Designer Plays Innovative games

Herein, you will find games that offered some form of innovation, when they were originally released. May just be a spark of an idea or an entire game-wide system. (Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft AWOL)

Antichamber
Recommended July 15, 2016

M I N D B L O W N

-50%
$19.99
$9.99
Braid
Recommended February 15, 2018

See the little man run. See the little man run backwards. See the little man dilate time. See the little man traverse parallel universes. See an important milestone in gaming history, from J. Blow.

-60%
$14.99
$5.99
SUPERHOT
Recommended April 9, 2017

BODIES ARE DISPOSABLE. THE SYSTEM WILL SET YOU FREE. WHOEVER DESIGNED SUPERHOT IS A GODDAMN GENIUS.

-60%
$24.99
$9.99
Garry's Mod
Recommended September 24, 2014

Still one of the best UGC games ever; it simultaneously democratizes game design and demonstrates the beauty of brokenness.

-33%
$9.99
$6.69
Ultimate Doom
Recommended April 12, 2018

Doom is the precursor to every First Person Shooter we all play, to this day. True bloody, demonic, chest-bursting brutality. Experienced best when paired with Norwegian Black Metal at max volume.

-70%
$4.99
$1.49
One Hour One Life
Recommended November 8, 2018

Jason Rohrer is the most creative and thoughtful Game Designer in the industry. This brilliant social experiment truly expands the space of possibility for meaningful multiplayer gaming. This is art.

-35%
$19.99
$12.99
Crypt of the NecroDancer
Recommended September 22, 2014

Rhythm game meets Rogue-lite; innovative, challenging, and fun. It's simply a joy to play and the developers continue to support it. Highly recommended.

-80%
$14.99
$2.99
A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher
Recommended August 1, 2018

Trackher sports an incredibly creative design paradigm that is hard to undherstand and play; battle your left brain, while you grok the deep scoring mechanisms. Hardcore lovhers rejoice - addictive!

$4.99
The Castle Doctrine
Recommended December 14, 2017

Truly disturbing and wonderful art game that explores the intersection of human greed, self-preservation, and brutal masochism. There is a reason Jason Rohrer lives in the middle of the woods.

$15.99
ERSATZ
Recommended September 29, 2018

Paris Stalker is a wildy talented creator. Such an innovative and delightful game, bursting with mad beats and tight gameplay, deserves to be recognized for the masterpiece it is. Ersatz, it is not.

$9.99
The Sexy Brutale
Recommended May 24, 2017

Pretty much everything here is a cut above - art, music, gameplay, all of it. A very clever and cohesive design. Recommended.

-50%
$19.99
$9.99
The Stanley Parable
Recommended February 15, 2018

A brilliant and subversive treatise on the illusion of choice. So meta, bro.

-60%
$14.99
$5.99
Undertale
Recommended November 19, 2017

A tour-de-force in storytelling that makes you think about life, the universe, and everything. Well, maybe not, but don't let anyone spoil it for you, including me. Just play it!

$9.99
King of Dragon Pass
Recommended July 28, 2015

Such a classic and well before its time; brilliant storytelling set in the world of Glorantha (of RuneQuest fame, for you pen-and-paper aficionados).

-60%
$11.99
$4.79
The Witness
Recommended November 16, 2017

1) Jonathon Blow is much, much smarter than the rest of us, just ask him. 2) This is one of the most beautifully rendered games I have ever seen. 3) This is the best Myst-like game since Myst in 1993.

-60%
$39.99
$15.99
Portal
Recommended July 29, 2018

Initially formed from the primordial goo of a single gameplay innovation, Valve managed to expand this experience into a timeless masterpiece of puzzle design, with a shockingly well written story,

$9.99
Wandersong
Recommended September 30, 2018

Pure delight. This is not just Simon Says on steroids, and it does touch on some heavy topics, but primarily it's a happiness simulator and it stars a damn cat-butterfly! Great music; truly magical.

$19.99
FEZ
Recommended July 15, 2016

A lovable game by a lovable game designer. Hearts for both of you.

