Joint Tenth – Machinarium

Publisher: Amantia Design
UK Price: £14.99 (incl. VAT)
US Price: $19.99 (excl. Tax)
Bit-tech Score: 9 out of 10 – Recommended

Sharing the #10 spot in an exact tie with ARMA II, Machinarium was one of the 2009’s most stunningly original and beautiful games. Created by the same team behind the wonderful Samorost, Machinarium was, for our readers, the most popular title in a spate of 2009 art games that also included the likes of The Path.

The story is a fairly simple little thing which tells of an abandoned robot trying to find some friends and a place in the world, but what really hits home with Amantia Design’s point and click adventure isn’t the plot, it’s the graphics. Blending elaborate pencil sketches with cardboard-cutouts and a pictographic language which replaces all the dialogue in the game, there’s a breathtaking amount of talent and vision on show Machinarium.

Top 10 Games of The Year 2009 Tenth Best Game of 2009
Machinarium - Joint 10th Place

The soundscape is equally magnificent, with a glorious array of ambient noises and a soundtrack which comes as an added download if you buy the game from the official site.

Where Machinarium admittedly falters however is in the selection of puzzles for players to overcome, which usually come in the form of mini-games or too-simple puzzles. The game isn’t especially challenging at the best of times and the fact that there’s a hint system included in the game means it’s all too easy to go rushing through a world that really deserves to have players linger a while. Regardless, Machinarium was a wonderful title and one which both bit-tech readers and staff fell in love with.

Joint Tenth – Arma II

Publisher: 505 Games
UK Price: £11.99 (incl. VAT)
US Price: $47.00 (excl. Tax)
Bit-tech Score: 9 out of 10 – Excellence Award

Scoring the exact same number of votes this year, Arma II shares the #10 position with Machinarium despite being about as different as it's possible to be. While Machinarium is a hand-drawn adventure game with a casual focus and gentle pace, Arma II is as hardcore as games can get and is truly deserving of the title of ultimate military simulator. It honestly is without peer in the milsim genre, especially after the disappointing Operation Flashpoint 2, which trailed behind at 19th Place in our survey.

Top 10 Games of The Year 2009 Tenth Best Game of 2009
Arma II - Joint 10th Place

Telling the story of a US/Russian war over the fictional state of Chernarus, Arma II’s main campaign is playable in both singleplayer and four-player co-op modes, but it’s the multiplayer where the real meat of the game lies as teams go head to head in one of the most realistic digital worlds ever created.

There are over 80 weapons and 130 vehicles for players to get to grips with and the battlefield is 225 square kilometres in size, filled with over 50 different cities and villages for you to fight through – and that’s just for starters. Arma II is so detailed that it has 1883 unique road signs in it! It’s pretty much ideal for any armchair generals or simulation fanatics, in other words.

The scale and detail of Arma II does come with a cost though and it’s hard to ignore that the game had a significant number of bugs when it was first released. Now though, with the mod community in full swing and expansion packs on the way, Arma 2 is finally starting to come into focus – and getting more and more impressive in the process.
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October 14 2021 | 15:04