Best of 2010 Awards: Downloadable Games

Downloadable: Monday Night Combat It didn't arrive with quite the fanfare of som

Downloadable: Monday Night Combat

It didn't arrive with quite the fanfare of some of its competitors, but Monday Night Combat became the online multiplayer game of choice for many and quickly grew by word of mouth. A combination of cartoon-like art, crazy announcer, and some strategic elements—like robots to push at the enemy's base and an in-game economy for buying upgrades and deployables—lent just the right amount of structure to make this third person shooter feel like a sport. With six character classes to play, each with well-balanced roles to play for your team, it takes a little work to learn how to really play the game. The payoff comes from the subsequent sense of satisfaction from contributing to a win in either competitive or cooperative modes.

If anything, it all works too well, leaving the two modes and four original arenas to feel insufficient for such a fun game. But developer Uber Entertainment has also backed up the game with great support. The free 'Spunky Cola Special' DLC add-on recently arrived with two new arenas, tweaks, and host of new features and additions. And PC players can get in on the act now too. Buy the game on Steam--due to "release" on Jan. 17--and you can start playing the beta right away.

Runner-up: Deathspank

Few games manage to pull off funny; DeathSpank is one of them. Ron Gilbert hit his absurd and irreverent sense of humor perfectly in stride as if The Secret of Monkey Island had been yesterday. And there's more than just silliness. Good quest lines, a variety of monsters, and fun to play with gear as our hero journeys across the countryside make DeathSpank a solid action-rpg in its own right.

Nominees: The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Costume Quest, Dead Nation

[Downloadable is part of Shacknews Best of 2010 Awards. For more information, including selection methodology, see this introduction.]

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