10. Snake Pass
The two genres I like most out of all of them are platformers and puzzle games, and while I got plenty of retro platformers in 2017 I didn’t receive any new puzzle games. Nothing earth shattering like The Witness, and nothing quaint or novel like Box Boy. But I did get a really lovely mixture of the two with Snake Pass, one of those smaller indies that doesn’t feel like it was scrapped together, and has a wonderful main mechanic: locomotion. Grow Up and Grow Home, and now Snake Pass, represent a movement of games that primarily focus on and champion…well, movement. The act of slithering as a snake to travel is something I’ve never done before, and having to rewire the way I think about moving a character on screen by snaking left and right does a better job of making me feel like an animal than something like the wolf parts of Twilight Princess or Octodad. The thrilling part of the game is the risk/reward to where they plainly place the collectibles, a challenge to see how ballsy you are, or how good you are at gripping obstacles and maneuvering around as Noodle the Snake. It’s not long before I dove into harder levels with moving platforms, timers, switches, levers, traps, hazards, lava, and essentially ended up in a Dark Souls game. It’s brilliant, and I want more stuff like this even though we will never get it. Oh game industry, why do you hate new ideas so much if they aren’t rip-offs.
I was going to make this entire list “best Mark Brown videos” but I don’t think I could just post his stuff and call that my own work. He is the single best games critic and doesn’t write anything, he just shows you the gameplay footage and explains it in a way where you not only slap yourself on the forehead and say ‘son of a gun he put that into words way better than I could’, and also ‘I need to play this game holy shit’.