Gaming year in review: 2016

January 14th, 2017

I normally have my gaming year in review up earlier, but I had a hard time filling it out this time! 2016 was a weird year for me when it came to gaming. I barely played any single player games, and I didn’t really touch my consoles. Most of the games I played were indie and/or multiplayer ones for the game days that my husband and I have been holding at our house. I really didn’t work on my backlog as much as I would have liked!

As usual, this is my annual review of games I played in 2016. I only count games I haven’t played before, remakes, and ones with large updates. (I don’t count any replays.)

Let’s start with my favorites! These are of the games I played in 2016, which may or may not have been released that year.

Favorite Single Player: Kirby Planet Robobot
Well, this is the first time I didn’t pick a major PC title as my favorite. Planet Robobot really shined as one of the best Kirby games and one of the best 3DS games I’ve played. It keeps an old school Kirby feel as a side scrolling platformer where you steal powers, but it adds a new element with the mech, which can also use enemy powers. The boss fights are better than previous Kirby games, and it uses the 3D in clever ways. I actually wanted to turn on the 3D for this one!


Favorite Multiplayer: Towerfall Ascension
Towerfall is a combat platformer where you try to kill each other with limited amount of arrows (which you can pick back up), and items will also appear. In most games, someone gets good enough to keep winning, but Towerfall is so well designed, that it feels balanced each time. This has become a definite favorite in our game nights that we’re able to play it over and over.


Favorite Indie/Download: Unravel
I played so many good indie games last year that this was really hard to choose. In the end, I picked Unravel because it was so memorable for me. It’s is a beautiful platformer with creative uses of yarn. You use the yarn in different ways to get through levels, and as you’re going through the game, you are viewing someone’s story. It’s filled with both happy and sad moments, making this a very bittersweet game.


Here are the rest of the games I played in 2016!
(* = I beat the game. | ~ = There’s no ending, but I played a lot of it.)

3DS (3)

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
I started this in 2015 and played more in 2016. In the beginning, I loved unlocking new furniture and getting different themes to decorate for. After a while, I started to get requests that were practically repeats, so I lost interest. I still recommend the game, but after a while, the appeal is lost.

Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
Like above, I also started this in 2015 with my husband and mother-in-law, and we continued it in 2016. Though it’s pretty fun, it’s not as strong as other Zelda games. We played it a bit more and then sort of lost interest.

* Kirby: Planet Robobot
See above.

PC (23)

Battleblock Theater
My husband and I played the co-op mode, which is nice, casual fun. We like that the levels required cooperation to get around and are quick to finish, though the controls and attacking feel kind of awkward.

~ Crawl
Crawl is a dungeon crawler, in which only one person is the protagonist and everyone else is an enemy. Killing the current protagonist lets you take the person’s place until you’re killed off too. It’s an interesting concept, but I wish each run didn’t take so long.

* Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
I first played Diablo III when it came out and then again for Reaper of Souls. This time, I went back during Season 8 to try out the new updates that have come out since. The end content is so addicting! I love running rifts and greater rifts, and I think the updates have made the game even more fun.

Gang Beasts
Probably the most awkward controls I’ve played with. That’s part of why it’s funny because no one truly knows what they’re doing, and everyone’s bodies are just flailing around. I get tired of it quickly though, so I’m not a fan.

* Just Cause 3
Just Cause 2 is one of my favorite games, so I was super excited for Just Cause 3. The graphics are beautiful, and the wing suit and multiple tethers are amazing additions. However, it felt a bit lacking compared to JC2. I liked that it felt more manageable, but the missions were a bit of a let down. Still had a great time in this though.

~ Hidden in Plain Sight
Like the name, it comes with various modes where you’re trying to figure out who in the crowd is a player and who is a NPC. At the same time, you’re trying to figure out who you are in the crowd too. The game lacks polish, but the modes are really funny.

~ Jackbox Party Pack
This is a funny game where you use your phone as the controller! It comes with multiple games, but really, we just play Fibbage and Drawful. The first is where you try to make convincing lies and the other is like pictionary. This is a great game to break out when there’s lots of people over.

~Jackbox Party Pack 2
The second party pack is the same idea but with new game modes. From this one, we really like Quiplash where you’re pitted against each other to see who writes the best response to the prompts.

Jackbox Party Pack 3
And another Jackbox! This one is surprisingly good though. Most of the time, we only like one or two games, but most of #3 is solid. Our favorite is Murder Trivia Party, which is both trivia and mini games.

~ Knight Squad
We love that this game can support 8 players, which we wish more games would do! It’s a Bomber-man style game with multiple modes. It’s nice that the game is easy to pick up since the controls are easy, and the goals for each mode are simple.

* Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
This is a cooperative game, where you man a spaceship together to rescue animals. With the right people, this game is really fun and really makes you work together. We loved how it worked as a co-op, and the graphics are so cute.

~ Move or Die
This one has a very Warioware feel to it because you play a bunch of short mini games in succession, all of which have an objective you have to do while constantly moving (otherwise your health drains). It’s a nice way to play a bunch of quick and fun games!

Push Me Pull You
One of the weirder versus games we have! It’s 2v2, but each team controls opposite ends of the same worm-like body. It’s super weird as you crawl around and try to wrestle a ball to your side. It’s funny at first but gets old quickly.

* Never Alone
A beautiful game that’s focused on telling an Inupiat story and educating you about their culture. It’s a puzzle platformer where you control both Nuna and the fox, but the game mechanics and controls are very clunky and glitchy. I like its intent, but it’s hard to see past the poor gameplay.

It’s a fencing game with a tug of war feel. The goal is to reach the far end of the map, but the only way to advance is to kill the other player. It’s a cool idea, but we lose interest quickly and switch to another game.

* Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori is another beautiful game that is a mix of a platformer and Metroid-style, which has a ton of backtracking. It’s a good challenge, but some parts seem to have pacing and difficulty balance issues. Overall, it’s still a good experience that I’d recommend.

* Overcooked
Overcooked is a hectic cooking game for up to 4 players. You have to serve up orders quickly but each level has a weird “gotcha” that makes it difficult. We thought it was really fun with 4 players at first, but the levels eventually get too chaotic with 4 people to do it well. We ended up doing most of them as 2 players half-way through.

Samurai Gunn
This is a multiplayer combat platformer, which we only played briefly. It’s because we realized it was very similar to Towerfall Ascension but not as polished.

~ SpeedRunners
The goal is to be the jerk that runs ahead and leaves people behind, which is super fun and addicting to both play and watch. The characters are also hilarious, and it’s a favorite at our game nights.

~ Towerfall Ascension
See above.

Tricky Towers
Though it uses Tetris pieces, it’s really not very Tetris-like. It’s more of an engineering game, where you are trying to balance pieces to either make a sturdy structure or race to make the tallest. It’s a fun versus game once you get the hang of it!

~ Ultimate Chicken Horse
Think of it as a platformer, but you collaborate on building a level with your enemies. Each person gets to place one piece on the course per round, and the goal is to make a course you can finish but will kill the others. The graphics are adorable, and we end up with a different level each time. This is always a crowd favorite at our game nights.

* Unravel
See above.

Virtual Reality (3)

The Lab
This comes free with the Vive, and it’s really well done. (Of course, thats expected from Valve.) It has many VR modes – some are just exploratory and some are shooting – to ease you into the VR experience.

Job Simulator
The idea behind this game is that the future is just run by robots, and you do simulations to see what life was like back when there were humans. Even though it sounds boring, its a funny game with a lot of jokes. You can get away with doing a lot of stupid things.

Budget Cuts
Another game that is named in a boring way but isn’t one. We have an early version of it, so it’s not complete yet. You have to sneak around an office filled with human killing robots, and it’s kind of freaky to do stealth in VR.

That is 29 total! Unlike 2015, I didn’t hit my gaming goals in 2016, which was to play 30 games, buy less than 15 games, and to bring my backlog down to 40. However, I want to keep these goals since I know they’re do-able (and I’ve achieved the first two in the past). Maybe 2017 is the year I bring down my backlog!

10 Responses to “Gaming year in review: 2016”

  • Tara says:

    You did way more gaming than I did in 2016! I only continued to play this one PC yaoi visual novel game (didn’t finish) and replay Hakuouki on my PSP and another yaoi visual novel on the PC — so a grand total of 3 games for me! Your 29 games are pretty good :D

    Unravel sounds intriguing. I am not certain if I’ll ever play it myself, but the yarn concept caught my attention! Kirby keeps popping up on my friend’s blog. I’ve actually never played a Kirby game, come to think of it. Platform games aren’t really my kind of game, but I should at least give it a try and see if I’ll like Kirby and compare it to Mario XD;

    Good luck with your gaming goals this year! Hope you’ll bring down your backlog! ^^

  • Kya says:

    Wow, I am impressed by your gaming skills in 2016! :D Even though you didn’t play as many as you might have before, I hope you still enjoyed them. :D

  • Georgie says:

    Ugh you were one game off! Haha! Oh well. You did really well!

