N++ (2016)

Recommended by Saleem Dabbous
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Developed over 11 years by Metanet, N++ just might be the perfect video game. It’s hard to overstate what a pure experience it provides. 

In N++ you play a tiny little stickman ninja that runs around abstract, single-screen levels collecting coins and trying to reach the exit. Oh, and there are about a million little traps just waiting to kill you. In N++, you will die—a lot! And that’s okay because the game is all about learning to master incredibly tight controls with impeccable movement mechanics. Thankfully, it provides instant level restarts. 

If you’re a fan of games like Spelunky or other roguelikes, N++ is somewhat of their spiritual precursor: a seminal game in the platforming genre that has influenced countless others—and yet still stands on its own.

N++ is the final installment in the N series of games, but what’s so beautiful and pure about it is the fact that, as their excellent trailer puts it, there is no story, no crafting, no grinding—just pure skill-based platforming. It doesn’t hurt that the game also has a devilishly fun multiplayer mode and a collection of incredible electronic music. 

N++ is the distillation of a formula learned and honed over years, and perfected into a single package that doesn’t require any previous knowledge of the N series. It truly is one of the most perfect video games out there.

Saleem Dabbous is the studio director of the worker-owned game studio KO_OP

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Digital

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Canadian connection

Developed by Metanet Software
Toronto, Ontario