Owlboy and Momodora seem like easy recommendations, then. If you've got a Vita, Severed is amazing. Hyper Light Drifter, too.
Virginia might be out of your comfort zone, but it's a very interesting narrative adventure.
Thumper is just recommended for everyone to try out, and it's challenging as hell.
Pixel art isn't retro. As for the games, one is a tight action platformer with skillful combat and the other is a near-decade-in-the-making metroidvania with dual stick shooter elements, puzzles, and some adventure game DNAI looked at those but couldn't get past the graphics. I'm not into the retro visuals.
The teams, the tools and the tech has all improved, but the depth of gameplay hasn't really followed yet. This resulted in a list of games which are good, but nothing that demands to be in a goty list or seem like games I have seen before.
People forget about Gunvolt 2 because JP indies are completely ignored
Inside will be played for a long time to come as a masterclass of how to nail dystopic storytelling through gameplay.The Witness was neat and Gunvolt 2 was unreasonably fantastic, but I have to say that's about all the 2016 indies I'll replay ten years from now. Many good games, but so few greats, to my taste.
Still though, the GOTY being an indie game is pretty cool, I suppose.
It certainly is unfortunate that OP's list leaves out the GOTY 2016!
I think December is a bad time window to release a game, due to the presence of Steam sales. So I don't expect too many remaining surprises.
Wait, Desync is coming this year? I've been hyped for it for a while. The developers say 2017, though.The gameplay in Desync is somehow better than Bulletstorm and Doom with a fraction of the budget, and it might make 2016 as well.