Best Games Of 2016  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Best Games Of 2016  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network The Top 7 Games of 2016 As Dictated By Me https://www.gameskinny.com/93cuo/the-top-7-games-of-2016-as-dictated-by-me https://www.gameskinny.com/93cuo/the-top-7-games-of-2016-as-dictated-by-me Tue, 10 Jan 2017 07:00:02 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck

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And that's it! 2016 really was something fantastic for me in gaming. These games are ones that I feel will stick with me for some time and I can't wait to sink more hours into each of them. It's going to be interesting to see what 2017 is going to hold for us.

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What games did you love this year? Am I wrong for loving any of the games here? Let me know in the comments!

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Dark Souls III
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Developer: From Software

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Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

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It's sad to think that I won't be getting another Dark Souls game. While I was late to the SoulsBorne bandwagon, I have absolutely adored my time with Dark Souls III. I've talked before about how I am definitely not the best gamer you are going to find. I'm not the biggest fan of games that market themselves about being extremely difficult. For this reason, I thought I would never be a fan of the SoulsBorne series. But boy, was I wrong.

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I started late with Bloodborne, but I immediately fell in love with the game and was hooked. When Dark Souls III came out earlier this year, I couldn't press the purchase button fast enough on Steam so I could finally get into the game.

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Everything about this game is something to behold. The visuals are absolutely gorgeous. Every place you travel to in the game is just screenshot fodder (especially the first time you see Irithyll of the Boreal Valley). I was constantly being wowed by the look of this game. The way the game teaches you how to slow down and think through your attacks is one of the most interesting things I've seen in gaming in a while.

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We live in a world where games that have quick kill times are the kings of the industry, but this game about slowing down and taking your time has been an absolute hit for years. It really is refreshing.

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I think my favorite thing about the game, though, is that there is no obstacle that can't be overcome. Yes, it may take you more time than you thought, but you will always overcome that challenge. It's hands down one of the most satisfying games I've ever played, and I can't wait to see what From Software produces next.

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DOOM
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Developer: id Software

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Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

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I'm going to get this out of the way now. I have never played the original Doom games. I respect the position they have in the gaming community and recognize the trends that they really started for our industry, but I still haven't gotten around to playing them. That being said, 2016's DOOM may be one of the best games I've played in years.

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There is just so much to love here. The fast paced action, the gruesome glory kills, the personality of this silent Doom Slayer, the soundtrack (my god the soundtrack), the variety of weapons, the extremely well designed levels, the list goes on and on. I have just loved my time with this game and I was even late to the party. I started really playing this game around Christmas, but even then I knew I was getting into something special. Every moment I played I realized more and more why id is the juggernaut that it is. 

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If you haven't gotten the chance to rip and tear your way through DOOM yet, drop everything you're doing and go get this game. You most definitely won't regret it.

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The Jackbox Party Pack 3
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Developer: Jackbox Games

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Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC/Mac, Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV

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A few years ago I learned about a collection of party games called The Jackbox Party Pack. The collection contained a series of 5 different party games that were played on whatever device you bought the game on. The catch was that you controlled the game with any mobile device you hooked into the website. The games always brought laughter to my living room and gave me and my friends a real good time.

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This year, the fine folks brought out the third iteration of the collection adding 4 new games along with a sequel to the previous collection's game Quiplash. I truly believe that this is the finest collection of games they've released yet.

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With the previous collections, there were always a couple games that really had my attention but the other games could have been left to the side for me. This new collection, though, has a series of games that I have yet to get tired of. All of them are huge hits whenever I gather my friends over. Whether it's trying to escape from a gameshow loving serial killer, or just trying to make the group laugh with different quips, I have had a hell of a lot of fun with these games this year. The next time you get some friends together and are searching for things to do, The Jackbox Party Pack 3 can definitely liven up that gathering.

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Sid Meier's Civilization VI
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Developer: Firaxis Games

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Platform: PC

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Civilization V is my most played game on Steam. As of this writing, I have sunk 120 hours into the game. When Civilization: Beyond Earth came out, I was looking forward to continue my Civilization experience beyond the stars. Unfortunately, that game just doesn't click with me, so I was ready for a new Civilization game that could bring my attention back to the series that had taken up a lot of my time. Enter Civilization VI.

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Civilization VI is hands down the most polished base Civilization game to date. It's clear that Firaxis learned from their missteps with Civ V and Beyond Earth.

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This new game just feels polished in just about every way (save for the AI. Hoo boy does that need some work). I have already found myself saying, "just one more turn," and then looking over three hours later to find myself still playing. Civilization VI is definitely worth your time if you've been a fan of the series for a long time or are just now looking to get in on the fun.

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Titanfall 2
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Developer: Respawn Entertainment

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Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

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I never played much of the original Titanfall so I wasn't on the bandwagon of wanting this. After picking the game up when it was on sale earlier this year, I can safely say that I wish I would have played the original.

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Titanfall 2 has done so many things right. It's campaign is one of the best first-person shooter campaigns I've ever played. Each level had some unique elements that it introduced that kept me wanting more. On top of this, the multiplayer is one of the best multiplayer experiences I've had in a very long time. I haven't this heavily into the fast paced shooter action since my days with Modern Warfare 2. What makes it so good? I think it's the relationship between the fast paced pilot combat and the slower, more strategic, Titan combat. This relationship is just fantastic to watch play out in any match in multiplayer.

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I have had an absolute blast with this game and it's sad to think that more people aren't playing it. Sure, the game came out in a really poor time between the latest Call of Duty and Battlefield 1 but I really think that this is the title worth your time.

