Ryan Dorkoski
Ryan   Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Game dev, collector, and reviewer. Game mechanic theorist [nextzenmechanics.com]. I run the infamous Indie-Game-Saturday event.

Early morning gamer.
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Ryan Dorkoski's Indie GOTY Awards
This space is dedicated to tracking the best games so far this year.

At the end of each year, for the past several years I have given an Indie GOTY Award to the title that I think outshined everything else in that given year. I edit my review with an acknowledgement for the game that wins.

The only real 'rule' is that the game must have been released in that year. No Early Access titles. Winners and candidate titles all share similiar attributes: they are innovative, indie games that change the current paradigms through thinking outside the box and propelling video games forward as both art and entertainment as a whole. These suckers are addictive. They will emotionally move you and you will not see the world the same after experiencing them.

The Current 2018 Indie GOTY Candidates, In No Pariticular Order:

Cultist Simulator

The Winner's Circle

2017: Everything
2016: Starward Rogue
2015: Sanctuary RPG: Black Edition
2014: The Talos Principle

Long Haul Games

While there can be a correlation between time played and GOTY material, that is not always the case. The best crafted games in the world don't have to yield dozens of hours of entertainment, but obviously it is telling when someone gets a lot of mileage out of a title. This is an ongoing list of games that for whatever reason have given me at least 15 hours of fun. I've been getting lots of requests for suggestions on what to play, and I gotta tell ya that you can't go wrong with any of these games. These are notable titles that I by-all-means recommend. I'll note the approximate number of hours I have played so far.

Notes about the list:
+Yes, there are other games that I've logged more than 15 hours - but I have mixed feelings on them and don't necessarily recommend them.
+The categories are certainly debatable, but I put them where I felt they fit best .

Immortal Redneck - 30 hours

Twin-Stick Schmup
Nex Machina - 80 hours
Starward Rogue - 50 hours
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth - 750 hours (alt account plus the original)
Neon Chrome - 25 hours

Cook, Serve, Delicious!!! 2!! - 40 hours
Everything - 25 hours
Cultist Simulator - 75 hours

Rocket League - 18 hours
ShellShock Live - 24 hours

HuniePop - 20 hours

Story Driven
LISA - 18 hours
The Talos Principle - 25 hours
Night in the Woods - 16 hours

Tales of Maj'Eyal - 25 hours
Sanctuary RPG: Black Edition - 18 hours
Caves of Qud - 140 hours
Grim Dawn - 22 hours

City Builder/Colony Management
Banished - 30 hours
Gnomoria - 50 hours

Crypt of the Necrodancer - 120 hours
The Metronomicon - 22 hours

Coffee Break
One Finger Death Punch - 30 hours

Into the Breach - 40 hours
XCOM: Enemy Unknown - 20 hours
FTL - 50 hours
Space Grunts - 20 hours
HyperRogue - 16 hours

Spelunky - 50 hours
Super Meat Boy - 80 hours
Cave Blazers - 15 hours

Tower Defense
Plants vs. Zombies - 100 hours

Minecraft [minecraft.net] - 1,000s of hours
Stardew Valley - 50 hours
Don't Starve/Don't Starve Together - 70 hours

Opus Magnum - 20 hours
The Hexcell Series/Matthew Brown Puzzle Games - 30 hours
Stephen's Sausage Roll - 23 hours
Paint it Back - 23 hours
Slayaway Camp - 19 hours

Local Co-op/Versus
TowerFall Ascension - 25 hours

Tooth and Tail - 15 hours
Artwork Showcase
Multiple Worlds Angle.
49 1 3
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89 Hours played
I am pleased to announce that Cultist Simulator is the first candidate for iGOTY 2018.

Cultist Simulator is pure freshness. It's like the devs took the stale idea of crafting, and breathed new life into it. Not to mention that the whole sort of Lovecraftian universe and building a cult is just fantastic. The only downside is the sheer depth and learning that it takes to be able to fully appreciate the whole thing. No matter, it's time well spent.

I'm not going to explain how the game works, because that's the fun part. Just go for it.

+Totally awesome and unique idea that works oh-so well
+The universe and theme are fantastic
+It's a layer cake of learning
+Addicting once you get your bearings

-You need to play a good bit before it all clicks (or at least, I did)

These types of games are what I live for; they are why I love indie gaming.
plumer Jul 19 @ 1:03pm 
Your comment. ;^)
Ryan Dorkoski Jul 16 @ 5:34am 
Thanks much Sanbash :D
Sanbash Jul 16 @ 1:38am 
Ryan Dorkoski Jun 18 @ 6:03pm 
Hi Angfucious! Thank you! Yeah I had it made custom from the Cult Sim community :D
Angfucious Jun 18 @ 5:15pm 
Dig the new icon. Very Cultist Simulator-ish. :cool_eol:
Ryan Dorkoski May 28 @ 9:19am 
Lol not sure about that, but thank you for the kind words BlackBlueWhite :D