50 Best Games of 2016

From 'Overwatch' and 'Stardew Valley' to 'Mario' and 'Pokémon', the best of a truly excellent year for games

'Owlboy' D-Pad Studio24/50

24. Owlboy

Indie platformers are a genre whose day felt done, and after nine years of being in development at D-Pad Studio, it seemed like Owlboy may have missed its moment. But perhaps those nine years are exactly what it needed to achieve a level of polish that makes it stand head and shoulders above other games in the genre. Owlboy has the necessary puzzle-platformer gimmick – its flying hero carries sidekicks, each with a special ability – but transcends the usual formula of simply unlocking new areas with new tools. Rather than just keys for arbitrary locks, the sidekicks are characters in their own right, and the lusher-than-usual pixel art gives everyone personality.

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