Indie Games can surprise us from time to time, especially since they are mostly looked down upon up against all the AAA titles. Yet, somehow some seem to squeak their way into the limelight. These discovered indie games are very important, for if they were not popular or successful, we would only get the same type of games over and over. These are the indie games of 2016 that put the biggest mark on BagoGames.
I’m a huge fan of Dark Souls and so when I heard that there was a small indie game out there that wanted to honor From Software’s difficulty I jumped at the opportunity to review it. The side-scrolling dungeon crawler took a lot from Dark Souls; crushing difficulty is the biggest one. I cannot tell you how often I died in this game and lost everything over and over. The visuals kept me going though, they were dark, moody and reminded me of Mike Mignola’s art style. While I still am trying to see the credits roll in this game I still enjoy playing it until I hit my murderous rage mark.
Runner Up: The Park
From the guys who brought us Limbo comes this darkly, surreal tale of bizarre metaphors and children going to strange places they shouldn’t. Imagine Alex the Kidd meets 1984. Inside is the spiritual sequel to the highly renowned Limbo from Playdead Studios and do these guys raise the stakes higher this time round. The experience Inside offers is simply near perfection to a blend of horror, platforming and lateral thinking. The pacing, design and structure is brilliant with every event feeling meaning and different from the last. Simple mechanics are used widely in a variation of challenges and set pieces which have their own identity and purpose towards dynamic and enjoyable gameplay. From hiding behind cover to avoid enemy patrols to using a small submarine to swim through flooded tunnels and with a climax that takes you by surprise you’ll never forget your experience with Inside. Simply put Inside is throughout a Beautiful looking, intensely atmospheric and highly engaging game that never lets you go.
Salt & Sanctuary
Dark Soouulllsssss. God damn, ‘Soulsian’ games just excite me in ways potentially illegal in some countries. There are a few games out there that pay homage to Dark Souls and attempt to emulate its style and mood. Salt & Sanctuary is the first one I saw through to the end. While perhaps simplified in some ways, it felt more tight and action-orientated, and did allow over-leveling to get through it. Throw in an aesthetic akin to potato people stabbing each other with kitchen cutlery, and it actually was an absolute blast for me. I’m really looking forward to the PS Vita release so I can work on my platinum on it.
I wasn’t sure what I would be getting into when I first started Firewatch. The game had already gained a fair amount of buzz, but I wanted to see what it was all about. Well, i was not disappointed to say the least. The summer spent with lookout Henry in a gorgeous and vibrant Wyoming was definitely well spent. The relationship that Henry builds with Delilah, his only real point of human contact, over the game is so well-written, it just seems so real. As if this little virtual bit of forest was a real place, and you were gaining insight into the dramatic, funny, and sometimes heart-wrenching moments in the pairs’ life, especially Henry’s. As far as walking simulators go, there is a fair amount of exploring to do and actions to take, and it always seemed there was something new to find. When it comes down to it though, the game is about relationships and it’s one that I won’t soon forget.
Runner Up: ABZU
Some of these may have flown under the radar, I hadn’t even heard of a couple until I put this article together. I will defiantly be looking for them in 2017 when there is a game drought. What indie games did you enjoy this year? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting us @BagoGames!