Indie games are really thriving in this industry. You had your Braid, your LiMBO, your Journey. They’re a stark departure from the Maddens, Call of Duties, or even Marios that dominate the sales charts. But we need that variance, that uniqueness.
If something is quirky or artistic, I tend to seek it out. I couldn’t have loved Katamari Damacy more, with its crazy ball-of-crap-rolling-over-everything gameplay and awesomely Japanese music. I played and completed all 3 indie games listed above. So it with heavy heart that I see The Unfinished Swan released on PlayStation Network this week. Its art style alone is worth the $15 or whatever they’re charging. I hear it’s short, but so is your favorite movie (unless you get down with that long-yet-unsatisfying LoTR trilogy). I really want it. But I will have to wait a year or so.
So instead, I played another indie game. The Binding of Isaac isn’t quite the artistic feat, nor does it blow you away with its unique gameplay. What it does have, however, is quirk as far as the eye can see. It plays like the dungeons in the first Legend of Zelda, but with a more Robotron shooting scheme. Instead of bullets or blades, you use the tears of a naked, freaked-out child as your weapon. You’re fighting your way out of a dungeon where you were cast by your uber-religious mother. Fucked up, right? Also, awesome. It was done by one of the Super Meat Boy guys, as a slapdash, make-a-buck proposition. He had no idea it would become such a cult hit. This is only my second time playing it, after getting it in one of the numerous indie game bundles that litter the internet.
Also, I just beat the hell out of Dungeon Village, a game that I’ve been plugging away at on my iPhone for months. It’s by Kairosoft, who made the beloved Game Dev Story. Including GDS, I’ve completed 4 Kairosoft games – including Mega Mall Story and GP Story. Dungeon Village has a bit more gameplay, as you send adventurers on quests and outfit them with armor and weapons. I ended my “15-year” cycle long ago, but ended up maxing out everyone’s level with the most advanced character class. Now I can put it away, and probably play more Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones.