Most Preferred Game Characteristics
I see the thread is a month old, but probably you still look for games. But as I look at your criteria, some leave room for interpretation:
ambience: What exactly do you mean?
retro aesthetics: Does that mean pixel-art? Or just not AAA-3D-worlds?
creative gameplay: Well, obviously this is very open to interpretation.
Anyways, today releases Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire. Offers clearly exploration and quality narrative, and as you have a party of characters the first one you creating yourself, you can have the female lead if you want. Maybe you wanna check out the first game first, but that's up to you.
Oxenfree clearly matches your criteria, it has female lead, narrative and some exploration. If you want, you can interprete the uncanny atmosphere as ambience. Also I would check creative gameplay, but opinions may differ. You may even see the art style as retro.
I haven't played Frostpunk yet, but it is from the makers of This war of mine and every review says it has the same hard decision-making. As This war of mine is in your list, this might be up your alley.
Also nice Aggretsuko-avatar you have.
After some thinking, I think also Dragon Quest Builders might be something for you. Yes, it is minecraft-style building and crafting. But you do that to fulfill requests of the people in your town and to progress the story. So it might be your style. Again, you create your character, so female lead is in your grasp.
Last edited by Mnementh - on 08 May 2018