Have you heard of the Arctic Monkeys? A Brief Look at Indie Games

(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.
 
Dark

( 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.
 
Word Soup

( Fuzzy Bug/400 MSP)

It’s fucking Word Soup dawg.
 
Pocoro

( 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).

18 Comments
19 Comments
Posted by Clubvodka

(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.
 
Dark

( 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.
 
Word Soup

( Fuzzy Bug/400 MSP)

It’s fucking Word Soup dawg.
 
Pocoro

( 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).

Posted by IBurningStar

Not enough Arctic Monkeys discussion going on here.

Posted by Clubvodka

Alas, you're right. Might have to do a follow up and address it.

Posted by sionweeks

Who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys?

Posted by ajamafalous

Sorry sweetheart I'd much rather keep on the balaclava.

Posted by Dylabaloo

@sionweeks said:

Who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys?

I like what you did there.

Posted by natetodamax
@sionweeks
Who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys?
It's a band.
Edited by sionweeks
Posted by Levianth

Their last album really bummed me out...

Posted by Seedofpower

Yeah I saw them live April last year, fun show.

Granted your post said nothing about them. With that I will continue to stay away from indie xbl games.

Posted by UlquioKani
@Levianth said:
Their last album really bummed me out...
fuck you, but why, it seemed like what the fans wanted after humbug.
Posted by Levianth
@UlquioKani: Don't get me wrong, it was miles better than humbug, but it felt like they shifted away from their heavier sound back to their original light music, just without actually capturing what it was that made their old music great. It lacked that great pacing that their older stuff had. Still a good album, just seems like some of the magic's gone.
Posted by sionweeks

As soon as a band has to 'try to capture the old sound again' it's pretty much over. although, I personally like Humbug.

Posted by Klaptos

I've really enjoyed every one of their albums thus far. Haven´t listened to anything from the new one yet.

Posted by Kyle

Arctic Monkeys? Are those them biological experiment monkeys that shot ice beams at you in System Shock 2?

Posted by Clubvodka

Find it really strange that an Arctic Monkeys debate has spawned out of my love for indie games but to each thier own. First album was the best, just to clear this up before it turns nasty!

Posted by AhmadMetallic
@natetodamax said:
@sionweeks
Who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys?
It's a band.
about video ga--- wait
Posted by sionweeks
@Clubvodka said:
Find it really strange that an Arctic Monkeys debate has spawned out of my love for indie games but to each thier own. First album was the best, just to clear this up before it turns nasty!
Extremely close call for me. My brain says the first but my heart says the second, but I think I'll go with the second album. 
 
But yeah sorry, I read all of your post but I really had to make the obvious joke.
Posted by Clubvodka

Someone had to! And at least you read all of it so you're allowed to make a joke. Tis what the internet is for.... I think... or was it built for hacking? I can never figure it out.