Indie Games that Deserve Your Attention: Discover the Next Big Thing in Gaming
In recent years, indie games have taken the gaming industry by storm. These independently developed games have gained popularity for their unique gameplay experiences, creative storytelling, and lower prices compared to AAA games. Indie games have become a platform for independent developers to showcase their talent and creativity, pushing the boundaries of game design and tackling important social issues. In this blog post, we will explore the rise of indie games, the benefits of playing them, and highlight some of the top indie games of 2021. We will also discuss hidden gems that deserve more attention and upcoming indie games to watch out for. Finally, we will delve into the art of indie games and how players can support independent developers.
The Rise of Indie Games
Indie games have seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years. With the advent of digital distribution platforms like Steam and the rise of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, independent developers now have more opportunities to create and release their games to a wider audience. This has led to a surge in the number of indie games being developed and a growing fanbase for these unique experiences.
The impact of independent developers on the gaming industry cannot be overstated. Indie games have brought fresh ideas and innovative gameplay mechanics to the table, challenging the status quo set by big-budget AAA titles. These games often take risks and experiment with new concepts, resulting in unique and memorable experiences for players.
Some examples of successful indie games include “Minecraft,” developed by Markus Persson, which became a global phenomenon and has sold over 200 million copies worldwide. Another notable example is “Undertale,” developed by Toby Fox, which gained a cult following for its clever writing, memorable characters, and innovative gameplay mechanics.
The Benefits of Playing Indie Games
One of the main benefits of playing indie games is the unique gameplay experiences they offer. Unlike AAA games that often follow established formulas, indie games are known for their creativity and willingness to take risks. These games often introduce new mechanics, explore unconventional genres, and experiment with different art styles, resulting in fresh and exciting gameplay experiences.
Creative storytelling is another hallmark of indie games. Independent developers have the freedom to tell stories that may not fit the mold of traditional game narratives. They can tackle complex themes, explore personal stories, and create thought-provoking experiences that resonate with players on a deeper level.
Supporting independent developers is also a significant benefit of playing indie games. By purchasing and playing these games, players directly contribute to the success of independent developers and help them continue creating unique and innovative experiences. Indie games often have lower price points compared to AAA games, making them more accessible to a wider audience.
Top Indie Games of 2021
Now let’s take a look at some of the top indie games of 2021. These games have garnered critical acclaim and have been praised for their gameplay, storytelling, and overall experience.
1. “Hades” – Developed by Supergiant Games, “Hades” is an action-packed roguelike game set in the underworld of Greek mythology. Players take on the role of Zagreus, the son of Hades, as he attempts to escape from the realm of the dead. With its fast-paced combat, stunning visuals, and compelling narrative, “Hades” has been hailed as one of the best indie games of all time.
2. “Spiritfarer” – Developed by Thunder Lotus Games, “Spiritfarer” is a cozy management game about guiding spirits to the afterlife. Players take on the role of Stella, a Spiritfarer, as she explores a beautifully hand-drawn world, befriends spirits, and helps them fulfill their final wishes. With its heartwarming story, gorgeous art style, and relaxing gameplay, “Spiritfarer” has captured the hearts of players around the world.
3. “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” – Developed by Moon Studios, “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” is a stunning platformer that follows the journey of Ori, a guardian spirit. Players navigate through a breathtakingly beautiful world, solve puzzles, and engage in intense combat. With its mesmerizing visuals, emotional storytelling, and tight gameplay, “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” is a must-play for fans of the genre.
While there are many well-known indie games that have received widespread acclaim, there are also hidden gems that deserve more attention. These games may not have received as much recognition but offer unique and memorable experiences for players.
1. “A Short Hike” – Developed by Adam Robinson-Yu, “A Short Hike” is a charming exploration game set on an island. Players take on the role of Claire, a young bird, as she embarks on a hike to reach the summit of a mountain. Along the way, players can interact with various characters, engage in mini-games, and discover hidden secrets. With its delightful art style, relaxing gameplay, and heartwarming story, “A Short Hike” is a hidden gem that shouldn’t be missed.
2. “Outer Wilds” – Developed by Mobius Digital, “Outer Wilds” is a space exploration game set in a small solar system trapped in an endless time loop. Players take on the role of an astronaut as they uncover the mysteries of the universe and unravel the secrets of an ancient alien race. With its captivating narrative, immersive gameplay, and mind-bending puzzles, “Outer Wilds” offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
3. “Disco Elysium” – Developed by ZA/UM, “Disco Elysium” is a groundbreaking role-playing game that puts players in the shoes of a detective with a unique set of skills and a troubled past. Players navigate through a gritty and atmospheric city, interact with various characters, and make choices that shape the outcome of the story. With its deep and thought-provoking narrative, complex characters, and innovative gameplay mechanics, “Disco Elysium” is a hidden gem that pushes the boundaries of storytelling in games.
Upcoming Indie Games to Watch Out For
The indie game scene is constantly evolving, and there are always exciting new games on the horizon. Here are some upcoming indie games to watch out for in 2021.
