长文分析：Raph Koster 谈2017年的最佳游戏设计
长文分析：Raph Koster 谈2017年的最佳游戏设计
原作者：Raph Koster 译者：Willow Wu
之前有说过2017年我最喜欢的游戏是What Remains of Edith Finch，但是还有些游戏我也很喜欢，于是这篇文章就给大家做个推荐，谈谈我为什么喜欢这些游戏。
我一年下来能玩大大小小100多个游戏，但是大部分都是年末假期时候玩的，我可以坐在屏幕前一天花8个小时玩游戏。就算我很喜欢某个游戏通常我也只玩一遍，我的游戏完成率太差了。但是我通关了Gorogoa、 Edith Finch和《老人之旅》，主要原因是它们的流程都比较短。因此，请记住：对我来说“最喜欢”的意思就是“在设计上令我着迷”而并不一定是“最好玩”。你可以把这个推荐清单看作是“游戏设计师应该玩的游戏”。
·Doki Doki Literature Club
·Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy
这是一个和挫折有关的游戏，但是玩这个这游戏就是个挫折。开发者设计出了一大堆超难驾驭的游戏机制（这就是Bennett Foddy本人的设计特色，你看QWOP也是），但是关卡都经过了精心调整，算是相当精巧了。作为一个玩家，我也许会玩一段时间然后就放弃了，我懂这个设计思路，但是我玩得实在是太差。网上有个竞速游戏社区可能会喜欢这个游戏，完成这个不太可能通关的游戏。我觉得Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy甚至可以促使玩家自发建立一个“完美通关小组”。我自己也是一直很想再玩一遍，争取比较好的成绩。还有一点，Getting Over It还会在游戏中跟玩家说话，告诉你放弃不是什么坏事。这一meta机制深得我心。
2017年很多人关注的是塞尔达和马里奥新作，但我认为Golf Story也是一款值得花时间的好游戏。（我能说Switch的首年表现令人惊喜万分吗？世嘉Dreamcast之后我大概就没有这么兴奋过了。）虽然是个偏冷门的RPG游戏但趣味十足，高尔夫部分丝毫不逊色于热门手游Golf Clash。游戏完成度高，节奏好，挑战机制有特色，跟一般的RPG游戏不一样。总之，是个非常对我胃口的冷门游戏，设计得很有意思。游戏中的高尔夫比赛和现实中的差不多，但是为了增加深度，游戏中还加入了地鼠，它们会偷走你的球而且行动敏捷。顺便说下，《塞尔达传说:旷野之息》应该参考下Golf Story的装备栏系统。
用一个最合适的词语来形容这个游戏——艺术。Gorogoa是一款让人惊艳的游戏，画面精美，整体连贯性非常强。谜题设计十分巧妙，但实际上都遵循着同一种逻辑。Gorogoa的解谜部分非常出色，但是有些谜题出现了典型的“朦胧（obscurity）”问题，就是你完全不知道下一步该怎么办，只能把所有东西都试一遍直到你发现了正确的方法。这一切都是为了向玩家呈现出主人公对生命、死亡以及记忆的思考，会让人联想到Edith Finch。刚玩不久的时候我还担心这游戏的发展有些过于单一了，然而我玩到第三个果实的时候我就不这么想了。Gorogoa还让我想起了Mac的经典老游戏The Fool’s Errand。这游戏也是今年我最喜欢的五个游戏之一。
·Gravity Rush 2（《重力异想世界2》）
又一个对我胃口的冷门游戏，而且我没有玩第一部。游戏开场令人熟悉，首先就是催促主角快点行动，然后开始教程，你需要学会用地图进行探索（这部分比较无聊），接着就正式开始游戏了——这一款以基于重力操作的游戏，操作方式古怪但是挺有意思的。角色塑造出色，美术方面也很棒。但是关卡设计方面就有些差劲了，而且制服造型（主要是因为颜色、形状）增加了寻找角色的难度，玩家在做这些任务的时候可能会觉得挺恼火的。即使如此，在我看来这个日式RPG游戏还是有些独到之处。Gravity Rush 2算是一个“例外”的游戏，我会想要回到游戏中继续玩下去。
·Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice（《地狱之刃：苏纽尔的献祭》）
·Horizon Zero Dawn（《地平线：零之曙光》）
这游戏赞啊！像素画面漂亮、游戏控制精准、武器设定丰富又不会过于复杂。我很喜欢长剑，但是它很难挡住投掷过来的武器或者射过来的弓箭。区域机制结合关卡场景设计（门、平台、高度落差、陷阱等等）还有丰富的武器奖励、多人模式策略，玩家可以选择各种风格玩法，看你要攻还是守，它能让人从直观上感受到游戏的出色设计。我觉得Nidhogg 2要玩多人模式你才能感受到它的亮点。2017年有各种各样的格斗游戏，不用考虑，我觉得Nidhogg 2就是最好的那一个。
·Night in the Woods
有些人就是不愿意跟着热度走，像Doki Doki Literature Club还有这个游戏都是Tumblr的热门话题。但是你最好别错过Night in the Woods。平台游戏、节奏游戏以及冒险游戏三者合一， Night in the Woods的成功在于它的剧情——小镇的设定十分详细，有一堆迷人的角色，兼具幽默和感染力，而且他们对自己的性格有非常清晰的认识。游戏在执行方面之所以能这么出色还要归功于对话气泡的处理方式。如果有不满的地方可能就是对话背后藏着太多有趣的笑话，至少要对话三次才能把笑话都讲完，这样就有点啰嗦了。IP设计是吸引年轻玩家的重要元素之一：每个玩家几乎都能在Night in the Woods中找到自己认同的角色。开发者们真的需要多关注下这个方面，在竞争如此激烈的市场中，如果你能让玩家和角色建立起某种情感联系，那么你的产品就有了一个至关重要的优势。没有多少游戏可以像Night in the Woods这样让玩家对某个角色爱到心坎里去。
