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Digital Culture

7 best German computer games of the year

The real time strategy game "Anno 2205" and the breathtaking VR climbing simulation "The Climb" are among the winners of the German Computer Games Award 2016. Here are seven outstanding games - for all types of players.

The German Computer Games Award has been created in 2009. Every year, a jury consisting of game developers, players, journalists, scientists and politicians select the best games in different categories. Here are seven winning titles:

'Anno 2205': Life on the moon

Since 1998, the "Anno" series has been establishing new standards in economic simulation games. The goal of all the games in the series is always the same: build up a civilization, protect it against attacks, and make sure the population is happy by providing all goods that it needs.

Each game is set in a different era. In "Anno 2205," the player finds himself in the far future. For the first time, colonies can also be built on the moon. This actually becomes a necessity, because the moon holds raw materials that are urgently needed on Earth.

'The Climb': All the way up with VR glasses

"The Climb" is not yet available in stores. But the climbing simulation developed by the company Crytek is to be released over the next few weeks. So far, the company has developed successful ego shooters. "The Climb" is also a real thrill, even without any weapons.

The player, provided with VR glasses, is hanging above the abyss, permanently facing the danger of falling down. He must grab rock ledges while carefully crawling up all the way to the peak.

The graphics are rich in detail and atmosphe, making use of all currently available technology. "The Climb" does keep its promise of a thrilling climbing experience - as long as the player doesn't get nauseous. Virtual reality motion sickness can hit even the most experienced gamers.

Computer game The Climb, Copyright: Crytek

"The Climb": You'll be looking down and might regret it

'Fiete Choice': Riddle fun for kids

The app "Fiete Choice" was developed for pre-school children. Fiete is a hand-painted seaman walking through 99 levels, while having to solve all kinds of riddles on his way. In each part, several figures or objects are shown. The kids' task is to find out which of these objects does not fit with the others.

Very few gadgets, strong contrasts, a clearly structured design and the absence of language make this smartphone and tablet game appealing to children all over the world.

"Fiete" games - there are now six of them - are very popular among the small ones, as demonstrate the wide range of promotional products featuring the main character: Fiete books, Fiete drinking bottles, Fiete stickers, and more.

'Shift Happens': Flabby monsters bouncing around

"Shift Happens" is a wild Jump'n'Run with more than 40 colorful levels optimized for two players. The protagonists are Bismo and Plom, two flabby monsters who are able to swap their bodies anytime by simply pressing a button: Little Bismo can take over the body of the huge, fat Plom - and vice versa.

To progress through the game, the two protagonists need to cooperate. They are able to lift each other to bounce through levels and must solve different riddles together.

"Shift Happens" can also be played by just one child, but it's more fun with another player. The principle of this game is based on those created back in the days when the internet wasn't quick enough for online multi-player games - when kids simply had to sit next to each other to play.

Computer game Shift Happens, Copyright: Klonk

Jump whatever may come: "Shift happens"

'One Button Travel': Time travel on a smartphone

The app "One Button Travel" is actually an interactive novel - also known as a text adventure in gaming jargon.The player communicates with the time traveler and the answers determine the outcome of this 55,000-word rich story.

Unlike other games, however, "One Button Travel" cannot be played all at once, as the game itself determines when it continues. Via push-news on the smartphone, the player is regularly drawn back into dialogue with the time traveler.

'Typoman': When letters change the world

"It's just when sense is missing that a word comes pat and serves one's purpose most conveniently," said Mephistopheles in Goethe's "Faust." This sentence inspired developers to create the outstanding game "Typoman."

This 2D Jump'n'Run leads the player through a somber world in which letters transform themselves into objects. The main character, Hero, is also made of letters.

Players solve riddles by building words (in English) with letters found along the way. Quite often, there isn't only one, but several possible solutions to reach the goal. This game will fascinate typography and language fans alike.

Computer game Typoman, Copyright: Brainseed Factory/Headup Games

Getting hooked on letters with "Typoman"

'Path of War': Across the USA with tanks and cannons

It is quite surprising that the app "Path of War" is a German and not a US production, as the goal of the game is to reconquer the US. Following a power blackout, anarchy rules in the western part of the country. Infrastructures have broken down and the government oppresses the population, inciting the player to found a rebel militia and equip it with weapons.

The player then needs to fight his way through the West Coast, all the way up to Washington D.C., in order to finally reconquer the capital while bringing the country back under control. "Path of War," available for free for smartphones and tablets, is a strategy game with emphasis on fighting.

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