If high-budget games can be compared to blockbusters, then indie games begs an analogy with arthouse, which is created by an enthusiastic developer or a small team. And because they don't have to sell millions of copies like large development teams to justify the cost, they have more freedom and opportunity to experiment..
For example, they can take a genre that the mainstream has forgotten about and come up with a completely new gameplay based on it. There was a time when indie games went unnoticed, they were discussed only on highly specialized forums. But now everything has changed. Here are some of the best examples.
Braid is a platformer released in 2008, originally for the Xbox 360. It is believed that this "adventure" kicked off the boom in indie games. At least they began to talk a lot and often about them. It's easy to see why this happened. Let the basis of the plot, the rescue of a princess captivated by a monster, look rather trite, but the plot itself is full of surprises..
A key feature of Braid is its time manipulation mechanics. In each of the game worlds, the gameplay is tied to time in a special way. In one world, you can "rewind" time back, in another world, the flow of time depends on your movements, in the third it flows in the opposite direction, and so on. This feature can be confusing at first, but it makes the game more fun.
Machinarium is a beautiful point-and-click quest. The protagonist is a small robot desperately trying to return to the Machinarium and defeat the evil that has taken over the city..
There are no dialogues here. All communication is based on memories, desires and symbols, which makes the quest even more fun. However, why unnecessary words? Just look at the game itself, a real work of art, and listen to the enchanting soundtrack.
The golden age of American animation came in the 1930s. It was this time that the creators of Cuphead were inspired. It seems like the game really came to us from the era that gave birth to "Steamboat Willie" and Betty Boop.
All graphics are hand-drawn, background images are watercolors, and the soundtrack uses jazz compositions from the 30s. However, Cuphead is more than just a collection of retro sound and visuals.
Cuphead is an incredibly challenging adventure game with a run and gun combination. You control a character named Cuphead, who fights more and more powerful bosses from level to level to get to the devil himself. There is a cooperation mode that will allow you to use the help of a friend to survive in the game world.
The stanley parable
Don't talk too much about The Stanley Parable to spoil the charm of the game. The Parable of Stanley was originally created as a mod for Half-Life 2, but in 2013 it was released as a standalone game.
You control a character named Stanley. The game begins with the fact that you take the protagonist out of a strange abandoned office. All actions of the character are commented on by the narrator's voiceover. At the same time, the narrator tries to "lead" Stanley. When the player's actions are at odds with the narrator's recommendations, it looks pretty funny and a little surreal.
It is worth playing The Stanley Parable several times to try different options and see what results they lead to. This is the only way to get from the game all that it can give.
Super meat boy
Super Meat Boy is a sequel to the excellent browser game Meat Boy, but you can also consider it as an independent game.
This is a challenging platformer in which you control a red square piece of meat (Meat Boy). The protagonist moves across the terrain filled with dangers in order to save his girlfriend. The creators were clearly inspired by old school classics like Super Mario Bros 2 and Mega Man 2.
There are over three hundred levels in Super Meat Boy, but you can't say that difficulty increases linearly as you move from one to the next. You will return to previous levels during the game, and wonder why they seemed difficult to you on the first playthrough.
Return of the obra dinn
Welcome aboard the 1800s East India Company ghost ship! This is the second game by Lucas Pope, developer of Papers, Please. And we can confidently say that it turned out better than the first one.
The entire crew mysteriously disappeared from the ship, and you will have to solve the mystery of its disappearance. You must search for clues, gather information and put it together to find out the names of the victims and find out how each of them met their fate.
Game Return of the Obra Dinn very interesting framed. It looks like the graphics were created for the first Macs. Stylistics will be a nice addition to an exciting quest.
Bastion is an RPG and shooter game. The action takes place in a fictional world in which an unknown catastrophe almost destroyed the planet and left only a chain of islands with destroyed cities from the continents.
You control a little boy, whose name is that - Kid. However, in spite of his young age, the guy is very good at handling melee weapons and firearms. As you progress through the game, the voiceover not only tells a fascinating story, but also comments on your actions.
All weapons that you pick up can be upgraded. On the way to your goal, the restoration of the Bastion, you will find many ordeals and exciting adventures.
A hat in time
3D platformers have always been in vogue, so the appearance of A Hat in Time is no surprise. This is a charming, charming and very funny "adventure game" with a story about a little girl trying to get home in her spaceship. To do this, she needs to collect "time particles" scattered across different planets.
A girl named Hat Girl gains different abilities depending on the hats she creates. The abilities include, for example, the preparation of magical potions or the ability to look into parallel worlds. The game is very addicting. And she will surely make you smile more than once.
Inside is a dark game both aesthetically and emotionally. It is predominantly monochrome. There are few sounds in it, but a lot of despair, hopelessness and fear.
You control a little boy chased by dark forces. The main character does not have to be bored, you constantly need to run from evil dogs, then escape from the flood, then shoot back from enemies with darts with a tranquilizer.
Inside is a puzzle platformer, so you will have to interact with various elements of the environment to progress in the game. To find out if there is a light at the end of the tunnel and if it will lead you somewhere.
Our list wouldn't be complete without Stardew Valley . Programmer Eric Baron spent about four years creating the game. The result exceeded all expectations. The game boasts not only amazing gameplay, but also one of the best soundtracks of any indie game.
Stardew Valley was inspired by Harvest Moon. The plot is simple: you inherit your grandfather's farm, so you need to delve into the intricacies of farming to make a living. You can also learn skills such as mining or fishing, you can meet neighbors, explore underground caves and many other things.