2016 has been quite a year in gaming. As gamers, we have been privy to gaming achievements such as Uncharted 4, Final Fantasy XV, The Last Guardian, Overwatch, Battlefield 1 and countless other massive games. In a year like 2016 though, it is easy to miss some of the other incredible games that have come out. Here is Bit Cultures’ Top 10 games you may have missed in 2016.
10. The Final Station
The Final Station is an amazing game that is not very well made in a couple ways. The core of the game involves alternately desperately trying to keep a broken down train running to searching a wasteland brimming with infected, read zombies, for food, ammo, and medicine, is really well done. Over the course of the game the mysteries surrounding the infected and their origin and nature of society’s response to them unfold through environmental storytelling which, it must be said, is a bit hit and miss. That tale is so chilling and the way it unfolds is so riveting that it makes overlooking the many flaws of the game’s interface and localization possible. The Final Station is a deeply flawed game that is also definitely worth a look.
9. 1979 Revolution: Black Friday
1979 Revolution: Black Friday won the Grand Jury Award at this year’s IndieCade in October and it has become probably even more relevant since then. The game is an adventure game in the Telltale style of focussing on storytelling and conversation over puzzle solving set in the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the aftermath of that event. The story of the game jumps back and forth between the events of the Revolution and events several years later which serves to both explain an event that not many gamers may know much about and the unintended consequences of that event. In a time when a lot of people are uncertain and anxious about certain political events and their consequences a game like 1979 Revolution: Black Friday resonates incredibly strongly. In addition to all this the game is terrifically well made and compelling on its own merits.
When it comes to the phenomenon of “Just one more turn” syndrome few games without the word civilization in their title can hold a candle to Stellaris. The game is a space empire simulator that lets players customize every aspect of their space empire and the species that makes up that empire. Everything from the evolutionary background of your civilization to the look of your cities is customizable. And then there’s the game’s mechanics which are well polished and seemingly designed to lull the human psyche into a state that allows the passing of massive amounts of time to go unnoticed. Stellaris has everything anyone could want from an empire simulator and is still being supported with free add on content seven months after it’s release. Check it out.
7. I am Setsuna
I am Setsuna may not have been completely underappreciated, but during its initial release it was only JRPG gamers and fans of Chrono Trigger (myself included) giving the game the recognition it deserves.
I Am Setsuna is a JRPG that brings back the classic vibe of the 90s, with Chrono Trigger being an obvious inspiration. Everything from the beautiful, piano laden soundtrack all the way down to the X Slash attack the developers worked in feel as though they belong on the SNES. It’s not the most difficult game in the world and it definitely has its issues, but it is an excellent game to return gamers back to the days of yore and also introduce new gamers to classic JRPG gaming.
6. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
- JRPG focussing on teenage JPOP idols – Check
- A game that borrows from two niche JRPG franchises – Check
- Went through development hell, only to completely change in the end – Check
- Wii U exclusive – Check
With all of this, it’s not difficult to see just why Tokyo Mirage Sessions failed to hit the gaming spotlight upon its release (outside of the censorship debacle that is).
Still, Tokyo Mirage Sessions is actually a gem of a JRPG. It’s filled to the brim with charm and packs a compelling battle system that lends well from its parent franchises. On top of this it’s just an upbeat game (no pun intended). It plays to the hearts of those who aren’t phased by the over-the-top presentation and ‘Oh Japan’ vibes the game throws at the player in droves, thriving on it instead.