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Every year is great for indies, but 2016 has been exceptionally awesome

Every year has its collection of interesting, beloved, and lesser known gems, but I was looking back through this year's games doing some prep for GOTY stuff, and 2016 was really one hell of a year. Some months were stronger than others, but every month had something major and/or interesting.

Astroneer is slated for December, but considering the indie scene, you never know what might just appear out of the blue this month and next

January
Darkest Dungeon
Oxenfree
That Dragon, Cancer
The Witness
Torment: Tides of Numenera

February
Firewatch
Unravel
SuperHOT
Factorio
Grim Dawn
Devil Daggers
Stardew Valley

March
Samorost 3
Slain
Hyper Light Drifter
Momodora

April
Enter The Gungeon
Aurion
Jalopy
The Banner Saga 2
Offworld Trading Company

May
Brigador
Duskers
Salt & Sanctuary
Mu Cartographer
Soft Body
Stephen's Sausage Roll

June
Inside
SteamWorld Heist
The Solus Project
Dead By Daylight

July
Furi
Necropolis
Rimworld
Zombie Night Terror
Death Road to Canada
Obduction
We Happy Few
Ghost of a Tale
Headlander
Quadrilateral Cowboy
Starbound

August
Four Sided Fantasy
Inversus
N++
Overland
Reigns
The House Abandons
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
The Turing Test

September
The Curious Expedition
Seasons After Fall
Mother Russia Bleeds
Project Highrise
Rive
Everspace
Sorcery 4: The Crown of Kings
Virginia
Unbox
Clustertruck
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor

October
Aragami
SHENZHEN I/O
Thoth
Thumper
GoNNER

November
Owlboy
House of the Dying Sun
Dungeon Rats
Small Radios Big Televisions - 11/8
Planet Coaster - 11/17
Islands

December
Astroneer
 

RAWRferal

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Nov 18, 2015
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Agreed OP, so many gems and so many bargains in my backlog from Steam and GOG sales. Only just started Darkest Dungeon and having a blast.

Here's to the Indies!
 

desmax

Member
May 6, 2014
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Oh, didn't knew Planet Coaster was coming out so soon.

That's one game I should play
 

Mutagenic

Permanent Junior Member
Aug 18, 2007
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Indies round out my gaming purchases nicely, and many times become my preferred experiences.
 

Regiruler

Member
Jun 4, 2013
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The tracks in the FAST Racing Neo DLC were better than the ones in the base game.
Severed was a great work by Drinkbox, and Noitu Love Devolution was pretty good too.
 

Pau

Member
May 3, 2010
11,696
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There are so many indie games in my backlog or wishlist from this year alone. I don't want to think about the previous years. I only really get to play about three to four games a year nowadays so I'm pretty much never running out of interesting games.

Planet Coaster will also probably consume the rest of my PC gaming time this year.
 

Creamium

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Mar 10, 2005
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2016 is an exceptional year in general and the indie releases are a big factor in that. I've played

The Witness
Firewatch
Unravel
Oxenfree
INSIDE
Hyper Light Drifter
Abzu
Bound
SUPERHOT
Owlboy

and most of these will end up in my goty top 10. The Witness is n°1 and nothing will touch it. Still intrigued by Quadrilateral Cowboy, one I'll probably buy before the year's over.

Is it possible to add (Steam) links to the OP? Makes it easy to check which ones I should add to my wishlist.
 

Valahart

Member
Nov 4, 2015
681
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I agree with you that it's been a great year but some of the games you listed are sort of C tier forgetable skippable ones.
 
Is it possible to add (Steam) links to the OP? Makes it easy to check which ones I should add to my wishlist.
Will do it over the weekend, and thanks for reminding me about Abzu and Bound

I agree with you that it's been a great year but some of the games you listed are sort of C tier forgetable skippable ones.
Which would you put in that category? Of what I've played from that list, I've found most to be at least decent.
 

Greatest Ever

Member
Apr 27, 2015
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Not that I mind giving them daps when deserving, but even in praise, this just adds to indie falsely being labeled as a genre.

Just a thing of mine.
 

woodland

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Mar 30, 2013
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Offworld Trading Company's such a cool concept for a game - haven't played it since I was at school. Gonna have to check in again now that its released!
 

