Our Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2012

It seems like a simple question: “What were 1 More Castle’s most popular features in 2012?” Or, perhaps for the more cynical: “What got the most hits?”

But seriously, although we always emphasize passion and quality over any desire to get those ever-precious views, the question comes up enough that we agreed this end-of-year exposé would be appropriate.

So, here it is, a simple top-ten list of the most-frequented articles on 1 More Castle, starting from the top and working our way through an interesting revelation as to which pieces have managed to grab the most attention from gamers.

Fair warning: This feature might as well be renamed “The Jason Lamb Show,” or maybe, “Conniving Canadian mastermind and PC gaming aficionado Jason Lamb abuses social bookmarking systems and Google search algorithms in order to get absurd amounts of pageviews and visits to his features,” because he is responsible for the top three entries. Sheesh. Way to go.



Roller Coaster Tycoon

Sporting a great aptitude for picking games that millions of gamers can remember playing on PC back in the day, Jason humbly submitted his nostalgia bomb to Reddit. While such submissions are a hit-or-miss proposition, apparently he scored a grand slam this time, as we watched over 10,000 people visit the article in question within its first 24 hours of going live. I just wish more of them would have left a comment, because looking at the page now, you really cannot tell how visible it was at one point, which I suppose is an interesting little lesson in itself.



Team Fortress Classic

Well, okay, the Team Fortress series is extremely popular, and that alone would garner its fair share of attention. But, due to some crazy Google magic this time, Jason’s feature on the game is not only our second most all-time viewed page on the 1MC website, but still averages well over a dozen new visitors every day. Which, of course, is just silly.



Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition – A Trent Oster Interview

What the @#$%, Jason?! I mean, I know Baldur’s Gate has its fans, and you do fine work on your interviews, but c’mon. This time, there were two new culprits for the popularity: The propagation of the post throughout forums of fans of the franchise, as sometimes happens with related interviews, and the fact that Kotaku linked to it in a preview specifically concerning the game; which, I freely admit, was a nice bit of validation for us as a new little retro gaming website.


That is Pac-Man's "So, you mean that I now have to drive four hours to see my wife's aunt AND buy her something?" face, as Jesse Duke tells him about Christmas for the first time.

Christmas Comes to Pac-Land was so messed up

Scott’s historical coverage of an obscure animated television special exploded within hours of going up on the site, but why? This was a story so weird that I had to write an independent work myself just to try and explain it. If anything, this was a lesson in controversy, seasonal sensitivities, and outright strangeness.



Character RETROspect: Silent Hill

Eric has been turning in quality work on his Character RETROspect column for a while now, but why was his Silent Hill selection so especially popular? Was it just because of the franchise’s popularity, or the intriguing choice of treating Silent Hill as a character? Not exactly, but maybe indirectly. The answer lies with Reddit again, but through different methodology this time: It was around Halloween, and one of Reddit’s front-page images was someone’s Halloween costume, inspired by the Silent Hill series of video games. In the discussion on the image, someone had asked, “What is this from?” And, to answer, a Redditor not only explained that it was from Silent Hill, but linked to Eric’s RETROspect piece. Apparently, this was enough to drive traffic. Again, though, I just wish they would leave a comment, as I would love to hear what they thought of the effort. Oh well.



A Love Letter to Chex Quest

Jason again. I love Chex Quest, but apparently this cereal-giveaway game is even more popular than I had realized.


Halo 2600 Title Screen

The Homebrew Corner – Halo 2600

Now, a bit of brutal honesty: When Johnny wrote about Halo 2600, I supported the appropriateness of this endeavor, seeing as he is our resident homebrew expert, and Halo 2600 is an oustanding example for the scene. However, I had read about the game months earlier, and already believed it to have made the rounds among retro gamers. I have never been so happy to be wrong, as his submission spread through social media, and people were treated to their first exposure of the curious, noteworthy project. Yes, it is Halo, it is on the Atari 2600, and if you did not know about it either, go check out our coverage.


Jump! Jump you terrible, evil monster!

Atari Poop: Q*Bert

When Pierre wrote about Q*Bert in his Atari Poop column, he showed a singular boldness in being willing to satirically skewer such a popular vintage video game, and his very enjoyable result immediately became one of his most popular Poops, even as one of his very first, as well. But what I did not count on was the staying power of this isometric item, as it has built upon months of gradually gathering new visitors. Perhaps this is because it is a great article to drop a link to whenever someone references the iconic character, or maybe it experienced renewed popularity upon the release of the Wreck-It Ralph movie. Then again, it could just be some mysterious effects seen on Google Images results, too.


Top 10 - WTF

Top 10 WTF Moments In Retro Video Games

This is my own feature, so I will not say too much about it, only that top 10 lists are always difficult for people to resist, and they pack the potential to spread easily across the web. Which suddenly sounds like a slightly odd thing to say as text that is a part of a separate top 10 list. How meta.


Homebrew Montage

The World of NES Homebrew Development

Personally, I think homebrew stuff is really cool, and I know many retro gamers would agree with me. But even I, the NES junkie that I am, would have to admit that, even on the retro scene, it can hold limited appeal as a subject matter, especially when homebrewers delve into the more technical aspects of their craft. This is, perhaps, why Johnny’s article has proven to be so popular, as it serves as a splendid introduction to the NES homebrew scene for any gamer whatsoever.


There you have it, curious inquirers and 1MC fans alike. What strikes me about this list is how utterly unpredictable it was. Sure, sometimes you can guess a piece may prove to reach a higher level in popularity if it is especially good, share-worthy, or deals with a very popular topic; but, ultimately, it is just as much a crapshoot as anything else, as sometimes even the most surefire articles just get their standard exposure without enjoying any explosive viral impact.

The beauty of this phenomenon is that, really, upon closer examination, anything could be the next hit, and views alone are never the motivation behind the quality work of our contributors. So onward we head into 2013, with no idea what heights we will reach, nor which features will be the ones to reach them.