What makes a game stand out against its peers? Honestly? Often it’s because if how it resonates with the person more than how it may compare in a by the numbers game.
Continuing on our two week gush fest to celebrate Chalgyr’s Game Room’s 10th anniversary, here are our top Indie titles. Not all greatness needs millions in budgets!
There are so many possibilities here, and I bounced back and forth between quite a few titles, but at the end of the day, there was always something about Limbo that just stuck with me. The stark visual style was certainly a huge factor in it, but the ambiguous story leaves so much to the imagination as well. Some of the puzzles were cleverer than others, but it is not all that often a game stick with me after I put down the controller – but Limbo certainly did.
Look, I know Journey wasn’t for everyone, but as I said in my review, I found this one to be a breathtaking experience. It took a little getting used to right at first, but in the end, it was absolutely worth the investment. Developer Tricky Pixels knocked this one out of the park.
To the Moon
This is not the highest scoring game I reviewed, and basically having begun life as an RPG Maker project, not the most impressive of visual productions either. Heck, this was a short – probably too short – game also. So how in the world does it wind up in a compilation like this? Because the moving music and touching storyline took a fascinating approach to some difficult topics and gave To the Moon a sort of mental stickiness not often found in AAA productions, let alone indie titles like this.
Picking a number one indie title was anything but easy as there have been loads of amazing titles in the past ten years. So what it really came down to, what stuck out the most? What have I gone back to repeatedly?
The top of my list and my #1 goes to Radical Fish Game’s CrossCode. Bringing me damn near .Hack magic at the end of a decade was something that had been on my list and wow was it ever done well. I’m not an MMO person but I like the simulation of it and CrossCode’s world felt alive and lived in with all of the character sprites running around. Add in some metroidvania elements and action adventure platforming and it’s definitely at the top of its class.
Here is another title that I just loved and would absolutely flat out buy a switch version if it ever came to the consoles. Made in an older RPG Maker, Stegosoft made magic with this adventure adding in loads of elements never seen in the style much less in an RPG Maker! Custom just about everything, what has stuck with me are the environmental effects and how you can explore it by crawling through openings and climbing through other openings which are all animated and not just fade to black transitions.
There no denying my love for Dragon Quest Builders, and Dragon Quest Builders 2 was even better. Before the sequel though, Keen Games made an open worlded with multiple world RPG Simulator that could be played in single and multiplayer. With different classes for the RPG elements and then get crafting possibilities, the hours and the combinations were endless. With constant updates still going on, this should be on everyone’s list. Now like Bloodborne I just need a few trophies for a platinum.
The Gardens Between
A couple of years back I came across a game called The Gardens Between, which I ended up reviewing for our site. Players follow two boys through puzzles that can be solved by temporarily shifting time. It is a quirky puzzle game that actually tells a story while players progress, although, that fact isn’t readily apparent at first. The Gardens Between is a game I fell in love with, through its storytelling without words and its unique presentation of puzzles. It is a sweet game that I am glad I had the opportunity to play and well worth the couple hours of time to play through it (depending on how good your puzzle-solving skills are). Thus, it is my indie game of the decade.
God, I love the music in this game. I always get so pumped up when I start a new level and the music there, encouraging me. Then I walk into boss fight and the music ramp up to a whole new level. I also appreciate the simple art style that seem to take me back to my days of Ghouls & Ghost.
Brothers: A Tale of two Sons
The cover stood out as ‘different’ when I pulled it from the shelf. Plain yet, compelling. I was shocked to find out that you’re require to move both characters with both analogs. Its tripped me out at first, but it was a new mechanic that I enjoyed and it pushes me to finish the game.
My original thought on this game when it first surface the internet was ‘An RPG Minecraft? That can’t be good…” Boy, did I jump the gun. The game is anything BUT THAT! Not only is the scriptwriting genius, but the fighting was waaaaay out of left field. HEY GUY! LET’S MAKE THIS A BULLET-HELL STYLE COMBAT! ALSO… the music dope.