For anyone who listens to the show, you already know that I am a big fan of the indie gaming scene. There are plenty of games coming out this year that I feel deserve a lot more attention than they have received. I’ve taken the legwork out of finding these great games for you by compiling a list of them here. First up we have probably my most anticipated indie game of the year.
I discovered Bastion a couple of months ago. Bastion is an action/RPG style game that has a beautiful hand-drawn art style. The game plays out in real-time and there is a narrator that essentially tells the story while you play. I am still up in the air over that, since it could get annoying, but the developers have said that the narrator will point out things that you may otherwise not have known or seen. It looks like a game that has the potential to be very deep and rewarding.
Bastion is coming to the Xbox Arcade sometime over the summer, and PC later in the year.
Fez is a 2D platformer with an interesting gameplay twist. You use the trigger buttons to essentially “flip” the world, 90 degrees at a time. Flipping the world alters how you interact with objects. For example, a platform that may be out of reach from one perspective will be able to be used to jump on and reach other areas from another perspective.
Fez has been in development for several years, and the release date has been pushed back several times, but has been rumored to be coming out this year on Xbox Arcade first. The developer has said that they will consider other platforms in the future, but nothing has been announced.
Spy Party is a spy/espionage game that takes a different approach. It's a 2-player game where one person takes the role of a spy and the other of the sniper. The sniper’s objective is to figure out who is the spy by using clues and kill them. The other player’s objective is to accomplish something nefarious, i.e. kill someone, steal something etc. However, this is probably oversimplifying the game, as you can probably tell from the video.
No platforms or release date have been announced as far as I know.
I had plugged this game on a previous episode of 2G1C. AM2R is a remake of Metroid 2, aptly titled, Another Metroid 2 Remake. I'm not sure why it's called "Another" Metroid 2 Remake. I wasn't aware that was a hugely popular game to remake. Anyway, AM2R brings the classic, underrated Metroid title up to GBA/DS standards and revamps the world a bit as well. There are new new areas to explore, new weapons and new enemies. The core gameplay is still classic Metroid.
AM2R has been in development for several years now. It appears to be coming to an end, hopefully this year. Of course, no release date has been announced, but it will be coming to PC.
If you read gaming publications or websites, Minecraft should not require any introduction. If you don’t, then you probably live under a rock. Minecraft is a sandbox game that puts you into a world where you can alter the environment. This is essential to the game since you must build a house, and then burrow deep into the earth to explore a series of caves that exist underground.
Minecraft is set up to be a huge success. The game already has over 1 million preorders. That is a hell of a lot for an indie game. To put it in perspective, Super Meat Boy, the biggest indie game of 2010, sold about 600,000 copies as of this writing. Minecraft is going to be released on PC on November 11, 2011.
The last game I’m going to talk about today is Dungeon Defenders. Dungeon Defenders combines elements of action RPG and tower defense. You play in a typical RPG class and have to defend against hordes of enemies. It may sound like I’m selling the game short, but the strength of it will probably like in the co-op mode, similar to Borderlands. Let’s just hope it turns out to be more playable at launch than that game. It appears like it will rely on a lot of RPG clichés, but at the same time it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The emphasis looks to be on fun over everything else.
Dungeon Defenders will be coming to Xbox Arcade, PSN, PC and Android later this year. PSN, PC and Android users will be able to play cross-platform, while Xbox users won’t.
That will do it for now. I will be back in a little bit with a follow up featuring more great forthcoming indie games.