Sunday, 17 April 2011

Top 10 of '10: Number 6 - Game Room (XBox 360)

In some ways, it pains me to put Game Room in my top 10. Arriving with something of a fanfare and the promise of several new arcade games a week, the ability to design your own arcade and to have friends over to visit, it sounded like a retro gamer's dreams come true. Well, barring a lottery win and buying an entire real arcade, that is.

At first, Game Room seemed great, despite the lack of publishers at the outset... all we were given were Konami and Atari arcade games, Atari and Activision 2600 games, and games for the Intellivision. Not exactly "arcade" games in many cases, but still interesting in many cases, and it meant we got to discover some of the more obscure arcade classics from Atari and Konami. But the fact that the release of the first add-on pack of games was delayed should have been a warning to us all...

I've got no more tens left now...

Still, I bought loads of games, played them all, unlocked new stuff for my arcade and earned loads of Achievements. It seemed a bit odd that we were still only getting games from the same few companies, but everyone expected the announcement of new parties before long.

And then it all went wrong. There were no new parties announced. Krome, the developer, was shuttered. Pack 13, ominously, was sent out in one go, rather than over three weeks, as had been the norm for a while. A Christmas present, perhaps? Apparently not... there have been no new releases for Game Room in 2011. And there hasn't been a single word from Microsoft as to what's going on with it. So you have to figure it's dead.

Arrrr... here, there be... ducks?

And the worst thing of all for me... after gaining 980 of 1000 Achievement points, and putting in around 30 hours, I was forced into an update... which completely wiped all my progress. And with the only Achievement I haven't yet won being for playing for 36 hours... well, I was too crestfallen to continue.

Which is ridiculous, really. For all I've said up there, I spent a lot of money and had a lot of fun out of Game Room in 2010. And I do still own all those games, and I do still enjoy them, so I'm sure to play again over time. Even though it's a dead duck in 2011, it was good enough to be my number six of 2010.


  1. I'm surprised to see this in the top ten, but fair play, games are all about enjoyment at the end of the day, and if you got a lot of enjoyment out of this, then it deserves a place. I found it overpriced and the emulation was below par. It is great that you can compete and challenge each other's high scores, but it wasn't long before friends were bored with this and looking elsewhere for their score chasing fix (hello Pinball FX!) probably thanks to a lack of exciting releases. Kind of like hardware, a platform is only as good as its release schedule.

  2. Yeah... there are many reasons why I shouldn't have included this, but at the end of the day (year) I put 30 hours into it, enjoyed almost every minute and discovered some great old obscure games that I'd never heard of before. So in that respect, it was still worth all my time and most of my money over the year.

  3. Great writeup, Paul. For me, Game Room was the biggest disappointment of 2010 simply because they created this incredible platform that had so much potential, then did absolutely everything they could to NOT realize it.

    Realistically, GR always seemed rushed out before it potential had a chance to be explored. Combine that with an unimaginative development house and obvious licensing stuff-ups, and you get the mess GR became. It's a real shame.

  4. Yeah, it really was an absolute mess, when it could have been glorious. Still, it doesn't take anything away from the fact I did get a lot of enjoyment out of it regardless.