The indie scene has always been the main forge of original or at least extremely interesting projects in the gaming industry. Independent developers are unable to compete with AAA games in the field of graphics, so they try to surprise first of all with interesting gameplay and / or an intriguing plot. Therefore, given the importance of independent games, we decided to compile the top 10 best indie games of all time. Of course, the list is largely subjective, many games were left behind, and even in the top 10 game titles in each position can be swapped without a twinge of conscience, but all the projects presented are worthy of the most careful gaming attention.
Cuphead is a great example of the rule that a competent and bright style is much more important than the number of polygons for creating memorable and truly beautiful game worlds. The artists from StudioMDHR Entertainment with impressive creativity approached drawing vivid images in the style of American cartoons of the 30s of the last century, which is manifested in every element of the game: from bosses, whose creation was hardly done without the use of hard drugs, to painted backgrounds and fonts.
And as the cherry on top - a jazz soundtrack, which perfectly complements the entourage of cartoon madness.
But in addition to the bright picture, Cuphead can amaze with the gameplay. The usual Run-and-Gun gameplay with platforming elements is constantly changing and tirelessly throwing up new solutions, increasing the difficulty level with every second until it gritts.
The secret to creating a good horror in theory is quite simple: more frightening opponents, a weak one-on-one protagonist with a world full of dangers and sprinkle with screamers to taste. This is exactly the kind of game that could be expected from the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but in the case of SOMA, the Swedes from Frictional Games went even further, deciding to surprise with an extraordinary setting with walking forays along the bottom of the ocean abyss and a plot that raises questions of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the eternal. what it means to be human.
We must admit that the horror SOMA is unlikely to impress, and rare meetings with the inhabitants of the abyss may more likely cause bouts of irritation than fear. The main trump cards of the game are in the plot, which will inevitably be grabbed with tenacious claws from the very first frames, several times during the game, turning the idea of the world around. If you are a fan of smart science fiction, then SOMA, for all its flaws, has every chance of taking a place in the personal top 10 best games of all time without the "indie" prefix.
Games with a pacifist message are quite rare in the gaming industry, and it is especially rare to find projects that leave the player the right to choose how to play and act in an interactive world. This is precisely what Undertale conquers with, hiding behind a primitive cover the freedom to choose to be who you want, but at the same time remembering with enviable regularity to remind about the consequences of each action.
If you wish, you can kill almost everyone you meet, but the world and the characters will react and remember every deed, even the crushed insects under your feet, immersing the player in new non-standard situations.
Undertale is the best therapy for a gamer who is tired of the same type of AAA games tailored according to GOST. Each boss is a separate mini-game with several options for passing, each turn is fraught with an unusual story, successfully breaking numerous game patterns, each dialogue is a stream of sparkling jokes. Undertale is definitely a game that everyone should play.
After Limbo, Playdead has established itself as the creators of dark surreal worlds, but in Inside, the developer's genius went even further, giving birth to one of the most mysterious games of the last five years. Inside's daunting dystopian setting contains many open-ended mysteries, culminating in a plot ending that leaves behind a new series of unanswered questions.
But apart from the lyrics and plot background, Inside's value lies in the titanic work of the game's animators, artists and sound designers. Each location, whether it is a rain-drenched cornfield or the dark gateways of a research complex, absorb the atmosphere and pleasantly surprise with realistic graphics along with a rich palette of sounds.
Despite all the surrealism of what is happening, it is easy to believe in the world of the platforming Inside, and this is how the game scares and fascinates at the same time.
6. Stardew Valley
Our top of the best indie games is continued by the complete opposite of Inside - Stardew Valley. Erik Baron's colorful, light and colorful play sets you up in a positive, relaxed mood and immerses you in his friendly and almost carefree world. Stardew Valley is a game you want to live in, practically Skyrim in a pixelated artwork. Take care of your own farm, play as a farmer, embark on dangerous journeys in search of resources, meet the many charming inhabitants of the interactive world and, in the end, make new friends and family.
Stardew Valley, despite its unpretentious appearance, offers a huge number of possibilities and it is due to the freedom of action that it is able to charm gamers with a wide variety of tastes, which makes it a figure in numerous tops of the best indie games.
