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The Best Indie Games of 2016 - Voting thread



IndieGAF recommends: The 50 Best Indie Games of 2013: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=766928
IndieGAF recommends: The 50 Best Indie Games of 2014: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=985103
IndieGAF recommends: The 50 Best Indie Games of 2015: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1203844
___________________________________________________________________________

2016 was quite a year for indie games. From long-awaited Kickstarters like Hyper Light Drifter and SuperHOT to long-awaited releases like The Witness and Owlboy, from out-of-the-blue surprises like Pony Island and genre revivals like Shadow Tactics, you couldn't ask for a more diverse and intriguing selection this year. And somehow 2017 is looking equally impressive.

So it's time to continue this annual tradition and vote on our favorites!


Guidelines
  • You may vote for any indie game released in 2016, on any platform (consoles, PC, mobile). Go by the date when the game released on a particular platform.
  • Early Access, freeware games, and major expansions that add new content are eligible as well.
  • You may list up to 15 games for your ballot. The games must be numbered, and consecutively listed in numerical order from 1 to 15.
  • You must include a comment for each for your votes to be counted.
  • You may list any number of honorable mentions in your ballot, and these must be indicated by an "x."
  • You may also include a list of up to five most anticipated 2017 indie games. Same ranking and rules applies, however comments are optional for these.
Sample Voting list
Code:
1. Game A ; Comment on Game A.
2. Game B ; Comment on Game B.
3. Game C ; Comment on Game C.
4. Game D ; Comment on Game D.
5. Game E ; Comment on Game E.
6. Game F ; Comment on Game F.
7. Game G ; Comment on Game G.
8. Game H ; Comment on Game H.
9. Game I ; Comment on Game I.
10. Game J ; Comment on Game J.
11. Game K ; Comment on Game K.
12. Game L ; Comment on Game L.
13. Game M ; Comment on Game M.
14. Game N ; Comment on Game N.
15. Game O ; Comment on Game O.

Honorable Mentions
x. Game P ; Comment on Honorable Mention Game P.
x. Game Q ; Comment on Honorable Mention Game Q.

Most Anticipated
1. Game A ; Comment on Game A.
2. Game B ; Comment on Game B.
3. Game C ; Comment on Game C.
4. Game D ; Comment on Game D.
5. Game E ; Comment on Game E.

Scoring
I'll be using the common scoring system, seen in the general GOTY threads. Honorable mentions will not receive points.
Code:
1. Game A ; 5 points
2. Game B ; 4 points
3. Game C ; 4 points
4. Game D ; 4 points
5. Game E ; 4 points
6. Game F ; 3 points
7. Game G ; 3 points
8. Game H ; 3 points
9. Game I ; 2 points
10. Game J ; 2 points
11. Game K ; 2 points
12. Game L ; 1 point
13. Game M ; 1 point
14. Game N ; 1 point
15. Game O ; 1 point

Due to the sheer volume of games that released this year, it can be difficult to find a definite list of 2016 releases. Here's the list of GAF's monthly Indie Games threads, as a quick overview of the year's releases:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Voting concludes on Friday, January 27, 2017 at 11:59 PM PST.

 

epmode

Member
Jun 7, 2004
28,470
0
0
Are we allowed to vote for just one game?

I'm planning on coming up with a big list so the question doesn't apply to me, I just remember earlier threads where we had to vote for X games or we wouldn't be counted.
 

AndrewPL

Member
Aug 31, 2013
797
1
0
Auckland
1. AM2r ; amazing game, stands up there with the official metroid games even though it was fan made. Unbelievable that it was actually released into the world.

