NHL 18 will satisfy hockey fans; that goes without saying. Its real achievement though is in its design, which will seamlessly teach and assist a player who knows nothing about hockey. They're likely to stick around too, because as it turns out, hockey is a blast in videogame form.
Hollow Knight will stick with me for a while. It blends a Metroidvania and Dark Souls in near-perfect fashion. Its tight gameplay as well as its fantastic look and music immersed me into caring about a mysterious civilization of bugs. If "Soulsvainia" is a new sub-genre, then count me in. Also, count me in for the next thing that Team Cherry releases.
While all MOBAs have gone one direction, Awesomenauts Assemble! is still – after all these years – one of a kind. Its 2D platforming and overall accessibility make it great for kids, people new to the genre, and MOBA aficionados looking for a cool distraction from their main game.
Prison Architect allows for freedom and creativity with its deep simulation systems and the multitude of player options. Players may become surprisingly invested in their prison and in their prisoners, something that can only be achieved by letting them mess with every small detail.
Chromagun is videogame love letter to Portal, with an entirely different and unique puzzle mechanic. It may have made a bad first impression in its pre-release version, but eventually won me over. It's a game I have a lot of confidence in recommending to puzzle game fans.
Typoman: Revised creates a unique and clever experience that ends just in time to salvage a positive experience. The game may not be perfect, like Limbo, but it still looks and plays great, has a message that resonates, and is a genuine surprise in its own right.
Jotun isn’t a long game by any means, but it packs in a lot. The diverse environments are beautiful, the boss fights are expertly designed, and Norse mythology is just cool. It also tells a personal story that makes the ride all the more enjoyable.
When I started playing Talent Not Included, I was blown away by its tight controls and stage setting. Towards the end, I was still enjoying it, but my enthusiasm waned considerably compared to where it once was. Still, its unique presentation and complementary design does make for a good time.
Feral Fury plays it safe in many ways, but it also plays well, runs well, and does enough to satisfy the roguelike enthusiast. It isn't crazy enough or unique enough to recommend to anyone who isn't already a fan of the genre, though. The laziness in the world-building was also a key disappointment.