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The LANBox Recommends 2016

As the smoldering crater of 2016 passes behind us, and the new dawn of 2017 approaches, it might be nice to look back at what we played this year. Taking the nominations from the community, we now have a picture of what we, as the collective, enjoyed the most. So for the first time, here is the Lanbox 2016 Recommendations.

Rules:

  • Early Access games are only counted if they were released in that form this year.
  • “Released” means it was available to purchase from a mainstream distribution method - Steam, Humble, Origin, Uplay, Retail etc.
  • A game is considered recommended by its ranking by nomination tally. If too many games qualify for recommendation, other factors will be considered, such as Active Users Gametime or Topic Activity.

Thank you to all who nominated their favorite games over the year. The results have been tallied, and I'm proud to announce 6 recommended games, with a 7th with it's own category.

Recommendations

In alphabetical order:

Civilization VI



One more Turn
Being the most famous 4X series, Civ VI has a long and prestigious legacy to live up to. What was delivered is undeniably a game that fits this lineage, with a new artstyle too. It’s recent rating on Steam however has taken a hit, with it being ranked as mixed due to some issues with AI and Diplomacy. Issues aside, it’s been recommended, so ask around to see if you would like it. I’m sure someone has a day week free to play a game.

Factorio



Obsessive Automation Disorder
An Early Access title that arrived at the beginning of the year, Factorio has been a bit of an interesting game in the survival crafting genre, in that it contains very little surviving or crafting. Instead, it lets you set up machines and systems to do all that for you, from mining, crafting, to even defense against the creatures of the world, you can lose hours of your life, just because you want to finish automating one more thing. Not recommended if you have something you need to do the next day.

Hearts of Iron IV



Armchair General
Another Paradox Grand Strategy game, this lets you play as nation in World War 2. There isn’t much to be said about this, if you like the Paradox Grand Strategy style of game, you will know if you will like this. Check it out if you have ever wanted to see what a Fascist Australia would look like.

Overwatch



Rule 34 Champion
Blizzard’s dive into the competitive FPS genre, Overwatch is a team based objective shooter where a cast of characters get really angry at each other, slowly covering the world in an impenetrable salt pile. At least, that’s what I think it’s about, from what I hear on Discord. Check it out if you like Butts Getting on the point.

Stardew Valley



Socially Acceptable Dating Sim
An indie RPG, where you inherit a farm. You meet and get to know a range of characters in the town of Stardew Valley, in the map of your choosing, and you get to go fishing, mining, cave exploring, and even battle monsters. Oh, and there is this farm you can tend to as well. You can also romance some of the characters too, but I don’t know why you would do that when there’s plenty of farming to do. Check it out if you need a new Waifu

Xcom 2



RNGesus Christ how is your aim so bad?
The sequel to the game that canonically you lost, Xcom 2 has changed up the formula just enough to make it worth a few playthroughs. With it’s infamous punishment of even the smallest mistakes, this game can be brutal (Until you unlock proxy mines and then it’s game over for the Aliens). Check it out if you think you can handle your best troop being killed through heavy cover by a suppressed flashbanged Sectoid.

Highly Recommended of the Year


This year we also had a nomination that had received so many votes, that the only course of action is to present it in it's own special category. By no surprise, the Highly Recommended game of the Year goes to:

Rimworld.

This was the most nominated game by far, and it shows. For an early access game, it’s current stage in development is astounding. A colony management game similar to dwarf fortress, this accessible approach to the genre can be a simple base building game to a stressful survival game where all your hard work can be undone by a particularly vindictive Storyteller AI, which controls the events that can happen to your unlucky pawns. Check it out if... [Zzzzrt.] [Eclipse.] [Volcanic Winter.] [Blight.] [Raid.] [Vash is binging on Smokeleaf.]

That’s the end of the awards, but not the end of this list. Because this is about what we as a community recommend, it seemed appropriate to list all nominations. If it’s on this list, then someone enjoyed it enough to end up here.

