When we talk about indie games, we don’t mean how they are played, but how they are made. In the beginning, an indie game was exclusively a video game made by small studios (or even one person) with a limited budget and no big distributor behind it.
What is an indie video game?
An indie video game is very different from a triple-A video game, the big blockbusters that fill the news. Although many major publishers nowadays also publish indie games, although their development continues without the involvement of these large companies.
These are independently developed titles with a very limited budget and a smaller team of people. Thus, this leads to games that are shorter and not as strong from a technical point of view.
Despite the limitations, this does not mean that indie games are of low quality. In general, indie games have better visuals, more care and an interesting and engaging narrative. However, independent studios try to use fewer technical resources to reduce costs in the development process.
What was the first indie game?
“Cave Story” is one of those primers you have to go back to every now and then to keep your perspective on indie video games. Released in 2004 as a free-to-play game, it has experienced a journey of nearly twenty years that has taken it through all the stages a game has to go through.
Cave Story’s plot dates back to the late 1990s. It was during this time that its creator, Daisuke Amaya, better known as Pixel, learned to program video games thanks to one of his classmates in the student residence where he was living at the time. Enthusiastic since childhood, Daisuke Amaya had one idea in mind: to create a beautiful game.
Contrary to what usually happens, Amaya’s game did not start in the heart. He immediately realized that he did not know how to play the game. He had basic programming skills but lacked the necessary experience, so he focused his efforts on creating a small title, Ikachan, and an engine to create his own soundtrack.
The most popular indie games
It should be remembered that the terms indie and independent are synonymous. So let’s talk about the best indie titles:
Hades burst onto the scene as one of the best video games of 2020. A roguelike in which you play Zagreo, a son of Hades who wants to escape from the underworld. The player’s path will be randomly generated and he will have to choose his weapons well, learn as many tricks as possible and be very efficient in how he combines his powers. The game’s story is one of its strongest points.
2. Elysium Disk
With a very original tone and a very deep role-playing system, this is another indie revelation of the last few years. A suspicious detective who solves many mysteries, including his own attack. As the developers themselves say: “Be a hero or a villain.”
3. Stardew Valley
Those who love a quiet life on the farm will be able to play this title for 10 to 300 hours! You can create your own farm, meet neighbors in the village and much more.
4. Hollow Knight
This is an old school 2D action adventure game. It has a huge world to explore that is interconnected. During the adventure, ancient cities, caves and deserts appear. In each of these environments there are corrupted creatures. The mission is to unravel ancient mysteries that lie at the heart of the kingdom, beneath the city of Petropolis.
A puzzle video game created and distributed by Thekla, Inc. The player controls a character whose main goal is to overcome the challenges of the island, which is divided into 10 parts, each with different puzzles for a total of 650.