2. Axiom Verge ; Got it on wii u, great metroid game like, glad to finally play it.

3. Hyper light drifter ; Great pixel graphic design and a cool concept.

4. Stardew valley ; I never played harvest moon. This was a real treat.
 

Wok

Member
Dec 28, 2011
10,427
0
725
France
1. The Witness ; a mind-blowing puzzle game which introduces a non-verbal dialogue between the player and Jonathan Blow.
2. No Man's Sky ; an impressive technical performance for procedural generation.
3. Eternal Card Game; Hearthstone meets Magic the Gathering done right.
4. Ghost 1.0 ; a very polished and fresh metroidvania.
5. Sorcery! ; gamebooks done right.
6. Slayaway Camp ; reviving Sokoban through the use of dark humor.
7. Owlboy ; a wonderful experience, sadly too short.
8. Orwell ; not often can a game make you think about online privacy in a smart way.
9. Seasons after Fall ; a peaceful and relaxing experience.
10. The Warlock of Firetop Mountain ; gamebooks done right, but differently than with Sorcery!
11. Day of the Tentacle Remastered ; I would not have dared to play this game if the graphics had not been remastered, and I would have missed a ton of fun.
12. Furi ; a game about skills and boss fights, what else could one ask for?
13. INSIDE; amazing animations, amazing sounds, smart puzzle design, but weird story.
14. Cthulhu Realms ; for once, a card game as fun to play in solo as in duel, due to the good achievement system.
15. The Eyes of Ara ; a mix of Myst and The Room, and a very impressive work for a small team.

Honorable Mentions
x. Shenzhen I/O ; Zachtronics making yet another impossibly hard games for a niche composed of daytime-engineers / nighttime-gamers.
x. Stephen's Sausage Roll ; a memorable game for various reasons.

Most Anticipated
1. Miegakure ; the 4D game which got featured in an XKCD comic.
2. Gorogoa ; a puzzle-game in which the main mechanic consists in merging hand-drawn illustrations.
3. Ernesto RPG ; a game released by Daniel Benmergui, yes, it could exist!
4. The Council of Crows ; the next long-awaited game in the land of dreams, by the creators of The Sea Will Claim Everything.
5. Bomb Squad Academy ; think Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes in solo.

As for indie & non-indie games already listed on Steam, you might want to take a peek at the following games.





 

Haly

One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee.
Oct 10, 2006
58,446
0
1,345
Are Battlerite and Eternal Card Game 'indie'?
 

Haunted

Member
Nov 16, 2006
78,220
18
965
1. Hyper Light Drifter ; best Zelda game
2. Furi ; best collection of bosses x synth tunes
3. Devil Daggers ; best score attack
4. Ultimate Chicken Horse ; best local multiplayer
5. Thumper ; best VR experience
6. Inside ; best flesh-based physics
7. The Witness ; the smartest game
8. No Man's Sky ; the biggest game
9. Owlboy ; second-best Zelda game
10. House of the Dying Sun ; best name
 

MiamiWesker

Member
Apr 26, 2006
19,611
2
1,350
I'll have to make a list later as I am playing through some stuff now. But if witness doesn't win this I will be very upset.
 

nynt9

Member
Jun 7, 2013
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2
620
1. Superhot ; SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT.
2. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero ; Super solid platformer with great art, music, full of charm and neat level design.
3. AM2R ; The true metroid sequel we've needed for like a decade.
4. Satellite Reign ; came for the Syndicate successor, stayed for the world and gameplay.
5. Oxenfree ; Way better than Firewatch at walk-n-talking, and a lot more intriguing and charming as well.
6. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun ; The true successor to Commandos. So well made and satisfying.
7. Orwell ; Good concept, good implementation, good experience overall.
8. FURI ; Amazing character action with tight design and cool visual style.
9. Unravel ; Charming and whimsical, good time.
10. Thumper ; So intense and satisfying to play.
11. The Final Station ; I didn't think I was going to enjoy this as much as I thought, but how atmospheric it was definitely sold the experience for me.
 

Wozman23

Member
Feb 18, 2013
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0
Lakeland FL
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Every year it gets easier and easier to modify my overall lists, as most of the games are already indie.

