Game of the Year 2012 – Genre Agnostic

Genre Agnostic

Our Genre Agnostic Game of the Year is Journey from thatgamecompany. This was potentially the most difficult category to vote on because of the wide range of games included. We felt that it was necessary to have a place where all the odd games, which don’t fit into old-fashioned genres, could be highlighted. Unfortunately, that leads to something of a bucket category, into which we cast everything we’re not sure how to classify.

Journey, though, would be a strong contender for whatever category we had been able to squeeze it into. This enigmatic classic is part platform, part adventure and all emotion. We’ve talked at length about its qualities, possible interpretations of its meaning and the general emotional trip it took us on. It’s safe to say that many of us absolutely adored what Journey set out to do and the way in which it achieved its goals.


In such a diverse category, there’s always going to be some stiff competition. The Walking Dead provided much of that competition, its exceptional narrative qualities and decision-based diversions making for something that felt less like a game and more like an adventure you steered while it tugged at your heartstrings.

The top of our poll looked very good for Sony, with the unique first-person-painter – The Unfinished Swan – coming in third, ahead of PlayStation’s All Stars battled their way into fourth and Sound Shapes’ peculiar platforming placed fifth.

Here’s our top five in chart form.

Genre Agnostic

And here’s the full league table showing every game that received at least one vote from us.

  1. Journey
  2. The Walking Dead
  3. The Unfinished Swan
  4. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
  5. Sound Shapes
  6. Joe Danger 2
  7. Fez
  8. Minecraft 360 Edition
  9. Dust: An Elysian Tail
  10. LittleBigPlanet Vita


  1. Aren’t Soundshapes, Joe Danger and LBP platformers and PSABR a fighter?

    Anyway, I own 6 of these (1-5 and 10) although I’ve only just got The Walking Dead and haven’t played it yet. The other 5 are all fantastic. There’s the best Little Big Planet game, The Unfinished Swan which is quite good, the extremely fun PSASBR, the inspired Soundshapes and the sublime Journey.

    Journey was my favourite surprise this year, as I really disliked Flow and Flower, to the point I wasn’t sure I should give Journey a go. I got prompted into giving it a chance and I don’t regret it though.

    • We didn’t have a category for Platformer or Fighter this year (though Delriach covered the latter), but almost all these games smush themselves across multiple genres or would have ended up in categories almost by themselves.

      The Unfinished Swan would win the FPS Platform Adventure Painting Simulator category without a vote! ;)

  2. Journey and The Walking Dead in the same category doesn’t quite add up for me. I thing Walking Dead should have scored some sort of GotY award.

  3. By far and away the most predictable category victor here.

    Still yet to try Journey. It’s silly but the utter barrage of Journey love that was around at the time irritated me to the point where I simply lost interest. The demo caused to me to lose further interest and the initial price point high too. I won’t say too high but high enough for me to make a negative decision.

    I fully intend to try it at some point but I won’t be going out of my way to do so.

    • Defiantly don’t rush into it. Its certainly something you have to be in the mood for.

    • I was in exactly the same boat as you mate. I Just bought the Juney/Unfinished Swan bundle and am still yet to play Journey.

  4. Let’s face it, when it come to choice of Agnostic goty, the reality is we can never know for sure.. ;)
    Journey certainly feels like it though. :)

  5. Journey is amazing, nice game. I thought the sand and the way movement was like was great. I really liked it.

    I never completed it but… I need to download it again though.

  6. I received the collectors edition of Journey as a present, looking forward to playing through the whole thing.

  7. Agnostic is the best genre name ever! Got journey thanks to those PSN points I got from the podcast. Utterly stunning game. Sitting down with a group of friends and just watching it unfold was one of the most profound and moving shared experiences of my life so far.

    Huge thanks to TSA and the podcast for introducing me to this wonderful game and That Game Companies back catalogue.

  8. Journey is an awesome game/experience – worthy winner! Definitely interested in walking dead :-)

  9. Lovely winner but a great runner-up too. Both stunning games and part of my own personal top five games of 2012.

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