In With the New
Greetings, readers of Indie Game Reviewer! I must have blinked, because we’re at the end of another year. As has been the case in previous years, our reviewers played a staggering amount of indie games in 2014.
The good news is: greatness abounds! You can no longer chuck an orange without hearing the satisfying juicy shlup of it rebounding off a stellar indie project. But with that warm fuzzy feeling in the sub-cockles of your heart, I must sadly remind everyone that we only have ten slots on the main Top 10 Indie Games of the Year list (hence the “10” part of the name). The process of pruning down the list is laborious, and deciding which ones ultimately have to go has been known to rob us of sleep.
They may not have made the final cut, but I sure had a ton of fun with these indie darlings. Hit up the links on the titles for my reviews. Here, in the order they came out of my fanny pack, are my Top Five Indie Games.
Bursting with nods to famous pop-culture and gaming franchises, Devil’s Dare adds permadeath to the sidescrolling beat-em-up, and slathers on a few bucketfuls of gore. The intense action quickly heats up as you struggle against the undead threat. Earn enough coin by trouncing multiple enemies, and you can purchase upgrades and additional lives. Bitingly funny, this game is as worthy of your laughter as it is of your time.
Pinball games and RPGs have crossed paths before, but Rollers of the Realm subtly handles the finer points of the latter genre, creating a most worthy hybrid indeed. Buy power-ups for your party, hire additional muscle, and take on lucrative side quests. The pinball action requires precision and patience, and each cleared stage brings you further into a tale that feels as integral to the game as the flippers. Did I mention that it also has gorgeous visuals and stellar voice acting as well? Get over here, you…
When a wizard successfully creates a potion that can free someone from the confines of death, The Grim Reaper has a thing or two to say about it. Not at all happy, he kidnaps the wizard and trashes his life’s work. Unbeknownst to Big Bony, the Wizard’s pet lizard gets dosed with the death-defying elixir. Now, dying grants the reptile a new lease on life, allowing him to traverse in the parallel realm of the afterlife.
Take on the undead on a quest to save your master across procedurally generated dungeons. Survive a stage, and you can purchase upgrades that will take the edge off having to start over each time you meet your end. You only live once, but at least you can die twice.
What starts as a challenging puzzle game soon takes a grim turn, revealing a gripping tale about the fragility of human existence. Each new puzzle imposes rigid new rules on the player, serving to not only up the challenge, but to underline how much of life can be missed when we let the rules govern our journey. Your nemesis waits in dark corners, and it seems as though the rules give him an undeniable advantage. Is there even any point in continuing in the struggle against him?
Labyrinthine Dreams is short, sweet, and highly endearing.
With roots in RTS and tower defense games, and visuals that look like a medical textbook illustrator’s fever dream, Prophour23 handily earns its doctorate in weird. Tired of having your steady flow of blood drip to the floor? Build a pair of lungs, of course. Or construct a giant screaming mouth to shred waves of enemies. Keep your organism diverse, or bugs are gonna feast on your heart. It’s creepy as hell, and you’ll quickly discover that it’s hard to stop playing.
So Long, 2014, and Thanks For All The Fish
So that was 2014. Be sure to check out The Big List when we go live with it in the coming days. Happy New Year, y’all!
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