaim. The task can be even harder for adventures, as our oft-unappreciated genre diversity means the possibilities can be remarkably different. Never in the (albeit short) history of the Aggies has that been more true than 2010. From a cinematic multi-million dollar Sony exclusive to an independent horror that raised the bar on psychological fear; from a text-heavy interactive pulp novel to a jaw-dropping traditional fantasy adventure, the finalists were as varied as they were exceptional in their own way. Then, of course, there was a new entry from the Freelance Police, who no doubt expected to reclaim their title from 2008. This was our dilemma: large or small, funny or sad, PC or console, old school or new school, mainstream or niche? Only one could be the winner.

Our choice of Last Window: The Secret of Cape West as the Best Adventure of 2010 may come as a surprise (and probably disappointment) to anyone who doesn’t own a Nintendo DS. Yet those who do will need no convincing, as the sequel to Hotel Dusk: Room 215 took everything that made the original game great and fine-tuned an already-winning formula even further. The ongoing saga of troubled ex-cop Kyle Hyde offered everything fans of story-driven adventures could want: fully immersive film noir-styled storyline full of dark secrets and unexpected twists and turns; richly detailed characters whose personalities aren’t controlled by your actions; impressive jazz soundtrack you can even access from an in-game jukebox; varied use of the unique DS functionality; inspired puzzles nicely integrated into the plot, some with multiple solutions; and distinctively stylized hand-drawn artwork reminiscent of animated graphic novels. Plus an actual novel to boot, as your exploits are recorded at the end of each chapter in a written narrative that’s well worth a read in its own right.

Alas, rather than simply lauding one of the best adventures to ever grace the genre, this award is a bittersweet honour. For one thing, Last Window has received only a limited release in the UK thus far, limiting the exposure of a game that every adventurer (at least, those who enjoy reading) really must play. (Hey publishers: wake up! We don’t hand out GOTY Aggies to just any game, you know!! Get this game on store shelves everywhere!!!) More tragically – and not unrelated – The Secret of Cape West marks the final adventure from Cing, as the Japanese developer was recently forced to close its doors. But if they had to go out, they certainly did it in style, treating us with a swan song adventure for the ages. And so, fellow gamers, we encourage you to beg, borrow, or buy a DS and seek this game out, to experience for yourselves the many worthy qualities that earned it our top 2010 Aggie Award. And Cing… we salute you. Thanks for the memories.

Runners-Up: Heavy Rain, Amnesia The Dark Descent, Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse, The Wispered World


Readers’ Choice: The Whispered World

 

 

At last! Something that would make even Sadwick smile. Toppling Telltale from its two-year reign at the top, and proving you don’t need millions of dollars to fashion a memorable adventure, Daedalic’s The Whispered World edged out the competition in a photo finish. (If ever there was proof of the adage “every vote counts”, this is it!) But with four individual Aggies to its credit already, this ultimate honour is well-deserved, and a testament that traditional point-and-click adventures have plenty of life left in them yet.

Runners-Up: Heavy Rain, Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse


That concludes the 2010 Aggie Awards! Still to come, a few administrative notes and a complete eligible game list, along with other assorted fine print that you probably should have read before signing. Think we got our choices right? Agree or disagree with your fellow gamers? Feedback is always welcome! Besides, we’ve got a whole year to fill up until we do it all over again.

Continued on the next page...



AD Heavy Rain can be purchased at:
Amazon  

Related Games

Heavy Rain

Platform(s): PlayStation 3

Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse

Platform(s): Mac, PC, PlayStation 3

Puzzle Agent

Platform(s): PC, Wii

The Whispered World

Platform(s): PC

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

Platform(s): DS

Also known as Professor Layton and the Lost Future

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Platform(s): Mac, PC



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Comments

Fantasysci5 Fantasysci5
Feb 16, 2011

I see “Black Mirror 2” got runner-up in pretty much every category, AG staff AND readers!

SamuelGordon SamuelGordon
Feb 16, 2011

Heavy Rain, champion of the people! It was a great game , the Origami Killer is amazing. My favorite characters were Gaius James Rover, Sadwick and the Origami Killer of course. I haven’t played one game the staff picked besides Heavy Rain..hmmm time to get busy!