Celeste platformer became the main indie hit of 2018 and seems to be created as a game that everyone should like. Cozy pixel style with bright colors, an exciting soundtrack by Lena Rein that you want to listen to after completing the game, countless mechanics that change the rules of the game with the ease of a card magician and a plot that is able to resonate in the hearts of as many people as possible. In addition, the story of Maidlin, a girl trying to climb Mount Celeste and find herself in attempts to overcome the hardest obstacles and fight inner demons, is in perfect harmony with the concept of hardcore gameplay.
But even in gameplay, Celeste remains a welcoming game. If you have no desire to suffer from insanely difficult levels and break the gamepad from the hundredth unsuccessful attempt to get to the nearest checkpoint, then you can always choose the story mode, which turns the game into an easy walk.
4. Super Meat Boy
Speaking of hardcore platformers, it's time to remember Super Meat Boy from the real star of the indie scene Andy McMillen. There is no trace of Celeste's hospitality in Meat Boy. It is a cruel, furious and absolutely merciless drug to your nerve cells. Experiencing every death due to ridiculous mistakes, the player seems to be addicted to a masochistic needle that will make him break into blood, but learn every millimeter of the location, remember the timings and complete the level in order to get a life-giving dose of dopamine and spread into a smile full of pleasure.
But despite our exaggeration, the feature of Super Meat Boy is not so much complexity, but a huge number of secrets and approaches to solving the same problem, thanks to a rich set of secret heroes. Add to that a top-notch soundtrack, a humorous storyline, and an entertaining style, and you end up with one of the best platformer games today.
3. The Stanley Parable
One of the main reasons for our love for indie games is bold concepts, which are often hesitant for developers of large games due to financial risks. The Stanley Parable is arguably the best example of the indie approach to creating games that can revolutionize our understanding of what games should be and what rules they should operate by. The Stanley Parable is all about breaking down the fourth wall and constantly deceiving our expectations.
A parable game that, with the Storyteller's words, comments on each player's action and dissects the idea of freedom of choice and consequences, reminiscent of the interactive version of The Truman Show. You can follow the narrator's directions, playing around the standard plot about saving the hero from the captivity of Groundhog Day, or go your own way, which will open up new facets of the story. For its innovative approach to storytelling, The Stanley Parable deserves a place in the top three of the top 10 indie games of all time.
2. Disco Elysium
The developers of the best, in our opinion, game of 2019, Disco Elysium, clearly prove that to immerse a player in dozens of non-standard situations, there is no need to spend multimillion budgets on animation and high-quality 3D graphics. All that is needed is a skillfully written text, an overabundance of creativity and a desire to talk with the gamer on adult topics, without forgetting about a healthy dose of humor.
Taking the classic board role-playing games as a basis, the developers from ZA / UM offer the player to plunge into the day in the life of a not quite mentally healthy detective in the city of Revachol. As a distinctive feature of the game - access to a choice of a couple of dozen internal qualities that determine the personality of the character and the manner of the Disco Elysium storytelling.
But most importantly - Disco Elysium honors the covenants of role-playing games. Communist, capitalist, feminist, misogynist, rock star and many more roles are available to try on at Disco Elysium. Be who you always wanted and don't worry, the game universe will welcome you at your worst and best with joyful hugs.
After much deliberation, we decided to give Braid the first place in our top 10 indie games of all time. For two reasons. The first is simply a superbly executed game at all levels. Starting from a charming painting painted with watercolors, continuing with the gameplay that brought the concept of time manipulation in games to a new and still unattainable level, and ending with a plot that turns out to be much more difficult to test than it seems at first glance.
If you have ever wondered why you failed in love and your partner left you alone, then Braid has several answers to important questions.
And the second reason is the importance of Braid to the gaming industry. Released in the early days of the indie scene, Braid has proven that it is possible to create projects that matter to the industry with just one person, which has inspired many developers who want to create impressive projects without having a staff of several hundred employees behind their backs.
See also the TOP 10 Cool Games of 2019 that you might have missed. Part 2
The Topic of Article: TOP 10 best indie games of all time.