STEVEN WALLING, VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Best Video Games of 1635

In 1635, France declared war on Spain, the Great Colonial Hurricane struck the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Ottomans were expelled from Yemen, and some of the greatest video games ever created were released to the world. Whether you are a nomad or play on a Sega Nomad, here are my picks for the top ten games of the year:

10. Call of Duty: Great Turkish War

The latest in the popular series of first-person arrow-shooters is a real winner, placing you in the weak body of a starving soldier from the Ottoman Empire. If you can avoid the black death, and comprehend the unintelligible ancient language of your fellow warriors, you can win the final battle, and ultimately perish anyway, from any of a number of infections. Add-on packs allow you to upgrade your weaponry from a dull broken knife to a dull broken sword.

9. Grand Theft Abacus

Take on the role of a grifter walking the streets of London in the 1600s, stealing abaci (yes, that is the plural of abacus) and trying to do advanced mathematics. The game features complex satire of the class structure of seventeenth-century Great Britain, as well as characters voiced by William Shakespeare, Galileo, King Charles I, and the indentured servant who beheaded King Charles I. Grand Theft Abacus has been criticized for featuring full-frontal nudity, which, given the state of personal grooming in the 1600s, is horrifyingly offensive.

8. Angry [Extinct Bird Species]

Inspired by the demise of the dodo, Angry [Extinct Bird Species] is a strategy puzzle game where players use a slingshot to launch legless, wingless, extinct birds at armless, headless, extinct animals of other types, like cave bears, saber-toothed tigers, and an ancient race of fish-people. The game is now available in the Apple store (which also sells Limes, if you happen to be battling scurvy), and is fully integrated with the new social networking site FaceScroll.

7. Spice Tycoon

Spice Tycoon is a business simulation game where you attempt to manage your own million-doubloon spice empire, navigating sea routes, burning evil witches, and trying not to sail off the edge of the Earth. Can you find a new route to India? Probably not. Unless you’re a nut(meg), you’re going to clove this a-mace-ing game. It is anise way to spend thyme (especially away from carda-mom and poppy).

6. Dance Dance Scientific Revolution

No title has introduced an entirely new genre of gaming as effectively as Dance Dance Scientific Revolution, a music video game combined with advanced tutorials in physics, astronomy, alchemy, and spell-casting. Boogie down to Heinrich Schutz’s “Zwölf Geistliche Gesänge” as you explore the mysterious new laws of gravity, discovered by Isaac Newton and John Mayer.

5. The Elder Scrolls: Age 30

This role-playing game lets you see the world from the perspective of a true seventeeth-century elder — a thirty-something struggling to fight off Putrid Fever, and getting closer and closer to death. Life isn’t just for the young, it’s also for post-teenagers. Watch for The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles, which takes place in the Ice Age.

4. Foot Race 1K63XV

The 1,635th installment in the long-running Foot Race series now features Greatest Feet Mode, where you can run with some of history’s fastest, like Pythagoras, Attila the Hun, and Jesus— who may be difficult to beat when he takes a shortcut and walks across the lake. Also because his character comes with an extra life.

3. Ms. Pac-Man, Who Is Far Inferior to Mr. Pac-Man

Ms. Pac-Man is an arcade-style game that plays identically to the original Pac-Man except Ms. Pac-Man is not allowed to receive an education or have a job. While eating dots and avoiding ghosts, Ms. Pac-Man is also responsible for salting meats, making soaps, sewing clothes, harvesting crops, and helping the farm animals with their birthing rituals.

2. Tony Hawk’s Pro Tinsmith

Undoubtedly the best tin-smithing game on the market, your goal in Tony Hawk’s Pro Tinsmith is to make and repair as many cake pans, milk pails, and pill boxes as possible before time runs out. Win extra points by scraping off all the rust. Real-life tinsmith Tony Hawk died in an anvil accident.

1. Where in the Jamestown Settlement is Carmen?

Where in The Jamestown Settlement is Carmen? wins the prize for Best Game of the Year, with realistic role-playing as the gang of Pilgrims attempts to find Carmen before she can spread her smallpox to the entire New World. The original version of the game, Can We Trade a Few Beads for Carmen? has been discontinued.