Arial Type Arial Type
Feb 16, 2011

I found Norman Jayden to be the most lovable character. Mixing virtual reality and drug addiction was a really nice idea)

Roper Klacks
Feb 18, 2011

So glad Amnesia took a handfull of prizes. Frictional Games deserve it so much.

smulan smulan
Feb 18, 2011

Yes it was a surprising choice for best adventure of 2010! But a fair one. And good for AG and good for Cing, despite them not being anymore.

ADan ADan
Feb 18, 2011

Wow! The Whispered World! And I didn’t even vote!

Most surprising: Sadwick. (After all the complaints about his voice).

My personal choice from the same game would have been ‘The Rock Bros.’.
I totally love how they sound exactly like I had imagined them when I translated their parts.

Big thanks to the AG community and of course the team.

Cheers, Dan.

Panthera Panthera
Feb 18, 2011

Now I really must play Last Window. I actually found it at my local electronics store, didn’t even know there was a newer release from Cing than Again, but picked it up for 25£ and put it in my DS shelf, where it has been since (together with Again that’s also unplayed)..

Also need to finish the Whispered World, Sam and Max season 3, Heavy Rain and force my bf into playing Amnesia while I watch, as there is no way I’m playing that one alone..

At least I should have a lot to look forward to!

DrFrankenstein DrFrankenstein
Feb 18, 2011

Now, this is a twist at the very end! This is the first time I hear about the Cing game and the fate of the developer. Must be for a good cause that the AG staff decided to put the spotlight on them! Unfortunately, the PC world may never find out the merits of this game. So sad…

As for the readers’ choice award… Interesting! The Whispered World is a very good game indeed, but does have some major flaws too. In my eyes S&M and Lost Horizon deliver a better overall package than it. My take - hype campaigns still work wonders for getting ahead. Alas!

An interesting Awards season with no easy picks amongst the contenders. Many thanks to the AG staff for making it all happen once again. Salute!

orient orient
Feb 19, 2011

It’s great to see Cing getting the recognition they so rightly deserve. I bought The Last Window at launch but I still haven’t played it in fear of it being the last Cing game I’ll ever experience :-( Maybe now’s the time to get over it and play this wonderful game.

jasonlblair
Feb 22, 2011

A great list of deserving titles, and a nice send-off to Cing. I anticipated every release and was heartbroken to hear they were being shuttered.

And a big thank you to the staff and readers of AdventureGamers.com for doing my favorite genre proud. I love visiting this site.

pfranzen
Feb 22, 2011

So happy to see all the love for The Whispered World; it’s easily one of the best adventure games I’ve played since the LucasArts era.

diego diego
Feb 23, 2011

I won’t judge AG choice for best game because i haven’t played Last Window, but i’m really happy to see that community loved The Whispered World. It may not the a perfect adventure, but it really tried and at most cases succeded to catch the spirit of those “golden days” being original along the way as well. Black Mirror 2 and The Lost Horizon deserved to win some of the category i think, but - every award needs to have it’s “Scorcese” Smile

And a big thank to AG editors who put this all together, now when you look at it, 2010. wasn’t that bad at all. I also hope that in the future we’ll get to see German releases much sooner in English localizations. I also hope to see more companies doing games and more adventure game publishers.

bakana
Feb 28, 2011

I have to say I’m VERY surprised that Sadwick was voted “best character.”  Even once you gave in and turned off his atrocious, unlistenable voice, he was still a mopey, insufferable whiner in a stupid hat…

Tad Tad
Jan 2, 2013

Surprised to see Heavy Rain win this. The story starts strong but falls to bits the closer you get to the end.

Cowboy Bibop
Feb 25, 2014

Great Year for gaming and great pick by the staff and Readers.

But there was this one category… this one award that completly dazzles me. How can Heavy Rain NOT win Best Graphic Design?

Everyone in Adventure Gamers staff should go back and be amazed by that amazing visuals again, because still to this day they are at the op of the industry.



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