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103

The PC Games Of 2016

Everything to look forward to on PC in the new year.

Featured post

Simulation and space games

Simulation isn’t simply about realism. It’s about being devoted to the appearance of being real, which means games about fictional spaceships belong here just as much as American Truck Simulator.

Squadron 42

Official site

Genre
Space, Simulation
Release date
Tba 2016
What is it?
To be bundled alongside Star Citizen, Squadron 42 is a story-driven single-player branch of Cloud Imperium’s space trader-cum-fighter sim that is billed as the “spiritual successor to Wing Commander”. Most interestingly, certain events are transferable between the two games thus how you conduct yourself in Squadron’s events can have bearing on the main game’s narrative.

All Squadron 42 posts.

American Truck Simulator

Official site

Genre
Simulation
Release date
February 3rd 2016
What is it?
Like Ronseal, this Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin. It’s Euro Truck Simulator but across the pond and likely with an extra helping of maple syrup and beef jerky. If you’re into the European counterpart, it’ll probably be quite exciting touring your haulage Stateside for the first time.

All American Truck Simulator posts.

Home Free

Official site

Genre
Simulation
Release date
TBA
What is it?
The Canine Formerly Known As Dog Park is now known as Home Free, a survival sim that nearly doubled its Kickstarter campaign ask at the TAIL end of 2015. It’s an open-world action RPG that’ll have you relying on all manner of doggy means to last another day in a procedurally-generated city.

Dog Park feature.
All Dog Park posts.

Enemy Starfighter

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Early Access, Space, VR
Release date
TBA
What is it?
With the vast number of space games ever flooding the vast expanse, it’s almost odd that so few resemble StarFox more than the odd similarity here or there. With Enemy Starfighter, the likeness is more obvious but all the better for it. Its sort of roguelike makeup means you’ll level up after clearing areas of enemy craft while avoiding your permanent death.

Enemy Starfighter preview.
All Enemy Starfighter posts.

Take On Mars

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Exploration, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Take On Mars seems to have conveniently capitalised on the Mars Madness that swept the world and popular culture towards the end of 2015 with the release of Ridley Scott’s The Martian and the sighting of water on the real life Red Planet itself. Take On Mars is a complex survival sim about considering the all of the above as you build a settlement, mine resources and set up a living up there on Mars.

All Take On Mars posts.

RimWorld

Official site

Genre
Construction and Management Sim
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A sci-fi colony building/managing sim that looks like Prison Architect. While there are similarities between it and Introversion’s jail-runner as far as sophisticated systems are concerned, RimWorld differs from most management games with its incorporation of AI-controlled “storytellers” who dictate variations in game rules and stipulations.

All Rim World posts.

Dwarf Fortress

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management, Early Access
Release date
Beyond the end of time.
What is it?
A better question might be: what is Dwarf Fortress not? It’s been defined by its ever-popular fortress mode, yet also has an adventure mode, a fictional encyclopedia, and an arena mode. It’s updates have been known to include procedurally-generated stories, poetry, music and dance, before then stating these features are but a small part of bigger, more significant updates. It first launched its alpha in 2006 and continues to wow us with its updates. Ten years on, what’ll 2016 bring?
Dwarf Fortress feature.
All Dwarf Fortress posts.

Maia

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
A slow burner that has scope to be really fantastic or unfortunately disappointing. Focussed on the minutiae of managing a colony, even the slightest variation on living circumstances can have vast knock-on effects down the line in Maia. Like tinkering with a virtual ant farm.

Maia preview.
All Maia posts.

Limit Theory

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Space
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
A successfully Kickstarted space sim (at close to four times its original asking tally) by one-man dev team Josh Parnell which has an “infinite procedural world”. Limit Theory’s ambition is equally matched by Parnell’s courtesy and dedication to updating backers of his game’s progress – the last of which was in September 2015 after a few months of radio static. That said, it’s a big project with a small team so this is likely to be expected.

Limit Theory interview.
All Limit Theory posts.

Star Citizen

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Space
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Star Citizen is a beast, a goliath, a force to reckoned with. Via its own dedicated crowd-funding initiative, it’s racked up over $100 million in funds in just over three years, and launched its Alpha 2.0 at the end of last year. Procedural planetary landing from space-to-surface is the latest nifty feature to make its way into the game, but expect many more additional features to be added over the course of 2016.

All Star Citizen posts.

VA-11 HALL-A

Official site

Genre
Bartending, Simulation
Release date
TBA
What is it?
An eclectic/entirely weird mix of robot love interest, talking dogs and bartending that’s part visual novel, part puzzle game. As you converse with pub patrons, VA-11 HALL-A also becomes somewhat of a pseudo social work simulator – which may or may not be what the devs are going for. A demo is out now with development builds expected to be distributed to those who purchase before official release.

(Please note that RPS contributor Cassandra Khaw is also part of the team developing VA-11 HALL-A)

VA-11 HALL-A feature.
All VA-11 HALL-A posts.

Turmoil

Official site

Genre
Simulator, Management
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Live the life of a 19th century Gold Rush opportunistic oil baron, as you get rich or die trying from mining the black stuff. Keep a keen eye on production values, prices and selling speeds in order to succeed. Turmoil entered Early Access in June 2015, where it planned and “hoped” to remain for six months.

Turmoil feature.
All Turmoil posts.

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