1. THUMPER ; It's a challenging, dreadful, rhythmic, progressive, audiovisual spectacle. I've never played a game that elicits anxiety so well. And it plays so much better in VR.
2. Unravel ; Yarny's character design and animations evoke an empathy that I didn't think was possible for a yarn ball. The environments, and the game's story, are beautiful and heartfelt.
3. Soft Body ; Minimalist weirdness at its finest. Hard mode is a mind-melting challenge for dual stick multitasking.
4. The Witness ; I don't mind using my brain if it's in such a vibrant world. A lot of work went into the puzzle design for something that seemed to be just a series of line puzzles.
5. Hyper Light Drifter ; I normally don't like pixel art, but the look and feel were just so good. It strikes that old, original (still the best) Legend of Zelda chord for me.
6. Inside ; The ending was insane, but the gameplay up to there felt kind of redundant and Limbo-y, otherwise it would have placed higher.
7. Hue ; A simple 2D puzzle platformer, a simple aesthetic, a simple concept, yet better than the sum of its parts.
8. No Man's Sky ; I guess I'm just crazy, but I found it very meditative.
9. Headlander ; One of the funniest games of the year, with solid metroidvania built into both the world and its gameplay.
10. Aragami ; Another 'normally-I-don't-like" game, but it made stealth fun. Also, cell shading!
11. Seasons after Fall ; A charming sidescroller with a gorgeous hand painted art style.
12. Furi ; A challenging game, with an excellent art style, and a strong soundtrack.
13. THOTH ; Jeppe Carlsen understands minimalism and brevity well. A short but sweet, challenging twin stick shooter.
14. Severed ; A vibrant art style and great use of the Vita's tech. It made me dust the poor thing off.
15. Firewatch ; I didn't enjoy the game as much as I had hoped, but it earns this spot on the Olly Moss art alone.

Honorable Mentions
x. 140 ; I'd rank this original Jeppe Carlsen game as one of my favorites of all time, but it was a re-release, and I'd rather stick to new releases for my list. But it is definitely a game that shouldn't be missed. It's rhythmic platforming distilled to its purest, minimalistic form.

Most Anticipated
1. Cuphead ; Look at it! I'm glad they're adding platforming and SHMUP elements.
2. Vane ; Been intrigued since the second I saw that kid running through the desert amidst strikes of lightning in the 2014 trailer. Love the brooding style and atmosphere. With the new trailer, I'm a bit more concerned with the exact nature of the game and its gameplay.
3. Little Nightmares ; Looks like in could scratch that itch for more experiences similar to the darker themes in LittleBigPlanet and (the brilliant) Puppeteer.
4. Shape of the World ; I'm not generally a fan of exploration games, but I backed this one on Kickstarter the instant it went up. I fell down the rabbit hole of the instrumental, post-rock genre a few years back, and this feels like listening to something like If These Trees Could Talk in game form.
5. Rime ; Another atmospheric giant with a bit of uncertainty. I hope it is all it appears to be.
 

Haly

One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee.
Oct 10, 2006
58,446
0
1,345
1. Eternal Card Game ; If you're an MTG fan who's too poor for MTG and too pro for Hearthstone, this is the game for you.
2. Battlerite ; Probably one of, if not the only, good "inovation" of the MOBA formula in recent years. All the excitement of teamfights, none of the bullshit PvE. MOBA x Fighting Games. Technically a successor to the forgotten Bloodline Champions.
3. VA-11 Hall-A ; Jill best girl.
4. That Dragon, Cancer ; Pushing the boundaries on what games can be.
5. Oxenfree ; Was gut
6. Hyperlight Drifter ; I couldn't give this game the time it deserves. Adventure is just not my thing anymore but in a different time this would've topped my list easily. I look at this game the same way I do That Dragon, Cancer; as evolutions in gaming narrative.
7. Darkest Dungeon ; I actually just got this for Christmas so I haven't had time to sink my teeth into it but I always dug the aesthetic since the Kickstarter days.

