In Banished, you build gentle hamlets of wooden and stone houses. That's a contrast to the bustling urban centers of many city-building sim games, but the pace is no less hectic. ShiningRockSoftware hide caption

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Nidhogg is a fast-paced sword fighting game that pits two players in an intense, steel-on-steel battle of tug-of-war that harkens back to the old days of arcade battles. Messhof hide caption

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Desktop Dungeons is an easy-to-pick-up puzzle, strategy, single-player role-playing game. It can be difficult, but the ease of repeat play and deep strategic elements will keep you coming back. QCF Design hide caption

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The game Don't Starve casts you in the role of "gentleman scientist" Wilson, with just one goal: Survive. Its unique mix of survival horror and crafting gameplay, paired with a charming Tim Burton-esque art style, made this a standout game of 2013. Klei Entertainment hide caption

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Billed as a "story exploration game," Gone Home has users exploring an empty house and piecing together why no one is home. The Fullbright Company hide caption

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The titular brothers of the game encounter a troll, one of the many colorful characters they meet on their grand adventure. Starbreeze Studios hide caption

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The Stanley Parable is an exploration game, but it is also a narrative story game, and it is also a game of choice. It is all of these things, yet none of them. Galactic Cafe hide caption

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In The Swapper, you guide an astronaut through a space station mystery while creating (and disposing of) clones of yourself to solve puzzles. Facepalm Games hide caption

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Papers, Please casts you as an immigration inspector whose goal is to keep those who don't belong out of the fictional nation of Arstotzka. hide caption

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Independent developer Jonathan Blow's time-warping, mind-bending puzzler Braid turned a hackneyed plot — little guy rescues a princess — into a melancholy meditation on love and loss. Microsoft/AP hide caption

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