With the rise of new development tools, indie games are now more common than ever. While these games may not have the finesse of AAA games or video game publisher support, what they do have is innovation. Since these small-team creators don’t have rake in big money, they are free to experiment and often create unique gameplay. They are also quite cheap in comparison to mainstream titles. Since we saw so many of them released in the last year, we’ve compiled a list of the best indie games of 2013 to present to you the finest ones:
Although 2013 saw the release of several puzzle games, but Sokobond easily outclasses most of them. Each puzzle challenges players to create a molecular compound by assembling all the atoms present on the screen in a specific way.
As more levels are unlocked new mechanics are introduced, such as the ability to split atoms or rotate pairs. Even if you aren’t a chemistry major, this game will surely take a few hours away from your life.
140 is a short indie game that masterfully demonstrates how music and a gaming platform can be elegantly fused to create a wonderful experience. 140 has musical elements presented on-screen and timing movements to the music is the only way to move forward.
The platforming challenge itself is very fulfilling, and the superb music does nothing but add to the atmosphere. The boss battles at the end of each level help bring twists to the gameplay in unique and fun ways.
11. Steamworld Dig
This game casts players as a prospecting robot in an alternate version of the Wild West. You start out with nothing but a plot of land and a pickaxe, but there is a vast underground world to mine. While initially, all you will want to do is upgrade your equipment, the game’s joy comes from discovery and the tension between risk and reward as you dig deeper and deeper into the earth.
The game has a solid presentation style and it controls very responsively, making it a treat to play.
10. Stick it to the Man
Stick it to the Man plays like a combination game of Psychonauts, Monkey Island and Tearaway. While this alone should be able to justify its position in the list, this indie title is a puzzle game where the main character has the unique power of listening to other people’s thoughts and materializing items out of them in the real world.
This mechanic is then used to solve a wide variety of quirky puzzles. Add to that mixture a heap of comedic writing and you have yourself an amazing indie game.
9. Surgeon Simulator 2013
Surgeon Simulator 2013 is one of the funniest games of the year. The gameplay is exactly what the title says, except in the most ironic way imaginable. Learning how to perform each operation is a trial and error affair, and the physics engine does nothing but laugh at your every move.
It escalates quite beautifully too, asking players to perform surgery in a hospital, in the back of a moving ambulance, and then eventually in space.
Guacamelee! is a Metroid and castlevania styled action game that is incredibly fun, fast-paced, and incredibly goofy. This game has you using rolls, dashes, uppercuts, and other combat moves to actually progress through the world.
Combine that with the ability to switch between the land of the living and the land of the dead, cool visual design, great sense of humor, bunch of pop culture references and you’ve got one amazing game.
Although survival horror has lost much of its sheen in recent years, but in the hands of a small independent developer Red Barrels, it has quickly regained all fame. Outlast is easily one of the year’s spookiest experience. The game is set in survival horror nirvana; an out-of-control mental asylum.
You play as an investigative journalist who journeys into the aforementioned asylum armed with only a camcorder. What awaits is nightmare fuel for many, many nights to come.