Nintendo Scene’s Indie Game of the Year 2016

Among the sporadic triple-A releases throughout the year, there have been some real gems in the Indie market on the Wii U. The award was a tight two-horse race, and both are highly recommended.

It released at the end of December, but Shantae: Half-Genie Hero arrived just in time to achieve my Indie game of the year. Released worldwide on all current-gen consoles, the latest in the Shantae series takes on a new art direction with modern graphics rather than the retro-look of its predecessors. The characters and writing are as charming as always, and Jake Kaufman’s soundtrack is arguably the most pleasant in the series yet. Add all that to the fun platforming challenges and you have an adventure that’s well worth experiencing.


A full review will be coming in January so I won’t write too much more, but anyone with a predilection for Metroidvania, free-flowing platforming, and a fun (and rather attractive) cast should definitely check out Half-Genie Hero.

The same reasons can be applied to my honourable mention, Axiom Verge. Released on Wii U this year, the Metroid-inspired platformer makes for an incredibly immersive experience. Challenging, creepy, and at times mind-bending, anyone who longs for a new 2D Metroid game should pick this up instead.

It should be noted that this game was developed by a single person: Thomas Happ. The artwork, map design, the wonderful soundtrack, and more, were all created by one person. This makes Axiom Verge a great example for how to make a good solo-developed game.


Do you have another indie game from this year that left an impression on you? Leave a comment below!

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