It's Game of the Year season. You'll be seeing lots of people name their Best Video Game, Best PC Game, Best Xbox 360 Game, Best Shooter, Best Fighting Game, Best, Best, Best...
And yet I can tell you right now that some games that deserve recognition won't win anyone else's awards, because they don't fit. We're going to prevent that problem, you and I, by creating all sorts of new categories that our favorite games of 2012 can win.
Join me, starting with...
Best Game That Lets You Teach a Rabbit How To Act As Well As How To Trick Shoppers Into Buying Stuff They Don't Need
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask. By a nose!
WHY: The new Layton doesn't just let you solve puzzles in order to solve mysteries as the esteemed Prof. Layton (plus minions). It also gives you access to a variety of nutty side games. There's a little side adventure that involves you guiding of a toy robot through a dangerous land. That would be other games' odd side mode. In Layton, that's playing it stupidly safe. In this game there's a mode in which you select a cute bunny rabbit, teach it new poses and then have to figure out which of those poses it should strike while it is on stage "acting" in a series of plays. You are graded on the quality of the bunny's acting.
And then there's the amazing I-think-there's-a-hidden-message-here shopping mini-game that straight-up requires you to up-sell shoppers and trick them into buying stuff they don't need. It goes like this: here are a variety of, say, fruits. Put them on a store shelf in such a way that the item the shopper comes into the store to buy is similar to the one next to it, in the hope that shopper will buy the one next to it, too; then line up a third item that is similar to the second item so that they impulse-buy that. They came in for a red apple? Put a yellow apple next to that, a banana next to yellow apple, etc. This will fool them into buying all three pieces of fruit. But don't line this stuff up in such a way that the shopper will see two appealing things at once because that will make them think about their purchases and bail. No, line these things up in such a way that they fall for each product in succession and clear the store of all its stuff. Wow! Is Layton also our Satirical Game of the Year??
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask gets the first nod. Please give out some more awards below.
(We'll be doling out some more traditional awards in the weeks to come. Don't worry!)