I have a bunch of “best of” posts planned for Sketchy Details that I’m going to break down into shorter, more digestible features in the coming weeks.

First up are video games. 2012 was a sort of renaissance for indie, low-budget, and online gaming. That is not to discredit the merits of the Triple A titles that came out. It’s just the reality of a market that has quickly embraced independent productions. Each major console now has a fully functional online marketplace, including handhelds, and Steam allows for easy download and trial of PC games.

Mobile gaming has continued to grow, as well. The tablet market exploded and smartphones are gaining a larger portion of the market every day. Social networks are somehow able to attract high quality games based on big Hollywood properties. And user-generated sites like Newgrounds are still holding on as a testing ground for larger releases.

Here are the Top 12 games of 2012.

12: Marvel: Avengers Alliance (Facebook)

marvelavengersalliance Top 12 Video Games of 2012Marvel: Avengers Alliance is a Facebook turn-based RPG inspired by The Avengers, both the film and the comics. You play as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent tasked with leading the superheroes into battle. You start with a small arsenal of characters battling Marvel enemies from all eras and quickly earn points to recruit seemingly any character that ever joined The Avengers.

It’s a whole lot of fun to watch She-Hulk, Wolverine, and your gun-toting S.H.I.E.L.D. agent battle Loki, The Wrecker, and The Enchantress in an ever-expanding series of missions. The PVP tournaments and character customization are a nice touch. You level up your superheroes until you’re allowed to reassign abilities (there’s a rock/paper/scissors or Pokemon-styled trumping system that adds a nice twist) and enhance with a variety of technology.

The only downside is that the resources are quite limited if you do not convince all of your friends to play. Free to play on Facebook often means “until you run out of resources, then give us money” and, sadly, Marvel: Avengers Alliance is no exception.