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Steve Norman’s Top Ten Games of 2016

The majority of my limited gaming time this year seems to have been spent in last year’s The Witcher 3, which eventually got finished just before Christmas. Absolutely loved it but had had my fill after sixty hours. Also want to mention Until Dawn, which would have been near the top of last year’s top ten had I played it in time. I got my first platinum trophy with another favourite game from last year, Rocket League, and finally got to play and complete something even older when Grim Fandango appeared as a PS+ freebie. Here’s games that actually came out this year; it’s a bit mobile heavy, mainly thanks to the above, and moving to an almost medieval house with an equally medieval internet connection. 
  1. No Man’s Sky. It didn’t take me that long to work out that just beyond the technical marvels lies something very shallow, but as someone with very limited console gaming time, and no interest in cooperative or multiplayer play, this is pretty much all I want from a game. There’s a story of sorts if you want it, but the joy of this for me is making my own story at my own pace. Beautiful achievement. 
  2. Crashlands. This game knows exactly what’s fun about exploration, crafting and survival games, and lets you concentrate on the fun, rather than learning arduous systems or recipes. Really nice progression, whether you choose to follow the story, the side quests, or just enjoy mooching around for new stuff to make. I’ve literally lost hours and hours on this recently, usually stopping only to recharge the battery on my iPad. Incredible mobile gaming achievement. 
  3. Lego Dimensions Midway Arcade. Not strictly a game in its own right, and quite a bit different from the mass of other packs we’ve collected over the last year in that it’s as much of a retro gaming compilation as a standard level pack. And it includes some of my favourite games ever! 720, Spy Hunter, Toobin, Rampage, Super Sprint, Paperboy, Gauntlet… Unbelievable, as is the Lego Spy Hunter car, which I only wish I’d owned thirty years ago!
  4. Tomb of the Mask. This one came early in the year on iOS but I’m still playing it. It looks like a Spectrum game, plays like a casual mobile game, and like Downwell before if, is deceptively sophisticated and very addictive.
  5. Trackmania demo. That’s right, a PS4 demo has made if into my list! I’m sure had I felt the need to buy the game yet, the full version would be here instead, but I’m still more than happy dipping in and out of this, trying to better what I’ve done before and enjoying the insanely high speed, highly polished arcade racing. 
  6. Galaga Wars. Last year my high score craving was satisfied by Pac Man 256, and this year it’s another modern take on ancient history with this. Plays mostly like the original, albeit with a bit more freedom of movement, looks great, and employs a very fair and unobtrusive free to play model. Frantic and addictive. 
  7. PinOut. Fantastic endless pinball game on iOS. Mechanically it’s normal pinball, but you’re flipping the ball up the screen to the next set of flippers against the clock. A lot of fun, very addictive, and a special mention for the extremely stylish eighties-esque neon look
  8. Clash Royale. For a game I grew to hate after about twenty hours, I continued playing it for over one hundred more! The height of gaming addiction, and whilst I never spent a penny on it, I can fully appreciate it sitting at the top of Apple’s top grossing charts! 
  9. Atari Flashback Console. Okay, also not strictly a game, and I’ve only owned it for less than a week, but it’s endless Atari 2600 action in my filthy mitts! This is pure gaming history, and whilst of course there are duds in the sixty games pre-installed, the classics like Frogger, Missile Command, Centipede and Asterois deserve to be mentioned in top ten lists at every opportunity.
  10. Tricky Towers. A PS+ freebie in the summer, and one that probably has a permanent place on my PS4’s hard drive. Essentially Tetris, with frantic and fast-paced challenges in single player mode, but where it really shines is in local two player, where you race to build your tower to a certain height whilst trying to scupper your opponent’s. Great to play with the kids, though if you’re a past Tetris master just remember not to go too nuts for the first few goes!

Lego Space Transport 918

I came across this photo of my favourite Lego set ever, so thought I’d commit it to immortality here…

 
This was released in 1978, according to Internet Lego nerds, but I got it for my 7th birthday the following year, which is 36 years ago next weekend at the time of writing. Very early Lego space set, made extra special by the opening cockpit and transparent gold window pieces. And came with the classic red spaceman! Here he is, and a couple of other pictures. 

   
   

Best Lego Space Sets Ever!

My favorites from the late 70’s and early 80’s, forgotten about until just now and recorded here so I don’t need to remember them again. In no particular order…

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Lego Judge Death

Make this real, Mr Lego!

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Amazing Lego Haunted House

This Victorian mansion with ornate garden mudslide is a masterpiece – Lego bods, put this in your shops and name your price!

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Bondage Lego

Lego’s more fun when you just make stuff up!

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Battle of the Perfect Women

Gents, you’ve got to choose one of the following…

Hottie bending over to make her Lego Star Wars model, or big rack welcoming you with beer and pizza.

I reckon the Star Wars girl is probably a keeper, but the beer girl would be a party you need to be at!

What do you reckon?

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Amazing Lego Predator

This is probably the best Lego creation ever, built by a guy called Shawn Snyder.

Come on Lego, license the Predator and let me buy one!

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LEGO Volkswagen T1 Camper Van

As much as I loved my LEGO as a child, I wish what’s available now was then!

Take this Volkswagen T1 Camper Van set, complete with detailed interior and engine…

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Lego, since when is “US” a language?

No wonder kids are such fucking retards!

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