While most of your time last year was probably spent playing WOW Cataclysm, Black Ops, Halo and God of War, there was a whole other world of gaming waiting for you. That world is indie games, a strange place full of experimental gameplay, stylized and often terrible visuals and pretentiousness. On planet indie there’s even a few real gems to be found. Consider the entries in this list the Unobtainium of planet Indie.
Too obvious? You’d have to be hiding in an underground cave or remote mountain citadel to have not heard of this indie phenomenon. For more on this ultimate time sync, check out Gnarley Harley’s article or just go download it and play it right now!
4. Digital: a love story
Combining nostalgia for the earliest days of pre-internet on-line communication and a melancholy, bitter-sweet storyline this little game charms from the first minute. The storyline is compelling and shows that without any real graphics a rich and involving narrative can be constructed and vivid and believable characters can be crafted. I was so immersed in this game it took me to a whole other world. When I received an email on my own computer I read it thinking it was from someone in the game world. Teams of hundreds of developers supported with millions of dollars of development budget rarely engage a player so completely. Its like Uplink or Wargames, but with more humanity. Beautiful.
3. Meat Boy
If you haven’t played Super Meat Boy yet, this original version should win you over. Retro stylings, brutal but completely fair and hillarious, Meat Boy has something for everyone. It will beat you down, but you will love it for making you stronger.
2. Robot Unicorn Attack Heavy Metal
Part of the appeal of the original Robot Unicorn Attack was the super-gay soundtrack. The gentle, euro-dance tones of Erasure contrasted perfectly with the urgency and danger of the game to create an experience that managed to be both soothing and invigorating (I just realised that description makes it sound like a bubble bath). I thought a metal version of the game would detract from the main selling point of the original: the pitch perfect soundtrack. Thankfully the metal version is almost as good, combining ludicrously camp Dio-style rawk with suitably ridiculous remixed graphics while retaining the addictive gameplay of the original.
1. …But that was [yesterday]
Simple, short, poignant, brilliant. Most things I can say about this game would ruin it. Although its still not quite as good as my all time favourite indie game, its close. Quite simply, you have to play this.