Throughout the wide and vast world of PC Gaming you will find games aplenty, some are big and some are small, some are good and some are bad, but they all provide the same thing: the extension of an idea into an interactive medium. Today I’d like to take the chance to talk to you about four little Indie games that have caught my eye. These are games that have not gone onto Early Access, instead choosing to work towards a finished project before presenting the game to the world. Some of these games are still so deep in development that the only information on them exists in development blogs, FAQs, and design notes; one of these games is in the middle of its own open beta as it works towards creating a better game; and one game has just made it through the development process with the hopes that it may soon be picked up by large online stores like Steam.
The first game I’d like to talk about is Mother 4. For those of you who don’t know the Mother series is a series of games put out by Nintendo primarily in Japan. The series yielded a single US release called Earthbound which was released for the Super Nintendo to great acclaim. The series follows a group of children (different in each game) and explores their encounters with aliens and mad scientists and strange psychic powers in strange and mysterious lands. For those of you who are big fans of the Super Smash Bros. series, Ness and Lucas are characters from the Mother games. Mother 4 is an unofficial addition to the series made by fans for the PC. The game follows the traditional Mother system of distorted RPG in an abstract America and follows the tradition well but with the addition of a new and original story. The game is set to be released in winter of this year and is currently set to be free.
Next up is a game that I am awaiting with much anticipation. If you’ve been reading my posts for a while you will know what a huge fan of Edmund McMillen I am, well McMillen’s next project is a game called Mew-Genics and like always it is a strange and dark and twisted and full of childish wonder and fear, so nothing new for McMillen and Team Meat. Mew-Genics is self-described as “a cross between The Sims and Pokemon with a sprinkling of Animal Crossing and a dash of Tamagotchi.” In this game you raise, breed, and fight cats to create strange and interesting mutations and deformities. You can care for your cats in any way you see fit and after a while evolve into their adult forms which can bring on a whole world of new surprises. As of right now there’s still a lot of mystery shrouded around Mew-Genics. As it stands there is no set release date or price. There are a few comics up on the website and a lot of development screenshots, personally I already have high hopes for this game, though it may just be that I’m biased.
The next game I want to talk about is a game that’s been in beta for a while now. It’s not available on Steam’s Early Access, though it has been greenlit on Steam. The game I’d like to talk to you is called Broforce. In Broforce you play as a mercenary fighting your way through a level towards a helicopter. In the game the terrain is completely destroyable and explosions and gun shots are plentiful in the action (much to your own demise). You play as one of many titular “bros” who take their appearance and inspiration from eighties action movies. For example you can play as characters such as Rambro (Rambo) or the Brominator (Terminator) as well as a bunch of awesome and amazing characters like Walker Texas Ranger, Neo, Will Smith from Men In Black, McGyver, Robocop, and Mr. T. The game allows for four-player co-op which is simply loads of unrelenting fun. More often than not you just end up killing each other by accident, but you will just keep trucking on and playing for the fun of it. As I said before the game is still in beta and being worked on and there hasn’t been an official release date for the game yet, but from what I have seen Broforce is a wild and out of control take on Metal Slug, it’s truly game worth not missing. If you are interested in buying it you can do so for $15.
The final game I would like to talk to you about is one that I literally stumbled upon just about a week ago. It is the game that sparked my interest in doing a post on my self-coined “Super Indie” games. I found the game while rummaging around the Humble Store for any good sales and I picked it up almost immediately not knowing exactly what I was getting into. What I ended buying was a game called Retro Game Crunch. What Retro Game Crunch manages to do so well is mimic the style and feel of classic NES games with original storylines and mostly original gameplay. The game comes as a bundle of 7 separate games all of which include their own stories and play styles as well as ideas and graphics. In one you play as a robot trying to kill yourself, in another you are a strange creature trying to evolve your way towards progress, in another you find yourself in a strange cross between the metroidvania genre and Ocarina of Time. Additionally there are a few multiplayer games ranging from classic beat ‘em ups to shoot ‘em ups (…I feel like there may be a better way to phrase that…). I’ll be honest I haven’t had a chance to play through all of the games to the end, but what I’ve seen has left me very satisfied, these games accomplish what they set out to do flawlessly. Any of them could have lived and prospered in the 8-bit era and now they serve as a gateway back to that nostalgia. You can pick up Retro Game Crunch for $15.
In these four games I see hope for the gaming industry far away from the halls of EA and other AAA developers, away even from the grasp of distributors like Steam, in these games I see promise that gaming can thrive without big names and without help from publishers. To make a good game you simply have to go out and make it.