Our favorite books of the year

This was an odd year for books, usually the quiet introspective cousin at the pop culture family gatherings. But the Amazon/Hachette contract dispute put book publishing on front pages again—okay, mostly in opinion columns and think pieces, but still. As usual, The A.V. Club invited our regular books writers to pick…

March 5, 2012

Katawa Shoujo
Creator: Four Leaf Studios
Platforms: PC, Mac
Played on: PC
Price: Free
Hisao is in demand among his high-school classmates, in spite of a heart arrhythmia that might put a damper on the shenanigans of the average teen heartthrob. At the start of Katawa Shoujo, that illness literally lays Hisao low when a…

February 13, 2012

Creator: Colaboratory
Platforms: iPhone/iPad (Universal Binary)
Played on: iPad
Price: $1.99
There are people who are good at Tetris and there are people who are good at Boggle. Those who are in the middle of that Venn diagram can count themselves lucky when playing Puzzlejuice, which tests—nay, taxes—players’…

January 23, 2012

Abobo’s Big Adventure
Creators: I-Mockery, Pesto Force, ThePoxBox.com
Platform: Browser
Price: Free
Abobo’s Big Adventure is billed as “the ultimate tribute to the NES,” but if that’s true, it raises the question of what exactly qualifies as a “tribute.” In terms of quantity, Adventure certainly references a greater…

Dec. 12, 2011

Creator: Juicy Beast
Platforms: Browser, iPhone/iPad
Played on: Browser
Price: Browser—Free; iPhone—$1.99
So you’re a none-too-bright-looking giant pink fuzzy monster, roughly the size of the horizon, and you’re just hanging out one day when a bunch of teeny-tiny primitives start freaking out and hucking spears at…

Nov. 21, 2011

Mushroom Madness 3
Creator: Silen Games
Platforms: Browser
Price: Free
Each subsequent Mushroom Madness game has preserved the original game’s cartoony-cute design and basic functions, while considerably expanding the experience, and game No. 3 is no exception: You’re still protecting your mushroom patches from marauding…

October 31, 2011

Mercury Hg
Creator: Ignition Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Played on: Xbox 360
Price: $5
Like its predecessor, Mercury Meltdown, (which traces its heritage to Marble Madness), this action-puzzle hybrid requires you to navigate a puddle of goo from one end of a map to the next, not by moving it directly,…

August 29, 2011 

Julius Styles: The International
Creator: Lapland Studio
Platforms: iPhone/iPad (Universal Binary)
Played on: iPhone
Price: $2.99
Wesley Snipes is in jail for tax evasion, so new films are out of the question. Instead, he’s lending his mug, though not his voice, to Julius Styles: The International. Julius is a crack agent…