$9.99
Darkest Dungeon®
Recommended February 3, 2015

The brand new hotness! Good decision-making, hero diversity, and dungeon crawl gameplay. Terrific art direction, mood, and upgrade system. Love it.

-70%
$24.99
$7.49
Clandestine
Recommended July 29, 2018

Innovative form of asymmetric cooperative play, in which one player is the stealth operative and the other is their handler, serving in an advisory role. Smart thematically, a bit roughly implemented.

$19.99
Spelunky
Recommended September 24, 2014

Spelunky is close to perfect. It's common knowledge, at this point.

$14.99
FTL: Faster Than Light
Recommended September 24, 2014

Pausable untimely death simulator; excellent replayability, decision-making, progression, difficulty scaling, and procedural gen, all experienced vicariously through little computer people. 10/10 af

-75%
$9.99
$2.49
Return of the Obra Dinn
Recommended October 18, 2018

Return of the Obra Dinn is a masterpiece of storytelling; a murder mystery where you analyze disparate clues to induce the demise of a ship's crew. From the brilliant creator of Papers, Please.

$19.99
Papers, Please
Recommended September 26, 2014

Subversive in all the best ways. Makes you think about the world we live in and ways it could be better. Smells like art.

$9.99
TIS-100
Recommended June 24, 2015

Zachtronics delivers a logic puzzler about coding solutions to engineering problems and optimization. Not for everyone, but I think it's retrolicious.

-50%
$6.99
$3.49
Everything
Recommended April 21, 2017

Everything is connected, Everything is fine. Whether piloting an armada of space termites, dumping zen's atomic dustbin, or simply wandering the city as a lonely turd, Everything is everything.

$14.99
Gorogoa
Recommended December 14, 2017

Mechanically innovative and aesthetically pleasing interactive storybook; a reconfigurable puzzle that involves scale, position, and time, all directed by you, the storyteller. Short, but swish.

-50%
$14.99
$7.49
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Recommended February 25, 2018

A dark and disturbing journey through the eyes and mind of a psychosis sufferer; diligently researched and strikingly rendered. Skullcrushing music by the properly-antlered frontman of Combichrist.

-66%
$29.99
$10.19
Do Not Feed the Monkeys
Recommended October 21, 2018

Fresh new take on storytelling that is like a simulator for Hitchcock's Rear Window. Enter into a pyramid scheme for spying on your neighbors, while managing your time, jobs, sleep, food, and farts.

-60%
$11.99
$4.79
Glittermitten Grove
Recommended January 3, 2017

Frog Fractions was a brilliant bullet hell pugilist typing tutor...and the sequel is hidden deep within this game; a cerebral and Savage Adventure that only Twinbeard's sticky hivemind could spawn. <3

$19.99
No Man's Sky VR Supported
Recommended August 11, 2016

Imagine using the Metroid Prime scanner on every single plant and animal in the known universe. You will either love that, like me, or /rant endlessly

-50%
$59.99
$29.99
Pony Island
Recommended January 6, 2016

This game is pure sex. If you don't own this, you will never procreate and your bloodline will be lost in the annals of time...or something like that...

-66%
$4.99
$1.69
There Came an Echo
Recommended May 5, 2017

The player operates as a handler, using voice commands, for a squad of characters that encounter simplish tactical situations. The characters, story, and soundtrack are all top notch. Sleeper hit.

$14.99
Plants vs. Zombies GOTY Edition
Recommended May 27, 2018

PvZ distilled down the core elements of Tower Defense into a simplified and approachable package, without eschewing depth. Prepopulating the new game+ loadout was a stroke of genius. Great game- 10/10

$4.99
Terraria
Recommended September 24, 2014

Dat Minecraft in two dimension, doe.

-50%
$9.99
$4.99
Command Ops 2
Recommended February 15, 2017

One of the best PC wargames ever developed (but hard to grok). The realistic orders-based intel AI paradigm is brilliant. Not just a hex-and-counter clone. Grognards only. 10/10 would grog again!

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