The Best of the Nets

Indie games, we’ve already established can be of any genre or style. I’ve already mentioned the fantastically minimalist Pick up the Phone Booth and Die! and mind-bending action of Narbacular Drop, but what other games are out there in the different genres? Am I just talking out of the wrong orifices when I say indie games can be of any type and size?

Obviously there are far too many indie games to even vaguely mention, but there are some obvious highlights.

In the combat and OTT action category we’ve got games like Zombie Smashers X, a 2D street brawler with old-school combos and Survival Crisis Z, a sandbox-style post apocalyptic RPG.

For platform and puzzle fanatics, Wik and The Fable of Souls is a deliriously simple and charming poem of platforming. As is Professor Fizzwizzle, a children’s puzzler which quickly stumps most parents.

There's also N, a coin-collecting frenzy which sees a ninja running around a slippery world with a masterful physics engine. N has proven so successful in fact that it will soon see a port to the DS.

The World of Indie Games The best of the nets The World of Indie Games The best of the nets
Outpost Kaloki (left) and Wik and The Fable of Souls (right)

If your tastes are a little more standard though and you prefer a round of RTS action then I of The Enemy will cater for you, as will Outpost Kaloki - a game which sees players trying to build a successful ecosystem on an orbiting space station.

Adventure games more your thing? Don't blame you, I'm partial to a bit of Monkey Island myself, so trust me when I say that Five Days a Stranger is suitably serious and confounding (not to mention scary). If you'd rather have a more high-tech adventure game though, with some graphically gorgeous and scary action between the puzzles, then Penumbra can show you how Doom 3 should have been.

Hell, there’s even Facade, an interactive drama which delivers A.I to put any professional game to shame and which places players as a dinner guest in a party which will change the shape of a marriage forever. With randomised elements and seamlessly constructed characters who prove complex and interesting no matter times you replay the game, Facade is a game I can't praise highly enough.

The World of Indie Games The best of the nets The World of Indie Games The best of the nets
Facade (left) and Penumbra (right)

All that without even tapping the surface or delving into the experimental games which don’t have a easily defineable genre.

So, whoever you and whatever you are, there’s an indie game to cater for you interest. Bunnies doing kung-fu are as common as Zombie Locksmiths.

Even better, each of these games confirms the idea that an indie game can’t be defined by the size of its backers, but only by the enthusiasm and individuality of its team and design. These games are also important because of the way they shape the future of the games industry and push hardcore gamers to demand more from designers.

Read on to find out how...
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October 14 2021 | 15:04