We’ve all heard of runaway indie hits like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Super Meat Boy and of course the grand daddy, Minecraft. But I want to talk about some other, slightly lesser known indie games that I think you absolutely need to check out.
So, in no particular order, the top five indie games you must play…
This is a very atmospheric, survival horror style side scrolling game. It is obviously heavily influenced by the Silent Hill franchise, which is always a good thing. The tense, disturbing atmosphere of the game really does remind me of Silent Hill 2 in particular. You might think that a game with such limited graphics couldn’t be scary, but this game knows more about how to use lighting, music and pacing more than most AAA “horror” games do. The game really does invoke the sense of loneliness that you would expect, as well as a very nice gameplay experience. If you’re a fan of the genre and want a very well made, disturbed experience then this is the game for you.
This is a pretty manic little top down, arcade style shooter. It has an insanely vibrant aesthetic, with a pretty mad amount of bright colours and flashing lights on the screen at any one time. Beat Hazard is a pretty intense experience, to say the least. The main mechanic of this game is that it’s powered by your music, so the stuff on screen will flash in time with the beat, and how many enemies are on screen kind of depends on the pace of the music too. Also, how fast you fire is effected by the music. There are leaderboards, as well as various difficulty levels so there is literally an endless amount of content to do here. It does come with it’s own stock of music, but obviously the main fun is blowing up tons of enemy ships to your favourite tune.
There are probably more than a few of you who have heard of this one, but I still wanted to include it here. This is a truly beautiful and well made top down action game. It has a truly unique and gorgeous hand drawn graphics style, which gives the game a ton of character. The music is also cracking, and rates as one of my favourite game OSTs of all time. The gameplay is slick and satisfying, and the story is not only interesting, it is brilliantly told. This game is a perfect example of story and gameplay interacting perfectly, as the game keeps you informed at all times without getting in the way of the gameplay in any way, at any point. This is done with the use of excellent narration, and also further adds to the character of the game. An absolute must buy.
This a rather gorgeous looking physics based puzzle platformer, and it’s sequel is even more beautiful. Trine and Trine 2 are absolute must play games for me, as they have a ton of character as well as pretty, original graphics. The storyline goes well with the aesthetic of the game, and the game world, but the true star is the gameplay. As I mentioned earlier it’s all about using physics, and your brain, to figure your way through the levels. You have three characters to choose from, all with different abilities, and you must switch between them to get the solution. There is local co-op in the original, and the sequel also has online available. This is an absolute riot with friends.
This is a rather disturbing experience from the guys who brought you Super Meat Boy. This a twisted, deeply weird top down action game. Isaac is truly bizarre in a way that can’t really be explained with mere words, it is something that comes out of every pore of the game. The enemies, music, pick ups and Isaac himself all add to the feeling that this world is just very wrong. It is an interesting experience that is definitely worth a go, but just be prepared for some seriously high levels of weird.