Honorable Mentions
x. Undertale ; Played it this year after the memelaunch died down. Wonderful game.
x. Aviary Attourney ; Ditto. 2015 game I played in 2016. Great game for fans of the Phoenix Wright games and 19th century France.
x. No Man's Sky ; A case study in the culture of hype in the game industry.

Most Anticipated
1. Star Citizen ; Honestly I just want to see the fallout if/when this thing blows itself up like No Man's Sky.

Current list depending on whether or not Battlerite and Eternal counts as "indie".
 

Peroroncino

Member
Oct 16, 2016
2,650
357
435
1. Salt and Sanctuary ; frankly I'm surprised (and a little disappointed) that it didn't make any top 10 list until now, it's a mixture of Souls and Castlevania both gameplay and mechanically wise, combat system is simply sublime
2. Darkest Dungeon ; dark and gritty atmosphere, turn based combat, it's difficult, all the stuff I like
3. Mother Russia Bleeds ; best beat 'em up I've played since probably Streets of Rage 2, it's brutal, pixel art and gore are a joy to behold, and it has a high replayability
4. Furi ; simply said it's the best boss rusher I've played in years
5. Hyper Light Drifter ; amazing gameplay, tight controls, beautiful art style
6. Inside ; awesome atmosphere, some moments really have you sitting on the edge of your seat thinking whether or not you can make it
 

purseowner

Member
May 31, 2015
6,310
4
0
1. VA-11 HALL-A ; Take Steins;Gate, Scott Pilgrim, and Daria and put them in a cyberpunk cocktail shaker and you get this masterpiece. Compelling narrative, comfy atmosphere, and characters you care about, coupled with the best indie OST since Hotline Miami and Super Hexagon. One of the rare times a game's made me cry when the credits hit. Cyberpunk bartending perfection.
2. Inside ; This is how you do interactive storytelling. Understated, chilling, masterful.
3. Steamworld Heist ; Simple, clear game design with a striking aesthetic, a compelling turn-based gameplay loop, and a quirky sense of humour. Firefly meets XCOM.
4. The Witness ; There's no game like it. Such a sense of exploratory wonder, and the eureka moments feel so good.
5. Superhot ; The most innovative shooter I've played in years, etc.
6. Owlboy ; Low-fi charm goes a long way. Feels like a forgotten relic that's aged fantastically.
7. Out There Somewhere ; Its price is cheap, but its mechanics aren't. Haven't been so pleased with myself solving momentum puzzles since Portal.
8. Ittle Dew 2 ; Charming, retro, and open. Tackling dungeons in any order is rewarding, and it's a rare sequel that goes far beyond its Zelda-clone roots, staking its own unique puzzle-adventure identity.
9. Lovely Planet Arcade ; First person peashooting with a Katamari vibe is back again, and it's just as fantastic as last time.
10. N++ ; I played this last year on PS4 but the PC port gives me another chance to rave about it. Insane amounts of developer-made content and expansive user tools packed in with platforming perfection.

Most Anticipated
1. Yooka-Laylee
2. Rain World
3. A Hat in Time
4. Pit People
5. Cuphead
 

Sinatar

Official GAF Bottom Feeder
Jun 7, 2004
36,859
0
1,745
Edmonton
If a game has a publisher then it isn't indie, that's what indie means.

Indie doesn't mean "low budget, small team", though those definitely go hand in hand with not having external funding and distribution.
 

Kalor

Member
Oct 30, 2013
3,532
0
0
This was a pretty good year for indie games and there is still a bunch of stuff that I want to pick up at some point (Stephen's Sausage Roll, Orwell, Inside).

1. The Witness; The Witness was a game that I had been looking forward to since it's early development and it didn't disappoint. The gradual learning process for each puzzle and the lack of explanation for each mechanic meant that you kept having "Ah ha" moments during the games running time. I think this game also ruined Hall of the Mountain King for me.

