You’ve already heard about the big ones, Overwatch and the like, but we wanted to spotlight to some smaller titles that you may have missed in 2016 and also deserve your love.
Before we begin the main list, I should give a best and worst before the main list. I can’t decide between SUPERHOT and INSIDE. Play them if you have the money! Both are strangely beautiful in their own ways and show how you can still innovate in seemingly “stale” genres. If you want the worst game of the year, it’s FleetCOMM. Seven months since release and it hasn’t been updated. Add that with the developer losing most of the data for the game, and you’ve got an awful game that’ll stay awful thanks to incompetence. If you buy this game, I would suggest rethinking what brought you to that moment in time. With that bizarre paragraph out of the way, let’s check what you missed out on!
While I didn’t play a lot of Devil Daggers, there’s a purity in the game that can’t be ignored. It’s a horde game against demonic entities while you’re only armed with one weapon. Like all good wave-based titles, it’s not about winning but prolonging the inevitable. I’m a sucker for old school shooters (I spent many hours playing Unreal Tournament as a kid) so this definitely scratches that itch if I’m in the mood to practice. Give it a shot if you love low poly shooting like I do.
I plan to write about this game in the future because of how much it intrigues me. It’s a narrative title (part of the “dreaded” walking sim genre) that chooses to tell its story without any dialogue. Rather, it tells it story through the lens of film cuts, cross-fades, all the tools of the cinematic trade. It streamlines the process of other walking sims, and it isn’t afraid of forcing you to piece the story together yourself. Add that with the surreal influences of David Lynch, and you’ve got a mystery that always makes you think. I’m not afraid to say it’s a flawed game and how it doesn’t succeed with its loftier goals. But throughout the year, my mind always returned to Virginia. If you want a great example of the interestingly flawed, you can’t get better than this short title.
This was 2016’s biggest surprise for me. Take a puzzle game that loves to add new mechanics, drench it in a bloody homage to 80s slashers, and you’ve got a damn good time. The goal of the game is simple: be a slasher villain and slash who you can. I might be a sucker for VHS aesthetics like the rest of us, but it’s the puzzles that really grabbed me. Each “film” adds new mechanics that add that tiny bit of complexity that's never overwhelming. Whenever I never know what to do, I just revel in some silly violence and enjoyable brain-teasers. Definitely, pick it up if you want an addicting puzzle game.
This has been such a great year for games that I’ve missed a lot of interesting titles throughout the year. It’s the curse of being a critic: There are more amazing games you can never try due to the deadlines and discussions that come from the gig. My second resolution for the New Year (next to “don’t be such a dick”) is to play these three games in 2017.
This might be cheating because we have a review of Stardew Valley on the site, but I didn’t write that. I really wanted to play it for awhile now, and now I own it! I love games that explore some level of normalcy and I always feel we need more of them. I’ve never played a farming game before, so I’m excited to jump into Stardew Valley’s world when I can. Nothing exciting to add to that, except that I’m ready to plant all the carrots in the world.
Oh hey, it’s a walking simulator that’s actually a walking simulator! I know everyone did that joke already, but it’s definitely something up my alley. Beautiful wilderness, mysteries, and a focus on a main relationship? Sign me up! I am so in the dark with this game that I just want to find out what happens without some bloke spoiling it for me. I can’t wait to give it a shot when the stars line up
Ladykiller in a Bind
Can I go on a limb here and say that games are bad with sex? We usually treat it as a reward or a needless addition to M-rated titles. Christine Love plans to change that. Ladykiller in a Bind has been notable for not just its explicit sexuality and its exploration of consensual BDSM, but its execution of the subject. This game has been praised by developers such as Davey Wreden of The Stanley Parable fame for its frankness with sexuality whilst having surprisingly smart mechanics for a visual novel. I’ll definitely write about this in the future with each sentence ending with “I’m not a pervert, honest”.
With all the titles that came out this year, are there any you wish people talked about more? I’ve got a series here that’s all about that's called Late to the Party. Feel free to send us requests in the comments, or talk to us on Facebook and Twitter. Last, but not least, have a wonderful new year from all of us at DVS Gaming. We hope 2017 will be an uplifting time for you all.