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Overwatch
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Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

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Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

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I've been watching people play Overwatch since Blizzard started letting streamers and YouTubers play it early. With every person I saw playing it, my desire to play this game grew and grew. Finally this year, I got to experience what may be my new favorite shooter.

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Overwatch is a game that I find myself coming back to time and time again. The team based combat really is something that I found that I really got on with. Being able to coordinate with your teammates to get that victory feels absolutely fantastic. The colorful cast of characters bring something desperately needed after years of drab military shooters. These characters feel like a lot of time, love, and effort were put into crafting them. The competitive scene is actually one of my favorite things I've gotten into this year. This is surprising for me as I am definitely not someone who was about the heavily competitive gaming scene. Now I can't wait to get my rank up and climb the ladder in the competitive mode.

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On top of all this, we get the world class support of Blizzard behind it releasing free content in the way of new characters, game modes, and new maps. This game is truly something special and something that I genuinely look forward to playing for quite some time.

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Pony Island
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Developer: Daniel Mullins

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Platform: PC

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Last year, I was completely blown away by Undertale and was introduced to the concept of the meta game. These are games that play with your mind and bring the person behind the keyboard or controller into the game in a very real way.

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This year, Pony Island was able to capture a lot of the same feelings I had while playing Undertale and really show what this new genre can do. This game takes a basic runner game and adds some extremely interesting mechanics and some fantastic storytelling elements to make you question what is truly going on in the game.

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If you haven't had the chance to play this game, you owe it to yourself to head over to Steam and pick it up. You definitely won't be disappointed.

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Last week I posted an article listing the top games of 2016 as reviewed by us here at GameSkinny. There were some great games on that list, but I wanted to take some time to talk about other games from 2016 that didn't make the list (but I personally love), as well as expound on some of the games on that list and why I thought they were some of the best-reviewed games of 2016.

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As I said in that article, I explored many new worlds that have stuck with me as I gamed my way through the year, and there were titles that I got into that I would have never expected myself to even touch. On top of that, some of those games have quickly become some of my favorite games ever played.

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So while this list isn't in any particular order, it's a list of games that meant the most to me last year. Let's get into it.

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Top 8 Games From 2016 You Might Have Heard Of https://www.gameskinny.com/088nw/top-8-games-from-2016-you-might-have-heard-of https://www.gameskinny.com/088nw/top-8-games-from-2016-you-might-have-heard-of Sat, 07 Jan 2017 18:08:25 -0500 Angelina Bonilla

2016 has been a difficult year for many of us, and I’m here to bring in some positivity in the form of talking about some stupendous titles that I believe don’t get the love they deserve.

This list is for those games whose names aren’t trumpeted from on high as the most amazing thing ever created in 2016. Ordering this list was actually pretty hard because I do recommend everything on here and view them all as great in their own right. I just recommend some marginally more than others.

8. Anatomy

Anatomy is one of those games that are only straightforward in its vagueness because, while there is a story, it leaves far more up to the player’s interpretation. It takes place in a house where you have to listen to some audio tapes and wander about the house while it gets progressively stranger and stranger. It uses the glitch style to make it seem like the house is collapsing in on itself, to the point of actually crashing to desktop.

Anatomy relies on auditory horror just as much if not more so than visual horror, which for someone like me who has sensitive hearing, makes it a unnerving.

It’s not a traditional title in the slightest; in fact, it’s part of a genre called alt-games that goes directly against traditional game making rules in order to tell a story without those limitations. You may find yourself wondering what in the world just happened hours after playing it, which to me, more than qualifies Anatomy to be on this list.

7. The Curious Expedition

Ada Lovelace, Charles Darwin, H.P. Lovecraft and Marie Curie go on an expedition. No, this isn’t the beginning of a guttural bar joke; this is actually the premise of the game The Curious Expedition, where you have famous explorers, scientists and other figures from throughout history competing to gain fame and fortune. You, of course, lead their expeditions. Allow me to make no bones about this: everything is out to prevent you from reaching your goal, including your own party members.

There’s a sanity meter you must keep an eye on, and if you don’t you’re at risk of dying out in the middle of the jungle with a bunch of cannibals who formerly part of your expedition. Inventory management and party management is also essential in order to make it through alive. Once the expedition reaches that Golden Pyramid though, your long arduous journey feels just as rewarding as beating a difficult boss in Dark Souls. Everything that’s done in The Curious Expedition ultimately changes things slightly, whether it leaves you without an important item, money or maybe even inflicting an egregious wound on you. How the journey goes is entirely based around the actions taken, which adds seemingly dozens of layers to this game. The Curious Expedition is deeply complex and difficult, yet an unforgettable experience.

6. Hiiro

What an intriguing title Hiiro is, one that immediately caught my attention when I was browsing Steam. It’s an ambient exploration game with some puzzle mechanics that has you scouring the world for missing artifacts of the realms that have long been forgotten. After being set loose on the world, there are very few limitations put on our tiny red hero. If you can jump, climb, swim or walk there, then you can search the area, leaving no stone unturned. Add in the magical music by Jon Tabriz and Ben Harvey and you may find yourself with an existential journey to unearth all of the mysteries.

The artwork is rather cute and, while judging by all the skeletons you can see that this world used to have some colossal creatures lurking about, now you’re just here in a serene environment just jumping up and down in their rib cages.

Imagine getting lost and yet instead of feeling like you need to get back, you find yourself wanting to learn more about this place you’ve found yourself in. It invokes a real sense of discovery.

It’s not meant to be a game you completely devote yourself too, but one that allows one to put aside all the worries of the world and just journey across the expansive land of Hiiro.

5. Beholder

There are several titles that emulate the late great George Orwell’s work in some way, but I find myself most allured by Beholder.

Between the ink blob art style or just the way you go about observing your tenants, it adds a layer of intrigue to your work as a superintendent of the apartment building.

The observation of the other characters is in the forefront of the game and its fascinating system, even if it is effectively being used by someone who is the villain of the story. Our dear protagonist can be a villainous one and it certainly changes Beholder’s dynamic.

He’s employed by the state which means it’s expected to follow their rules for the sake of his family. Problem is, the rules of the state may go against your own moral compass and that’s where conflict of the story really begins. One might think that it lampshades that being a pawn in the state is a bad thing, and you should always do the right thing by helping people, but in Beholder, that’s not always an easy thing to do. The choices are not black and white, but multi-layered decisions that change the very fabric of your experience down the road. Beholder is a sobering reminder of what a grand scale Orwellian world actually is and reminds the player that for every choice you make there will be consequences.

4. Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander

Nobody knows how hard it is to manage a human alliance on the verge of extinction like the players of Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander. Not only do you have to manage your fleet and colonies, but also your alliances with aliens, all while also fighting a mysterious evil menace who wants the human race’s assured destruction. No pressure right?

Halcyon 6 is all about creating and then managing a system for resource gathering, battles, exploration and questing. There’s plenty to do and you’d be hard pressed to find a single dull moment that can’t be used for something.

The battles are turn based, which gives you a chance to carefully plan out the next move with your hand picked captains. Then you can level them up once they gain enough experience, which you only get from battles, quests or various jobs around the base.

There’s a risk reward system where the bigger the risk, the greater the reward and you’ll find yourself taking more dangerous missions as time goes on. Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander can be difficult, but nobody said that running a Starbase was going to be easy, even if it is just a game.

3. Seasons After Fall

To describe Seasons After Fall would be like describing a symphony; it’s difficult to put into words, especially in regards to the sheer beauty that is the artwork and soundtrack, which consists of a string quartet cheerfully playing as the Fox scampers across the scenery.

It is reminiscent of the pure wonder one might feel while watching the Disney film Fantasia the first time, except you get to control what’s happening on screen.

The seasons are controlled by the fox so you get to see the four seasons of winter, summer, spring and fall in their entire splendor in this natural grove. With this power you use it to platform using the environments itself to get to where you need to go. There are even some small environmental puzzles that make you rely on these abilities in order to move the plot along. 

The fox, or more so, the creature possessing the fox is the protagonist and the entire game is narrated to let you know what’s going on.  Even with that though, there’s actually an expressive nature to the tiny fox that lets you know what's going through its mind. Tail wags, ear twitches or even small barks can make it seem as though it’s talking; not anthropomorphizing it, but giving the players a chance to understand just what its feeling. Seasons After Fall is a beautifully composed platformer that, after being in development for 8 years, we can declare to be an overwhelming success.

2. Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor

Take a moment to imagine yourself in a world where your only job is to pick up other people’s trash in order to make money, and the one time you decide to have an adventure, you’re immediately cursed. Welcome to Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor. After the opening scene it puts the player in a routine: wake up, pray to the goddess, receive payment, find nourishment and then start burning trash.

Once the day is done you return home and write in your diary about how your day was. There is of course more to it, like memorizing the trading schedules of all of the colorful denizens or doing small quests on the side. It’s a strange title that relies on the fact that you, much like the janitor, want to see this through to the end.

You aim to escape from the mundane life into something grand, but it consistently puts you one step forward and two steps back. Sometimes you'll be robbed by the corrupt government or all the prices in the market go up. Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor forces the player to look at their life as this Janitor and by the end of it, they might ask “Am I just another cog in the machine?” To be able to deftly portray that in a video game makes Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor, one of the more provocative titles I’ve played in a long time.

1. Oxenfree

Oxenfree is a title that surprised me this year, one that I didn’t expect to love as much as I did. I certainly didn’t expect to do an analysis about it either yet here I am, giving it my number one spot. Oxenfree is about a group of teenagers that go to an island for a night of debauchery as per tradition, only to get wrapped up in some supernatural dealings with creatures from beyond the grave. The majority of it is based around the relationships the player builds between all of the main characters. It places a heavy focus on character interactions that, while many games implement them, few do in such a meaningful way.

The conversations, for the most part, feel natural and like you’re actually the one responding, since you can interject and cut people off, or even just walk away from an uncomfortable conversation, not responding at all.

There are other features in this game beside the relationship one, like with the radio communicating with the spirits or channeling Alex’s from other worlds, as well as trivia with various puzzles thrown in, but it blends in very organically.

Each character, no matter what your opinion may be of them, ends up having a nice character arc that allows you to learn about them, who they are and if what you’re doing affects them in any way.

Even the antagonistic force, the submarine ghost who are trying to send your souls into the void, you can relate to in some way. They’re written in such a way that you can understand their plight and empathize with them, speaking volumes of the writing overall.

There’s a fair amount that can be read in between the lines in Oxenfree and the experience isn’t over once you beat it; you can play it multiple times with varying results which changes the story, with some continuity being remembered by the characters. Oxenfree is an amazing game and if it was good enough for me to make that long winded analysis on it then it's good enough for my number one spot.

There you have it, the Top 8 Games From 2016 You Might Have Heard Of, a year that was bursting at the seams with great entries in this newer artistic medium of ours. While I could have included much more on this list, I decided to keep it to a top 8 in order to give a nice variety of games and for me to talk about the titles I believe showcased some amazing qualities that were shown this year in gaming.

More games were released on Steam this year than any other year, which means there were tons of games to pour over that we'll be talking about for years to come. Feel free to tell me about your favorite unknown game from 2016 in the comments below.  I hope all of you enjoyed the list this year and let’s hope that 2017 is just as strong for games as 2016.

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The Top 11 Games of 2016 as Reviewed by GameSkinny https://www.gameskinny.com/u4xkc/the-top-11-games-of-2016-as-reviewed-by-gameskinny https://www.gameskinny.com/u4xkc/the-top-11-games-of-2016-as-reviewed-by-gameskinny Fri, 30 Dec 2016 07:00:01 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck

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And that's it folks! These aren't the only great games of the year though. There were plenty of titles to choose from when making this list but in the end, these are our stand out's.

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2016 was an amazing year for games and I can't wait to see what is in store for 2017.

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What games do you think were the best this year? Let me know in the comments!

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Overwatch (PC)

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Rating: 10/10

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Full Review by ChrisDeCoster

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I don't think anyone will be surprised to see this game on the list. Overwatch is hands down one of the best shooters I've ever played. It's unique cast of characters, fantastic gameplay and emphasis on teamwork have made for a truly fantastic game. I have found myself coming back to this game time and time again only to have a hell of a lot of fun with my friends. This is to be expected by a Blizzard title.

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"Overwatch is a must play game. If you like shooters, it won't take long for you to find a character to play as and a role to fill in any team. If you're one of the few people who haven't played the game in beta or already bought it, you owe it to yourself to pick it up and play. I can guarantee you you'll be playing this one for a long time."

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- ChrisDeCoster

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Planet Coaster (PC)

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Rating: 10/10

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Full Review by Autumn Fish

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When I was a kid, I used to waste hours and hours building roller coasters in Roller Coaster Tycoon. In recent years, that franchise has taken a bit of a nose dive and what used to be the golden standard in theme park sim games, has fallen by the wayside. Enter, Planet Coaster.

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Planet Coaster has easily been one of the best games I've played in a long time. If you've been itching to play a good theme park sim, you owe it to yourself to get this game.

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"Simulation games have never seen this level of creative freedom before. If you're a fan of both Sandbox and Simulation genres, Planet Coaster is a must play. Even if you're only a fan of Sandbox games, you're likely to get dozens or even hundreds of hours of enjoyment out of it."

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- Autumn Fish

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/i/t/titanfall-063a5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/i/t/titanfall-063a5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146009","description":"

Titanfall 2 (Xbox One)

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Rating: 10/10

\n

Full Review by Synzer

\n

Titanfall 2 is one of the best games I played all year. It just did so many things right. It's campaign was one of the best shooter campaigns I've ever played. The multiplayer is some of the best you are going to find. If you haven't played this game yet, you owe it to yourself to pick it up.

\n

The game's mechanics just feel fantastic.

\n
\n

"Titanfall 2 is an amazing sequel and worthy of everyone's attention. There are many big games out and coming out around this time, but this game is definitely worth it.

\n

If you liked the first game at all, you'll love this one. If you wished there was a story mode in the last game, this one makes up for it tenfold.

\n

Overall, I was highly impressed with what Respawn has done, and hope they continue this franchise for many years to come."

\n

- Synzer

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/s/inside-7f3a6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/s/inside-7f3a6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146008","description":"

Inside (PS4)

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Rating: 9/10

\n

Full Review by Jeremy "Digit" Brown

\n

Fans of the game Limbo have been waiting with bated breath to see what developer Playdead would do next. This year we got that answer.

\n

Inside is a side-scrolling, horror game where you play as a young boy trying to escape from a dystopian society. Using an interesting aesthetic, engaging gameplay and unique storytelling mechanics, Inside is definitely a game that you shouldn't miss.

\n
\n

"Inside fulfills Limbo's aspirations in becoming a seamless, near-flawless experience. It took six years to craft this game; but just from its mysterious beginning to a literal jaw-dropping ending, Playdead has made a true work of art."

\n

- Jeremy "Digit" Brown

\n
"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/c/uncharted-9a85a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/c/uncharted-9a85a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145935","description":"

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

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Rating: 9/10

\n

Full Review by Chris Bowring

\n

This year saw the end of the PlayStation's finest exclusive series', Uncharted. Developer Naughty Dog has grown since it released it's first installment of the series. After releasing the critically acclaimed The Last of Us, people were excited to see what the developer had learned. According to reviewer Chris Bowring, Naughty Dog has found their voice and are using it to create some real works of art.

\n
\n

"Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the swan song this series deserved. From stunning visuals, to awe inspiring set pieces, grounded moments of weakness, and fluid and organic gameplay. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is one of the greatest experiences games can offer. Coming from someone who never truly resonated with the series, you owe it to yourself as a gamer to experience this."

\n

- Chris Bowring

\n
"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-sun-pokemon-moon-439aa.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-sun-pokemon-moon-439aa.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145934","description":"

Pokemon Sun and Moon

\n

Rating: 9/10

\n

Full Review by Synzer

\n

I remember being given Pokemon: Blue Version when I was a kid. I played it non stop and fell deep into the Pokemon rabbit hole. That was back in 1996 and I've been playing Pokemon ever since. 

\n

Pokemon Sun and Moon are the latest installments to the Pokemon franchise and according to our reviewer, they are possibly the best to come out.

\n
\n

"Pokemon Sun and Moon is one of the best, if not the best, Pokemon games ever made. It mixes up the formula and changes enough to be a fresh experience, while keeping the core of the game intact.

\n

Veteran and new players alike will have plenty to do and enjoy in these games to keep them busy for a long time. I look forward to the future of Pokemon and these games show great promise."

\n

- Synzer

\n
"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/t/battlefield-ec956.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/t/battlefield-ec956.png","type":"slide","id":"145933","description":"

Battlefield 1 (PC)

\n

Rating: 9/10

\n

Full Review by Sergey_3847

\n

2016 was a year where your common military shooter was kind of turned on it's head. Battlefield 1 definitely fits in this category. As someone who misses the days when Call of Duty was exploring battles of old wars, Battlefield 1 was a breath of fresh air. 

\n

While the combat is much more fast paced and aligned with what people are used to in a modern military shooter, Battlefield 1 brings back the historical aspect of a military shooter that I definitely missed. And bringing the Battlefield formula to World War I just makes sense.

\n
\n

"Battlefield 1 is a true successor of the Battlefield series and one of the best games of the year. Bringing the experience of a hundred year old war is not an easy task, but DICE made it work. However, the game is not perfect and will not receive the highest possible score due to some bad enemy AI and less than stellar design on some of the maps.

\n

On the other hand, Battlefield 1 has given us all an opportunity to dive into one of the most brutal wars in the history of humanity -- and this is something you don’t try every day."

\n

- Sergey_3847

\n
\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hyper-light-drifter-cbb5c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hyper-light-drifter-cbb5c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145932","description":"

Hyper Light Drifter (PC)

\n

Rating: 9/10

\n

Full Review by Jeffrey Rousseau

\n

The image above still gives me chills every time I see it. Hyper Light Drifter was a game that sucked me in with it's engaging gameplay and gorgeous art. From the moment you boot the game up, you know you're in for a treat.

\n
\n

"Hyper Light Drifter is a very well-made and well-executed game that succeeds in constantly challenging you forward. No adventure fan should miss out on this experience."

\n

- Jeffrey Rousseau

\n
"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/n/final-fantasy-eba85.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/n/final-fantasy-eba85.png","type":"slide","id":"145931","description":"

Final Fantasy XV (PlayStation 4)

\n

Rating: 9/10

\n

Full Review by Synzer

\n

This is another game that fans have waited a long time for. After the mess that was Final Fantasy XIII, fans were clamoring for a return to the world an mechanics that made them love Final Fantasy.

\n

What originally started as a game called Final Fantasy XIII Versus, Final Fantasy XV released to pretty great reception. Fans loved the journey that these four guys were taking and the trouble they got into.

\n
\n

"Final Fantasy XV is a dream come true for fans of the series and a fantastic RPG regardless of the name. This is a game that I'm sure any RPG fan will enjoy -- and even those that may not usually play the genre."

\n

- Synzer

\n
"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/u/deus-31b57.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/u/deus-31b57.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145930","description":"

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Xbox One)

\n

Rating: 9/10

\n

Full Review by Ty Arthur

\n

Adam Jensen returned this year in the sequel to the the 2011 hit, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Eidos Montreal refined what they presented to us in that game to bring us this wonderful sequel, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

\n
\n

"If you dig games like Crysis but prefer more tactical, cover-based combat with a less confined world, then Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will hit the spot. There are some flaws here and there however -- repetition in level layout elements, spotty dialog, and getting overpowered if you work the augmentation system.

\n

That being said, there's a ton of fun to be had here and lots of exploration to do outside the main quest line."

\n

- Ty Arthur

\n
"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/a/s/last-guardian-dfeae.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/a/s/last-guardian-dfeae.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145928","description":"

The Last Guardian (PlayStation 4)

\n

Rating: 9/10

\n

Full Review by Ashley Gill

\n

This was a game that was announced almost ten years ago for the last console generation. Fans of Team ICO's work waited with bated breath for the successor to the critically acclaimed Shadow of the Colossus. Finally, that game was released, but was it worth it? According to reviewer Ashley Gill, it most definitely was.

\n
\n

"An emotional journey from start to finish, The Last Guardian shows that Fumito Ueda and the Team ICO staffers now at SIE Japan Studio still have the ability to create a mini-universe you can completely immerse and invest yourself emotionally into without even realizing it. It's a triumph, with its only detractors being some technical issues that, should you be invested enough, are easy to overlook and completely forget about once it's all over. And if you want to play it again once it's over, have at it -- there's replay-only content to be found that Team ICO fans should be tickled by."

\n

- Ashley Gill

\n
"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/m/gameskinny-reviews-3839e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/m/gameskinny-reviews-3839e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145799","description":"

Life as a gamer was pretty good this year. We got a slough of great games over the course of the entire year. And I do mean over the entire year. From beginning to end, I was playing a new game that was pretty darn great all year long. My reflexes and patience were tested in Dark Souls III. I was introduced to a new world of unique characters and extremely competitive gameplay in Overwatch. I was allowed to rip and tear my way through the hordes of demons in DOOM.

\n

Yeah, I'd say that this year was pretty good as a gamer. But, before we welcome 2017 with open arms, we need to take a look back at the best games of this year. Yes, folks, it's time to go over the top 11 games of 2016 as reviewed by GameSkinny. This list isn't so much a counting down of the best but more a collection of what we determined to be the best games of the year. So without further ado, let's get into the list!

"}]]]>
The 10 Best Indie Games of 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/vi54x/the-10-best-indie-games-of-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/vi54x/the-10-best-indie-games-of-2016 Sun, 18 Dec 2016 01:59:15 -0500 Damien Smith

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/d/tadpole-treble-45f99.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/d/tadpole-treble-45f99.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145323","description":"

And there you have it, our 10 Best Indie Games of 2016. From the dark and horrifying world of Darkest Dungeon to the gripping adventure of Avadon 3 to all your farming needs with Stardew Valley and the magical, cheerful and addicting musical that is Tadpole Treble, iIt truly has been an amazing year for indie games.

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What do you think of our list? What are yourfavoritee indie games of 2016? Let me know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/d/tadpole-treble-4086f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/d/tadpole-treble-4086f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145262","description":"

1. Tadpole Treble

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Developer: BitFinity

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Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux and Wii U

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Oh, how I said "hmm, ha, um" and grunted and groaned attempting to decide between this and Darkest Dungeon as the number one indie game of 2016. In the end, the musical Tadpole Treble took the spot. It is a relatively unknown title compared to most on this list, but my goodness, is it a magical experience.

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You take on the role of Baton, a tadpole who swims too far into the river and get scooped up by a pelican and brought far away. She must find her way home while avoiding the many dangers along the game. What is it that makes the game so magical you might be wondering?

\n

Everything in each level acts as a part of the song that plays along with your actions. It makes it feel like you are a part of the song on every level, which each have a unique song in a different genre. 

\n

Even now, months on from its release, this game still makes me laugh and smile just as it did when I first played it. Not only that, I still enjoy it just as much too. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/darkest-dungeon-52fca.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/darkest-dungeon-52fca.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145266","description":"

2. Darkest Dungeon

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Developer: Red Hook Studios

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Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PS4 and PS Vita

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Oh my! I bet you weren't expecting Darkest Dungeon to be second on this list. It was a very close and tough decision but yes, Darkest Dungeon takes second place on the 10 Best Indie Games of 2016. This hardcore turn-based combat RPG is absolute genius.

\n

It takes a different approach to how the stress of adventuring affects its many heroes. There are no all mighty and indestructible heroes. As stress builds, they begin to become afflicted with all forms of psychological problems. 

\n

Darkest Dungeon is a dark world and one where you will have to commit horrible acts in order to succeed in your goal to restore your family estate. What heroes will you keep and what heroes will you send on suicidal missions where you know they will likely meet their doom.

\n

It is a brilliant game and easily one of the best titles to release this year. It is one of those games that once you start playing, you don't want to stop.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/o/w/l/owlboy-bf8ef.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/o/w/l/owlboy-bf8ef.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145261","description":"

3. Owlboy

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Developer: D-Pad Studio

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Platforms: PC

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The once questioned "will it ever release" platformer finally made its way to the PC this year after nine years in development. Owlboy is a real love letter to the '90s platforming era of gaming. From its visuals to its plot to its gameplay, Owlboy is a game that oozes '90s gaming chic.

\n

You take on the role of Otus, who belongs to a clan of owl and human hybrids known as the Owls. When his village is attacked by a band of pirates, he sets out on a journey to save it. 

\n

With a charming cast, brilliant and varied level design and excellent Metroidvania style gameplay, Owlboy is an absolute classic.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-valley-4756b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-valley-4756b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145259","description":"

4. Stardew Valley

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Developer: Concerned Ape

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Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One and PS4

\n

What can I say about Stardew Valley that hasn't already been said by practically every other video game journalist out there? At first glimpse, it looks like nothing more than Harvest Moon on other platforms that don't belong to Nintendo.

\n

That alone would be enough for many to instantly buy it -- but it is far more than just another Harvest MoonOnce you get deeper into the game, you begin to realize just how much depth and gameplay is really there. So much so, in fact, that it goes beyond that of the series it takes inspiration from.

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Farming and rebuilding the run-down old farm are but only two activities available to the player. The player can also fish, cook and craft just to name a few of the game's mechanics. If you love Harvest Moon or any form of a game that involves farming and want something with depth, Stardew Valley is as good as it gets.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hyper-light-drifter-ee197.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hyper-light-drifter-ee197.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145257","description":"

5. Hyper Light Drifter

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Developer: Heart Machine

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Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PS4 and Ouya

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Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D action RPG that has similarities to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. You take on the role of The Drifter, who has access to long-lost technology and is suffering from an unspecified illness.

\n

The Drifter wields an energy sword and can gain additional modules to expand his weapon and abilities. Much like games from the SNES era, the game has no spoken dialogue and instead tells it story through visuals and music.

\n

It is very much a game that fans of the 16-bit era of gaming will love. It has a good story, great gameplay and solid mechanics. Overall, it is a beautiful and magical experience.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/firewatch-8e29f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/firewatch-8e29f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145239","description":"

6. Firewatch

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Developer: Campo Santo

\n

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PS4 and Xbox One

\n

FIrewatch is one of those games I decided to give a chance despite its genre being something I generally wouldn't have an interest in. You take on the role of Henry, a man who has taken a job as a fire lookout in the Wyoming woodlands. Something strange grabs your attention and you head out to investigate.

\n

Your only contact is your supervisor, who you communicate with through a small handheld radio. You must explore an environment that is unknown to you, face hard questions and make difficult decisions. The major highlights of the game are its story and beautiful design. 

\n

If you are looking for something that isn't all guns and violence with a gripping plot, then Firewatch is definitely worth checking out.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/n/pony-island-e9b81.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/n/pony-island-e9b81.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145237","description":"

7. Pony Island

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Developer: Daniel Mullins Games

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Platforms: PC, Mac and Linux

\n

To call Pony Island anything less than genius would be an insult, as quite frankly this is one of the most creative and clever games to come out not just this year, but in recent years. Pony Island is a puzzle game where you are in limbo trapped in a malevolent and malfunctioning arcade machine made by the devil himself.

\n

The problem is the devil isn't the best of programmers, so in order to escape, you must hack through the game's programming and figure out his puzzles. If I was to say anything more about the game we would be going into spoiler territory. If you are looking for something very different and a bit strange, this is worth a try.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/u/thumper-abc7b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/u/thumper-abc7b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145236","description":"

8. Thumper

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Developer: Drool

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Platforms: PC and PS4

\n

I actually feel bad putting this weird title so far down this list, but it just goes to show how strong the indie scene has been this year. Thumper is a psychedelic rhythm game where you take on the role of a space beetle braving a hellish void to confront a maniacal giant head from the future. 

\n

In its own right, this game is horrifying as there is nothing else like it out there. The lack of familiarity causes a great unease in the player, not to mention the sights and the bosses. To say any more would give away what exactly Thumper is, but one thing I will say is this: The less you know going in the better. It is one hell of an experience.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/v/a/avadon-f2c89.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/v/a/avadon-f2c89.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145235","description":"

9. Avadon 3: The Warborn

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Developer: Spiderweb Software

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Platforms: PC, Mac, and iOS

\n

The highly anticipated sequel to Jeff Vogul's Avadon 2: The Corruption, Avadon 3, like all of Vogul's games, is a real call back to the classic RPG genre and titles like Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment. 

\n

You take on the role of a Hand of Avadon, a bringer of justice that only answers to the Keeper of Avadon, a Medieval Judge Dread -- just on a bigger scale. The game has a brilliant plot where the player has to make many choices throughout that actually make a difference in the world.

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Its gameplay is solid and well balanced and its character development is simple but deep. Avadon 3 is a game that will keep you hooked from the very beginning to the end and it is a cracker of a finale to the series.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hypersensitive-bob-ec357.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hypersensitive-bob-ec357.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145231","description":"

10. Hypersensitive Bob

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Developer: Sieidi Ltd

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Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux and Steam OS

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Hypersensitive Bob is one of those hidden gems that you sometimes find among the many bad games on Steam. It is a roguelike, similar to the Binding of Issac. The main difference? Hypersensitive Bob takes a much more casual and child-friendly approach. You take on the role of Bob, who is allergic to absolutely everything. Armed with his InHaGun 2000, he sets out to overcome his allergies. 

Hypersensitive Bob is a wonderful title that's a whole lot of fun for the whole family. Both its theme and design are very much something of the '90s, with colorful visuals and an awesome and mello soundtrack.

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In an industry that is now full of games that focus on nothing but realism, Hypersensitive Bob is a breath of fresh air. It has been a game that I came back to time and time again throughout the entire year.

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The end of another year is upon us and the beginning of a new one is just on the horizon. It is time to sit back and remember the many wonderful video game titles that released throughout 2016. The indie scene has been most awe-inspiring and some of the best games this year have come from indie developers.

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Today we are going to take a look at The 10 Best Indies Games of 2016. So without further ado, let's count down the absolute best that indie developers have given us this year.

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The State of Horror Games in 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/g2g42/the-state-of-horror-games-in-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/g2g42/the-state-of-horror-games-in-2016 Sat, 26 Nov 2016 08:05:02 -0500 Ty Arthur

Looking back at the last 11 months, it's apparent that 2016 wasn't nearly as much of a banner year for horror gaming as 2014 or 2015. There was no major survival horror reboot like The Evil Within, no genre breaking and awarding winning Alien: Isolation, no (new) Resident Evil.

Although many notable games did launch in the past few months, what was probably the most high-profile release of the year wasn't even technically a horror game, but rather an FPS.

Biggest Horror Releases Of 2016

Of course, I'm talking about the long-awaited Doom reboot, which was gory as all hell and featured truly demonic enemies. But the game perhaps doesn't entirely belong in the “horror” category, since it was more of an action shooter.

     It certainly had the gore aspect in spades -- with dozens of executions!

In terms of big name games with AAA developer backing, there were only a handful other than Doom, and not all of those were even new games, like the Resident Evil 0 remaster landing on consoles and PCs back in January.

The other major release was the truncated three episode season of Telltale's The Walking Dead, which focused solely on Michonne and featured even less consequence than usual for Telltale Games.

The storytelling developer will have a chance to rectify that misstep with the impending third full season, which returns with series-staple Clementine, in December.

Whether unexpected 2D hits, asymmetrical titles letting you play the slasher or losing your sanity in a dungeon filled with tentacled horrors, smaller games hit the horror spot in 2016. Many of the highlights from horror gaming went under the radar, as indie games reigned supreme this year

Before we get into those worth-playing titles, though, there are a handful of overhyped and underdelivered games worth mentioning that marred 2016's release calendar.

Biggest Horror Disappointments of 2016

Thankfully, we didn't have the gut-blow of Silent Hills being canceled this year, but there were some flops to remind us of the existential pointlessness of existence.

Echoing that major catastrophe from 2015, the P.T. inspired Allison Road was canceled this past summer without explanation. The game's Facebook page has since been updated, indicating development has resumed, although it appears the game is going a different direction now, with more questions than answers as to what exactly happened.

Development hell and canceled games are just a fact of life, which is why some game companies have turned to early access to keep funding going while work progresses. Sadly, not all of these games deserve to hit feature-complete status.

Development hell and canceled games are just a fact of life, which is why some game companies have turned to early access to keep funding going while work progresses. Sadly, not all of these games deserve to hit feature-complete status.

While I'm personally a big proponent of crowd funding and early access, they don't always yield satisfying results, which is currently the case with Team Clockworks' At The Mountains Of Madness. 

This clunky mess taken from the famous Lovecraft story of the same name is garnering entirely negative reviews in its current state and is need of a major overhaul.

For me, it's just another painful reminder that we'll never get that canceled Guillermo Del Toro / Tom Cruise movie adaptation that was promised...

Run - killer penguins!

Of those games that made it through development to release, not all of them were worth the wait. The biggest flop this year had to be NightCry, which was crowd-funded under the title Project Scissors and is a spiritual successor to the woefully underappreciated Clock Tower series.

NightCry definitely evoked the feel of clunky PS1 / PS2 era survival horror games, but not particularly in a good way. It had all the frustration of those games with very little of the payoff.

However, my fingers are crossed that Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (a similar crowdfunded venture from the forces behind Castlevania) manages to work out a bit better when it lands in 2018.

Who thought running from monsters in high heels was a good call?

Wrapping up our look at the flops for the year, we'll end on the decidedly mediocre Phantaruk. While this indie first person horror game tried valiantly to evoke the feeling of the Frictional titles like SOMA or Amnesia, it just didn't manage to quite stack up with the atmosphere, story or scares. There was promise there though, so I'm hoping Polyslash goes on to refine the formula with a better game in the near future

The Indie Horror Triumphs of 2016

Now that we've covered what wasn't worth playing, it's time to dive into what knocked our socks off, and there were a ton of them from lesser known developers. Too many to even list them all here, in fact! 

There's a ton of fun to be had either playing the unkillable slasher hunting down his victims or as the terrified co-eds trying desperately to survive and escape unscathed.

Dead By Daylight came to the asymmetrical slasher party early, pre-empting the dueling Friday the 13th and Last Year, both of which have failed to materialize so far and cover the same ground gameplay-wise.

They may be facing serious uphill battles against their predecessor, which has already landed on a winning formula.

There's a ton of fun to be had either playing the unkillable slasher hunting down his victims or as the terrified co-eds trying desperately to survive and escape unscathed.

Kill your friends one by one!

Available in early access last year, both Layers Of Fear and Darkest Dungeon finally arrived in their feature-complete forms in 2016, offering two very different but equally compelling descents into madness. 

Fan feedback and sales have gone well enough that Layers Of Fear already saw the release of an expansion, putting you in the role of a family member returning to the painter's nightmare mansion, while Darkest Dungeon is betting on a vampiric DLC upgrade early next year.

For those who prefer something more fast paced and adrenaline-pumping, the early access Unloved was released in September, offering a modern re-imagining of the Doom 2 mod of the same name.  A bloody good time that's somehow even darker and more shrouded in shadow than Doom 3 was, Unloved is a game you want to pick up if you like the idea of fast paced shooters but prefer something with more horror oomph.

A few other indie titles are worth mentioning that horror fans should make a point of checking out that provide very different takes on the genre than you'd typically expect. 

Although not without a few rough edges, Iron Fish ditches the typical gore and demons to offer a deep sea psychological thriller experience, while the mind bending Asemblance will utterly break you as you chase the truth down a rabbit hole of jumbled memories.

If you prefer an atmospheric experience along the lines of genre highlights like Amnesia, Layers Of Fear, and so on, then Lethe Episode 1 should be on your shortlist, showcasing that developers other than Frictional can handle that style with aplomb.

On the stylistic front, Camp Sunshine deserves to be tried by just about everyone for its absolute love of all things pixelated and slashery, transforming the typical summer camp machete-fest into a 16 bit world of horror.

 Something tells me the camp's name is inaccurate... 

VR Horror Gaming

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have come, and in their wake will be left a slew of first person horror games. VR is still just emerging though, with games of a very hit or miss variety. 

Here They Lie is an early Playstation VR experience that's worth trying out, while Until Dawn: Rush Of Blood took the name and not much else from last year's much-hyped slasher game, throwing you into an on-rails VR arcade experience with a clown fetish.

Virtual reality is guaranteed to get much, much bigger in the next year or two across console, PC and mobile platforms, especially with games like The Walking Dead and Paranormal Activity getting big VR launches.

For now though, most will just have to watch Markiplier and PewDiePie pretend to be scared while testing out equipment that's too spendy for the adverage gamer. For those who do manage to shell out for a new computer and an Oculus Rift, please don't get eye herpes – because that's the real horror potential of VR.

I can't help but notice this is nothing like Until Dawn...

Unexpected 2016 Horror Developments

 

  • You might recall that last year the Five Nights At Freddy's series made our “most overyhyped” list, but this year's entry FNAF: Sister Location was an unexpected gem. It wasn't without some big flaws for sure – night 4 still has people in screaming rage fits – but its easily the best one to arrive so far and the most worth actually playing and not just watching playthroughs.

  • Causing a major kink in this year's horror gaming schedule, Outlast 2 getting pushed back from a Halloween release to Q1 2017 was among the biggest disappointments, but developer Red Barrels thankfully didn't leave us hanging.

  • Quitely releasing demo showing off the main direction of the story and allowing fans to play through an extremely tense corn field chase, Outlast 2 simultaneously was and wasn't the best thing to arrive on the horror landscape this year.

 

Calling it now - this will be the best found footage horror flick of 2017

Forecast For Horror In 2017

Next year is slated to be filled to the brim with top-tier releases both AAA and indie, assuming nothing get cancels or pushed back last minute as has been known to occur.

Giger is clearly a massive influence on many of the impending releases like Scorn and Inner Chains, and more than a few also delve into the depths of hell where horror belongs. Cosmic horror isn't getting left in the lurch either, as a proper Call Of Cthulhu follow-up is on the horizon.

A more complete look ahead and what's coming next year can be found right here.  

So while 2016 was a "weird" year in the horror gaming landscape, with much-anticipated games getting shuffled around and new-comers blowing are socks right off, let us know what your favorite horror game of 2016 was, and what you are most looking forward to arriving soon!

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