Indie games have been steadily growing in popularity over the last decade or so, charming the market with their unique look and low prices. As the popularity of such games increased, so did the quality, with some indies becoming legitimate Game of the Year candidates recently.
However, there is one thing that keeps on baffling the casual gaming fan – how are good indie games continually coming out, even with the funding behind the development of such games being extremely scarce? Really, the answer is rather simple. The developers had to find a way to make the game appealing without having to invest millions of dollars in the process.
Actually, the creative indie process is a whole different beast, as mind-blowing graphics, massive open worlds, and powerful engines, while not non-existent, are very rare in indie games due to the lack of budget. This brings us to the main topic – what do good indie games have to offer if they don’t have the things which we normally associate with great games?
It’s the unlimited creativity in indie games that shines through unlike anywhere else, it keeps us captivated and urges to come back for more. No matter what features are found within a game, the creative freedom that the developers have is always the focal point of every indie gem.
There is no multi-million-dollar corporation behind them, which would monitor every little detail to be politically correct, not offensive, and most of all – there is no strain on the developers to create a game that would appeal to the mainstream audience. That’s where good indie games fill in the cracks; niche audiences left dissatisfied with the games that the big boys of the gaming world have to offer.
Indie games are home to the wackiest ideas, most creative stories, and to both most relaxing and most intense games of all time. This is exactly why such games are essential to the market right now and their absence would leave a massive gaping hole in the gaming industry. Let’s have a look at some good indie games that showcase the very best that the genre has to offer!
Let’s get this one out of the way first. If you had any interest in indie games before, you most likely knew it was coming. Celeste is one of, if not the best indie game ever made and the accomplishments it has collected speak for themselves. Celeste was in serious contention for the Game of the Year in 2018, which is a rare feat for indie games and GamingBolt, a popular YouTube gaming channel, even went as far as calling Celeste one of the greatest games ever made!
Celeste has everything that good indie games should have – incredible characters, a thought-provoking story, and skill-based gameplay that requires time and effort to master. It takes on a very relevant problem in modern society. The whole game, although mostly in metaphors, is based on such topics as depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, all of which are essential to the game.
From the very moment you start up Hollow Knight you get the feeling that you’re in for an epic adventure and the game does not disappoint in providing just that! You will find that pixelated graphics, which are so common in indie games, have been ditched and instead Team Cherry, the developers behind the game, came up with a very unique look that distinguishes Hollow Knight from many other good indie games.
The storyline in Hollow Knight is non-linear and there are multiple vastly different endings that change in accordance to the paths you take and tasks you complete, which adds a value of near-infinite replayability to the game. The gameplay mechanics are difficult to master to a point where you’re struggling with nearly every step of the way. These are just barely not enough to make you quit, however, once mastered these same mechanics turn the game into a very rewarding experience. Top all of that off with unique characters and a perfectly fitting soundtrack and you’ve got yourself a game for ages!
The Unravel Games
Mentioning Unravel amongst other good indie games may cause a bit of an outrage, not because it isn’t good but rather due to the fact that it is published by EA, and thus, is not considered as indie by some. However, ColdWood Interactive, the company that developed both Unraveled games, is an indie developer from Sweden and the game itself captures the spirit of the indies, which is more than enough for the game to universally be considered as an indie.
One thing that you’ll instantly notice, as with most good indie games, is the incredible sound and the visually pleasing game’s scenery. While the storyline is often hard to follow, it is in no way essential to the game itself, as the main focus point is puzzle solving, which is both challenging and enjoyable.
In both games you play as unique miniature Yarny’s, which has been turned into double the fun in Unravel Two, where two Yarny’s are always in play, making it arguably the best indie to play in co-op and one of the main reasons for Unravel being named along with the other good indie games out here!
Frostpunk is a city-management survival RTS, which is significantly different from the side-scrolling platformers on the list so far, however, it is no less indie, which is the beauty of this genre. The cutscenes in Frostpunk are like short Hollywood masterpieces which keep you captivated throughout, and the gameplay itself is no worse!
You find yourself in a world where ash from a super volcano erupting has left the sun covered for years, which led to the whole planet freezing over. Your goal is simple – survive in the unforgiving environment by all means necessary. Frostpunk most definitely has its place amongst other good indie games, as the content on offer is mind-boggling, the gameplay is nearly flawless, while the game itself is challenging, dire, and somehow pleasing all at once!
The games mentioned above truly captivate the spirit of indie games and their limitless possibilities. There’s really no going wrong with either of them if you’re looking to get yourself on some amazing games at an even greater value. While these are far from the only outstanding titles of the genre, they may serve as a good introduction for anyone looking to get into the vast and magnificent world of indie games! You can find these and plenty of other wondrous, magical, and mythical pieces in our Eneba marketplace!