Before we knew it, December was upon us and all the games had arrived in stores in time for everyone to buy them as presents. We've got the reveal of our Game of the Year coming after Christmas, but for 24 days starting December 1 we'll bring you a new contender for the title. Please note that these games are in no particular order, but feel free to speculate on where they might appear in our final list.
Neon Kelly, Video Production Editor
Years ago, a friend of mine had a cat that had a run-in with a car. It lost an eye and one of its ears, and as a consequence it had trouble navigating its environment. You'd be sitting in the kitchen, blathering away, and then suddenly you'd hear this loud thunk as the moggie walked face-first into a chair leg. A few seconds later, you'd hear it again: thunk. The cat couldn't catch a break, but he kept trying to get through anyway. With hindsight, I'm not sure if he was bravely persistent, or just brain-damaged. Maybe he didn't have a choice.
Either way, when I play Spelunky I'm reminded of that cat.
Martin Gaston, Reviews Editor
People seem to love Spelunky more than their own children. And I can see why: its ability to test players with reflex and intuition rather than muscle memory makes it a relatively unique and occasionally empowering experience. I spent ages trying to conquer it, too, and I failed. Or at least, I just haven't succeeded quite yet. Certain parts of it do grind my gears, however, and occasionally you feel like you're the victim of the random dungeon generator rather than your own stupidity. I didn't love it as much as some, but I'd say it's worth a punt - it's quite unique.
Tom Orry, Editor
I don't really get the love for Spelunky. I generally have a low tolerance for games that thrive on annoying the hell out of you, and I think I used my entire year's allowance on Trials Evolution.
Matt Nellis, Video Producer
I have an innate ability to identify games which will completely hook me in and consume my life. Spelunky is one of these games. So just as Uncle Ben says, "with great power comes great responsibility," it was my duty to decide whether or not to succumb to its addictive charms or steer clear and continue a somewhat normal life. I chose the latter, mainly because I'm already playing a game that consumes my life, but also because I've decided Spelunky is the ideal game to get me through the Christmas break at my mother's house. Sorry mum.
Also in VideoGamer.com's Game of the Year 2012 Shortlist: