Video Games

Best Games of 2016 That No One Played

2016 saw a plethora of great games released. The indie scene is so massive at this point, that it’s impossible to keep up with the many high-quality games produced by small teams with no way to get their games out there except by word of mouth. Releases like 20XXFirewatchStardew ValleyPony Island, ABZÛ, OxenfreeINSIDEOrwellSalt and SanctuaryDevil Daggers, and the Witness all did pretty darn well for themselves — and that’s a lot of hours to devote to the year’s indie games — but what about the smaller titles? The titles obscured under Steam’s monstrous library of junk and more junk?

Below constitute my take-away for the year’s hidden gems: The neglected masterpieces (or fascinating ideas) that flew under most players’ radars. I expect most of these to, at the very least, show up as games #480-493 on many players’ wishlists and backlogs.

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Graphic Novels, Novels, Random

dendrobiblio’s Top 10 Reads of 2016

10. Stephen King’s the Dark Tower I : IV (1982 : 1997)

A somewhat difficult one to include, Stephen King’s writing, while always entertaining, is similarly always bothersome. The King-isms build and bug me. The Dark Tower series has been no different so far, with the Drawing of the Three and the Waste Lands, in particular, being hampered by bloated writing and awkward pacing. Wizard and Glass, the fourth of an eight-part series (including #4.5), and the last I read this year, was an absolutely engrossing and addictive fantasy yarn. The horror and post-apocalyptic settings were mostly removed in favor of straight fantasy in an extended flashback story — which was worrisome — but Roland’s tale was so focused and wonderfully-told that it alone puts this series on the list. I hope 2017 lets me finish the the final four books.

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Random, Video Games

25 Exclusive Classics for the Sega Genesis

There are only so many ways we can make a best-of list for a fixed event. The Sega Genesis / Mega Drive only lasted X years, and only sported Y games worth talking about. Y, it can be argued, tends to hover suspiciously close to the length of such lists, making the order ragged and repetitive. With a handicap of exclusives-only (or, at the very least, platform-dominance), this should be even more difficult.

Without breaking believability or succumbing to hipster philosophizing, we’ve lovingly crafted a list of the 25 best 16-bit Sega games to sweep players off their feet, with a preference to both hopeful originality and exclusivity. Let’s see how we did.

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Random, Video Games

The Classroom Computer: The Best of Apple ][ Edutainment

Apple’s line of Apple II — or apple ][ — computers were the vehicle of choice in America for teaching typing and computer technology to Generations X and Y. From 1980 to the late ’90s — long after the models went out of date, thanks to the embarrassment that is public school funding in the U.S. — these archaic, clacking beasts filled lab after lab of our elementary and middle schools (often with 200-pound Xerox machines providing the ambiance).

We primarily remember the apple ][ in our classrooms for teaching us to type with clever software like MasterType (1981) and Home Row! (1987); or, if we finished our lessons early, edutaining us with games like Rocky’s Boots (1982) and Lewis and Clark Stayed Home (1991).

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