Action Henk takes the time trial fun of Trials, but replaces motorcycles with an out-of-shape action hero. Perfect for speedrunners, this platformer's addictive nature will have players repeatedly playing stages in order to shave precious seconds off of their time. It's a blast, and really opens up once the grappling hook is introduced.
This year's best twin-stick shooter wasn't a hyped release like Alienation, as indie standout Assault Android Cactus stole the show. This highly challenging title features co-op fun, and is best played with friends, but can also be completed solo. A colorful cast of characters, each with their own abilities, helps the game stay fresh from beginning to end.
It's easy to dismiss Carnival Games VR. After all, the series didn't have a great reputation on the Wii, but it delivers good fun on PlayStation VR. It doesn't provide a ton of depth as it instead opts to provide plenty of light-hearted fun, but sometimes that is exactly what is needed.
Role-playing games are looking to shine in 2017, but 2016 had quite a few good ones as well. One of which was Monochrome Corporation's Grand Kingdom, a turn-based title where positioning is key.It also has a unique focus on multiplayer, which is rarely explored in the genre. It's also available on Vita, if you prefer to play on the go.
Night School Studio's Oxenfree was one of the year's best surprises. Composed of former Telltale staff, the studio managed to implement some of the most impressive interactive dialogue that has been seen in gaming. Oxenfree isn't just a technical feat, though, as it also tells a spooky story that will leave you thinking after the credits roll.
If Dark Souls III didn't leave you fully satisfied, then you should give Ska Studios' Salt and Sanctuary a try. This 2D take on FromSoftware's Souls series provides a highly rewarding experience. It even features local multiplayer, in case you want to go on a journey with a friend.
Zeke Virant's Soft Body is one of the coolest games released in 2016. The inventive action game has the player controlling two characters at once (a ghost and soft body). The game starts off simple, but after a few levels the game's iterative design starts to shine. Mechanics build upon each other, and it becomes a highly difficult & beautiful game. It's a must-play for people looking for something new or are fans of bullet hell titles.
Tharsis is basically Yahtzee set in space, except a bad dice roll might result in the deaths of your entire spaceship crew. This game is all about management and making difficult decisions, as players have to manage stress levels after a ship gets critically damaged. Only talented players will be able to survive, and the game deals with some brilliant themes.
Canadian developer Blue Isle Studios has improved a lot since they released Slender: The Arrival. Their second major release, Valley, is a first-person adventure game that has players using a "L.E.A.F. suit" to jump through the air. It looks gorgeous, and has an interesting story to discover.
Videoball is a game filled with much more depth than immediately meets the eye. Underneath its minimalistic aesthetic hides a highly complex, yet easy to pick-up, competitive multiplayer title. A mixture between air hockey and soccer, the game is some of the best fun players can have with friends, both online or locally.