    It sounds like you came across some really interesting games, the weirdest one to me was Push Me Pull You. ? It even has the sound of an indie game to me. The Overcooked one sounds like it was a lot of fun, even though it was challenging.

    I don’t game anymore buuuuut I am keen for the new Crash Bandicoot…!! If you try it when it comes out I’d be keen to hear your thoughts. ?

  • Rezina says:

    Wow look at all those games! I’m seriously impressed.

    Aside from Kirby Planet Robobot, I also own Ori and the Blind Forest. I haven’t finished it even though I’ve owned it for a few months now, but the graphics are so pretty, the storyline is heart-touching (is that a word lol) and I love the music!

    I’m excited to hear about all the great new games that you play this year!

  • Michelle says:

    I’ve just been playing Danganronpa and its whole series this last year in 2016. I’m playing the Persona series and LOVE it. I started with 3, and I am almost done!

    That’s an awesome list!

  • Elisa says:

    Oh crap! i forgot to play Unravel! i wasted 2016 playing and investing my time into Ubisoft’s The Division, which is an online 3rd person RPG shooter kind of game. i also purchased Ori and The Blind Forest Definitive Edition and have been replaying it ever since (i played the non-definitive edition first) and i’m sooo happy that you played Ori too! i personally like Ori better than Child of Light – very controversial, i know lol. and then there’s me replaying dragon age inquisition too and trying out the new mirror’s edge catalyst (but still haven’t completed it)

    it’s amazing how you play A LOT and on different platforms too. i can only play games on my PC because i’m too poor for consoles, lol (not that i want any, though but eh, a PS4 is nice…because FINAL FANTASY XVI AND THE UPCOMING KINGDOM HEARTS 2.8 / 3 PLEASE) i haven’t been playing a lot as i used to mainly because i don’t have that strong interest in any game, at least not right now. i remember gaming so intensely last year (in 2015, for instance) because i had games to be excited for! (e.g. the bioshock trilogy, best shizz ever URGH)

    i’m not sure if you know but i’m currently waiting for We Happy Few, an indie stealth game that gives off this bioshock vibe. it’s still in alpha stage though and i can’t wait for it to be fully done. oh and of course, there’s dishonored 2 but i can’t afford the game yet and i have to wait for *cough*torrent*cough*

  • Pauline says:

    I really enjoyed reading your top games for 2016! It has reminded me to start playing again and doing less work and more relaxing me time haha.

    I haven’t heard most on your list (yikes, used to be good at this!) but I absolutely loved Battleblock Theater last year. I think of the few games I played it was my favourite, such cute, witty characters and a lovely story! I always laughed at the narration. I love Gang Beasts too – hilarious when you play with friends.

  • Amy says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of different games! It takes me forever to complete a game, so I also have too many to finish. I think I need to spend more time playing this year!

    I really want to buy Kirby Planet Robobot, as I’ve heard so many great things about it and I love Kirby! I might have to put that next on my to-buy list. And I still haven’t played Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes yet, even though I was planning to buy it last year.

    Good luck bringing your backlog down this year. That sounds like a really difficult goal!

  • Nancy says:

    Playing multiplayer games are fun when you’re teaming up with someone to get through the storyline/progression. Planet Robobot looks like a cute game1 I love how the Nintendo games get better over the years while keeping the same theme going on.

    Townfall Ascension looks like a challenging game with having to pick up the arrows and jump around XD. I feel like you would need to have a correct precision for jumping distance to get to another platform @___@. I keep telling myself that I need to try out an indie game one of these days but I need to find more time XD.

    I heard a good handful of the games you’ve listed but only played Diablo III XD. The two VR games look pretty interesting. Haha, I would think if I am tired from work, I would avoid working games XD. Though, Budget Cuts look like a super hands-on game with needing to do the stealthy ninja stuff. You went close to your goal, so you did good! :)

  • Liv says:

    AHH! You’re so close to your goal! How many games did you buy this year? I am reminded that I didn’t even complete my goal of finishing 12 indie games last year! I played Never Alone in 2015 and it was absolutely gorgeous, though I agree it was kind of clunky. I want to play Ori and the Blind Forest and Unravel next! I bought Just Cause 2 for $2 – I think you recommended it, in fact – and I have yet to try it, but it sounds really exciting.

    I think Triforce Heroes is the first Zelda game I completely boycotted, which is huge, but it just didn’t appeal to me.

    I want Kirby Planet Robobot! I’ve been looking for a good Kirby game to get myself into the series – I’ve only played the yarn game and a few oldies which I didn’t really enjoy, but I think Robobot looks so cool!

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