1. “Kena: Bridge of Spirits” – Developed by Ember Lab, “Kena: Bridge of Spirits” is an action-adventure game set in a lush and vibrant world. Players take on the role of Kena, a young spirit guide, as she embarks on a journey to uncover the secrets of an abandoned village. With its stunning visuals, engaging combat, and emotional storytelling, “Kena: Bridge of Spirits” is one of the most anticipated indie games of the year.
2. “Little Nightmares II” – Developed by Tarsier Studios, “Little Nightmares II” is a suspenseful puzzle-platformer that follows the story of Mono, a young boy trapped in a world distorted by the humming transmission of a distant tower. Players must navigate through creepy environments, solve puzzles, and avoid terrifying enemies. With its eerie atmosphere, clever level design, and haunting visuals, “Little Nightmares II” promises to be a thrilling and atmospheric experience.
3. “The Artful Escape” – Developed by Beethoven & Dinosaur, “The Artful Escape” is a musical adventure game that follows the journey of Francis Vendetti, a teenage guitar prodigy. Players embark on a psychedelic journey through space and time as Francis seeks to create his own stage persona and find his own voice. With its stunning visuals, mesmerizing soundtrack, and unique gameplay mechanics, “The Artful Escape” is generating buzz for its innovative approach to storytelling.
Indie Games for Every Taste
Indie games come in a wide variety of genres, catering to every taste and preference. Here are some examples of indie games in different genres that are worth playing.
1. Action: “Hyper Light Drifter” – Developed by Heart Machine, “Hyper Light Drifter” is an action RPG that combines fast-paced combat with a beautiful pixel art style. Players explore a post-apocalyptic world, battle hordes of enemies, and uncover the secrets of a forgotten civilization. With its challenging gameplay, atmospheric world, and stunning visuals, “Hyper Light Drifter” is a must-play for fans of action games.
2. Puzzle: “The Witness” – Developed by Thekla, Inc., “The Witness” is a first-person puzzle game set on a mysterious island. Players must solve a series of intricate puzzles scattered throughout the island to uncover its secrets. With its clever puzzle design, breathtaking environments, and thought-provoking narrative, “The Witness” offers a unique and immersive puzzle-solving experience.
3. Adventure: “Firewatch” – Developed by Campo Santo, “Firewatch” is a first-person adventure game set in the Wyoming wilderness. Players take on the role of Henry, a fire lookout, as he explores the forest, uncovers clues, and unravels a mystery. With its beautiful art style, compelling story, and engaging dialogue, “Firewatch” is a captivating adventure that will keep players hooked from start to finish.
The Art of Indie Games
One of the defining characteristics of indie games is their commitment to pushing the boundaries of game design and embracing artistic expression. Independent developers have the freedom to experiment with different art styles, soundscapes, and storytelling techniques, resulting in games that are not only fun to play but also visually stunning and emotionally resonant.
Some examples of innovative indie games include “Journey,” developed by thatgamecompany, which uses minimalist visuals and a wordless narrative to create a deeply emotional and immersive experience. Another example is “Gris,” developed by Nomada Studio, which combines hand-drawn art with a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack to tell a story of grief and healing.
Indie Games and Social Issues
Indie games have also become a platform for addressing important social issues and sparking meaningful conversations. Independent developers have the freedom to tackle topics that may be considered controversial or taboo in mainstream games, allowing players to explore and engage with these issues in a safe and interactive environment.
Some examples of socially conscious indie games include “Papers, Please,” developed by Lucas Pope, which puts players in the role of an immigration officer and explores themes of bureaucracy, morality, and the human cost of political systems. Another example is “This War of Mine,” developed by 11 bit studios, which depicts the harsh realities of war through the eyes of civilians trying to survive in a besieged city.
Supporting Indie Developers
As players, there are several ways we can support indie developers and help them thrive and grow. One of the most important ways is by purchasing their games. By buying indie games, we directly contribute to the success of independent developers and enable them to continue creating unique and innovative experiences.
Another way to support indie developers is by spreading the word about their games. Sharing your experiences and recommendations with friends, family, and on social media can help generate buzz and increase awareness for these games. Additionally, leaving positive reviews on platforms like Steam can help boost visibility and encourage others to give these games a try.
Finally, participating in crowdfunding campaigns on platforms like Kickstarter can provide much-needed financial support for indie developers. By backing these campaigns, players can help fund the development of new games and receive exclusive rewards in return.
In conclusion, indie games have become an integral part of the gaming industry, offering unique gameplay experiences, creative storytelling, and innovative game design. These games have gained popularity in recent years, thanks to the rise of digital distribution platforms and crowdfunding. Indie games provide players with fresh and exciting experiences, often at lower price points compared to AAA games. They also offer a platform for independent developers to showcase their talent and creativity, pushing the boundaries of game design and tackling important social issues. By playing and supporting indie games, players can contribute to the growth and success of independent developers and help shape the future of the gaming industry. So why not give indie games a try and discover the hidden gems waiting to be explored?