5. Ultimate Chicken Horse
Hate your friends? Wish you could smack that stupid horse with a hockey puck and dump the body in a black hole? UCH has your back. Play with up to four people and make a mad dash to the goal, avoiding the deathtraps that everyone places each round. Simple, deadly, and hilarious.
4. Grim Dawn
It’s tough to find a hack and slash and doesn’t overstay its welcome relatively quickly. Grim Dawn is one of the few that nails just about everything that makes a hack and slash perfect. The story, lore, monsters, setting, character building, secrets, and, of course, a mountain of shiny loot. The early game might bore newcomers, but it hides an incredibly deep array of combat choices that reveals itself further in.
3. Age of Decadence
I’ve been on a serious RPG binge and AoD hits a sweet spot I haven’t experienced in a long time. It combines short, punchy playthroughs with a myriad of potential paths and choices to explore. I don’t replay games often, but I’ve beaten this one four times in four very different ways and I imagine I’m still not quite done.
2. Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade
This is one of those “love it or hate it” games. Some people can’t get past the broken promises and technical issues, but, personally, I’ve been having a hell of a good time choppin’ ‘umies with a pal or two. It’s simple, hectic fun.
An excellent turn based RPG that captures the essence of what made classics like Fallout and Baldur’s Gate exceptional. Games like this are few and far between, and this one can easily take up 100 hours of your life if you take the time to explore all its mysteries. Everyone lives in an underground rail system, but the game never directly explains why. It’s up to you to piece together the truth.
Other staff picks
Simon Furneaux: Civilization VI
Civilization 6 has made some interesting new changes to the formula since 5. The addition of districts, as well at the split in the tech tree between cultural and scientific discoveries has shaken up the previous science or bust approaches. As a result Civilization 6 feels like a new game, rather than a prettier version of the predecessor.
Damien Dennis: Pokémon Sun/Moon
The November 2016 release of the newest generation of Pokemon games – Pokemon Sun/Moon – offers the furthest departure from the originals yet. Set in the island region of Alola, there’s a hefty supply of new Pokemon and a different take on older generation monsters. Meowth and Persian, for example, are far more cutesy in their Alola version than their original Kanto versions. This plays directly into the story. Gym battles also do not exist, instead, the player completes various trials on each island only to face the Kahuna, the strongest trainer and leader of the island.
Let us know what you’ve been playing in 2016 in the comments below!