2012 has been a great year for games. AAA titles are huge and spectacular, indies are fearlessly exploring new territory, and the cultural conversation about this ever evolving medium gets livelier by the day. For all the growing pains both the industry and players are working through, this is a truly exciting time for anyone who loves games. Even though I’m still playing catch-up with my backlog, 2013 will soon be here, and with it, a whole new batch of worlds to discover, puzzles to solve, and battles to fight. Without further ado, here are a handful of upcoming games that have my attention. The Cave (January; PC/Xbox/PS3/Wii U) I have a soft spot for adventure games. I think of them in the same way that I think of eating a bowl of mac ‘n cheese, or putting on a pair of pajamas fresh from the dryer. Soothing comfort and simple charm. I was already for it when I heard that adventure game legend Ron Gilbert had a new title up his sleeve, but all the more so when details started trickling in. The Cave brings in seven playable characters: a hillbilly, a knight, a monk, a pair of twins, an adventurer, a scientist, and a time traveler. The player chooses three to take into the eponymous cave (which talks), and in a Trine-like twist, swaps between them as needed to solve puzzles. Some light platforming mechanics have been laced throughout, just to add a bit of spice, though it’s been made clear that the focus is on problem solving, not reflexes. This already sounds like great fun to me, but the icing is that the characters were made with gender balance in mind. Those last three awesome-sounding characters I mentioned? All ladies. And the twins are an even split. Yes. Yes yes yes. Yes.