• Top of the Heap: Top of 2007

    It's our super-special 2007 year-in-review issue, and I've decided I'm going to celebrate in the tried-and-true manner that's worked for sitcoms for decades: Repackaging stuff you've already seen in a "best of" episode. So, let's indulge my slothfulness and take a look back on the games that have been deemed to be at the titular Top of The Heap this year and which ones were the bottom of the barrel.

  • Top of the Heap: Blatant Ripoffs (at the American Classic Arcade Museum)

    Growing up here in New Hampshire, I’ve found that most of the rest of the country knows us for three things—Adam Sandler, a severe lack of non-white people and an inordinate amount of man-on-cattle relations. What many people don’t know, and what makes the rest of the gaming community drool over our humble little state, is that we are also home to Funspot: the world’s largest functioning videogame arcade.

  • Top of the Heap: Games Nobody Remembers Based on Licenses Nobody Remembers (Part Two)

    Game studios like shoehorning popular licenses into crappy new games about as much as writers like re-using old article topics—and for the same reasons. You don’t have to think of anything new, and you can work off of something that people already like. Here are a few of those quick and dirty games that have long since gone the way of the Dodo.

  • Top of the Heap: Sports Games in Which You Kill People

    If there’s one thing Top of the Heap does and does right, it's that it treat serious current events with the respect they deserve. So, with that in mind, this month’s heap is a tribute to one of the biggest news stories around right now: the murder/suicide of Chris Benoit. If only Princess Di had waited until the Burnout games were released—then she would have gotten a totally sweet tribute, too.

  • Top of the Heap: Culturally Irrelevant Games

    If there aren't enough contemporary media tie-in games, why not make some from franchises decades out of relevance?

  • Top of the Heap: Games Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme

    For the past five months I’ve been trying very hard to hide the fact that I’m just a poor man’s Seanbaby. This month I’ve officially given up, because this month's heap is all about games starring The Muscles from Brussels, Jean-Claude Van Damme.

  • Top of the Heap: Games Nobody Remembers Based on Licenses Nobody Remembers (Part One)

    All the big game developers know that nothing makes real money like a high quality, innovative game. Unfortunately, they’re also painfully aware that nothing makes a quick buck quite like shoving a temporarily popular cartoon/film/TV show into a mediocre videogame based vaguely on that license. Some of these licenses will be remembered and their videogames forgotten (e.g., Lethal Weapon), and, for some, the game will be remembered while the original license will be forgotten (e.g., Maniac Mansion), but sometimes both game and license are so worthless that both are forgotten. These are but a few of such forgettable game and license pairs.

  • Top of the Heap: Health Education Games

    A game's Informativity score does not factor into its overall score; Informativity is merely an indicator of whether the game is actually helpful from a health-education standpoint.

  • Top of the Heap: Religious Games (Part Two)

    This month’s adjective: It’s still Bibletasticness. The Bibletasticness score does not factor in to the overall score, but it will let you know how closely these games follow Biblical scripture and how far down your throat it will be shoved.

  • Top of the Heap: Religious Games (Part One)

    Since the beginning of time, or of videogames, at least, no games have sucked with the kind of consistence that religious games have. I’m kicking this column off with a big genre, so we’ll do this in two parts and look at half of the games this time and the other half next month.