So your favourite genre of video games didn’t make it into the first part of my beginner’s guide to indie games on Wednesday? Well fear not, for I return with part two today! A big thank you once again to Dan from Now is Games for suggesting I write this series and being the inspiration behind it.
As mentioned previously: the following list contains only titles I’ve actually played myself and, as pretty obvious from the content on Later Levels, I tend to favour adventures or games with strong narratives. However, I’ve made a point of not making every entry a point-and-click (although there are still a few) and hopefully everyone will be able to find something that appeals to them here…
Ok, ok, I know I said I’d be careful about adding point-and-clicks to my list; but let me start off with one to get it out of my system and then I’ll leave them alone for a while. Stasis was a game I backed through Kickstarter and it’s one of the better titles I’ve received this way. It contains a few too many storyline elements to make it as cohesive as it could be, but the atmosphere is excellent and you’ll find the hairs standing up on the back of your neck.
If you’re looking for a more ‘traditional’ horror game however, Outlast may be the thing for you – especially with Halloween fast approaching. As investigative journalist Miles Upshur, you must explore the long-abandoned Mount Massive Asylum and try to survive long enough to discover its terrible secret; but without a weapon to hand, your only hope is to run or hide. Prepare yourself for jump-scares and a few screams along the way.
Next up are a couple of ‘indie darlings’ and even if you’ve never played an indie release, it’s highly likely you’ve at least heard of them. Braid is a clever platformer that features a ‘time manipulation’ mechanic, which is extremely handy if you keep falling down holes and has an interesting effect on the game’s plot. It’s not however one for those who don’t like storylines open to interpretation or think ambiguous endings are pretentious and full of ‘hipster b******t’.
If you can appreciate a title which uses excellent narration to give otherwise simplistic shapes colourful personalities, it’s worth checking out Thomas Was Alone: a lovely little release about a group of artificial intelligences (AIs) who try to make their way to freedom before they’re deleted. If you’re not a fan of Danny Wallace though and can’t think of anything worse than listening to his voice for several hours on end, then I’d probably steer well clear.
Little Inferno is a fun game whose cartoonish looks and cheery music disguise how clever it actually is. Players throw toys into their new Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace and watch them burn as they figure out puzzle combinations, while the weatherman encourages them to stay indoors. But what’s really going on in the outside world and why does your weird neighbour keep sending you messages? It’s best to hide the matches after playing.
Meanwhile, The Witness is one of those titles where it’s more about the journey than the destination. You’ll find yourself on an island surrounded by beautiful scenery and hundreds of puzzles; and you’ll rage-quit often but still keep coming back for more. The lack of a plot to tie it all together is frustrating and has put many off Jonathan Blow’s post-Braid release (see above), but it’s worth getting for the experience.
Like cars? Like football? Then Rocket League is a match made in heaven. My other-half and stepson love this game and while it isn’t something I’d usually play, I have to say it’s one of the ‘nicer’ online multiplayers I’ve come across. Although there seems to be a habit of players on your team dropping out of a match soon after the other side scores the first goal, I’ve never encountered any kind of hostility while playing this title.
Unfortunately I can only give one option for this genre because I’m not really a fan of sports games myself! But if you have any recommendations, please feel share to share them in the comments below.
That’s all for now, so hopefully you’ve found a few titles to add to your wishlist! Part three of my list will be coming in a couple of days so keep your eyes open for that if you haven’t yet found the indie game for you.
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.