·Old Man’s Journey（《老人之旅》）
·Super Mario Odyssey（《超级马里奥：奥德赛》）
近期的马里奥游戏我都觉得不怎么好玩，但是这一部：1）非常吸引人 2）支线任务、谜题丰富 3）附身设定玩出了很多新花样。对于它获得的那些荣誉，绝对是实至名归！但是在我看来，《塞尔达传说:旷野之息》在设计和游戏的整体体验方面还是略胜一筹，这要归功于其丰富的玩法。《超级马里奥：奥德赛》主要还是经典的跳跃式谜题和简单的攻击方式，不需要资源管理。相较于《马里奥》明显的线性特征，《塞尔达》在游戏体验上更具有挑战性，但这也是一种艺术表现形式。双人模式也是一个加分项，而且它很有可能会成为马里奥游戏中的最大亮点。
·The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild（《塞尔达传说:旷野之息》）
一个可以任意探索的开放世界，但是你永远都不会迷路。游戏面面俱到，从基本动作到AI都不乏细节，拥有十分精密的模拟系统。简单的细节设定（比如耐力、声量、烹饪、服装）增加了游戏的深度。相比那些枪战类的开放世界游戏，《塞尔达传说:旷野之息》可以做到系统更加丰富但游戏整体精炼。我在上文有发了下牢骚，游戏的物品栏有点难用（真的，去看看 Golf Story是怎么设计的！），但是跟核心玩法比起来算是很小的问题了。最重要的是它给3A游戏的未来发展指出了一条可行之道——不要执着于原生内容，往模拟方向发展，让游戏更为贴近玩家。
·Uncharted: The Lost Legacy（《神秘海域：失落的遗产》）
近乎完美！画面精美、游戏指导几乎是无可挑剔、剧情也十分精彩。缺点就是：玩法上没什么特别之处，就跟这段时间玩过的游戏差不多。新的系统在陆地上发挥受限，在突发事件上跟其它类似的游戏（比如《塞尔达》）相形见绌。角色塑造饱满，对话也有挺多笑点，但不知道为什么我觉得West of Loathing中的火柴人有时候比这个游戏的情感渲染力更强。游戏的序幕缓缓拉开，呈现在玩家眼前的是城市中的集市，这时候你就能感受到3A游戏的场景制作技术已经发展到了如此高超的程度，还有高端游戏的发展趋势不再是充满枪炮与硝烟，而是会有更多“安静”的场景（指的是角色会在游戏中吐露心声），同时保持着高水准剧情。《神秘海域》的精华所在并不是解密或者是平台机制，更不是格斗部分，而是那些“安静”的表现手法。很少有人愿意去尝试打造这种体验，就算有，也比不上《神秘海域》。在一些设计圈子里，人们可能会对这种安静舒缓的体验不屑一顾，因为这些场景对开发者技术的要求并不高，这是妥妥的偏见。
如果我要对这篇文章附上免责声明，那么大概有一半的游戏我都需要标注，因为我认识它们的创作团队。这个游戏也是如此，出自我的朋友Frank Lantz之手。这是一个放置类游戏，你做的不是手工饼干，而是回形针。这也是一个AI主宰宇宙的故事。游戏的解锁、平衡方式比同类游戏复杂很多，在叙事方面也是颇具颠覆性。玩家们应该可以感觉到市场中的新式点击类游戏逐渐增多，Universal Paperclips的设计在这类游戏中算是相当前卫的。至于游戏体验，还是有不少地方需要改进，手游版本跟网页版本并没有多大区别。我希望有更多人来借鉴Frank的游戏，做出更新鲜、更有创意、用户体验更好的游戏。然而，如果你是为了赚钱而去开发这类游戏，那么我估计你是达不到Frank Lantz的这种哲学深度。
·West of Loathing
游戏基本上也是通过一系列任务和支线剧情展开，但它也是2017年最天马行空的游戏之一。游戏中有很多荒诞的地方——菜单中纯属摆设的“色盲模式”、收集粪便的工作、傻乎乎的行走复活节蛋、矿场关卡，甚至你选择的马都会对游戏产生戏剧性的影响，但是West of Loathing还是在一定程度上引起了人们对西部世界的共鸣。牧场主人的故事太感人了，后来出现的医生也是。这游戏对我来说是个大大的惊喜，游戏世界构建和剧情方面达到了《超级马里奥：奥德赛》的水准。
·Cinco Paus，因为它是Michael Brough的新游戏。
·Knowledge is Power（《知识就是力量》），PSN尝试利用手机代替手柄玩主机游戏。
·Space Pirate Trainer，混合型游戏，能玩得很过瘾，场景设计也很酷。
·SteamWorld Dig 2（《蒸汽世界2》），登上Switch平台的又一大作，游戏体验非常好。
·The Sexy Brutale，以一种全新的方式经历时间回溯。
·Tooth and Tail（《尾牙》），即时战略游戏还能这样设计。
I already posted about my favorite game of last year — What Remains of Edith Finch — but I liked a lot of other games last year too, so here are some recommendations and why I liked them.
