When you talk about the video gaming industry, you think of Fortnite, or Call Of Duty or CS: GO. When we were young kids, there were even games like Roadrash and Grand theft auto that shaped the epoch of gaming we have right now. Video Gaming is considered one of the fastest-growing industries right now, with more and more people getting onto the bandwagon. There was recently news of a kid winning almost 9 million dollars for winning a world-wide Fortnite gaming competition. Nine Million Dollars. An unimaginable amount of money and just for winning a gaming competition you ask? Well, gaming requires an immense amount of concentration and impeccable hand to eye co-ordination, and there is also a large amount of competition in the field.
Gaming is fast, makes you think and keeps you on your toes. But, these are not the only facets of gaming that make it a fantastic activity it is. The story is too. A lot of stories that make up video games are exciting to uncover. There is especially one specific genre that caters to the storytelling aspect of gaming. By the way, these concepts are called game lore. So based on gameplay, the game lore and the popularity, we have made a list of the ten best indie games to play right now.
10. Dead Cells
When you go onto the Wikipedia page for Dead Cells, it describes the video game as a roguelike-Metroidvania. For non-gamers and even gamers who haven’t explored this genre, let me break it down for you. The first part, roguelike is a subgenre of RPGs which specifically consist of dungeon crawls, turning based gameplay and tile-based graphics and also permanent death of the player character. The second style, Metroidvania, is another sub-genre. Metroidvania is an amalgamation of two words, Metroid and Castlevania. Both of these are games in the action-adventure genre, and the subsequent sub-genre is for games which follow the same kind of game design and mechanics.
So you can expect Dead Cells to be a mixture of these two. The premise revolves around you the player, a slime-like creature that must take control of a corpse in a dungeon and fight your way out. The gameplay is smooth, the challenges exciting, and it is overall a very well executed indie game.
9. Stardew Valley
Think Farmville meets Minecraft. Stardew Valley is a simple and yet fulfilling video game. The objective of the game is just to create your world, farming, trading and developing your character. The game is simple enough, with each update bringing unto it new items, farms and buildings. The game is a very wholesome, inclusive indie game and seems like a detachment from the convoluted and complicated lore and gameplay of typical indie games. The gameplay is smooth and pleasant and doesn’t require a long waiting period.
Most indie games remain criminally underrated. A large part of it is due to the detachment of the lore from the style of gameplay. Celeste is one such game. A platform game, Celeste’s gameplay is kind of similar to Mario. The story, however, runs much more profound. It follows a girl named Madeline on her journey up the side of the mountain Celeste, despite being warned against it. The plot explores nightmares in the form of reflections, ghosts and the paranormal and even mental illnesses such as panic attacks. All this is not apparent considering the style of gameplay of the game itself. It has garnered rave reviews over the years.
What is arguably the most challenging indie game ever, the next words I speak about Cuphead would probably make no sense to you non-gamers. Cuphead is arguably as difficult as Dark Souls 3, yes, I did say Dark Souls 3. In pure Disney-esque style, Cuphead is the expeditions of a cup through outlandish overlords and filled with lots of run and gun sections. However, one thing is right about Cuphead. Most of its difficulty is never the fault of the game, it is yours, and you know it. The game requires excellent multitasking and masterful hand to eye co-ordination. You should try this game, which is available on Steam right now.
6. Into the Breach
I bet you were waiting for a tactical strategy game. Well, we are not ones to disappoint. What I regard as very thoughtfully planned out, Into the breach deals with what you would call a turn-based strategy game. Basically, in Into the Breach, battles based on turn take place on an eight by eight grid. And the rest is pure strategy warfare. You need to defend and defeat until you reach the final boss. The best part of Into the Breach is its sleekness. It has a minimalistic style, and despite having a block-based design, it doesn’t look rudimentary at all.
A puzzle – adventure game, Witness, is for you explorers. With beautiful game design and very soothing gameplay, Witness is a game you have to check out. You play from a first-person perspective, navigating through a game world, out of fortresses, into forests and so on. The game is entire to test your mental strength, often your pattern deciphering abilities. The game also challenges your memory, encouraging you to remember old models and mimic them to unlock the puzzle. It is a complete exploration game, with going from one place to another. With a blended block and 3-d style game design, this indie video gaming is very soothing to the eyes. Especially if you consider the pleasant colours and sceneries you start with itself.
A mix between a narrative filled story and an exploration game, Oxenfree is one unique indie game. The game relies on the different art styles of 3-dimensional characters navigating a two-dimensional environment. The backbone of the game that prevents it from becoming merely a temple-run style game is its lore. Oxenfree offers you the luxury of choice; speech bubbles hover over your character, asking upon you to make a choice, and the story moves on as you decide. Oxenfree was a contender for best narrative at The Game Awards 2016, so you best believe that the lore is just as compelling as the gameplay.
Wherever I went looking for Undertale, there was a specific comment that followed me, that being, “Undertale is the ultimate meme game.” Filled with witty commentary and frequent breaking of the fourth wall, Undertale is a game that has you addicted.
Undertale is a classic RPG style game, with a lot of other features mixed in it. For example, the video game has a general premise of encountering the next level boss and defeating them, which you can do in two styles. That being through solving the puzzle or using brute force. In the puzzle style, you can choose to resolve the battle peacefully with a well thought out set of actions. However, if you decide to murder each monster you encounter, all the subsequent puzzles are disabled, and you are required to grind through the rest of the game. What feels eerie about this game is the meta-ness of it. Each major character frames its dialogue based on your past activity, and it gives a very conscious feeling to the game.
2. Hollow Knight
If I had to choose personally, I would have given hollow knight the first on this mantle. The video game design, it’s smoothness, for the lack of a better word, the breathtaking lore, there is nothing that can stop me from falling in love with the game itself. However, Hollow Knight tries very hard to make the game even more difficult for you than it should be. The lore is there yes, with a lot of it right in front of you, but the crucial wisdom hides behind a lot of imagery and boss battles, and the only way I could uncover even part of it was by watching youtube videos on the game lore theory. So if you want to get into the deep with this game, you will fall in love with the game design and the outer lore but getting anything more out of it is going to take hours of live gameplay streams and game theories to watch.
1.My friend Pedro
I read in an online forum once that the game My Friend Pedro is the personification or rather video game version of the word ‘cool’. This 2-D shooter action game is one of the hottest indie games on the market right now. Its gameplay is smoother than butter, and the colour contrasts and designs are perfect. There is almost nothing about this game that you’d like to change and that’s what makes it number one in our list. My friend Pedro has this way of absorbing you into the game like no other. The smooth graphics and the even more slick actions from your player character make you feel like a badass as you cruise through landscapes, taking down enemies left and right.
So that was our list of the top ten indie games in the gaming industry right now. Let us know in the comments below if there are any we have missed or you would like us to cover. You can find more such recommendations in the video below.