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AGameAWards 2021
29th December 2021  
With over 90 games written in a year, it's time to look back on some of the highlights from the past 365 days, and see what joys have been created.


Advent Collection

During the closing months of the year, I hastily scrambled together a collection of 25 games to act as an Advent Calendar.
The results were.. ... Chaotic! But I think most people enjoyed the idea of it.
You can find all the Advent games in this handy Advent Calendar blog post

Worst Advent Game

Star Catcher

The absolute bottom of the barrel was a game which I rapidly rewrote, based on one I'd previously done in the 2010 Advent Collection.
I wrote this game in around about twenty minutes, and then rushed along to make the next in the calendar, as the rapidly approaching deadline was looming. This is a terrible idea, and it also isn't very well implemented.
A proper rethink of this game idea would likely end up with better results, and maybe a better picture so you can make out what it's supposed to be on the little image on the right..

Most Disappointing Advent Game

Dungeon Key Saga

This game really should've been more of an RPG, but time wasn't on my side by the time I came to write it. With just a couple of weeks left until Advent, I made it as-is, and decided to come back to it later, and expand upon it, if I had the time.
I didn't have the time.
Instead of a mini RPG, it's a rather bland "Find the key" retread.

Most Interesting Advent Concept

Snowman's Head

Though this is pretty much Spiky Tower with a different skin, it flows very differently, and I really enjoyed the difficulty level of this one.
A revisit with a zoomed out camera might help quite a bit. And maybe add in some moving Spikes and other such obstacles.

Best Advent Game

NeonPlat's Festive Trees

A revisit to the quirky Neon world, and the gameplay for this one seems to work really well. It doesn't have the nice Neon Glow, though. I struggled to get Javascript to do that in an efficient way, without horrendous amounts of slowdown.
Other than that, though, it's a great fun little version of NeonPlat with a slightly different goal to the usual "paint the floor white" concept.


Over the course of this year, I achieved the holy grail of 52 weekly games using SmileBASIC. If you purchase the app in the Switch eShop, you can download and try out each and every one of the
games for free.

Worst SmileBASIC Game

That Figures - 4N3383PPM

I started off with a picture of a character pushing and pulling numbered blocks around an arena, a little like Sokoban, but more mathematical. After failing to find a good level generator, I instead fell back to my standard maths puzzle methods, and ended up with a rather bland grid of numbers.
That's a shame.

Most Disappointing SmileBASIC Game

Flumpaloo - 4E34XX3CJ

Although this game looks incredibly like the sort of game I'd have whipped up in an hour or so, it actually took an alarming amount of work to get the game feeling as good as it does. Which probably wasn't worth it.
The game ends up being a rather dull maze game, without any particular kind of maze functionality.
I'm not really sure where I was aiming, and I certainly didn't hit the mark.

Most Interesting SmileBASIC Concept

Roland's Chronological Imperative - 4ZEED4WD

The idea of this is pinched from the Net Yaroze game, TimeSlip, but with the look of the Amsoft classic Roland in Time. The game "works", but is lacking a lot of the puzzle mentality that I'd like it to have had. I think I need to add more work to the level layout method, create some time-based doors and other such things.
As it is, however, it's a lovely little concept, and should hopefully become something better if revisited in the future.

Best SmileBASIC Game

Blockman - 4BAJY839J

You can't really go wrong with a Blockman game. This has all the fun of the original platforming game, created way way back in 2008!
You'd think I'd have come up with some new ideas for this one, by now. But no.
That's ok, though. It's a cracking little game.

The Big Winners

Worst Game of the Year

Star Catcher

The worst of the Advent Calendar also manages to be the worst game of the year.
Three cheers for hastily cobbled together games that had little or no thought put into them, whatsoever.

Game of the Year

Platdude's Minecart Challenge

Created for SmileBASIC, this game ended up playing much better than I thought. Starting with a simple Minecart concept, the game evolved from a simple "Leap to dodge the obstacles" game, to instead being one that revolves around collection, and timing your jumps for high scores.
It's a great little game, and the skill needed for a highscore reminds me somewhat of the old YetiSports games.

I enjoyed this game so much that I additionally made a version for GotoJSE which you can play here, and is just as much fun as the original!

As always, the complete list of games I've made in 2021 can be found in the archive.

I hope you've enjoyed this rather chaotic year, created in-between me also writing an entire programming language!!

Be sure to join me next year, when I start doing this all over again.

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