The Best Indie Games of this decade deserve our appreciation
We’re finally reaching the end of the decade. We’ve seen great strides in the 2010s in terms of indie games that are making big waves into the mainstream gaming scene. From the revival of platformers to the advancement of pixel graphics, indie games are making significant improvements in terms of what it can offer and how it looks. We’ve also seen an increase of genre diversification as well as indie games that don’t really stick to a genre and comes with unique gameplay.
All in all, it’s a great decade for indie games and what better way to show some appreciation than put out an article to recognize indie games that had made a significant splash when it came out, and still does today. Mind you, these are titles that I personally think had made a splash in the indie game scene and I’ve played these. Without further ado, let’s look at some of the awesome indie games we’ve seen in the 2010s.
A Plague Tale: Innocence
Indie games tend to have a penchant for being masters in storytelling, and the story for this game is nothing short but spectacular. Told in the perspective of a teenager and a young boy, A Plague Tale: Innocence follows the journey of the two who are displaced from their family during the Dark Ages in Europe. Constant wars in that region have made it into the suitable ground for diseases and famine to slowly decimate the human population. What’s noteworthy about this game is the sea of ravenous rats that have been feasting on human corpses which can be seen in open areas that our two characters need to traverse. The game is known for its use of rats as a gameplay mechanic to complement the puzzle and stealth elements of the game. The story, gameplay and the well-rendered characters make you feel for these children who are forced to live a life on the run. The game was received well by the community.
Limbo is one of those games that you don’t expect to be that good than the premise it presented. On the outside, a puzzle platformer with pretty simple graphics. Upon closer look, you’ll notice though it employs a simple color scheme, the game has layers in its graphics, as well as invoking a feeling of loneliness and despair, which in turn increases the immersion level of this game. The game also uses music sparingly to emulate the isolation further that the players can feel. Limbo is about a boy looking for his missing sister. He traverses into frankly scary environments that to seem always to feel like there’s someone watching you. A simple game, but used all the elements available to it to push its potential to the limit. And don’t get me wrong. Although the game premise might look simple, the morbid and disturbing elements of this platformer will be a challenge to get through from time to time.
I can guarantee that anyone who plays Bastion for the first couple of minutes will get hooked. It’s not surprising that the game is addictive as it scores high marks in all its elements. The game’s main focus is exploring the ruined sky city, which has various interesting landscapes to be explored. And let’s not forget the amazing narration that comes as you encounter a certain trigger as you’re exploring the game. The narration has a profound effect as it feels like it’s talking to the player even though it references to the character’s name. I would still like to think that the voice is addressing me. Bastion is a well-polished game with a pretty straightforward combat system. Bastion also allows different types of playstyle as you use the character’s abilities or equip him with different types of weapons.
This War Of Mine
I personally feel that the reason I got into Indie games is because of this game. This War of Mine is one of those games that you have to play to truly understand what the game has to offer, but I’m going to try to convey the experiences from the game in words. Though the game functions as a game whereby you’ll have objectives to meet, with crafting choices as well as decisions to make. This War of Mine is a reminder on the cruel and destructive nature of war. You’re given survivors with different traits that help them to excel in certain tasks. However, you will also face difficult decisions to make along the way. Would you steal supplies from an old couple or a family? How about risking your life and entering a military warehouse? Whatever it is, your character will come back scarred and everyone will also be affected. The game depicts the realities of war and how one person’s misfortune in a group affects everyone. I remember watching the final moments of a woman who is refusing to eat anything because she has no will to live. That changed me to be more grateful for the under-appreciated peace in my country.
We’ll be seeing a lot of platformers on this list because let’s face it; there’s never a limit to what platformers can do. And Fez is one of them. Fez combines the simplicity of its presentation to the complex puzzle-solving gameplay as well as superb level designs to a whole new level. After a catastrophic event that adds another dimension into the existing 2-D world of Fez, our hero finds himself with the ability to shift the dimensional plane at his will. You can probably see how the puzzles would get more complex if you’re able to rotate a column left to right 90 degrees. Fez is a definitely challenging puzzle platformer, but it encourages players to take their time and figured out creative ways to overcome the obstacles in front of them. I don’t think I can get over how cute the creatures of Fez are, with the cute little hat on them.
Over the years, we’ve seen how platformer games slowly evolved into something. It started as one of the pioneering and cutting-edge genres and to a period where it serves as a lazy tie-in for a movie. But its recent revival in popularity has seen it to bring more substance to the table. Celeste is platformer that it is hard. You’ll die a bunch of times. But that’s the point. Within the numerous failures, you keep at it, to reach the game’s goal, which is a mountain top that perhaps also acts as a metaphor. Celeste also includes a heartwarming story that anyone could relate to. It also features a rock-solid platformer that ensures that every element of the game is doing what it’s supposed to do. This is to ensure the replays of a certain level would not annoy gamers.
I could keep going on forever when it comes to great indie games of this decade, but hey why not let you chime in as well? What are your favorite indie games in the 2010s? Let me know down in the comments. I would like to hear yours!