Indie games are awesome. Okay not all of them, but reflecting back on 2016 (yes even though we are well in 2017 now) it was a great year for indie titles. We had games like Enter the Gungeon, Stardew Valley, and Inside (both of which I really need to get around to playing) which were all some of the best games to be released, standing among even triple A titles with million dollar budets. Not saying Overwatch isn’t terrific, but give me another person to play with and Towerfall Ascension can make for endless laugh out loud moments.
Yet sometimes I feel like it’s easy for them to underappreciated. People think I’m strange because I buy these supposedly second tier games when the reality is indie games have provided some of the richest and funnest gaming moments in recent years. Granted, a big part of it is finding the right indie game. Many, many indie games come out every year, and like non-indie games, some of them do it better than others.
But why do I love indie games so much?
Hopefully I’ll be able to answer that question in this post. While each game has their own merits, I’ll try to generalize my reasoning. But without further ado, let’s start this list:
1) They are creative
Indie games are usually made by small teams of people, or in some cases, a single individual, as in the case of Stardew Valley. Because they don’t have overbearing teams and stuff determining what they and can’t do, the resulting games from indie developers are things you wouldn’t normally see in triple A titles. These titles demonstrate new, interesting ideas and unique gameplay, and often the experience that is forged is amazing.
As well as this is the passion backing indie games. Because the developers get free reign over the development, they get to see their dreams realised. The teams’ commitment to their craft is reflected in the polish and refinement present in some indie games
Take Crawl as an example, this is a game which takes a simple idea, pitting friends against each other, and turns it into an interesting game of hot potato, where the person with the hot potato is a hero trying to win the game, and the rest of the players are trying to kill him and take the potato to have their shot at winning. It is hectic and chaotic, while being simple and clever. More than anything, it’s unique. Before this most games I had played were shooters such as Call of Duty and Battlefield, Pokemon games and an assortment of adventure games, but Crawl introduced me to a side of gaming I had never heard of or knew existed, and I was starstruck.
2) They are good for low spec machines
Many indie games are pretty low demand in the graphics department, and as a person who appreciates good pixel art and gaming on my laptop from time to time, this is a god-send for me. Not saying all indie games use pixel art, but many do, or else they tend to go with something else that looks equally beautiful. Normally, this leads to low graphical demand, and it means when I am out and without my normal gaming PC, I have a number of great games I can jam to on my laptop. Being able to game on demand is important to me, and indie games nail it.
3) They are cheap
More of a minor reason, but it’s something that I can appreciate. Most indie games are under $25 NZD, which is cheap compared to more mainstream titles coming out nowadays which sit at around $100 sometimes. Given the amount of fun and enjoyment gained from these games they are absolutely worth the expense, and when they go on sale they can get so cheap I can hardly resist sometimes.
4) They usually have some form of co-op play
Whether it be couch co-op or online or both, some indie games are made to be played with other people, because gaming is just better with others. In particular local co-op seems to be reasonably prevalent, which is an awesome feature, I love being able to just connect some controllers and play with the people I’m with. Countless times local co-op has turned a boring, yawn-fest into a room full of laughter and excitement. This brings me t my next point, co-op has the potential to produce some outrageous fun, especially with indie games like Rocket League and Towerfall Ascension, and it’s inclusion in these games just turns the experience from awesome to legendary.
Not to say that single player indie titles aren’t just as amazing. Last year games like Inside and The Witness just go to show some of the incredible experiences you can have in indie games without a player two option.
Now to finish off, not all indie games are amazing, incredible fantastically wonderful experiences in the world of gaming, but when you find the right one for you, it can really be some of the most fun possible in a game. That’s why I love them.
But I would love to hear from you, do you play indie games? If so what are some of your favourites? And what makes them awesome to you? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to like this post if you enjoyed it. Until next time, stay beautiful 🙂