I love indie games…
Not ALL of them, heavens no…there’s a lot of crap out there – but while shoveling through the shit over the past few months, I have discovered several great looking indie titles.
There are three in particular that are worth notice, take a look:
Shank is a beautiful 2-D brawler in the vein of Metal Slug. The animation looks great, very cartoony (and if I didn’t know better, I’d think it was somehow related to Penny Arcade, as the visual style is very similar). Klei Entertainment has a big hit on their hands with this game. The main character, a bad-ass looking dude with a knife, has several fluid moves: a flying stab, brutal punches and kicks, the ability to fire weapons, and awesome platforming abilities – all of which appear expertly animated. The attention to detail in this game is awesome. Although there is no demo available yet, it appears that although the game has simple controls. the complexity is in a contextual combo system, evident in the video clip below:
Shank’s spaghetti western setting, and excessively exaggerated violence combined with a pleasing color palette and 70’s exploitation-flick soundtrack are certainly making the wait for this game even more difficult. Considering there is no specific ETA, gamers everywhere may have a while to go before we ourselves can “Shank” some bad-guys. Keep your eyes open for this one.
Xbox Live Arcade
Limbo looks very promising. The info we have on this game is sparse, but from what I gather the player takes control of a young boy who, in searching for his missing sister, finds himself lost in a dream-like world called….yep, “Limbo”. The game’s style itself is very surreal, the game is 100% black and white, with simply GORGEOUS lighting and animation. The style is like shadows projected on your screen – the foreground details are solid black, and depth is achieved using parallax scrolling and several shadowing, shading, and blur effects. This game, though it stars a young boy is NOT for kids. The ways your character can die in this puzzling game are quite brutal and explicit. In one clip, I saw the boy decapitated – his severed head gently rolling down a hill before the game prompts to try again. Another scene has the player dragging the obviously dead bodies of children out of a swamp. Despite the violence, this game is beautiful. A puzzle game at heart similar to last year’s “Braid“, Limbo has firmly planted itself on my radar. Check out some gameplay :
Eerie huh? I personally can’t wait. Danish developer PlayDead Studios very well may have a strong competitor here with their surreal nightmare…Limbo.
Xbox Live Arcade
Fez is a forthcoming platforming game developed by independent software developers Polytron. Personally, the art style looks similar to Cave Story- a decidedly 8-bit pixel-art presentation. In fact, Fez won the “Excellence in Visual Art” award at the Independent Games Festival in 2008. The feature of Fez that is most notable is a gameplay mechanic where the 2D perspective shifts to 3D in a manner similar to Nintendo’s Super Paper Mario and the use of M.C. Escher-like illusions similar to the PSP title Echochrome – bringing unseen angles and solutions into view momentarily. I cannot say enough about how exxcited I am for this game. It has been in production for some time, and considering it won an award in 2008 and there is STILL no solid release date , makes the wait even more painful.Just take a look at the clip below and tell me you aren’t interested:
It has been announced that the Fez will come to Xbox Live Arcade in early 2010. Keep your eyes open.
So, there they are. Whaddya think?
I’m gonna try to feature more upcoming, niche games here – as they are my favorite type…
Until next time.