The web is full of year-end retrospectives. Gameological has the only one that you can play. We invited four indie development teams to make a browser game inspired by a major news story from 2012, with two weeks to bring their game from concept to reality. And now you get to experience the results. Don’t just remember the year. Play The Year.

The presidential election dominated the news of 2012, so we’ve got a couple of political games coming your way, along with games born from the worlds of sports and pop culture. (We didn’t include any disasters or tragedies in the mix, not because we believe games can’t grapple with hurt or sadness, but because Play The Year is a more whimsical undertaking.)

First up is Richard Hofmeier’s Secret Agent 47%. Note: This game requires the Unity Web Player, which is easy to install if you don’t already have it.


It was the gaffe that defined a campaign. Mitt Romney’s discussion with a crowd of high-earning fundraisers was full of unvarnished, politically perilous statements, but the most devastating was Romney’s assertion that 47 percent of the american population is “dependent on government” and believes “that they are victims.” Little did he know that a member of the waitstaff at the tony event was recording the whole thing.

The percentage remark became the most replayed and dissected quote of the election, yet few details emerged about the mysterious videographer who recorded it in the first place. Secret Agent 47% puts you in the shoes of that enterprising citizen reporter, or that scurrilous snoop, depending on your perspective, as you wield your cameraphone in a quest to capture a snippet of American history.

How to play: Use arrow keys to move, space bar to interact with the environment. When the game ends, you’ll receive a report on the extent of your media splash. Make the world take notice!

About the developer: Secret Agent 47% was created by Richard Hofmeier, an artist and game maker based in Seattle. Hofmeier has been a Gameological contributor since the beginning—livening up the look of the site with his ornate maps of video game worlds and, of course, the beautiful animated GIFs he created for the Best Treasure Ever bracket. His previous games include the “retail simulation” Cart Life and an arcade game designed to earn him waffles for life.