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Game of the Month, July 2012

Winner: Spelunky

Read the Spelunky review.

July 2012 has been a huge month for great digital games. And our winner is no exception to the rule. An indie darling that captured the hearts of developers long before it graced Xbox Live, Spelunky is a deceptively engaging platform puzzler that’s more likely to drive a spike through your hand than it is to hold it. It’s difficult on a level that’s rivaled by the likes of Super Meat Boy, and yet it’s so engaging because it’s fair in its punishing nature, and you’ll have a hard time turning away from its charms. Yes, it’s a tough game, but you won’t be able to turn away. Not even when you’ve used the last of your resources and still fall just short of the end goal.

There's a reason that Spelunky has garnered so much critical acclaim. You owe it to yourself to give it a try.

Runner-up: Dyad

Read the Dyad review.

Toronto based game studio ][ (yes, that’s Left Square Bracket Right Square Bracket) has concocted a game that requires as many eye drops as it does a Zen-like focus to nail down its tricky maneuvers and techniques. And that’s before Dyad layers on Trophy challenges. It’s one-part arcade racer, one part hallucinatory puzzle game. But it’s all amazing.

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dyad Spelunky

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10 comments

  • Cyberninja - July 31, 2012 9:27 p.m.

    My game of this month KH 3D, because so far its a great game with no real problems.
  • Moondoggie1157 - July 31, 2012 6:25 p.m.

    I don't mean to sound cynical, but is Spelunky all that different from all the other "brilliant, stunning" 2D platformers that have been recently gracing the online stores? I haven't played it yet, so yea, I know my opinion isn't valid, but is it really GOTM good? I love my platformers, Rayman: Origins, Bloodrayne Betrayal, Every Sonic, Mario, Megaman... I mean you name it. But then all I heard was praise for games like Limbo and Braid, and I couldn't stand either for more than an hour, is Spelunky comparable to them? (Maybe I'm just too dumb to appreciate them haha). I bought Dyad with real high hopes. With all the comparisons to Rez, I was super excited... It's growing on me know I guess, it's taking time though... It doesn't help that I can be a trophy whore haha. Ah, I trust you, Sterling!
  • GR_SophiaTong - July 31, 2012 8:56 p.m.

    Spelunky is not as puzzle heavy as Limbo and Braid, if that's why you didn't like them. The pacing is quicker. There's more action and there's also the difficulty. If you screw up you restart in an entirely new dungeon.
  • Moondoggie1157 - July 31, 2012 9:38 p.m.

    Yea, I couldn't get over how slow paced those games were, especially with all the hype surrounding them. After hearing about how deep and original they were, I was really wanting to like them, I think it was mostly the let down of said "deep originality" that lost me. I like the idea of restarting in a different places, kinda Kid Chameleon-ish... Kinda, ok yea maybe not at all. I might give it a go one of these days then haha
  • smcgarvey - August 1, 2012 11:23 a.m.

    If you don't have an Xbox 360, you can check it out on PC. I believe it was recently even ported to HTML5. But the Xbox 360 takes the gameplay and really expands and fleshes it out a lot more into a really, really realized experience with new visuals and all. To paraphrase the Peace Corps, it's the toughest game you'll ever love. :)
  • Moondoggie1157 - August 1, 2012 12:53 p.m.

    I think I'll do that, thanks!
  • Darkhawk - July 31, 2012 6:06 p.m.

    -1 for terrible pun. +1 for great choices.
  • HandonBranson - July 31, 2012 2:37 p.m.

    I think that steam summer sale should have been game of the month
  • shawksta - July 31, 2012 2:29 p.m.

    I agree,Spelunky was amazing, My favorite game this month though was Rhythm thief for 3DS, Sega executed it awesomely and has the potential to stand next to Ace Attorney and Professor Layton, especially if it continues. Kingdom Hearts DDD just came out, I still need to pick up my copy, otherwise this month was all Downloadables and 3DS :P
  • jackthekingsmit - July 31, 2012 3:16 p.m.

    Maybe they wouldn't count Rhythm Thief because it has been out since April in Europe and Australia.

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