Games which I found particularly noteworthy of commendation or interest.
Just the sheer amount of work that went into it alone demands some sort of recognition; but as a whole, it's an incredibly engaging work of fiction on its own, with beautiful visuals to accompany it.
You basically control a probe (demonstrated in the screenshot) for the (brief) entirety of the game. It should be very boring and honestly unremarkable, but for some reason, it inexplicably resonated with me in a way that I have trouble articulating.
Very few games manage to succeed at truly and fully capturing a particular emotion or feeling, too often finding themselves lost in artifice in an attempt at honesty. One Night Stand exists as an exception to this - an exception particularly worthy of commendation given how especially transient and fleeting the feelings it attempts to capture are.
Exceptional UI and visual style, with some decent gameplay.
I've never been so simultaneously impressed, sad and disturbed at the same time.
There's not much to describe; it does exactly as it says, and quite well at that. It's pretty interesting to mess around with its mechanics and see what it's capable of (and in another sense, what it's not).
An interesting experiment in terms of how a certain experience (in this case, being blind) can be translated for those who otherwise cannot experience that. I'd describe it almost as an experiment in a certain kind of empathy.
A fun racing game with a great visual style.
An absolutely beautiful platformer with exceptional style. The music is a definite plus as well.
Genuinely tense and unsettling... for the most part. The atmosphere is very well-done, and definitely manages to be one of the more 'scary' games I've experienced for quite some time.
The definition of what not just an indie horror game should aspire to be, but what any horror work in general should aspire to be.
My personal favourite game of 2016. How cyberpunk should be done.
A parkour game with a really distinct visual style.
A genuinely touching story which uses the low-poly look to beautiful effect.
Found through Kill Screen. A very genuine game dedicated to the people we love and appreciate in life. Complemented by a beautiful and distinctive visual style as well.
A good variety of gameplay with some interesting implementations of computer-like interfaces.
...the best part about it is that it's actually a pretty good visual novel on its own right.
The only other game that really encouraged me to sit down and die was Dark Souls, and while the two games are different in almost every way, that's a unique feeling that you don't really see often. Also, an interesting implementation of multiplayer in a non-competitive, non-cooperative manner.
An uneasy and pretty accurate depiction of a man on the precipice of suicide. It wasn't necessarily personally impactful, but it still definitely is a very valid and interesting depiction of what it possibly might feel like to lose all hope and stop caring about things.
An interesting experiment blending mechanics from Hotline Miami with the gravity gun from Half Life 2. The gameplay's generally pretty solid, and it's a well-executed marriage of two seemingly disparate ideas.
It's a pretty decent fighting game, but let's be honest - there's another reason why I chose it that should become pretty obvious just from looking at the screenshots.
An incredibly well-done recreation of Silent Hills PT's hallway in Unity.
Another really well-done project by Linssen. Minimalistic, abstract and beautiful.