GameSpew’s ‘Alternative’ Game of the Year 2016

1. Shu

“It may not be a power house in the charts, or a completely new trendsetter, but it is genre defining. Shu is the ultimate example of how a game should take its desired platform and then shape it into the most perfect game that platform has seen. It knowsitself and it pronounces it proudly as a seminal indie classic, and it has secured itself a place in my heart.” – Holly Robinson, Shu Review (10/10)

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2. Klaus

“It’s hard to not love Klaus. It’s one of those games that sneaks up on you from out of nowhere and puts a big smile on your face because of how surprisingly good it is. It looks and sounds fantastic, offers an intriguing and thought-provoking story, but most importantly, it has varied and engaging gameplay. It may be a little on the short side, but if you’re after a platform game that’ll remind you of the good old times as well as thrill you with its ingenuity, Klaus is pretty much essential.” – Rich, Klaus Review (8/10)

3. The Bunker

“To truly express just how excellent the story of The Bunker is would require me to give the plot away, and to give the plot away would ruin part of what makes it so engaging. It’s the clever use of suspense; of carefully constructed scenes that flick between timelines; a general feeling of unease – you never quite know what’s coming next. Trying to piece together the story from your own interpretation and from the scattered documents found around the bunker is part of the fun, but even when you think you understand, the plot is always chasing you, ready to knock you for six. The Bunker is a story that has to be experienced first-hand to truly appreciate, and I strongly urge that you do.” – Kim, The Bunker Review (9/10)

4. Virginia

Virginia, like the very best of fiction, gives us a story that we can both relate to while retaining a message that is unique to each and every one of us. And like the very best, it tells the story absolutely wonderfully. Variable State were able to create this world, these people and a message that is completely my own – whether or not I understood it fully – without the characters speaking a single word. The music and the art tell the story here and how we interpret it is completely up to ourselves.” – Ruaraidh Dempster, Understanding Virginia: Disconnect and Realisation


5. The Little Acre

“Let’s start at The Little Acre’s most delightful feature – its beautiful hand-drawn art style. Almost everywhere you go is stunning to look at, with intricate detail in every aspect of the surroundings. It’s so reminiscent of hand drawn Disney animations – the sort of animation that I dearly miss. In The Little Acre, it’s the little details such as watching a mouse climb out of a mug and into another for no apparent reason that makes me so fond of this art style. And it’s not just the art that’s reminiscent of Disney either; the story too is something that wouldn’t go amiss in the catalogue of Disney animations: the loving father, the adventurous child, the funny sidekick, characters stumbling into adventure – it’s all there.” – Jack Bampfield, The Little Acre is the Most Adorable Game You’ll Play This Year