I play well over a hundred games a year, for varying lengths of time, usually mostly right at the end of the year when I have time off and can devote it to sitting in front of a screen and playing for eight hours a day. Even the games I really enjoy, I often never get to go back to. My completion rate is terrible. Though this year, I did finish Gorogoa, Edith Finch, and Old Man’s Journey, mostly because they are short. So bear in mind that for me, “favorite” usually means “intrigued me from a design perspective” and not necessarily “had the most fun playing.” Think of this list as “games designers should play,” in my opinion.
These are just in alphabetical order, by the way, not ranked in any way.
I ended up considering this one of my favorite examples of pure design this year. The game takes on the challenge of defining a system – based on mouse movements – wherein circles grow and shrink. Sometimes they get bigger when you move up and smaller when you move down. Sometimes they grow and shrink based on your mousing speed. Your goal is to mouse a cursor around to reach an exit. There is little visual language tying the behavior of obstacles to the movement of the mouse, so you must approach each puzzle as learning a new system, yet one which is internally consistent with the ones you have learned previously. The game itself is then framed in its own visual language that encompasses all elements of the UI and basic structural stuff (level exits, etc). The extreme minimalist approach may turn off some, but I see it as a tough design challenge that was met excellently, and the way in which the game gradually teaches its own framework is actually quite reminiscent of and resonant with what Gorogoa is doing, without the narrative scaffolding.
Doki Doki Literature Club
This game is subversive. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to get to the twists that make it so, and I almost gave up before getting to them. The entire first third of the game is a pretty bog standard flirty visual novel thing, that I basically was clicking through as fast as possible, bored out of my skull. Then (spoilers!) a character suicide, glitching, and the metafictional aspects kicked in, and it got a lot more interesting. I hesitate to describe it more, because it really is more powerful when you encounter the twists yourself. Suffice to say, it blows up visual novel design in interesting ways, while critiquing the form itself (and its content preoccupations).
