They’re cheap, that is all… move along.
Okay, seriously, indie games represent an interesting enterprise in the gaming world. They bring the video game industry to the film industry in a certain way that now (especially thanks to digital distribution) almost anyone can make a video game. Granted that also mean, almost ANYONE can make a video game, and that can bring in some horrible experiences. The fact that there is freedom in the ideas that can be expressed and the worlds people can now share opens new horizons to the gaming experience. If you haven’t already, I recommend watching Indie Game. Its on Netflix and it shares the journey of a few indie game makers bringing their games to the market. While we can’t expect them all to be Super Meat Boy, To The Moon or Bastion they also aren’t just about poking sanwiches . There are brilliant ideas out there that may not make it to the big time developers or hit the shelves for that wallet crunching $70 … $60? Its been a while since I’ve bought a game at a Gamestop or Target; these games can introduce new worlds, confront us with the most difficult of challenges, and bring smiles with the best of triple A titles out there. And if not, at least provide a refreshing experience that reminds us why we game in the first place.
I’m not saying that indie games are better than games developed by the top studios out there, and its not like I don’t play non-indie games. I’ve been playing Titanfall, Wildstar and Ultra Street Fighter IV, but I will say that while these games are awesome in their own rights, indie games present some completely outside the box ideas I’ve come across. Such as Pulse, in this game you see by pulses of sound… so think Daredevil, but not fighting random street thugs at night. Or Minecraft, the ultimate of all sandbox games. I mean it does sound kind of boring when you hear the premise, you mine and then craft things, yet the things you can create are amazing. Indie games definitely have their place in the world and have a much more forgiving audience than a triple A title would. But that’s because indie games are allowed to have a certain charm that makes them different and fun to play. Kind of like indie films. When something isn’t great, it’s “Okay, for an indie film…” but when its a great indie film, it becomes amazing and part of the amazement is that it didn’t come from someone who is paid millions of dollars to star in it, it didn’t cost millions to make and its cast and crew aren’t a bunch of untouchable names and faces. Indie games have this same kind of quality about them. Your favorite indie game could have been developed by the guy sitting next to you on the bus. Its a small team creating something out of love and passion for their field.
In that sense indie games have a freedom about them, since million to billion dollar companies aren’t looking at the profitability of this singular product. Which basically goes for all independent entertainment production endeavors. They’re allowed to be just okay, and the efforts of their creator show in the final product. Its alright if there isn’t controller support… it was made at an indie game jam. Its okay that there was a small graphical glitch here or there. In the end like all games out there, the great ones will be remembered by the fans that played them, the ones that were just okay will be forgotten and never played again. That being said, simply I love indie games in the new and different experiences they can bring, the chances they can take and the price point is hard to beat.