Indie Games You Really Should Play
Amazing, Beautiful, Weird, Wonderful and Just Plain Awesome Indie Games
A collection of amazing indie games that stand out from the crowd. Covering both upcoming games and older games, and focusing on only the most interesting, bizarre, beautiful and obscure. Check back often as I'll be updating and adding new games on a regular basis.
Ones to Watch - Games currently in Alpha/Beta/Funding
A list of games currently in development stages that look promising. Not all of them are currently playable, so I've included in the description whether they have playable releases, and also marked the prices if they're currently funding through early purchase or similiar.
- Under the Ocean
Great-looking sandbox survival/construction game, in alpha funding. You can pick up the alpha for $7 (about Â£4.40).
- Cube World
A voxel-based exploration RPG currently in development. This is the developers' blog. The game is not released yet, but looks promising.
- Don't Starve
A 2D survival/crafting game currently in beta. Really nice art style, and a very fun playable beta available for $12 (about Â£7.45).
A 2D survival sandbox game, with similarities to Terraria. Not playable yet, but development updates make it look very promising. Keep an eye out.
A citybuilder/management RPG influenced by Dwarf Fortress. Currently in Beta, and available for pre-purchase on Steam for Â£9.99.
Basically Dwarf Fortress with better graphics and slightly less complex gameplay. In Alpha at the moment and available for pre-purchase for $7.99 (about Â£4.99) from their website, and also available on Desura.
The Godfather of 3D Block Games
If you're into indie games, and you haven't played Minecraft, well the only question is: Where have you been?
The game started development in 2009 and shot to fame rapidly. When it reached Beta in 2011 it sold 1,000,000 copies in less than a month, without ever spending a penny on marketing or advertising. Currently it's sitting on over 9,000,000 copies sold.
A 3D sandbox game, where everything (almost) is destructible and usable for building and crafting, the game encourages free-form play, exploration and creativity. You can mine for minerals in the earth, explore caves and fight monsters, stay at home and farm crops, or simply spend a leisurely afternoon building a medieval castle to plan your evil schemes in. Either way, you'll either be inspired by the variety of play, or, as a few are, turned off by the non-linear format, and seemingly goalless structure. Personally I'm firmly in the first camp, and have spent countless hours spelunking or building huge structures in the game.
If you're interested in checking it out, there are currently versions of the game for PC, Xbox 360, iOS and Android available.
Official Minecraft Trailer
The Original 2D Miner (well apart from Manic Miner)
Hailed by some as the 2D Minecraft, it would be a mistake to view Terraria as anything except it's own very unique brand of game. With more focus on RPG elements, and a more combat-driven gameplay model, Terraria manages to fit a little bit of everything into the mix. Platformer, RPG, sandbox survival, hack'n'slash combat and construction thrown in, make sure that you won't quickly get bored of the game. As well as this, there's a slightly more linear feel to the development, with higher-end items taking significantly longer to acquire, and tiers of bosses to challenge you.
The game completed development for good at the start of 2012, after receiving rave reviews and selling incredibly well throughout it's Beta run, so it can now be considered a finished product, and a great one at that.
Official Terraria Trailer
For those who like it complex
Considered one of the most complex and involved video games ever created, Dwarf Fortress understandable has a pretty steep learning curve. However, if you have the patience and the will to look beyond the 8-bit ASCII graphics, and complicated GUI, to get to the heart of it, it's also one of the most fun gameplay experiences you can have.
Taking inspiration from the roguelike genre, and throwing in strategy, city-building, resource management and crafting, as well as a whole host of other features, the game puts you in control of a team of dwarves, unceremoniously dumped into a procedurally-generated world, and left to fend for themselves. Your task is to make sure they stay alive, and defend themselves against everything the hostile environment can throw at them.
The real thrill of Dwarf Fortress is in the depth of content and gameplay available. Even just generating a world takes a short while to do, as the game chugs through the entire history of the world, generating not just the map and terrain, but historical events, races and artifacts, that live and die. The attention to detail is astounding, with tons of things being simulated, from dwarves that take damage to specific organs or limbs of their bodies in combat, to entire other races living around you, who either want to help or hinder you.
The game has recently inspired quite a few similar indie titles, including Towns and Gnomoria. While both of these are turning out to be great games, the original still has the edge in terms of sheer scale and complexity.
Dwarf Fortress Tutorial
Atmospheric puzzle platformer
Calling Limbo a puzzle-platform game doesn't really do it much justice. There's a massive amount of puzzle platformers around, but none with the atmosphere, beauty and sheer polish that Limbo offers. From the dark storyline that develops organically as you move through the game, and the mesmerizing and creepy monotone artwork which reveals much more than it hides, the game is definitely a choice for those who like depth, atmosphere and a sense of mystery in their gaming. In other words, if your looking for a quick 'jump around and press the buttons' fix, then I would go elsewhere. Otherwise, you're missing out if you've never tried this one.
Honorable Mentions - Other amazing indie games that I didn't quite feel merited a whole section
- Kingdom of Loathing
A text and picture browser game with a wicked sense of humor, Kingdom of Loathing is a 'free, comical RPG' which has been going since 2003, and is definitely worth a look.
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