Best Games Played 2017: Coolest Gadgets


These games and awards were decided during the Wardcast’s Best Games Played 2017 episode, where we considered any and all games played by the members of the Wardcast in 2017, even if they weren’t released that calendar year.


What’s out there in the void of space? Justice? Revenge? Riches? In Heat Signature, the answer is all of the above and more.

What more could space offer, you may ask? Trouble. Heat Signature is bringing trouble. A lot of it.

Every mission sees you boarding a ship with claustrophobic corridors filled with various space folks using an assortment of weaponry to eject you from their ship into the cold vacuum of space. Your mission – should you choose to accept it – can run the gamut from kidnapping or rescuing to searching and destroying, and any mistake you make can lead to things spiraling out of control.

At first glance, these systems are fun but rote. After an hour or so of playing I could feel my interest waning, but that’s when you start to experiment with the gadgets you pick up on you adventures.

I’d be introduced to items like the Glitch Trap, letting you teleport enemies around the map, so I’d bring it with me on my next mission. I’d round a corner where there are three guards with gear that my puny gun can’t touch, so I take a pop shot to attract them and make a run for it. The guards would follow my position, and as they turn the corner, they step into the Glitch Trap I set and one by one get shot out into space.

There’s also the Visitor. Say you’re trying to steal some treasure from a locked room that’s full of guards. You use the Visitor to warp into the room, shoot one guard, cut another down with a sword, throw your gun at the third to knock him out, loot the treasure, and warp back out in the span of two seconds.

Each one of these new tools keeps the game fresh and exciting, and everytime I’d start to feel tired of playing missions with the same loadout, the game would show me the latest gizmo, and it would feel like new again.

Heat Signature is a fun foundation of top-down run-and-gun gameplay made great by a cavalcade of wacky contraptions that help keep your playstyle constantly evolving. If you’re looking for a creative and thrilling game that makes you think on your feet, this is it.

Best Games Played 2017: Most Treacherous


These games and awards were decided during the Wardcast’s Best Games Played 2017 episode, where we considered any and all games played by the members of the Wardcast in 2017, even if they weren’t released that calendar year.


Well, it finally happened. Our rule about considering any game irrespective of release year finally bagged us a relatively older game.

1001 Spikes, originally released in 2014, is a deceptively difficult game about venturing through a temple to plunder it for gold, jewels, and treasured idols. You play as adventurer Aban, braving the hidden temple’s many perilous traps. At the outset, you’re given 1001 lives, which act as your life pool for the entire game. Once you’ve spent your allotment, that’s it, the game is done.

The game is a practice in patience. Where a roguelike platformer like Super Meat Boy is a dead-eyed sprint, 1001 Spikes is a marathon. Upon each loss, you’re improving your strategic mind, learning about how the game operates and what its next move is going to be. Each death is an opportunity to learn. Spike and dart trap timings are taught through repetition, since every level in the game is handmade.

Where a game like Spelunky is built upon procedurally generated levels, each level in 1001 Spikes drips with authorial intent. With each trap, gap, and jump, you can feel the hand of semi-mysterious development studio 8bits Fanatics at work. Every time you attempt a level, you’re taking one step forward at understanding 1001 Spikes and its creators.

1001 Spikes is the kind of game where simply finishing a level fills you with a giant sense of achievement, as long as you don’t put it down in frustration before then. This game isn’t for the faint of heart; it’s for true adventurers willing to brave the pitfalls of the temple to uncover its secrets.