2. Stardew Valley; Stardew Valley was perhaps one of the most relaxing games I played this year. It was nice to load it up and just go through a couple of days, expanding the area I used on my farm or working to gather materials for a new building.

3. Furi; A great boss rush game with a suitable soundtrack and combat mechanics. Some of the walking sequences went for a bit too long but the world was interesting enough that the dialogue in those sections helped reduce the tedium of waiting.

4. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight; Great metroidvania with good boss and enemy encounters.

5. SUPERHOT; Fun central mechanic and doesn't overstay its welcome.

6. Devil Daggers; An intense game where you can clearly see your own abilities grow as you get better and better at the game, lasting for longer each time.
 

Psoelberg

Member
Mar 23, 2014
807
0
410
Many great titles this year:

1. Inside ; A masterpiece in music, sound design, atmosphere and storytelling
2. No Man's Sky ; looking at a planet and being able to land on it is still great the 100th time.
3. Hyper Light Drifter ; great art design and Zelda like gameplay.
4. ABZÛ ; as always with Giant Squid they have created a stunning world with amazing wonders.
5. Firewatch ; a bit weak ending, but voice acting still makes this an interesting story.
6. The Witness ; lovely world and puzzles. A peaceful game of mystery.
7. Virginia ; love Twin Peaks - and love this small interactive experience.
8. Undertale ;
9. Stardew Valley ; like peaceful crack.
10. Starbound ; just addicting gameplay

But still got a long list from this year with games I want to play and think could be on my list.
 
Apr 1, 2013
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Reserving this post for later. I'm on my phone and the battery is about to die, but I've had a blast with indie games this year and can probably mention a good 10 games.

Edit - More_Badass, does an indie game which might have come out prior to this year but only came to a particular platform this year count? I.e. Steamworld Heist, which came out on 3DS last December but Vita this year.
 

NeoRaider

Member
Aug 1, 2015
5,794
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685
1. Severed ; Everything about this amazing piece of art is what i love in games! It's little creepy, it's fun, it has great soundtrack and atmosphere. This is must play for Vita, Wii U, 3DS and iOS players!

2. INSIDE ; Limbo was amazing, but this one is even better. Amazing experience with great atmosphere, audio and story. Playdead did it again!

3. SUPERHOT ; Had so much fun playing this game, and it ended up being one of the best games for me this year. It's different, it's fresh and it's sooo much fun!

4. Oxenfree ; It's like 2D Life is Strange. Really liked the story, characters and art stye of this game.

5. Virginia ; Very interesting and intriguing story, nice art style and one of the best soundtracks of the year!

6. Clustertruck ; This is the game where you need to jump on moving trucks to reach the goal or the end of the track. Sound crazy right? Well it's also so much fun. There are some crazy things happening around you, making everything even harder, but you also have some abilities to unlock that can help you reach the goal.

7. Furi ; I am having weird "relationship" with this one. It's some kind of love/hate relationship... Game can be so much fun but also very frustrating. Very fast gameplay and great soundtrack.

8. Unravel ; I knew that this will be one of my Indie favorites since i watched announcement trailer at E3 last year. It's very special, beautiful game with touching story.
 

AHA-Lambda

Member
Jul 19, 2011
23,118
86
1,040
If a game has a publisher then it isn't indie, that's what indie means.

Indie doesn't mean "low budget, small team", though those definitely go hand in hand with not having external funding and distribution.

The problem for this argument is 3-fold.

One, other industries behave in the same way and those products are still regarded as indie also (example: movies from Fox Searchlight Pictures are still considered indie).

Two, if we take this route, then there'd be barely any games left to vote for.

Three, if we take this argument to the extreme conclusion then titles from companies like Valve are technically indie, but of course they're not considered.
 
Reserving this post for later. I'm on my phone and the battery is about to die, but I've had a blast with indie games this year and can probably mention a good 10 games.