This is obviously a game as artistic statement, and it’s quite a powerful one. In this game, you play… everything. Embodying everything from virii to lizards to trees to continents to galaxies, you explore, and switch bodies, and you dance and sing. You can be a wedding ring or a quark or a herd of deer or superheated gas, and in doing so, feel the commonalities across everything there is. I feel like I have only scratched the surface of the total collection available, but I managed to cycle through what I think are all scales from the elemental to the cosmic. It’s mesmerizing and beautiful, and there are philosophy recordings as collectibles that add a lot. All in all, this felt like something beyond “game” to me, in that it’s not really systemically that fascinating despite its innovation; what systems are there are not intended as challenges really so much as conceptual notions that help you explore what is in the end a giant loop of connected content. This is really great game direction, hampered only by what feels like time and budget. I could quibble with the pacing at first, and the challenge of navigation once you are in 1d space, but all in all this delivers an experience that only our medium can really deliver. Don’t miss this one, it was definitely in my top five.
Here’s the thing… there’s a lot of Gang Beasts that is TERRIBLE. No controls explanations, not even good guidance on the menus. You can launch a multiplayer melee game with only you in it and be unable to really do anything. And yet… when you play this with other people it totally comes alive, with truly fresh brawl mechanics around grabbing hold, throws, climbing, and more. You play these doughy, floppy, goofy figures in an arena brawler. It’s basically a game where the awkwardness of the controls and physics themselves generate the humor. Interesting to contrast to plenty of recent fighting games, which takes themselves so so seriously and yet feel shallower (!) and to Nidhogg 2, where everything works together. Easily some of the most fun I’ve had in multiplayer recently.
Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy
Fundamentally, a game about frustration – and therefore about games. Maybe even about Cuphead. Foddy wrings a lot out of the deliberately challenging control mechanic (a design signature of Foddy’s, see QWOP), and the level design is really carefully tuned, rather exquisite actually. As a player, it maybe means I shelve the game after a while feeling like I got the point, because, well, I suck. But there’s an active speedrun community out there accomplishing what looks like the impossible. Play this to get a sense of the way in which some players can make a cult of perfect play execution. And I can’t shake the feeling that I should go back to it and try to get better…. Not to mention, the game itself talks to you (well, Foddy does through the game) telling you it’s quite OK to give up. As a meta-commentary, that works for me rather well.
A lot of attention went towards Zelda and Mario this year, but I think I have sunk just as many hours into Golf Story. (And can I say that the Switch first year line-up is astonishingly good, perhaps the best since the Dreamcast’s fabled library?). A real charmer that was a bit of a sleeper, this game manages to execute golf just about as well as hit mobile games like Golf Clash do, but wraps it in an RPG. The RPG is engaging and solid, the pacing is great, the challenges are fun and very different from typical RPG exercises… all in all, a sleeper for me, with some fun and engaging game design. The golf is fairly standard overall, swing meters and the like, but it does have stuff like gophers that steal the ball and even advanced controls, to add some depth. Also, Zelda: Breath of the Wild should have used this inventory system.
It’s art, in the best sense. The overall experience is mesmerizing, consistent, and gorgeous. The puzzles are clever yet proceed from inexorable logic. I give it a bit of a knock on the design side if only because it is basically a really amazing puzzle collection, and some of the puzzles end up vulnerable to the classic “obscurity” problem where you just have to try every possible combination before you notice something that you hadn’t tried in combination with something else. But it’s all in service of delivering a lovely meditation on life, mortality, and memory that resonates beautifully in connection with Edith Finch. At first I was concerned that it was overly linear as well, but around the third fruit it opened up. It reminded me of the old Mac classic The Fool’s Errand a bit. Also one of my top five for the year.
Gravity Rush 2
A sleeper for me – I didn’t play the original. We get an evocative opening, followed by a tense rush and movement tutorial, and after a moderately dull “learn the map” exploration sequence, the game unveils a really fun and weird gravity-based control scheme set in an world that draws from some of the better choices for anime inspiration. The characters are great, the art is very good. Level design is somewhat punishing, and harmed a lot by the uniform palette of colors and shapes which make “find the character” challenges and quests an exercise in annoyance. Even so, there’s a freshness here that most JRPGs simply don’t hit for me. This is one of the games out of the set that I’d be inclined to come back to, on a personal level, because I found it engaging.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
It’s interesting to contrast this to the very very different RiME. Both are fundamentally linear 3rd person adventure puzzlers. Each has a feature or two the other doesn’t (combat, herding), but at formalist heart, they aren’t that different. But they do end up different, thanks to Hellblade’s focus on unreliable narration grounded in an extremely realistic presentation — it’s a game where you feel the challenges of mental illness (voices in your head, hallucinations, and other symptoms of psychosis) whilst traversing a landscape that is exactly what we mean when we use the hackneyed phrase “a descent into madness,” full of corpses on spikes and horrific scenes. In the process, it deconstructs that phrase, grounding the environment in realism including fairly accurate depictions of the Picts and Norse. There’s even a metafictional element to the portrayal of the psychosis, with one of the voices aware that there is in fact a player playing the game. Intense and emotionally challenging, this is one to look at in order to appreciate the ways in which a narrative layer can massively reinforce and reframe mechanics, aided by stellar voice acting.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Unquestionably a standout for the year. Rich gameplay mechanics, and a stellar job of unveiling an open world environment that rivals the best I’ve seen from more established series like Tomb Raider. A very interesting IP as well, with appealing characters. Basically, if game direction is about everything working together, this is one of the best I’ve seen in a while. It gets boosted by its freshness – a new world, interesting and fresh stealth mechanics, diverse weapon types with new effects, etc. It’s not as experimental as most of the titles on this list — it, like Uncharted: Lost Legacy and Super Mario Odyssey, are basically “just” triumphs of development execution against mostly familiar game design challenges. But we shouldn’t minimize what an achievement that is, when it’s pulled off as well as it is here.
