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My next two games came out of nowhere to be standout hits for me this year, and for #6, we have a game that it seemed that not even the developers were expecting this big of a reception.

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The idle genre has been one of the easiest to design games around, but the hardest in terms of iterating on. Leave it too simple and people get bored, complicate things too far and they’ll get pushed away. For my #7 pick, we have a game that embodies the idle design, but adds to it in great ways.

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If I had to put money down, I would say that Klei Entertainment has been one of the most successful and consistent studios this decade. Each game has its own sense of style and design to it, but also manages to embody the best aspects of that respective genre. This year, we saw Oxygen Not Included hit 1.0, and gives us the next best thing to Dwarf Fortress.

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There are two terms of games that have become popular this decade — souls-likes and modern retro. The idea of making a game that looks and feels like a classic game, while still having modernized elements, has given birth to a new subset of indie devs. This year alone, I’ve spoken to multiple developers using the past to give them inspiration for original takes today. For my #9 game, we have a developer who created an adventure platformer for a game that never happened. Read more…

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