Like in most corners of the games world, social gaming enjoyed one of its greatest years in its short life. OK, with all of dust kicked up by financial and legal woes, studio closings, layoffs and games axed, 2012 certainly had its dark times. But as the dust settled occasionally, boy, did it reveal some incredible games. With Games.com's kith and kin, we honor the best social games of 2012.
You Don't Know Jack
While Jellyvision Games perhaps had too intense a monetization strategy to start, this take on the iconic, irreverent trivia game was issued with nearly flawless execution. Hilarious, shameless and fourth wall-shattering writing, coupled with Cookie Masterson's masterful delivery and clever social hooks, no doubt helped. Not that Cookie gives a damn what we think.
The Grinns Tale
MapleStory maker Nexon showed that it could craft a charming, challenging and engaging social game that wasn't another MapleStory port. This is an adventure comparable with the first Final Fantasy games, but with arguably more nuanced and delightful art and play styles. You'll want to bug friends not just for the rewards, but to invite them into the storybook world you're lost in.
EA and Playfish beat Zynga to the punch in showing that a slightly more complex city-builder was possible on Facebook. With a quirky story arc, goofy characters and random events, the social sequel to the OG of the genre is one of the most lively city-building games on Facebook to date.
This action RPG by Tencent Boston and Stomp Games wasn't just a glimpse of where social games might be headed in 2013, but a gorgeous technical achievement. Robot Rising scratches several itches for core gamers left wanting with the current stable of Facebook games. If slick, shiny visuals and punchy play hooks are the future of social games, then we're already there.
Again, it's the simplest of concepts that make for the most ubiquitous--and at times most addictive--social games around. FreshPlanet's turn-based trivia game taps that universal sensation everyone experiences in remembering a catchy tune on command. But SongPop isn't just our best social game of 2012 because it's relatable. FreshPlanet condenses that concept into such a streamlined experience that makes it difficult not to get sucked in.
Michael Fahey, Mobile/Social Editor
John Benyamine, Publisher
Kelly Karnetsky, Editor
Ludwig Kietzmann, Editor in Chief
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