Mon. Nov 28th, 2022

Andrew Cunningham houdt mogelijk meer van <em>Dragon Quest Builders</em> than of his own life.”/><figcaption class=

Andrew Cunningham loves Dragon Quest Builders possibly more than he loves his own life.

Square Enix

Our recent list of the 20 best games of 2016 is a great overview of the editors’ collective opinions on the best-crafted and most immersive interactive entertainment of the year. But, like every year, there were quite a few other games that stood out to individual editors, even if for some reason they didn’t deserve a full review in the Game of the Year piece.

To give some of those personal gaming passions their due, we present this list of the “Best of the Rest” games of 2016, as chosen by some of our editors. They may not be perfect, but these games have all struck a chord with someone on our staff, and they can strike a chord with you too.

Dragon Quest Builders

like a lifetime dragon quest fanatic and dilapidated Minecraft obsessive, loved that Square Enix came out Dragon Quest Builders in North America exclusively for me. dragon quest games, with their intentionally idiosyncratic menus and dated mechanics, tend to appeal most to those who already like dragon quest games (see: Dragon Quest VII). But to my surprise I found in Dragon Quest Builders a really fun title that encourages exploration and creativity of Minecraft by setting concrete goals and boundaries.

dragon quest fans will probably still get the most out of the game, given all the calls to older games in the franchise. But even if you walk in? Builders Completely ignorant of the series’ legacy, you get a light but still compelling story, distinctive monster designs from Akira Toriyama, solid inventory management that streamlines collecting and crafting, enough variety to keep the game consistently interesting, and a fitting soundtrack from Koichi Sugiyama’s work on all NES games in the franchise.

Builders‘ checks probably make it not a perfect game. Placing and destroying blocks in third person can feel clunky and slow until you get used to it, and there’s not much of a first person view to switch to. And the combat—although I liked it more than our reviewer did—mostly feels like what you’d get from the swordplay of the Zelda series circa Link to the past and brought it into a 3D world without changing anything. But if you’re looking for a fun way to spend 10 or 15 hours, or if you’re looking for a good game for kids who will appreciate the cartoonish graphics and forgiving difficulty,Builders is a solid investment.
-Andrew Cunningham

furic

Not many games manage to stay as pure as furic does from start to finish. The game is a near-perfect practice in refined execution where you slice and shoot your way from one totally unique boss fight after another. Memorizing their patterns, skills, and openings until your brain turns to mush is the only way forward, but once you’re done, you’ll know how to beat them with your eyes closed.

It also has a banging soundtrack and beautiful character design by Takashi Okazaki (from Afro Samurai fame). All the pieces flow together in a way that feels both effortless and meticulously shaved to the tightest possible shape. The fact that this gem came seemingly out of nowhere – so that most of the people who played it had no idea what to expect – makes it all the more magical.
-Steven Strom

Ladykiller in a Bind

Many people (not all, but many) love sex. Less eager to admit, or engage in public with that fact. Those who play Ladykiller in a Bind don’t really have a choice. Or rather, they have many choices, but they all have to do with sex.

Developer Love Conquers All’s visual novel makes navigating sex an active part of the experience. It’s not just your typical Bioware pander-and-release sex scene. You choose how you treat your partners in the act the same way other games ask you to decide who lives and who dies.

However, the game isn’t nearly as dramatic as all that. It’s a sex comedy that recognizes how crazy we act, look and sound in the bedroom and in the process of getting there. As such, the execution feels more powerful than the silly tale of horny young adults screwing each other both physically and socially.
-Steven Strom

Stardew Valley

I am not a fan of sandbox or simulation games. I play them for 10 or 20 hours, but then I get bored and go to another game. But in March of this year, after one of my writers gushed about it, I bought Stardew Valley and everything changed.

After it soon became apparent that stardew something special, I told all my gaming friends to go and buy it too. Within a few days there were ten of us, all of whom were happily burping our evenings peacefully.