Edit - More_Badass, does an indie game which might have come out prior to this year but only came to a particular platform this year count? I.e. Steamworld Heist, which came out on 3DS last December but Vita this year.
Validity is based on platform. So N++ and Heist would be fine, since the former released on PC this year and the latter on iPad (and Vita)
 

Wok

Member
Dec 28, 2011
10,427
0
725
France
If a game has a publisher then it isn't indie, that's what indie means.

Indie doesn't mean "low budget, small team", though those definitely go hand in hand with not having external funding and distribution.

Somes games are developed as indie for a long time and then get a publisher just less than a year prior to the release. This is the case for Gorogoa, and this was the case for Aurion Legacy of the Kori-Odan.
 

epmode

Member
Jun 7, 2004
28,470
0
0
The problem for this argument is 3-fold.

One, other industries behave in the same way and those products are still regarded as indie also (example: movies from Fox Searchlight Pictures are still considered indie).

Two, if we take this route, then there'd be barely any games left to vote for.

Three, if we take this argument to the extreme conclusion then titles from companies like Valve are technically indie, but of course they're not considered.

It would also make the first two Star Wars trilogies indie films. ..which is an interesting classification I suppose, but I don't think it's as useful as the generally accepted definition.

Kinda like the "what is a JRPG" thing. Technically, a Japanese RPG is an RPG made in Japan but it's a lot more interesting to classify it as an RPG style with no geographical requirements.
 
Apr 1, 2013
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Kent, England
So wait, are we allowed to vote for games that have publishers or not? Because that would discount Unravel for instance, and I noticed that Ori and the Blind Forest was I'm the results for last year.
 

Stoze

Member
Feb 20, 2013
4,202
0
415
This is going to be identical to my regular list outside of a couple games, even when transferring honorable mentions to 11-15 spots. It's been one of my favorite years for games, there's been so much tremendously good stuff. Part of that is just me playing a lot more stuff than usual, though.

Gonna wait till Jan to do both lists though since I have steam sale stuff to get into to.
 

mStudios

Member
Jul 25, 2014
4,352
0
0
Many great titles this year:

1. Inside ; A masterpiece in music, sound design, atmosphere and storytelling
2. No Man's Sky ; looking at a planet and being able to land on it is still great the 100th time.
3. Hyper Light Drifter ; great art design and Zelda like gameplay.
4. Firewatch ; a bit weak ending, but voice acting still makes this an interesting story.
5. The Witness ; lovely world and puzzles. A game of mystery.
6. Stardew Valley ; like peaceful crack.
7. RIOT ; great experiment that's not far from my thesis and therefore extra interesting
8. AiK ; love the art direction
9. Starbound ; just addicting gameplay
10. Virginia ; love Twin Peaks - and love this

But still got a long list from this year with games I want to play and think could be on my list.

How did you get RIOT? I backed the game and I don't have it.
 

megalowho

Member
Jan 3, 2009
6,126
0
1,005
1. The Witness ; GOTY contender and a modern classic.
2. Inside ; Top tier nonverbal storytelling, true to an artistic vision from start to finish.
3. Superhot ; Brilliant FPS mechanic mixed with white hot style that doesn't overstay its welcome.
4. Obduction ; Puzzle exploration that lives up to the legacy of Myst. Nostalgic without feeling dated.
5. No Man's Sky ; Virtual tourism and low impact survival that encapsulates the vastness and loneliness of space.
6. Furi ; Stylish and focused boss rush action. Tight gameplay and a killer soundtrack.
7. Rec Room ; A sports/minigame/social interaction thing for Vive that gave me legitimate chills. A glimpse at the future.
8. Shardlight ; Dystopian Sci-Fi world building and point-and-click goodness from Wadjet Eye.
9. Offworld Trading Company ; Combat free RTS centered around economics and base building. Relaxing and cutthroat.
10. N++ ; Strong level design, smooth platforming and minimalist style. What time is it again?
11. VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action ; Dystopian visual novel and bartender sim of the year.
12. Severed ; Tactile dungeon crawling that's a great fit for touch devices.
13. Firewatch ; The unique setting and art direction combined with the back and forth relationship between Delilah and Henry is worth seeing.
14. Stardew Valley ; A Harvest Moon clone but an impressively dense and rich one with charm to spare.
15. Devil Daggers ; Pure arcade FPS action with classic id Software atmosphere.

