Before we start I’d like to start off by saying that I’m a sucker for First Person games, as well as survival based games, so expect a few of those, at least. What follows is what I find to be 10 of most phenomenal independent games that you simply can not miss.
-Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, iOS, Xbox One
C’mon, you knew this would make the list. This is one of the biggies. Limbo, while not the first big indie game by far, really helped indie games make their way onto the radar. A simple platformer, full of puzzles and exploration just as expect, Limbo feels fresh. I’m not sure if it’s the atmosphere, the loose yet prevalent story or the art design, but Limbo is simply a game that you have to play. Seriously.
2. Project Zomboid
Okay, okay, I warned you this would happen. At least a survival-based game wasn’t my first pick, right? Project Zomboid, currently in development but playable in an open Alpha state, can be summarized as a 2D…kind of…sort of…not really. While it may appear to be a 2D DayZ, and indeed shares many similarities, it is not. They do have that game if you’d like though. Project Zomboid is a 2D single player zombie survival game. In this game the biggest question is not if you will die, but how and when you will. While death is inevitable, you can do a lot of nifty things that you can’t in DayZ like board up windows and look in cabinets. A must play for any DayZ fans.
-Platform: PS3, PS Vita, Mac, PC
Now, I’m not really sure if you can define Proteus as a game so much as an experience. Really the only thing that would make this a game would be the one instance in which you must make your way…somewhere. Without giving too much away (and there’s really not much) Proteus is an exploration game that is all about the atmosphere you are in. As a player, or more, navigator of this beautiful 2D/3D pixel world, you may find yourself experiencing one or more emotions you weren’t expecting to, and while the game won’t take you long, it is worth playing. Try this with an open mind.
A puzzle game for puzzle games, antichamber is a maze of opposite, and chambers of opposites. You will find rooms with different colors, physics, rules and view angles that you must experiment with in order to do anything. What I like about antichamber is its use of backtracking and experimenting as a way of teaching the player without actually telling the player anything. As a very trippy and puzzling game, I recommend you try it. But beware, if Portal confuses you, there’s no hope for you here.
5. The Long Dark
So this is a newer one that I’m pretty darn excited about. While this game is also still in early alpha, it fits both of my survival and FPS niches that I feel giddy about. This game is sort of like DayZ – players + wolves – zombies + a very angry mother nature. While the world is not Chernarus big yet, and the game in its early stages, it shows a lot of promise, and is already very playable. Perhaps the greatest thing about this game, besides your inevitable death, is the style. The game is just beautiful, and gives a real look at life after human energy.
While these are pretty great indie games, these are my personal top 5. Other honorable mentions include The Forest, The Binding of Isaac, and many more.