Creamium

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Mar 10, 2005
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Just checked out the trailer for Grim Dawn. Oh my, that looks really good.
 

Valahart

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Nov 4, 2015
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Which would you put in that category? Of what I've played from that list, I've found most to be at least decent.

I didn't want to get too specific because I know some devs are around here, but I'm gonna say I started to get a bit thrown off by the time you mentioned Slain and it went downhill from there hahaha
 
I didn't want to get too specific because I know some devs are around here, but I'm gonna say I started to get a bit thrown off by the time you mentioned Slain and it went downhill from there hahaha
Did you get to check out the updated Slain? It was improved considerably from its initial launch

And considering stuff like Duskers, HLD, Inside, and RimWorld come after, I'd argue that the year only got better post-Slain
 

Speely

Banned
Oct 10, 2015
6,364
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It has indeed been an amazing year for indie games, and I hope to see the trend continue and strengthen even further.

Something that also makes me smile is that I can now buy 2 to 4 games that are excellent for the price of one game from a bigger publisher and support multiple dev studios while doing so.

The year really has been a win for both gamers and indies.
 

NurseRedHeart

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Sep 17, 2016
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This year there's also an indie game for The Mountain of Madness, which as low scores unfortunately but I'm a huge Lovecraft fan.

I'll look into these others on the list. I enjoyed Abzu as well.
 

keidashxd

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Jul 11, 2014
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Every year indie developments are better, next year we have Below, cuphead, luckily the thatgamecompany game... since so many years indies deliver.
 

thenexus6

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Nov 6, 2013
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Hyper Light Drifter is my game of the year, easily.

I enjoyed Abzu, Oxenfree, Firewatch alot.

I've yet to play Inside and the Witness yet.
 

saturnine

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Sep 23, 2013
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I'm not sure I agree, honestly. I find a lot of the most highly regarded indie games very flawed, sometimes on a fundamental level (like Hyper Light Drifter for example). Granted I don't play on PC, so my exposure is pretty limited, but this year wasn't too hot until recently in my opinion.

Also saddened to see Heart & Slash absent from this list!
 

Auctopus

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Apr 6, 2014
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And I wouldn't have known about half of them if it wasn't for you More_Badass so thanks!
 

Corpekata

Banned
Jun 7, 2013
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I would also suggest The Final Station and Epistory.


TFS is a great atmospheric survival horrorish / train management game. Short but sweet.

Epistory is a typing adventure game with a really lovely art style.
 

Corpekata

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Jun 7, 2013
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There have actually been a notable amount of typing based games this year between Event 0, Duskers, and Epistory..
 

jimboton

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Sep 14, 2013
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How were The Way and Pharaonic? Never got around to them
The Way is really good. It perfectly captures the spirit of 90's adventures like The Dig or Flashback, it's actually kind of a mix of both. Great puzzles and surprisingly good sci-fi story. I heartily recommend it.
Pharaonic is a very decent 2d rpg/beat'em up, but I think it's missing something, more developed exploration, some platforming maybe, can feel a bit repetitive. But it does have some solid combat mechanics in place.
 

squall23

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Jun 27, 2007
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Unfortunately for me, the rise of western indies also coincides with the destruction of the Japanese non-AAA industry because many of those smaller companies either went bankrupt, got bought out, or are making mobile games.
 
T

thepotatoman

Unconfirmed Member
I haven't been compeltely captivated by a indie game since darkest dungeon, so to me there's been a bit of a lull of great indie games lately.

But I guess darkest dungeon is technically this year, so whatever.
 

molnizzle

Member
Jul 14, 2013
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Torment is in early access, doesn't count as a 2016 release IMO.

It was a pretty good year overall though.
 

Lime

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Apr 27, 2008
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I would also remove Torment, it's not out yet and it's not a genre that is fitted for Early Access.
 

FriedConsole

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Jul 1, 2013
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On PS4 this year sucked for indies. Usually have 5 or so indies on my top 10 GOTY but this year maybe 1 or 2. Indies on PS4 stagnated with the same old roguelikes, puzzle games and depressing walking simulators.