Gamasutra has put together the winners of their “Quantum Leap” awards based off of votes from industry insiders. Nintendo came up a few times in the awards set. You can check out some of the info below. These are ranked from highest to lowest in terms of votes.
Although it’s not a game, the real answer to this question in 2006 is the Nintendo Wii platform. It’s not that Nintendo invented motion sensing or pointer-device technology — it’s how the company applied that to the product. It’s easy to use, intuitive, and immediately fun to play with. It’s a fundamental change to the interface of gaming, and how we interact with products. Combined with an always-on, online architecture of the system, Nintendo’s Wii should both bring new people into gaming and open up new markets for innovative new game types. If that isn’t a Quantum Leap, I want my Scott Bakula back.
Dave Kosak, Editor-in-Chief, FilePlanet.com
Brain Age deserves a special place in videogame history, since it dramatically pushes the defining boundaries of games and game consoles. The first time I played it was at GDC, with 2.5 hours of sleep the night before, on stage during Satoru Iwata’s keynote, in competition with Bill Trinen, Will Wright, and Geoff Keighley. Of the various brain teaser games comprising Brain Age, we played a timed quiz of multiplication problems. While it was comical that Geoff insisted that 9 times 6 was 63 on the giant projection screen, there was also a clear “aha” moment that hit everyone in the audience at the same time – this game was bringing together a diverse group of people to play something fun.
There’s nothing next-gen about it; in fact it’s decidedly homebrew in terms of look, development time (three months), and team size (around ten). And instead of evolved but traditional game genres, it focuses on the common references of human culture such as math, color, and memory.
This is not to say that I don’t also love Motorstorm and Dead Rising, which I do. Brain Age just illustrates the range of development models, fun experiences, and diversity of players available to every developer, with a game design that levels the playing field for grandmothers, wives, and 5-year-olds to play together.
Jamil Moledina, Executive Director, Game Developers Conference
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime
This game deserves honorable mention, if only because it excels as a youth-oriented action game where many others have failed. It’s got actual depth of gameplay, pleasing humor, and spot-on controls. Some of the puzzles are quite clever, and the tank battles are pure fun. Though the game lacks any semblance of challenge for the seasoned player, the game is a delightfully breezy romp from start to finish – with some bonus missions besides.
Developer TOSE has done good work for Square Enix here, in the first instance of this Dragon Quest offshoot to hit the States. Bonus points are awarded for not being afraid to ignore the touch screen on the DS – if you don’t need it, don’t use it!
Brandon Sheffield, Features Editor, Game Developer magazine