Hello, Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise, and we’re counting down my Official Top (And Bottom) Three Games of 2014. These are the standouts that I played this year for the first time. We pass the halfway point in this installment, with my second-favorite game that I played for the first time in 2014! What it is? Well, I’ll tell you what it isn’t. It isn’t a game. See, as I worked on this installment, it became more about a game designer that I played for the first time this year. Allow me to explain.
Some of you watching may already know my opinion of the board game Robo Rally. (CLIP: I found the experience as enjoyable as eating a sandwich in a public bathroom.)
So, when the opportunity came along to play another robot programming game, Volt: Robot Battle Arena, designed by Emerson Matsuuchi, I was less than optimistic. I was so tainted by the vile bile of my experiences with Robo Rally that I played my first game of Volt with a frown. However, halfway through it, I discovered this strange sensation, like I was… could it be that I was having fun playing this robot programming game?
Yes. In fact, this game currently holds a solid position in my top twenty favorite games of all time. What I really appreciate about Volt is the same thing I appreciate about Emerson’s previous game Tricks & Treats: it presents several simple concepts, but then adds just a bit of manageable chaos to the mix. I enjoy his second game, Volt, more than his first one, Tricks & Treats, and I’m really looking forward to seeing if he ups his game again in his next design: Cipher Ops, which was recently renamed Specter Ops and will be published by Plaid Hat Games. I hope that Plaid Hat retains the soul and streamlined chaos that Emerson instills in his games.
And I’m hoping that with Specter Ops, Emerson can do for Scotland Yard what he did for Robo Rally with Volt, and that, this time next year, I’ll be talking about another one of his designs on my list of top games. We’ll see!