Most Anticipated:
1. Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove
2. Unavowed
3. Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!
4. Return of the Obra Dinn
5. Tacoma
 

Yoshi

Headmaster of Console Warrior Jugendstrafanstalt
May 4, 2005
16,562
6,243
1,920
34
Germany
www.gaming-universe.de
1. Ittle Dew 2 ; Very clever and versatile dungeon design, solving the "do dungeons in any order" problem better than Zelda ALBW and an overworld packed with tons of secrets. Fantastic game and one of the best Zelda clones ever.
2. The Witness ; Witty puzzle design, well integrated into a nice looking world. A creative pool of ideas that are simple, yet intriguing.
3. FreezeME ; Some really nice platforming. Not absolutely at the top of the genre, but all-around solid and fun game that is well worth playing.
4. The Turing Test ; It is not quite Portal, but I had a lot of fun, both with the puzzles and the narrative.
5. Binaries ; Tight and fun skill game with a simple, yet engaging concept
6. Hopiko ; Really tough, but fast and rewarding, this game is about precision and speed at the same time, which I really appreciate a lot.
7. Fru ; One of the best Kinect games I have played so far. Nice combination of classical platforming and camera based controls and some really fun level design
8. Mantis Burn Racing ; Really nice top down racer that has tight controls, a nice speed and good course design. Definitely a positive surprise, particularly after being burned by those horrible Rock N Racing games
9. Factotum 90 ; Another engaging puzzle game that calls a bit for a Nintendo DS set up but still is great fun on Xbox One as well.
10. Stories of Bethem: Full Moon ; Some clever dungeon design reminiscent of Zelda but a not-so-great overworld design. Still, overall a really fun game - and surprisingly better than Oceanhorn in my opinion, due to its superior puzzle design.
11. Oceanhorn ; Nice little Zelda clone, though it really is a bit on the simple side sadly.

EDIT:

Most Anticipated:
1. Yooka-Laylee ; A new collectathon by the masters of collectathons, what else is there to say? My most anticipated game 2017.
 

MrS

Member
Apr 6, 2014
10,610
11,495
850
North East, England
Would be amazed if Inside didn't win this.

1. Salt and Sanctuary ; Literally the Dark Souls of 2D games

1. Salt and Sanctuary ; frankly I'm surprised (and a little disappointed) that it didn't make any top 10 list until now
I had it at #1 in my GOTY post. It was incredible.
 

AHA-Lambda

Member
Jul 19, 2011
23,118
86
1,040
1. VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action ; The cyberpunk aesthetic and rather original premise (a visual novel where you play a bartender and mix drinks for patrons) drew me to this, but what I didn't expect was a surprisingly endearing (and in some places rather emotional) story driven by a diverse cast of characters. In addition, it also manages to give a rather deliberately limited look at the title's oppressive sci-fi world. While it doesn't provide as much info or context on certain topics and themes as you may like, it does make the world seem all the more grounded and real for these characters, as this miserable place is the one they must still call live, work and play in regardless.

2. ClusterTruck ; The floor is lava BUT you also must jump between the trucks of a moving convoy. Hilarious fun!

3. Superhot ; "The most innovative FPS I've played in years" as you are supposed to say, and well it certainly is one of the most original. Time only moves when you move, and it's an idea that just cements badassery in your mind as you play.

