POST REDUX 9/13/13: The Games I Play Today

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

[EDITOR'S NOTE:] I'm sick, folks. It's not pretty, and I'm not quite together enough to guarantee I won't puke on my computer. I've reached back into the vaults and pulled out an older post. I think it's relevant, especially for those new readers wondering why I love the indie games so. Enjoy the read, I'm going to go sit in front of the toilet.

The majority of my gaming time used to be spent largely with big name titles from large developers. On any given day, I would prefer Halo, Battlefield 3, Assassin's Creed or Mass Effect to smaller titles. Consoles were my primary platforms for play, with my PC serving more as a stereo than anything else.

Times have changed lately. More and more, I've been playing independent titles over large studio games. While I still enjoy playing many major releases like Borderlands 2, the vast majority of my time has been given over to the indie games. Why? For the longest time I couldn't put my finger on it.

It started with a little game called The Maw. Now known as one of Twisted Pixel's flagship games, I first played The Maw when it was part of the debut PAX 10. I was blown away by the polish of the game, not to mention it's fun and adorable gameplay.

Up until The Maw, my understanding of indie games hadn't gone any deeper than the flash games I occasionally perused at Sure, I'd played Castle Crashers, but I'd also played Alien Hominid when it was still just a Newgrounds title. Seeing The Behemoth's game published by Microsoft Game Studios subconsciously eliminated it from what I then understood to be an indie game.

After The Maw, came Braid . Later, I discovered Osmos and Machinarium. Soon after that I discovered the Humble Bundle. Everywhere I turned there was a new game. BotaniculaAmnesiaAnd Yet it MovesHammerfight. It was an unbelievable wealth of games.

I still didn't really understand why I had gravitated towards these indie titles. At least, not until very recently. While it's easy to say that these are all exceptional games, it's not quite enough. What I experience from these games is something very similar to the feelings I had when I first started playing games. It seemed like there were great games all over the place, like I just stumbled over them everywhere I went.

That's what I think I really like about playing all of the independent titles available now. With too many big name franchises, I end up retreading the same concepts and mechanics over and over again.  In this sort of Indie explosion, I get to play games in a way I haven't been able to since I was young. I get to make new discoveries, try new mechanics and stories. Every day is a new adventure. I'm spoiled for choice and I couldn't be happier about it.