Hello there! My esteemed colleague has published his 2016 GOTY list starting here, and I want you to take a look at his before reading any further. Here’s a list of games that didn’t make Gary’s list, because nobody really wants to hear another nerd raving on about Overwatch. Read his? Good. Let’s begin.

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Darkest Dungeon

Platforms PC, PS4, PSV
Developer Red Hook Studios
Publisher Red Hook Studios
Release Date January 19, 2016

Darkest Dungeon is a psychological horror game the likes of which I’ve rarely seen. It manages that rare feat of putting you through as much hell as your characters (comparatively) as they navigate dungeons full of eldritch wossnames, suffering all manner of mental afflictions in the process. What really made the game stand out for me was the narrator; his deep, charismatic voice and eloquent, doom-laden contributions often sent shivers down my spine, enhancing the experience immeasurably. Check out my review here.

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Four Sided Fantasy

Platforms PC
Developer Ludo Land
Publisher Curve Digital
Release Date August 30, 2016

Four Sided Fantasy is an absolute gem of a platform puzzler. I couldn’t wait for this to be released after commandeering the EGX booth, and the anticipation paid off. Beautifully drawn, expertly designed levels combined with the evolving screen-wrap mechanic culminates in a game well worth a couple hours of your time. Cast your eyes over my review here for more.

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Stellaris

Platforms PC
Developer Paradox Development Studio
Publisher Paradox Interactive
Release Date May 9, 2016

Stellaris is, quite simply, one of the very best grand strategy games I’ve ever played. Certainly one of my favourite games to come out in the last few years, the setting Paradox have provided for you to tell your story in is fantastic. The best thing about Stellaris, aside from the devs continually updating and providing new content, is the fact that when you begin a game, you end up having a role to play – whether you’re technophiles, war-mongers, terraforming slavers, it’s incredibly satisfying to play up to certain characteristics of your race. A shining star of the year for me, you can see more in my review.

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Job Simulator

Platforms Vive, PSVR (reviewed)
Developer Owlchemy Labs
Publisher Owlchemy Labs
Release Date April 5, 2016 (Vive)
October 13, 2016 (PSVR)

Job Simulator has no right being as fun as it is. An example of how VR can turn a simple concept into a hilarious, fun and addictive experience, Gary and I spent a considerable amount of time taking turns with this one. Rarely for us, we went out of our way to 100% complete the game, and in fairness we want more. Much more. Please, Owlchemy. More. Gary’s review is just a click away.

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Event[0]

Platforms PC
Developer Ocelot Society
Publisher Ocelot Society
Release Date September 14, 2016

Event[0] is a walking simulator puzzle game with a unique, interesting gameplay mechanic. You’re alone in outer space, your ship is destroyed, and you’ve reached a strangely abandoned spacecraft. Your only companion is the ship’s AI, Kaizen-85. What’s great about Event[o] is that you progress through the game by actually typing out conversations with Kaizen. With reportedly over two million lines of dialogue to respond with, your interactions feel organic, with Kaizen’s behaviour reacting to how you speak to it. This is ridiculously immersive, and definitely a top pick of mine for the last year. I wanted to review the game but, embarrassingly, I’m stuck. Sorry.

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Tyranny

Platforms PC
Developer Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher Paradox Interactive
Release Date November 10, 2016

A spiritual sequel to 2015’s excellent Pillars of Eternity, Tyranny is a cRPG in which you’re the bad guy. Evil has won, the land is conquered, and you’re the enforcer of tyrant Kyros’ law. What you do from then on is up to you, from ruling with a steel fist or insidiously manipulating events as you desire. Or murdering everyone. Everyone. I bloody loved Tyranny, and while it has its faults, I’m looking forward to making the time to play it more and more. You can see our review here.

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