Top 10 Best Indie Games of 2011 – Indie Game Reviewer’s Favorite Game Picks of the Year

top-ten-indie-games-of-2011

The top ten independent games of 2011

10. The Cat and the Coup

(Peter Brinson, Kurosh ValaNejad)

In the “experimental” and “innovative” titles category that was also populated by Trauma, Improviso and Retention, comes the socio-political ruse of a game “Cat and the Coup” that somehow managed to make it past Steam‘s judiciary committee for what qualifies as a game that many people might enjoy, and was thus exposed to a much broader audience (which is good news as far as we are concerned. As reviewer Darklights put it:

“There is a loving craftsmanship here, a thoughtfulness that refuses to give in to conventional storytelling. It is built on the efforts of a small skeleton indie team so that all the smallest nuances are within the creators’ personal creative control. The team’s work, under the direction of Peter Brinson and Kurosh ValaNejad, compel me to follow what may come next from their oeuvre.

There is also a beautiful symmetry: Established national history may erase Mossadegh, but art will embrace him. In this chosen form, games are rendered full of subversive possibilities.” – Darklights (Tanya Kan)

Some may cry foul, but we stand our ground for the fact that not only do games allow us to walk in shoes (or paws) that might otherwise be inaccessible and thus consider the world around in us in mind-expanding, eye-opening ways, but because indie games have even more freedom to do so, and where this is exploited, we take interest.

Top 10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. HM1 HM2 HM3 MA

 

17 comments on “Top 10 Best Indie Games of 2011 – Indie Game Reviewer’s Favorite Game Picks of the Year

    1. Thank you for posting 🙂 Not sure that Unepic is anything like a AAA title in the contemporary sense, but it sure it as worthy of attention and your money 😉

  1. Wow! This is an incredibly comprehensive list. Though I may not agree fully with the top 10, you’ve done a wonderful job mentioning all these fantastic indie games (some of which I haven’t heard of). I’ll definitely go through this list later to check out any awesome indie game I may have missed. Thanks for putting this list together.

    1. Thank you for your kind acknowledgement. It was a spectacular year and it sure kept us very busy. 🙂 2012 will not slow this trend down one bit.

  2. Man, the Binding of Issac, to me, was the game of the year. I pumped more hours into that game than any other indie game I’ve ever played (we’re talking 40+ here). Plus, I don’t know if you guys heard this, but they’re working on DLC for it that is said to “nearly double the size of the game”, to which my free time responds “Ah crap….”

  3. Thanks for compiling such an extensive list! I missed out on quite a few of these games, unfortunately, but at least now I have a great reference point. One game I am very happy to see included is Rock of Ages. I don’t think that title got nearly enough press, considering how much fun it was.

  4. Great article, and nice to see some titles get acknowledged that didn’t get the press deserved in 2011 by the mainstream media 🙂 Couple of other titles to watch for in 2012 are StarDrive, Kenshi and Airmech, all look really nice, and we have to plug our own title Star Prospector that will be released very soon!

  5. “When we saw the first trailer for Hawken, we thought it was an April Fool’s joke. There was no way the gameplay could look as good as what we were seeing. And yet as further gameplay clips emerge, it seems to hold to its promise. With a fast growing user base who play the beta, it seems it is more than just smoke and mirrors”

    What beta ? Does hawken have a beta running ?

  6. what no machinarium? it’s a great game and deserves to be here! i couldn’t help but not to fall in love in that game and i usually don’t like puzzle games and it was a lot better than tiny bang story

    1. Thanks for commenting. We loved it too. Machinarium, however, was release Friday 16 October 2009…

  7. At first I was disappointed with your list. Especially when I saw Bastion as number one. An average game with a good voiceover seems to have stunned everyone…

    But the rest of your list and the sheer number of Honourable Mentions has really made this a great reference for anyone casually looking around the indie scene. Great range from things like Spacechem and Solar 2 through to odd little gems like To the Moon. Great list, thanks for the (no doubt) many hours that must have gone into putting this together.

    1. It’s always interesting when, in disagreeing with a carefully thought-out and presented opinion, one’s only argument is “no way.”

Comments are closed.