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Five Games of 2015

As a game developer who enjoys a lot of indie games, here are five games that I played this year that I either enjoyed the most, or impressed me in one way or another.

I figure I'll make my first post to talk about some of the games I've played. Unfortunately, 2015 was a busy year; I was writing a thesis, graduating from University, visited Japan and started a full-time job, while currently working on an indie game project in my spare time. That didn't mean I didn't play any games (else what's the point of this post), but I mainly focused on indie titles, short games that I could play in a lunch break or a single weekend.

That being said, it was easy to find five games that I really enjoyed from this year, but I cannot simply order them by preference. Instead I'm just going to name them, and explain why these games from 2015 were great!

Five Favourites

Downwell

I liked this combo from the moment I heard about it, a roguelike platformer where you have to go down. It's brilliantly simple in design, yet it's extremely difficult to master (I cannot get past the dungeon levels) with an art style that perfectly mimics the arcade games from the mid-80s, and having the option of unlocking and choosing from a list of different colour pallettes is a nice touch.

Ori and the Blind Forest

I was hyped for this game when I saw the first trailer last year, and after getting to play it all the way to the end, I wasn't dissappointed. The animation and art design is incredibly detailed and just looks beautiful on fullscreen, a great orchestral score and a surprisingly solid and tight platform controls, I haven't seen jumping mechanics this well made since Super Meat Boy.

 

Penarium

About two years ago at Rezzed Games Expo in Birmingham, I met Thomas Noppers and a programmer from Self Made Miracle, thanks to another game developer we were both friends with, and I got a chance to play an early version of Penarium. Since then I have seen the game progress to release and I still enjoy playing it, the deaths are brutal and hilarious, and the difficulty gets so much that completing a challenge in campaign mode. I'm still struggling on the last level of campaign mode but getting that far was worthwhile.

Revolver360: Re-Actor

I am a huge fan of shoot'em ups, to me they are the most challenging and visually impressive kind of games out there. It's true that Revolver360 was released in 2014, but I only had a chance to play it this year, and the amount of tweets I've posted showing the scores I've gotten would show how much I'm into it. The game is probably one of the best looking shoot'em ups I've seen so far, I love the revolving and scoring mechanics and the music is really memorable.

Splatoon

I had to include one of the few AAA games I actually have played on here. Splatoon is a very fun and colourful shooter for the Wii U that can get pretty competitive. I just enjoy being able to swim through paint, jumping over to a point on the map, and even spraying paint everywhere. It's a bit annoying that there is no single player, but that's probably for the better because this is a game made for multiple people. It's also extremely refreshing to see a multiplayer shooter that doesn't go for gritty realism and goes for loads of colour, similar with Sunset Overdrive.

Honourable Mentions:

Deathbase 900,000,000

This is a smaller title that I'm not sure how many people know about, but it's definitely worth a look and it's by a really nice solo game developer called Charlie Knight, who's best known for the game Scoregasm. The visual effects, particularly the transitions between levels, are superb and colourful, and the gameplay is straightforward but surprisingly difficult.

 

Shelter 2

This is a game I adore looking at, the textures and blocky appearance makes any screenshot look like an abstract painting more than a 3D survival game, not to mention I'm a huge fan of Lynxes so I was really excited to a series dedicated to them. However the problem I have, and I cannot really explain why, is that I cannot play through the game for long periods of time. I've tried starting Shelter 2 twice and I end up losing interest after 20 minutes on both playthroughs. I want to love this game but I enjoy looking at it more than playing it.

Hyphen

I'm a bit of a fan of neon colours, so of course I had to try this out. Like with Deathbase, is has really colourful visual effects, and gameplay is straightforward. Definitely had fun playing through the levels, the game itself is a nice time killer.

Looking forward to see what comes out in 2016, hopefully I'll get more involved with console games.

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