4. Virginia ; A trippy and wonderfully surreal David Lynch/X-Files mash up. I didn't necessarily understand everything that was going on, but it was enjoyable nonetheless! It's fun to test your own interpretations out after all. Plus a great soundtrack to boot.

5. Owlboy ; an enjoyable example of a metroidvania-esque title. Stand out elements certainly include a boisterous soundtrack, great visuals, and a very endearing and sympathetic cast of characters.

6. Inside ; I admit I was not overly impressed with Limbo, so i had little hopes going in with this one. For me anyway, it was an improvement. Puzzles were more intuitive, with much less downtime and getting stuck, and a well paced variety of environments and tasks to complete. In addition, the atmosphere is one that is rather eerie, isolated and haunting, and that I personally found more affecting than its predecessor.

7. Pony Island ; a pleasant and subversive adventure/platformer experience. Best played knowing little going in.

8. Grow Up ; An improved experience to my taste over its predecessor, thanks to a greatly expanded set of traversal options - especially flight mechanics that allow you to soar over the game world and take in some stunning scenes.

9. Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter ; Not quite as good as the previous in series Crimes & Punishments but there is still nothing else out there these days that others a mystery adventure experience quite like the new Sherlock Holmes series.

10. Aragami ; A solid stealth title reminiscent of older Tenchu games. Be forewarned though, boss fights are rather janky and a definite low point.


Most Anticipated:

1. Styx: Shards of Darkness

2. Yooka-Laylee

3. Finding Paradise

4. Tacoma

5. Torment: Tides of Numenera
 

AHA-Lambda

Member
Jul 19, 2011
23,118
86
1,040
Are rereleases allowed on the ballot?

Just in particular for myself:
Danganronpa 1 + 2, first available on PC this year
Steins Gate & Umineko, first available on Steam this year
 
Oct 23, 2006
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1) Enter The Gungeon ; Highly addictive and well polished rogue-lite
2) Owlboy ; Some of the finest pixelart ever made
3) Pony Island ; A super weird and interesting game
4) Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight ; a beautiful metroidvania
5) Stardew Valley ; a staggering amount of content and who knew farming was so much fun?
 

Dalibor68

Banned
May 7, 2016
2,011
2
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Assuming they count (as others have used them in their lists so far):

1. Kathy Rain ; amazing point & click adventure with great story and likeable characters
2. Shardlight ; same engine as Kathy Rain but a postapocalyptic setting with great designs
3. The Turing Test ; great puzzle game with cool setting and interesting sci-fi story that makes you think
4. Pony Island ; weird, 4th wall breaking little game that is worth the 3 bucks i spent on it
5. Oxenfree ; has some flaws but overall an enjoyable experience and curious what the devs will come up with next

Dishonorable, overrated mentions:

x. Firewatch
x. Inside

I have yet to play Virginia.
 

Lord of Ostia

Member
Jun 7, 2015
4,453
3
0
1. Steamworld Heist. It came out last year on 3DS, and that's where I played it, but it came to most other platforms this year and I played the bulk of it this year so I'm including it. Fantastic turn-based strategy title, they really did a great job fitting the genre into the 2D, side view perspective. Well-designed encounters, fun cast of characters, great art style...this game has it all. If you like strategy/tactics games, this is a must play.
2. Shantae: Half Genie Hero. I think I prefer Pirate's Curse, but this game is so good that it has to be on the list. Great action platformer with varied level design, beautifully animated art, and tons of charm & personality.
3. Hyper Light Drifter. I backed this game on KS, and although the wait was long and it didn't even come to the platform I wanted it on (Vita) it's still a great game. Very minimalist in its approach, but a great aesthetic and combat system make it a must-play.
4. Owl Boy. Beautiful, emotional journey of a game with unique mechanics and an interesting world.
5. Stardew Valley. Only played a bit of it so far, but it really captures that Harvest Moon feeling, while still being modern and having an identity all its own. Love the pixel art as well.