By Clubvodka 18 Comments
(NB - wrote this for a friend for his website and aimed at people who are new to indie games, so if it seems a little pandering I apologise)
To avoid this turning into an ill-informed, half-arsedly researched essay I’ll assume you know what video games are, specifically ‘Indie Games’. Born out XNA software, XNA games (later rebranded as Indie Games) are bite size, cheap stabs at making it big by getting your game out there. Fire up your Xbox, navigate through a thousand menus and you’ll eventually find the Indie Games channel. You’ll want to immediately turn it off and shout of me for saying you should do that. Indie Games are marred by rip-offs (and not even good rip-offs), useless ‘games’ featuring YOUR avatar and of course zombies, lots and lots of pissing zombies. You give people an inch…
Never the less, the saving grace for Indie Games is that they are cheap, anywhere from 80-400 Microsoft moon points. You can also get your fill of any bad game with the generous thirty minute trial (the best part is that it’s free!). Like short films being the incestuous cousin of feature films, Indie Games also have the ability to launch a developer’s career. Take (pause while I look this up on the Internet) (Firefox just crashed) (I’m looking it up on my Xbox).
Ok, take Arkedo for example who have made a series of games handily called Arkedo Series. 03 Pixel is the best one, featuring the adventures of a white pixelated cat as it travels through a treacherous neon blue wonderland. Coming out of E3 2011 was the news that Arkedo have picked up to work on something big, so big breaks do happen.
So in order to help you navigate the minefield of zombie-themed snooze fests and Silver Dollar Games (please don’t ever buy or play one of their games), I’m going to run off a few of my favourites to date. Note – I used an overdraft from a well-known high street bank to pay for all these games.
( Andrew Russell/80 MSP)
This 2009 platformer is strange. You can finish it in half an hour, you collect stuff that has no bearing on the game and it looks exactly like XBLA smash-hit, Limbo but it came out years before it. Regardless, the minimalist sound design, striking visuals and haunting music prompted me to write down Andrew’s email address from the credits, email him and tell him how much I loved the game. He told me he’s currently working on something new. Stay tuned.
Decay Parts I-IV
( Shining Gate Software/240 MSP per episode)
A throwback to days go by. This first person point and click is divisive to say the least, across all four parts you’ll encounter fiendish puzzles, nonsensical plot twists and jump scares that made my literally hand the controller to my girlfriend and force her to play for me. Parts 2 and 3 are really where it’s it but for the full experience it’s worth playing them all.
( Fuzzy Bug/400 MSP)
It’s fucking Word Soup dawg.
( raytaller/80 MSP)
A pint sized puzzle game with infinite amounts of charm and soothing music. Go see this one for yourself, I tried explaining it in my head and it didn’t work.
There’s plenty more fun to be had and I might do a follow up cause I’ve got many more awesome Indie Games sitting on my hard drive but you’re dying to go so I’ll let you be on your merry way. Honourable mention goes to radiangames for their amazing line of twin-stick shooters (Geometry Wars knock-offs, maybe, but great all the same).