You should try:
  • Aragami: Third Person Stealth with Shadow Powers
  • Astroneer: Survival/Explorer/Builder in space with planets.
  • Battlefield 1: FPS squad based shooter inspired by WW1.
  • Clustertruck: Speedrun Platformer on top of Trucks and Mayhem.
  • Dark Souls 3: 3rd person Dark Fantasy RPG with Fuck You mechanics.
  • Dishonoured 2: 1st Person stealth-em-up (or Murder Simulator. Your choice!)
  • DOOM: FPS - Rip and/or Tear tons of Demons
  • Earth Defence Force 4.1 The Shadow of the New Despair - “you level cities to save cities from insects trying to level cities”
  • H3VR: The only VR Game on this list. Dick around with guns.
  • Megadimension Neptunia VII: Anime JRPG. Should probably ask Walshy about this
  • My Summer Car: First person exploration game based in Finland. Ft. Alcoholism
  • Planet Coaster: Build and Manage your own Theme Park. Doubles as a giant middle finger to Atari.
  • Shadow Warrior 2: FPS Comedy with advanced Fish Physics. And a Katana!
  • Stellaris: 4X Strategy in Space. Make Space Great again.
  • Titanfall 2: Futuristic FPS with Giant Robots that it's publisher forgot it existed

Finally: The list of games people nominated that was not released in 2016. I know you were all excited, but we still need to follow the rules.

Whoops, wrong year


  • Thea: The Awakening
  • Rocket League
  • The Forest
  • Subnautica
  • DiRT: Rally

Sneaky Overwatch picture to give the social link something to show

More Stories by Furcas

There are 13 replies. write your own.

Excellent write up mate.

@Furcas, Thanks for your write up mate. It's top notch stuff and turned out super well! Great work!

Good work @Furcas - I know I should have said something earlier but what about Wargame: Red Dragon? I think it's still really solid

FYI thea the awakening had it's 1.0 release this year :P

Edit: well I could have sworn it did...epic fail.

I should have a chance to grab some stats to go along with these recommendations tomorrow night. Thanks for the excellent write-up @Furcas!

I see BF1 and TF2 both made it too the list - which do people prefer? I also wanted to know if TF2 is as floppy as TF?

TF 2 is a brilliant game both multiplayer and singleplayer wise, salt inducing aside. The multiplayer is a bit weak on players though with prime time netting about 400-500 on good nights in one playlist.

Civilization VI: 244 hours by 32 members
Overwatch: No stats
Factorio: 442 hours by 41 members
Stardew Valley: 61 hours by 34 members
XCOM 2: 380 hours by 40 members

RimWorld: 1258 hours by 41 members

RimWorld is the clear winner by that metric as well.

Member and gameplay counts were taken from users online during 2016 which totalled 119.

XCOM 2: 380 hours by 40 members

And how many of those were @leadmax ;)

137 of them.

Thanks everyone, it was fun putting this together. I wanted it to be done before the Winter Sales were over so if you wanted to pick up a game, you could.

I thought It would be interesting to share my thought process making this list. I removed the two bonus categories (Disappointment and Community Divided) because I wanted this list to be light hearted, and not taken too seriously. So often, in the world of games "journalism" people take games too seriously, and I want to make an effort to distinguish why we play games. (Hint: It's for fun)

The final 6+1 games were chosen purely from their vote list. I looked at swapping out Stardew Valley or Xcom2 with Darksouls 3 or Titanfall 2, since they were only one vote in difference. But I couldn't justify the swap from any other factor, and since the vote tallies fell in a way that it gave a simple top 7, I left it how it is.

Finally, I didn't want this list to be a 'Top 7 games you must have!'. Games are subjective, and people like them for different reasons. This is also why I didn't consider Steam Ratings or Metacritic scores, even though I wrote them down for each game.

(Whoops this was longer than I thought)

You achieved your goal and as always made a fantastic contribution to boot! Love your work.

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