In the past decade, indie games—independent games created by small companies which normally have no financial support from a publisher—have risen in popularity. Unlike highly known gaming companies, these small company teams must be both innovative and creative to sell their game. When they get everything right, indie games can prove to be more memorable than those of accomplished publishers. But which ones are the best known across the gaming community? Here is a list of the top 10 indie games.
- To The Moon
With the gameplay of this game being very linear and not having much action, it’s the story that keeps the player playing it. “To the Moon” has a nostalgic and emotional story that has touched the hearts of many who have bought it. With its retro-like with its pixelated style, and a massive amount of popular YouTube icons playing it, this game has been getting more recognition since its release.
In “Bastion,” the player takes on the role of “The Kid” in a strange world that has been devastated due to the clashing ideologies of two societies. Traversing floating islands and segmented land filled with creatures and items from before the world’s end, it is up to “The Kid” to either remake the world or carry on trudging through its remains. With beautiful colors, a variety of weaponry to choose from, a compelling, yet short, story, and a western/sci-fi soundtrack, this one is many gamer’s favorite lists.
- Dust: An Elysian Tale
Ever wish your character could just dash across the screen, sword in hand, wiping out all of the enemies that surround them? “Dust: An Elysian Tale” does just that. The story focuses around the main character, Dust, and his fight to stop an evil tyrant and learn of his past, of which he has no recollection of. With his magic talking sword in hand and his flying sidekick, Fidget, he will stop at nothing to learn who he is. “Dust: An Elysian Tale” gives players an action packed adventure with very likeable characters.
With a dark, black and white atmosphere, “Limbo” lets the player take control of a child who finds himself in a mysterious and creepy world. There are many puzzles to solve and tons of moments where the player must have a quick reaction time to keep the child alive. This game shows how interesting and inviting a game can be, even with no amount of dialogue spoke throughout it.
Time control isn’t anything new to the gaming community. However, “Braid” gives a cool way to use time control. Tim, the main character, is looking for a princess, who he notes he has made a mistake to. He then travels through levels looking for keys to unlock new doors in a house to find the right door to get to the princess. Using his time controlling powers, he manipulates time to help him solve the vast number of puzzles the doors hold within themselves. With its beautiful artwork, and the music setting a relaxing atmosphere, this game became popular quickly.
- Stardew Valley
“Stardew Valley” is much like other farming simulation games; however, it has a few twists to it that keep it unique from others. When the player’s grandfather dies, he gives them a deed to his farm house, where they go to escape their boring desk job. Once arrived, the player can create new buildings, meet and converse with the next-door townspeople, go mining, and of course, tend to their farmland and expand. With a pixelated style and bright characters all around, a player can get lost playing this game for hours.
- Don’t Starve
“Don’t Starve” throws the player into the shoes of Wilson, who just wakes up in a dark forest. With supernatural creatures coming to end his life, players must find a way to survive the nights and make every second count during the day to make progress in keeping him alive for another night. This game has become even more popular with its multiplayer version “Don’t Starve Together.”
- Super Meat Boy
“Super Meat Boy” is a very odd game where the girlfriend of a square shaped character made of meat, rightly called Meat Boy, has been kidnapped. It is Meat Boy’s task to platform his way through many levels, defeat the evil scientist, Dr. Fetus, and save his girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from his evil clutches. Known as one of the hardest platformers in video game history, this game will have many ripping their hair out and rage quitting. However, the game is incredibly fun and can be very time consuming to those who are looking for something reminiscent of old platforming games.
- Five Nights at Freddy’s
In “Five Nights at Freedy’s,” the player takes on the role of a night guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzaria. While his shift isn’t that busy, there is one surprising thing that the player finds out: the animatronics in the building come alive at night, ready to kill anything that has a beating heart. It is the player’s job to watch the security cameras for the four different animatronics and close the two opposite doors whenever they get a little too close for comfort while also conserving the energy they have left. This franchise grew more popular with its multiple sequels and from well-known YouTube icons playing it.
“Undertale” is an RPG that has the player play as a child who has fallen down a hole into a world of monsters. Now it is up to the player to choose whether they want to destroy every opponent that comes across their path or find the right way to befriend them and spare them. With colorful characters, many hilarious jokes and moments, a magnificent and emotional story, and a fantastic soundtrack that mixes bit-music and multiple instruments together, it’s no wonder this game became as popular as it is.
New indie titles are always being released and more new titles are becoming more famous among the gaming community for both style and creativity. While mainstream games from high companies make decent games, indie games still prove that it’s not necessary to redo a formula to make something better; there just needs to be a creative idea to work off of.