For a game that is ostensibly a farming simulator, there is a remarkable amount of content and depth to it stardew. There’s enough exploration, leveling, character development, and storyline to keep you busy for at least 30 or 40 hours, but that can easily add up to 100 hours or more if you really invest some time in the farming rut – which I did.

There’s something very soothing about these kinds of games: being the boss, doing things at your own pace. Stardew Valley builds on the genre’s foundations with beautiful art and music to create one of the most idyllic games I’ve ever played. That pastoral calm, combined with surprisingly deep characters and relationships, and a lot of emotional stories, create a game that is heartwarmingly wonderful. It was the most pleasant experience I had while gaming this year.
-Sebastian Anthony

That Dragon, Cancer

In some respects That Dragon, Cancer is not so much a game as it is a catharsis for a man stricken with grief. But to write it off as another “walking simulator” as some in the gaming community might put it, you’re missing out on one of the most honest, personal, and devastating experiences ever played in pixels.

Based on the largely true story of parents Ryan and Amy Green and their toddler son Joel, That Dragon, Cancer follows the family’s suffering through Joel’s cancer therapy and tells the story through colorful abstract images, heartbreaking letters, and intimate conversations between characters.

That Dragon, Cancer touches on a deep subject, from death—and the fear, sorrow, and sadness that come with it—to how religion plays a role in coping with life’s darkest moments. It’s heavy and dry eyes are rare, but That Dragon, Cancer is one of those games where you feel all the richer because you’ve been through it. The game is a great example of how diverse the medium has become.
-Mark Walton

Ultimate chicken horse

Super Mario Maker may have sneaked a wonderful single-player campaign into its new 3DS version in December, but the portable game’s lack of online play is too much of an issue to pass up. Instead, let’s shine a spotlight on a lovely-as-shameless Mario Maker tribute: Ultimate chicken horse.

Which form should be competitive, multiplayer Super Mario Maker to take? UCH responds with great confidence by giving each of his players (up to four, and you want four) the chance to add or remove a single element from a side-scrolling level at the start of each of his rounds. Your group’s choice of extra items starts off simple enough – floating platforms, spinning windmills – but crazier, bolder items soon appear. The group is penalized if levels are too easy or too hard, so players are organically encouraged to make a level that is just hard enough without too many spiky floors, murderous cannons, or disappearing blocks.

If that’s not fun enough for you, the dev team at Clever Endeavor has been working hard since launch to add level sharing content and online multiplayer to this game, and kudos to you for that. For me, I’m sold enough to the core game of friends on a couch terrorizing each other with on-the-fly platformer torture.
-Sam Machkovech

Worms Weapons of Mass Destruction

wormsthe turn-based, strategic war game that’s been around for two decades, got another modern makeover this year – easily the best release yet for the series. Worms Weapons of Mass Destruction closed the classes, puzzles and constructions of Revolution and Clan Wars in favor of the simple 2D, cartoonish delights of Worms Armageddon. That means sitting down with friends, ramping up the match settings, then maniacally launching as you crush their puny little worms with a disastrous concrete easel.

There are some twists to the classic formula. A crafting system allows you to craft even more terrifying weapons (favorites include the “Super Flatulence Sheep” and the ever-helpful “Triple Barrel Shotgun”), there are vehicles such as helicopters and mech suits that can be used to deal serious damage aiming, and buildings add a small element of stealth and protection to the already strategic gameplay. There are countless ways to blow things up in Worms Weapons of Mass Destructionand they are all very nice.

The most important is, Worms Weapons of Mass Destruction nails the physics of those classics worms games – the way a bazooka grenade dives just before impact, the way a grenade always bounces the wrong way, the way an air strike always leaves a lone worm unscathed. The custom match creation system means no two matches are ever the same, if you don’t want to be, thanks to a huge range of options that let you do everything from the number of worms on the field to the percentage of powerful weapon crate drops.

No other game, except maybe Team17’s Overcooked, this year was more fun to play with my other half. Be prepared for some fights afterwards if you win (which I do) always).
-Mark Walton

By akfire1

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