GOTY 2016: Plant Programmer's Picks

Simon Schliesky (@PlantProgrammer on Twitter) is a biologist turned Game Developer from the area of North-Rhein Westphalia in Germany. He’s taken a short break from development on his VR project to share his favourite games of this year with us. If you want to follow his developer antics, you can find his developer Twitter account in @PlantAndPlay.


10 - Stardew Valley (70 hours)

I have to confess, I have never played Harvest Moon. I learned about Stardew Valley in a stream and immediately wanted to play it. I really enjoyed planning my farm, mining and fishing days, and exploring the map. I stopped playing after 2nd year, as it was quite redundant in the end.


9 - No Man's Sky (42 hours)

I ended up playing NMS by accident, thus I never followed the hype in the first place. Starting from there, I really liked the game for its exploratory style. I spent hours just walking around, looking at things, and collecting fragments of some alien language. Only the resource management part was a bit weak in comparison to other games I usually play.


8 - Sid Meier's Civilization VI (25 hours)

One more round all over again. For me as an experienced Civilization player, it was weird not knowing how to play this at all. After about 100 turns though, I got the hang of it and even won my very first game in Civ VI.


7 - Oh...Sir!! The Insult Simulator (2 hours)

As silly as it sounds, this game literally had me and my friends rolling on the floor laughing. It is just like reality, you meet your friends, you insult each other until someone cries. :D


6 - The Lab (3 hours)

The Lab showed off the capabilities of VR in several minigames. I saw it more as a tech demo than a game, confirming the hypothesis that VR is made for experiences, not games. However, I spent hours in The Lab and had a lot of fun with archery and catapults.


5 - Moirai (0.3 hours)

This one had very special moments and I cannot tell why without spoilers. So go ahead try it, it's free and takes 20 minutes at most.


4 - INSIDE (4.5 hours)

This is action platformer meets deep story and challenging puzzles. Despite the short play time, this is one of the top money-well-spent titles of 2016. After I played it together with my wife, we sat for a few hours discussing the game and its message.


3 - Factorio (55 hours on Steam and many more before)

Build an efficient factory, automating every single step, while keeping the pollution low to not piss off too many aliens. This is one of the games I can play for hours, because once you fix a imbalance on one end of your factory, you notice another one on the other end.


2 - Job Simulator (3.5 hours)

2016 is the year of VR, yet this was one of only few titles that really convincing me that VR works for playing. My life as a Gourmet Chef has never been funnier. Things felt so natural, so real, in Job Simulator. For me, this makes it "best VR title of 2016".



1 - Candle (15 hours)

This game is pure beauty with its hand-drawn scenery. Some of the puzzles were really challenging. But above all, this is my personal favorite game of 2016 because the story was presented so well, I only set the controller aside ONCE to get some sleep about halfway through the game.


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