Indie and Experimental Games Round-up

Written by Joe Martin

March 28, 2008 | 08:19

Tags: #art #experimental #free #graveyard #homebrew #physics #safari #zero-punctuation

Companies: #games #indie

Indie and Experimental Games Round-up

The Internet is a big place. Like, really big. Think of the biggest Douglas Adams quote you can, then times it by a billion-million and you still aren’t even close. You may think it takes a long time to find your MP3 folder, but that’s just peanuts to the Internet.

There’s a lot of good stuff out there though – a lot of very fun games that don’t always get the level of respect they deserve. Games that could be as good as something you'd actually pay for, but get kind of lost in the shuffle because the developer doesn’t have a multi-million dollar advertising budget.

At bit-tech we’ve got kind of a soft-spot for that – the type of developer who’s stuck in the small time at the moment, but has the potential to make it big. Maybe it’s because we were like that once: a for-fun modding site, since exploded into this juggernaut of awesome. Thus, we’ve developed this little round-up of the best and brightest.

You should have a look at some of these games if you've got the time. They're good – and we should know, we’ve been playing them for weeks now and it’s time we shared them around.

Off-Road Velociraptor Safari

Cost: Totally Free!
Play it now!

Indie and Experimental Games Round-up

Let’s start off with the quirkiest sounding game in the bunch then. Off-road Velociraptor Safari sounds like the type science fiction adventure game that Harlan Ellison might have designed if he dropped a load of crystal meth and spent too much time hanging around with Jack Kerouac. Or something...

With such an eye-catching title then, it’s remarkable that the game is both exactly what you would and wouldn’t expect it to be.

Played in a browser, Off-road Velociraptor Safari is exactly what it says on the tin. Set in the future (we think), players are given an all-terrain vehicle and a huge canyon to play in. Velociraptors roam the area, but thankfully you can plough through them with your jeep for points, racking up multipliers and hitting them with a huge ball-and-chain tailing behind your four-wheeled behemoth.

The aim of the game is simply to accumulate as many points possible in the allotted five minutes, using ramps to perform stunts and picking up various bonus items along the way. There probably isn’t a huge amount of longevity in the game for serious players, but as a quick game to dip in and out of subtly when the boss isn’t looking, Off-Road Velociraptor Safari is unmatched. On the down side though, Tim's probably just figured out what I've been up to these last few days when I should have been working...

The Blob

Cost: Totally Free!
Play it now!

Indie and Experimental Games Round-up

The Blob is possibly one of the most joyful games we’ve played in recent times, rivalling Beautiful Katamari in terms of sheer childish innocence and appeal – while also being a logical extension of its gameplay.

Just as with Off-Road Velociraptor Safari, the story isn’t really important, but if you must know I think it’s something to do with aliens. All you really need to know though is that the game is colourful, played entirely with the mouse and totally free. Developed by a team of about nine Dutch students, the game casts players as The Blob – a transparent roly-poly creature in the world’s dullest city, but tasked with going all Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen on the place.

By rolling over different coloured people you absorb their mass and tone, taking on a different colour to literally paint the town with. There’s stuff to collect, evil INKT agents to look out for—rolling over them will colour you black, forcing you suffer some shrinkage by dipping in the stream and getting clean—and landmarks to colour too as you continue a quest to bring some vibrancy to the town.

On top of this is a twist on the Katamari mechanic – the more people you absorb, the bigger you get, but the more you roll around and the more you paint the town, the smaller you get. It sounds weird, but it works fantastically and adds a sense of urgency and pace to what is actually a very lackadaisical and laid back game.
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