Your top 3 of the most unappreciated games

Sadly, not all games can be in #1 spot. However, for some reasons, good games didn’t make it to into the top list. List top 3 games that you consider were unappreciated and should have received a higher score.

Here are my top 3 of the most unappreciated games for this year:

Parasite Escape
I really like the retro look in this game, the atmosphere and gameplay design fits great together. Very challenging to find the right solution without dying, but rewarding when you eventually find it out.

I really enjoyed this one, and don’t understand why others didn’t.

The low score got me to think if the score calculations were incorrect. This is probably not a top contender, but definitely deserves a higher spot.

Just 1: ApoNurikabe4k

I understood what to do perfectly, and I’ve bever heard of such a thing. I don’t see why the judges didn’t.

I still think it might have come last, but it definitely should not have had such a low rating.

The rules description is just pretty unclear for someone who haven’t heard it like 3 of us. My best attempt but it was not right. I googled it and found no solution. Still I am curious how to play it (SS).

I’ve never heard of it either.

I’ll try to explain:

All the dark squares must be linked somehow.
Each number represents the amount of light squares linked to it. No more. No less.
By linked, I mean you can get from one square to the other by passing through square of the same colour NOT DIAGONALLY.
You can’t have a 2x2 of dark squares.

Could you provide a screenshot? What is wrong with my solution (link on my previous post)?

No screenshot sorry. Doing it on a sheet of paper.

The solution to your screenshot is:


D = Dark
L = Light
Number = Number

  • All dark squares joined.
  • All numbers have correct light squares
  • No 4x4 dark squares.

About the low score, it got normalized down to 6.6%, judges gave it 46%, 39% and 30%.

I think the judges were correct not to give more. The instructions were unclear, the game was far from intuitive. But bottomline is what I said in my review that ordinary people, like my sister, would never be able to play this game if I don’t get it. None of the 3 judges (all technically skilled) were able to understand it to play it, and you think “normal” people will? It’s like a puzzle game, and the puzzle is to understand how to play.

Even if the judges knew this puzzle and knew how to play, I don’t think the score would be high, simply because we have to take into account that not everybody could easily understand how to play this. The fact we’re discussing how to actually play this game is hint enough of that.

But why bottom? Every other single game was playable.

And I didn’t start this thread to defend a score given or diss a game.

The first two levels solved in ApoNurikabe4k. and the wikipedia article with the rules.. But like appel said it is ok. I know not every person will love that game so the result is ok for me.

unappreciated games:
I think F4R KRY looks sooooooooooooo great and the gameplaymechanic is nice but I think it is too hard. For me it was a top10 entry.

ApoImp4k: I think that game has a nice mechanic and the graphic is fine too. Perhaps I should had try another control scheme, only with the mouse.

Ah, Ok, I think I see what it is all about now.

I actually managed to solve the first level, but it didn’t say I had completed it. I did exactly like in the picture, except the bottom-right “2” was open above and not below. So there were two solutions, but only one got a green light.

I let my 8 yearold nephew play the game, I first explained it and he was able to play it. However, I realized he was never getting “success” even I thought he completed the level, but it was because I still didn’t understand the rules about how squares can be connected.

The rules are way too difficult IMO. I can barely understand it myself, let alone explain it to a 8 yearold.

Few changes would improve the game:

  1. Instead of marking what squares should be blocked, just let the player mark what squares should be connected. Skip the “1” islands, they are unnecessary.
  2. Use colors for different numbers (I’m thinking something in a Tetris-theme here).
  3. Simplify the rules, only require islands to be connected to specified number of squares.
  4. Possibly move to hexagonal tiles.
  5. Make it a requirement that islands cannot “touch” each other.

It would make the game simpler to play and understand. I realize this is a totally different game, but just my 5 cents.

I really liked the ApoDetectiveChess4k

It was a bit too easy in the beginning but when the number of pieces you had to put down started growing it got really interesting! :slight_smile: I’m surprised it didn’t at least reach 85% or something.

Other than that the results are quite good.


I liked Toras’ Blocks.

@Apo: thanks for the solution! now I can sleep with peace.

What I want from top 3 are: Fuego, Rainbow Road, and Flywrench. But if I am not allowed to pick from current top 10, I will choose

  • Apo7x7
  • ApoDetectiveChess
  • M4nkala

Underrated games this year:

  • In my opinion, B4llBasher got way too low a score. I notice that one of the judges found a bug, but none of our community comments mentioned it (I’m townsendr on Java4K), which makes me think it’s pretty isolated. Not deserving of such a low grade.

  • tiny_world should have been in the top ten simply due to gameplay. It could use better/simpler instructions perhaps, but it should have still made it to the top ten. I suppose #11 is almost as good. :slight_smile:

  • ApoSimple4K should have been rated much higher. Clean graphics, slick animation, simple gameplay, and I found it fun.

I have actually bookmarked tiny_world and ApoSimple so I can play them during breaks at work. They’re that much fun.

I think the problem with this year is that so many games deserved to be in top spots :slight_smile:

The grade normalizing did unjustice to many games, ApoSimple is listed with 55.6% normalized grade while all judges gave it 70%.

After this year I think I am going to switch up the judging grading process for next year, to what I’ve mentioned before in other threads, using buckets. That would mean games would be put into buckets like “Superb!”, “Excellent”, “Good”, “Fair”…etc. and then sort the games in each bucket depending on how good they are. This will require more cooperation between judges, but is probably worth it.

The three most underrated games this year, IMHO :


Behind the wall of sleep


I would like to mention ApoStress4k too, the 2013 game with the craziest gameplay. IMHO.

Well, erm… if you didn’t normalize the scores for each judge and just average them (like previous years?), obviously the scores would have been a lot higher. There is also a great chance that it would drastically affect the order of the games as well.

I probably speak for myself here, but the bucket idea sounds like a nice concept… but I don’t think it’ll do too well in practice. There is a chance that three judges rate the same game, and judge A says this game is superb, judge b says this game is average, and judge C says this game is poor. In that case, the buckets will just make things more complicated, and it’ll force peer pressure among the judges to give a higher/lower rating.

In other words, it is no different from how the judging system works now. In this case, the judges are free to say whatever they like about game and the process is faster. I find that the system is pretty efficient as it stands, but the normalizing really did chew up a lot of games. (However, I am pretty curious to know if the scores were not normalized how the judging list would differ.)

Actually I somewhat agree with ctomni here, I don’t think you should normalize the scores first. I too wonder what the results would have been like without normalization…

I like how the 3 StephR’s suggestions were my #14, #6, and #7 games respectively :slight_smile:

Basically your scores would have had less influence. The other two judges had almost identical means and standard deviations, but your scores were more tightly clustered towards the top end.

Edit: but most games wouldn’t move in the positions at all; 7x7 would be the most drastically affected, moving down 5.5 places; no other game would move more than 2.5 places, but there would be one tie broken and two (one of them three-way) created in the top 11.