Spending 30 minutes, meticulously planning for 5 seconds of gameplay isn’t normal. But in Frozen Synapse it is. Mode 7 has brought us a fantastic strategy indie game in the form of a top-down shooter. It has players analyzing every single outcome for each and every turn. A randomly generated area is produced, and then players have to choose their strategy and their soldiers’ movements, through turn-based gameplay. A variety of weapons and units bring many combinations of different plays to the table, making customization possible.
Proun, is the product of one man’s weekends over the course of six years of development time. Fast-paced and fun, this game definitely could be the best indie game for some. The game is a racing game, where your goal is to race a ball across a track which is actually a tube, as you rotate around the tube to dodge obstacles and maintain your speed. What makes this any different from any racing game?
But what makes Proun special, is its absolutely magnificent art style, with vibrant shapes and colors flying past you as you recklessly speed on. The art style is truly beautiful and is a major selling point. Large flowing linear shapes, with smooth and defined edges, borrow something from Picasso’s cubism and shows that less really can be more. The grandeur of it all and how small you feel on the track really shows how well put to use the art style is.
Number None, Inc. brings us a beautiful indie game called Braid. Released on April 10, 2009, it showcases beautiful painting work, a deep, rich story as well as great puzzle scenarios. It is definitely one of the best indie games on my list.
The goal of this game is to collect all the puzzle pieces and advance through the worlds, ultimately attempting to rescue his princess. This is done as you control the character Tim through a series of puzzles and worlds from a platforming perspective.
Braid sparks the question: What if you could reverse the mistakes you’ve made? This game has a very cool mechanic: The ability for your character Tim to reverse time. Undoing mistakes can be as simple as getting your revenge on one of the monsters, or as complicated as solving intense puzzles with the new mechanics that keep getting unraveled to keep the game fresh and interesting.
You’ve probably heard of this type of game; big fish eat small fish and grow bigger, to eat bigger fish. This time, Hemisphere Games brings us a top indie game called Osmos: you are a single-celled organism (a mote) and have to propel yourself around and absorb smaller motes in order to complete the goal, which revolves around becoming larger, most of the time.
In Osmos, you control a small “mote” in space. You can propel yourself by ejecting a piece of yourself out of the other end of yourself, following Newton’s laws of motion. Be wary, you do not want to waste your size for temporary speed. You can gain more mass by absorbing smaller motes while avoiding larger ones for the time being, as being absorbed by a larger mote will result in failure. Time spent waiting for the organisms to collide can be minimized with the time slider, which also lets you perform precise actions by slowing time down.
And Yet it Moves
And Yet it Moves, is a top indie game by independent publisher Broken Rules. Released on April 2, 2009. Its interesting name is a direct English translation of Galileo Galilei’s famous remark, Eppur si muove. The name is appropriate, as the game involves the world rotating around the main character, an unnamed white figure.
This particular indie game is set in a world reminiscent of a paper collage. The edges are lined with jagged white textures- as if the pieces were ripped out of a magazine itself. The character you control has the uncanny ability to rotate the world in intervals of 90°, affecting everything in it. Gravity will shift, bats will relocate to the “new” ceiling of the cave, and loose rocks will come tumbling down in order to crush you.