2010 Aggie Awards

Best Gameplay: Last Window: The Secret of Cape West

 

 

Creating a fully immersive experience is always a tough challenge for any developer. We’ve all heard the debates: what’s more imporant – story or puzzles? And we all know the answer: BOTH, working in fully-integrated harmony. Yet even then, gameplay is so much more than those two alone. Exploration needs to be inspiring, character exchanges must be engaging, and interaction should be both relevant and rewarding. The best games understand this, and seek a balanced blend of elements for welcome variety, proper pacing, and sustained interest. You might think an “interactive novel” like Last Window: The Secret of Cape West would favour story to the detriment of all else, but you’d be wrong, as this gripping noir-tinged mystery is deftly supported with equally compelling player participation, making it a worthy winner of our Best Gameplay award.

Exploring the Cape West apartment building means frequently conversing with its other memorable residents, and deftly navigating sensitive subjects becomes an obstacle in itself. You’ll need to pay close attention, too, as each day closes with a reflective quiz that recaps the details of the investigation. The other puzzles provide interesting challenges as well, each seamlessly integrated into the plot and usually involving manipulating objects in clever ways. More impressively, the game frequently uses the unique control features of the Nintendo DS to their fullest. Even the simplest act of tapping directly to knock on a door draws you into the game world, but the many standalone puzzles make even better use of the touch screen. Actions range from delicately fishing out a lost ring to shaking money out of a piggy bank and hurling furniture around. The shoulder buttons, microphone, and folding platform itself are also put to good use in situations where the player’s actions perfectly mimic in-game activity. This constant variety of both challenges and means of personal interaction is more than enough motivation to keep investigating right up to the bittersweet finale.

Runners-Up: Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Puzzle Bots, Heavy Rain


Readers’ Choice: Heavy Rain

 

 

While some criticize Heavy Rain for being more movie than game, it seems many welcomed the change from traditional adventure fare, albeit only by a whisker in the closest five-way race of all. Emphasizing exploration, dialogue, decision-making and dramatic action sequences, this game gave players a range of freedom rarely experienced. And with its context-sensitive control scheme, everything from car chases to bringing in the groceries felt natural and rewarding, immersing you further into its multi-layered storyline.

Runners-Up: Lost Horizon, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse, The Whispered World


Next up: Best Concept... the envelope, please!

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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