Writing for major gamer site Giant Bomb, here's New World Notes alum Janine Hawkins on the Top 10 Games of 2016. NWN readers know her virtual fashion/game writing as Iris Ophelia, but in recent years she's also been flourishing as a leading game culture writer. Janine being Janine, most of her favorite ten games for this year are indie/international titles you probably haven't heard about let alone played, but then that's why you want to follow Janine. Sample:
Developers have been grasping at that Minecraft crown for a while now, but I sure wasn’t expecting a Dragon Quest game to be one of the ones that got it right. Frankly, it seemed a little misguided at first, but the makers of Dragon Quest Builders figured out something pretty crucial: Even if you can’t have full multiplayer, you can still have a community. You can still give players a purpose in building and gathering without leaving it 100% up to them to find their own inspiration. That may not be what everyone needs, but it’s exactly what I do. The most fun I’ve ever had with Minecraft, Terraria, or even Starbound has been as merely one part of a push-and-pull team. When I needed wood to build, I could trust the friend I was playing with to bring it to me. When he needed metal tools, he could trust me to forge them. It’s a simple thing to have NPCs ask favours of you as they toil away producing food and items for you in return, but that reciprocity goes a long way to making Dragon Quest Builders feel like way more than just another blocky sandbox.
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