It’s that time again for me to talk about some great indie games you may not have played or heard of. So since I don’t have much of an introduction to write here let’s just get to the meat and potatoes. Enjoy and if you know of any cool indie games for me to check out give them a shout out in the comments. Peace Love and Metal!!!
The realm of indie games is such a wonderful place filled with some of the most imaginative and wonderful games available today. Pretty much any style of gamer, from the COD armchair soldier to manchild stuck in the days of Super Mario Bros., can find a game that fits their fancy. But there is also a loooooot of crap to sift through as, bless them for trying, many basement developers just don’t put the required passion or energy into their game and you end up dropping your cash on something less than lackluster. So, since I don’t mind sifting through the feces for that hidden gem (much like I do with music) I’m here to point out the gaming gems that you may overlook and never end up playing. You will notice that I do have a thing for retro-syled games and my preferred platform is the PC, so you will see quite a bit of them here, but I’ll do my best throughout these series of posts to be as diversified as possible and I’ll try to mention some deep cuts as well as some of the more popular indie games you may have overlooked. So, without further ado, I, the Indienaught, kindly request that you check these game out. I also kindly request that you head over to Steam’s Greenlight section and start checking out some games and upvoting the ones that look cool to you. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
What is it about pixel art graphic aesthetics that will forever draw me into a game? Many will argue that their usage is reaching a point of over-saturation, that their time has passed, and are just a cheap trick to prey on my generation of gamers nostalgia. Me, however, feels just the opposite. I will never get enough of pixel art graphics and with modern technology there is just so much more one can do with them. And while my nostalgia does play a part in why I enjoy their look, there are many other reasons why I find them pleasing to the eye, such as the adage that one’s mind will fill in the blanks with something more personal and more horrific and/or beautiful than the artist could ever create (see: Japanese horror flicks). In pixel art graphics, no matter how detailed they get, there is always room for me to fill in blanks and smooth out edges in my mind, therefore creating a delightful mix of what the artist intended and the brush of the artist in my mind.
Anodyne looks not only to explore this facet of gaming and art, but also asks the player to take a deeper step into not only different aspects of game design, but also into game playing and beyond. Why do we enjoy the medium, why the pleasure derived from an aesthetic, why do we all almost always perform certain actions, and why don’t many of us want to grow up. Many of these questions are aptly answered in the games title alone, but once you delve into the game and start exploring its surrealistic pixel world the introspects of the 2 man development team’s (Sean Hogan (audio, programming) and Jonathan Kittaka (art, writing) for Analgesic Productions LLC) very personal thoughts and feelings will really start encouraging you to ponder the same theories as they were. And when all is said and done and the games finale is reached you will realize that you discovered new things about yourself other than why you like video games or pixel art graphics. So, like the filling in the blanks of the visual art with your imagination, you will be filling in the questions and creating your own questions with the framework the game creates. Oh, and Anodyne is a lot of fun to play too!
Can the maker repair what he makes?
By now, video games have reached a point where questioning religion, society, war, and other difficult and taboo subject matter have found their way into the subject matter. Dig deep into the lore of games like Portal 2, Bioshock, Limbo, El Shaddai, Deus Ex, Spec Ops: The Line, Metal Gear Solid, etc. and you will find deep and introspective ‘mature’ subject matter. I applaud games like this for giving the medium a much need push forward, and when a game comes out that tackles these type of themes I make it a point to play it. When I first caught wind of Primordia through the Steam Greenlight feature the concept of a post-apocalyptic world where man had become extinct and robots and androids lived on to create their own society where some had began to worship their makers, man, had really piqued my attention. Then quickly seeing it was being co-produced by one of my favorite adventure game publishers, Wadjet Eye (Gemini Rue, The Blackwell Series, Resonance), and newcomers Wormwood Studios, I knew I had to get my hands on this game. Did Wadjet continue their amazing track record, are Wormwood Studios a worthy new dev. team, did Primordia live up to my lofty expectation of delivering quality gameplay as well as a narrative that would tickle my brain? Read on. (note: I’m trying a different style to my game reviews and am now going to add a score at the end :gasp!:, hope you dig it)
Exploring through a mountain turned dungeon staring at the same tile-set on the walls for hours on end may sound like something that would make for a dull and tedious game. Especially when the game limits you movement capabilities to a square-based grid and tosses environmental puzzles your way that could be easily solved if you could stand at a diagonal position. Then there’s the odd dial-a-spell magic system and unclear narrative that come off as clumsy. But somehow, Legend of Grimrock, developed by Finnish studio (seriously, is there anything the Finns can’t do?) Almost Human, have taken all of these bad design troupes and used them in a way that makes the game a highly memorable, and more importantly, deeply engaging game experience that should not be missed.
