Saturday, October 22, 2011

5 Indie Games You Need to Play Right Now (If You Aren't Already)

The great thing about indie developers is that they're not tied to a publisher who tells them what they can and can't do. Indie devs don't need approval from a higher up, they just do what they want and either self-publish, or their game gets picked up by an interested publisher (which appears to be a rarity, but does on occasion happen). Indie games can be in a whole range of prices, some free, others $15+ and some in-between. The following are 5 that, in my opinion you should all go play right this instant.


Yes, I know most of you have probably already heard of Minecraft. Now that the game is further along in development and entering a stage of near-release and there are now a bunch of new features I never got to talk about in my "review". Namely, leveling up and experience and a slew of additions from the Adventure updates. Sword blocking, running, improved bow and arrows, swamps, rivers, strongholds, abandoned mine shafts, ravines, new mobs, and many, many more features. If you have yet to play Minecraft, stop everything and go try it out immediately.

Techno Kitten Adventure
Buy: XBL Indie Games; iPhone App Store

Imagine kittens, techno and LSD coming together to form an awesome indie game. That's basically what this is. Your eyeballs will burst into flames when playing this game but you'll be too busy laughing to care. This is just one of those games where you need to play it to know what it is, because it's fairly hard to describe in detail just what is going on. Good thing all XBL Indie Games come with free trials (not that parting with 3 bucks should be an issue since you've spent a lot more on a retail game only to be disappointed that you spent and entire $60 on it).

Happy Wheels

Ever play one of those bike games where you control a character on a bike or atv or whatever and your goal is to get to the end without dying? Will, imagine that, but a million times more awesome and original. It's free, so you just head on over right now and within a minute of playing it, you'll see why I recommend this time waster. However, it seems that this game is becoming very popular and a 500 internal error is becoming common, so be patient if it doesn't load up at first.

Buy: XBL Indie Games

I actually featured this game on an old feature way back in the day called Indie Sunday. It's a really interesting XBLIG and I love it to death because it just had this calming, "no rushing" air about it. There's a sequel out, but I haven't played it yet, though I'm sure it's probably just as good, if not better. Plus, if I remember correctly, it's only worth a dollar. You spend more on a drink at the local deli than you will on this game.

Super Meat Boy
Buy: XBL Arcade, Steam, Direct2Drive

I once had the pleasure of speaking to the creators of Super Meat Boy and they described it like this: Imagine Super Mario Bros. but without skin and he can jump off walls. They really wanted to release it for the Wii as well as they did the PC and 360, but couldn't with WiiWare size restrictions. They looked in to releasing it as a budget Wii retail title, but all 3rd party publishers said they didn't see the money in it. I know Tommy (the programmer of Team Meat) had already put a lot of work into making the Wii version the best it could be considering the limitations, so to make him feel better, play the trial and buy the game if you like it. In fact, buy all the indie games on this list if you like them. Indie devs are a starving bunch (well, mostly a starving bunch, Notch is making some serious bank on Minecraft, but I don't think many others have made too much).

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