This game rocks. The pixel art is gorgeous. The controls are tuned to precision. The weapons mechanics are deep and diverse, with a rock-paper-scissors depth that is really elegant (I love the rapier, but boy, it is harder to block thrown weapons or bow shots with it!). The territory mechanic combined with the level structure (doors, platforms, varying height, traps, etc) and weapon variety reward multiple play strategies, from aggressive to extremely careful ranged play. Just really great design here that clicks intuitively. I suspect it has to be played multiplayer to really be appreciated. Out of the various head to head fighting games this year, this was easily the best.
Night in the Woods
Sometimes, as with Doki Doki Literature Club or this title, there’s a reluctance to hop on the bandwagon of Tumblr popularity. Don’t let that stop you from trying out Night in the Woods. A blend of platformer, rhythm game (!), and straight-up narrative adventure game, Night in the Woods succeeds on the strength of its writing, which evokes a very specific small town and a host of fascinating characters, with humor and affection, and a keen cognizance of their personality flaws. The execution is excellent all the way down the care taken with chat bubbles; it says something when your top complaint about a title’s polish is that too many unmissable jokes are hidden behind having to talk to every character three times (it gets a tad tedious). The IP design is an object lesson in appeal to a modern younger audience: a broad cast of characters in which almost anyone can find someone to identify with, practically designed to be doodled in fan art. This is an area that more developers need to pay attention to, as that sort of emotional connection to characters is going to vital for standing out in crowded markets. NitW nails that gushing “Oh, I love her” affectionate reaction from a cosplayer in a way that few titles do.
Old Man’s Journey
Another commonality across games this year was meditations on loss and mortality. Old Man’s Journey is a poetic game, heavily reliant on quiet mood-setting and stunningly beautiful visuals, that also offers up some relatively lightweight but interesting puzzle play. Taken in the abstract, the puzzle could easily have been done in a manner akin to Circles (only with lines and arcs), and would likely have lost its charm pretty quickly. As a designer whose puzzle designs often lean abstract, this was an object lesson in how to infuse dry mechanics with rich emotional content.
Super Mario Odyssey
Here’s the thing – I haven’t enjoyed a lot of the more recent Mario titles, but this one is just a) super inviting b) full of side tasks and puzzles and quests, and c) so varied thanks to the possession mechanic. It deserves the accolades it is getting. Zelda: Breath of the Wild edges it out for me in both design and overall experience, thanks to the variety in play – fundamentally, this is still mostly jumping puzzles and simple attacks, with no real resource management. And Zelda just attempts a tougher challenge in terms of the UX, given Mario’s stronger linearity. But this is simply state of the art anyway, for what it is doing. The co-op play is a great addition, and it’s probably the best secrets/collection system in a Mario game in years.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
An open world that is highly explorable yet you never feel truly lost. Deep deep systems at a simulation level, from AI to even basic movement. Such simple and elegant little touches that add such depth, like the fatigue management and the sound meter. Cooking things. The clothing. Somehow this is managing to pack in more depth into its systems than many an open world game with ammo and guns and set pieces and the like, and yet it is so clean, so straightforward. I might quibble about the slight clunkiness in the interfaces for inventory and the like (they could have taken a tip or two from Golf Story, actually!) but compared to the core gameplay, it’s really a minor quibble. Most importantly, this shows a path forward for AAA games, away from raw content generation and towards simulation, in a way that isn’t dry and numbers-heavy or hopelessly obscure and invisible to players.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Just about flawless. Stunning visuals, near-perfect guidance, great writing. Oh, there are weaknesses: gameplay was by and large the same stuff we’ve seen for quite some time, new systems were thin on the ground, and when compared to the emergent characteristics of a game like Zelda, it starts to suffer. The banter and characterization were excellent, but somehow the stick figures in West of Loathing were occasionally more emotionally affecting. And yet… when you first see the bazaar in the opening city, you get a sense for how far AAA has come in presenting immersive locales, and start to see a future in which high-end games have less bang-bang and more quiet moments that are still strong storytelling. Those quieter moments have always been the strength of the Uncharted series, more so than the puzzling or platforming, and definitely more so than the combat sequences. It’s still rarely done, and just about never as well as it’s done here. In some design circles there may be disdain for the sort of craftsmanship that goes into this sort of experiential achievement, but there shouldn’t be.
