Favorite Games of 2015These are in no particular order, but I greatly, greatly enjoyed all of them.
You Must Build a Boat (PC, iOS, Android)
This is a brilliant, addictive game that takes the connect-three mechanic (with RPG-lite elements) to ridiculous heights. The whimsical humor (which is absolutely everywhere) is a huge bonus.
Rebel Galaxy (PC, coming to Xbox One and PS4)
Travis Baldree's first game with Double Damage does not disappoint. It's a space opera with naval-style combat, beautiful graphics, abundant humor, and lots of slide guitar. There's nothing bad about any of those things.
Oh, hell no. Just kidding.
Offworld Trading Company (PC)
This is still in Early Access, but it's already better than any RTS I've played in a long time. There are no troops in this game, just corporations, and the competition is brutal. Even the learning curve is fun.
Thea: The Awakening (PC)
This game came out of nowhere and immediately consumed 60+ hours of my life.
I wrote about this a few weeks ago, but here's a descriptive blurb from the Steam page:
Thea: The Awakening is a turn-based strategic survival game steeped in Slavic myth and monstrosity set after an apocalyptic force known only as The Darkness has engulfed the world.
The game combines turn-based strategic gameplay with the tension and grit of a rogue-like, a captivating story you can uncover through a series of in-game events, and a unique combat system based on a complex card battle game.
What's particularly clever--among many things, really--is that there are multiple approaches to combat instead of just straight-ahead battle, which means your optimal party build requires substantial thought and planning.
Just Cause 3 (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
It's great. Yes, it was released prematurely, so it's janky in places, and the leaderboard notifications are stabalicious, but it's still an unbelievable experience. Funny, funny, funny, with warm and likable characters, and the gameplay is so fluid and inventive that you can do almost anything.
Protip: if you haven't already done so, listen to Di Ravello's audio tapes. They're brilliantly written and voiced, and well worth collecting (I'm not generally a collector, either).
Sunless Sea (PC)
This came out way back in February, but if you haven't played it, please do. It's tremendously deep, and the writing is just fantastic. It's a unique, compelling game.