The calm between the storms
This is it. 2016 is over, and it’s time for us to take a long look back—all the way back to January, through 12 months of games. One will be crowned our “Game of the Year” and the remaining nine are all “First Runners Up” or “Second Place” or whatever you prefer.
Our first review of 2016 was Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak; our last was Batman: The Telltale Series. We’ve seen some surprise hits (Doom, mostly) and also quite a few buggy, high-profile flops—Mafia III, No Man’s Sky, and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst are three that come to mind.
Yes, 2016 was a weird year, and maybe not the best in recent memory, but one that also gave rise to some games we could be talking about for years to come. So without further ado, let’s talk about some of the standouts, with PCWorld’s games reviewer Hayden Dingman and games editor Brad Chacos chiming in.
And again, before you start a fight: These are in no particular order. It’s just nine entries tied at second place, each with some arbitrary designation like “Best multiplayer;” that’s followed by “Game of the Year,” and some honorable mentions. Got it? Good.
Best toilets (oh, and best builder): Planet Coaster
Hayden: I lost something like 20 hours of my life to Planet Coaster in a single weekend—placing rides and building coasters, sure, but also doing weird stuff like “Constructing the perfect Spanish Colonial-themed bathroom.” With extensive scenery and building construction tools, Planet Coaster is the Sims-crossed-with-RollerCoaster-Tycoon I never knew I needed until I had it; the range of custom items on the Steam Workshop says everything you need to know about its appeal. If you’re looking to build the theme park of your dreams, strap in.
Oh, and the coaster construction tools are decent too—you know, once you’ve finished building that perfect bathroom.
Brad : I’d tell you what I love about Planet Coaster, but within five minutes of booting the game, my family hijacked my PC and have played it for dozens of hours since then—and my wife never plays games. I’d guess diehard park sim fans may dislike the easy-peasy management aspects, but not me; that easy money lets you focus on crafting creative parks rather than spending hours optimizing traffic logistics.