If I had stuck disclaimers all through this list, I’d probably have to label at least half the games as having been worked on by people I know. This one is no exception, as it was made by my friend Frank Lantz. It’s an idle game where you make paperclips instead of cookies. It’s also a parable about AI taking over the universe. The unlocks and balancing act here are a lot more intricate than most idle games, and the subversive narrative commentary is nicely done. Pretty innovative clicker gameplay starts to show up, and for the genre it is pretty cutting edge design. But for an experience, it’s of course lacking, with the mobile version presenting much like the web version did previously. I look forward to Frank getting ripped off like other text-based idle games were, and fresh versions of his many innovative design elements in here showing up in far slicker formats. However, it’s unlikely more commercial endeavors will serve up quite the same wit and philosophical depth.
West of Loathing
The game proceeds as basically a set of familiar errands and quests, with basic branching, closed off doors, etc. But it also has one of the clearest and strongest visions of anything this year, and total commitment to it. From the throwaway “colorblind mode” gag in the options menu, to the job collecting manure, to the silly walks Easter egg, to the way in which you can dramatically affect the course of the game through your choice of horse, mine level, or companion, it revels in its goofy world while still managing somehow to capture the pathos of the better Westerns. The storyline for the rancher is genuinely emotionally affecting, as is the doctor later into the game. A really pleasant surprise overall – in many ways as big a feast of coherent worldbuilding and storytelling as Mario Odyssey.
On stuff that isn’t on this list
There were a lot of other really good games that I’m not mentioning here, obviously. In some cases, I just didn’t like them, and I’m not going to spend my time bashing other developers’ hard work when instead I can put my effort towards calling attention to cool stuff instead. In other cases, there were specific features that are worth checking out but they just didn’t fit on the list above.
So, in no particular order, I’d also suggest designers check out:
Aaero, for applying melody into a rhythm game.
Cat Quest, for applying mobile game accessibility lessons to a PC RPG.
Cinco Paus, because it’s Michael Brough’s new game.
Cuphead, for beautiful game direction and visual design.
Death Coming, for creating an “active hidden object” game with quirky humor.
For Honor, tackling the challenge of melee combat.
Golf Clash, probably the current pinnacle of expert mobile game design.
Hollow Knight, a tremendously evocative Metroidvania game.
Knowledge is Power, part of a series of experiments on PSN in using mobile phones as control devices for hidden information in console games.
From the same series, Hidden Agenda explores ways to use that hidden info in the service of group narrative choice. I didn’t think it was hugely successful, but it was trying to break new ground.
A lot of people really like Nioh. I found it too grimdark to personally enjoy, but can’t deny the depth in the combat.
Persona 5, mostly for methods of storytelling, such as scene cuts between characters, uses of camera angles, and the like.
RiME, a peaceful puzzle explorer with gorgeous visuals.
Space Pirate Trainer, which offered a mix of genres in an expansive feeling world.
SteamWorld Dig 2, another stellar Switch title with really strong experience design.
The Sexy Brutale, which plays with time and rewinds in a fresh way.
Tooth and Tail, for a fresh take on the RTS.
Walden, for a view into ways in which literary adaptations and non-fiction experiences can be created using the games medium.
Stories about loss and mortality
Insanely high levels of polish
Slick accessibility paths strongly inspired by mobile games
Completely opaque difficulty curves inspired by Dark Souls and seen as a virtue (for the record, I don’t see this as a virtue personally)
Anyway, now you have something to do for the rest of the week. Have fun!（source:gamasutra.com ）