If you are familiar with old-school first person PC RPGs like Eye of the Beholder, than you should know exactly what you’re getting into here, so you can stop reading and just go play the game and get full satisfaction. For others, in Legend of Grimrock, everything is based on square tiles, the map, movement, puzzles, etc. Even your adventuring party is square; a group of 4 that your design yourself whom are all chained together, have been charged with a crime and cast into a mountain cum dungeon, Mt. Grimrock. Your task is to escape the mountain, and if you do so, your crimes will be absolved.
Over the recent holiday I found my game library expand yet again. Between the release of Humble Indie Bundle 7, some gifts, and the Steam Winter Sale my game library is overflowing with games. Usually when I go on a gaming shopping spree I install a bunch of them and play for a little while and eventually choose a couple to continue with to the end (or just keep on playing because the game doesn’t have an end). When I finish those I randomly pick another one and start it over from the beginning and play to the end, and so on. Here’s this binge’s selection of games I chose for my first round of try-outs (and I still have another handful I haven’t even installed yet) and my first impressions on them. Hopefully you enjoy and maybe find some cool games to play. Peace Love and Metal!!!
Upon waking up from a long and restful sleep that lasted well into the late afternoon the young man rubs the sleep from his eyes and goes about his daily routine. He washes up, gets dressed, and goes to check his answering machine. After a couple of messages from family and friends his employer informs him about yet another odd job that needs to be done. This time he has to fill in for a DJ at a nightclub and requests that the man be dressed to kill. He dons his silver motorcycle jacket and heads out to work.
Arriving at the club he puts a mask resembling a rooster on to conceal his identity and then bursts through the door knocking the armed bouncer to the floor where he proceeds to climb on top of him and repeatedly thrust his clasped fist into the unsuspecting guard’s head until nothing but a pile of brain, blood, and bits of skull paint the floor. By now other guards in the club have taken notice that something has gone awry, but even in their quick reaction they can help avoid being blind sided by the billy club the bouncer was once holding. Swipe after swipe the man opens their heads like eggs leaving smatterings of blood across the walls and floor. To the dismay of the other guards in the room one of their felled co-workers had a pistol in his possession which has now been turned on them. The sharpshooter accuracy of their attacker is unparalleled as he meticulously connects bullets to vital organs and aims for joints to remove limbs that would give them a fair advantage. To the mans demise a guard with a knife is hiding around a corner and as the killer makes his way to the angle he jumps out and buries the blade deep in the mad man’s throat. [Game Over – Press A To Restart]….
Arriving at the club he puts a mask resembling a rooster on to conceal his identity and then bursts through the door……
I was going to write a post hawking the Humble Bundle like I usually do when one of those wonderful bundles of games comes along and as I was writing it up a flood of ideas, opinions, and rants flooded into my head. So, I scrapped it, choosing instead to just do a big ol’ brain fart on the topic of video games here instead. I apologize in advance for the lack of flow and disjointed nature of everything written here. Oh well, let the rambling begin.
Continuing with a series of posts I have written on some quality games you can get at great prices to get the biggest bang for you buck (more great cheap games here and here), here’s another 5-set of great inexpensive games to check out. My rule is for a game to make the list it has to be readily available and easy to find as well as under 20 of whatever your country’s currency is in (dollars or euros). So you will see a mixed bag of great bargain bin console games, modern classics, free-to-play, downloadable titles, and cool indie games ranging between PC and consoles. And as much as I’d like to play every game ever made, I can’t, so if you know of any that belong on one of these posts feel free to give it a shout out. Enjoy! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Recently I dropped a nice chunk of change on Steam’s annual Summer of Steam sale and got me a ton of new games to play and I’ve also had a bunch of games sitting on the backburner that I’ve been wanting to talk about. To tie it all up here’s some games that I’m currently enjoying or have already enjoyed and find myself revisiting often. This will all be primarily from the indie game area of the realm of video games, so you can find all of these on the cheap and they are all worth every penny you put into them, almost always giving back more than you paid. To keep this somewhat shorter I’m only listing 5 games, and in the next couple weeks or so I’ll do another 5 until I run out of games to talk about/suggest. So, without further ado, here are some cool games to check out. Enjoy! Peace Love and Metal!!