There are exactly 72.4 indie games released each day. Okay, so no, there aren't - I made that number up - but it often feels like there are. Certainly new games are being released at a rate that makes it all too easy to miss out on some quality stuff. To the Humble Indie Bundle's credit, it's consistently one of the most effective ways to catch up on some of the very best indie titles. Now we have the eleventh such bundle, letting you pay what you want for great games like Antichamber, The Swapper and Dust: An Elysian Tail.
Bundles are so 2012. Okay, they're still pretty 2013 too, and the Humble Bundle organisers are planning to run both them and the Weekly Sale offers in future. Now, though, they've expanded their Humble enterprise to include a permanent store front, from which you can buy a selection of indie and indie-ish games. To celebrate the store's launch, they're running a sale that knocks 50-75% off the entirety of the (currently small) catalogue. More deals - and therefore more games - are scheduled to appear over the next few days.
Built of clay and the echoes of Stanley Kubrick’s creative ghost, sidescrolling puzzler The Swapper is superb. It’s clever, moody and forward-thinking in its disdain for conventional, permaroided protagonists, but also irrepressibly frustrating. Like the charming rapscallion you can’t help but like, The Swapper will drive you up the wall and have you coming back for more.
Chris, Tom Francis and a briefly-resurrected Marsh discuss Batman, Gunpoint-man, The Swapper, E3 and much more - most of which is relevant to PC games! Some of it isn't.
You remember The Swapper, right? For beneath that rather bland name lies a gorgeous handmade science-fiction platformer in which you have the power to make clones of yourself. Rather than using them to do chores or carry him aloft like a war hero, Swapper Guy uses them to solve puzzles, admittedly in one of the most striking, atmospheric indie games of recent years. Head here for a reminder, then stick around for a very Promethean trailer - oh and the news that it's heading to Steam on May 30th.
You're going to want to keep an eye on The Swapper, a sidescrolling platform/puzzle game with a staggering art style and a killer central mechanic. You play an astronaut - or more accurately, astronauts, because you soon gain the power to make clones of yourself and, as the title suggests, swap between them. If that wasn't novel enough, the game's characters and sets are made of handmade materials such as tin cans and clay - this is the Aardman hard sci-fi I never knew I needed until now. Have a watch of the following, new trailer for proof, but be sure to turn the quality up so you can make out every last blemish and fingerprint.
Just look at Hawken. If ever there was a game that undermined the notion of what an independently developed project can achieve, it’s Adhesive Games’ mech shooter. Every bone in my body tells me a small studio should not be able to pull off such a gorgeous, robot-stomping shooter, but there it is, megabots hanging in the air, spitting rockets at each other across maps that look like they’ve come out of Epic or Valve.
But I’m getting used to indie games surprising me: freedom to create without interference from the men in suits is the reason their developers go into this murky, unfunded realm, trading security for the chance to follow their own path. Every developer in this list has taken the opportunity to make exactly what they want to make, using that freedom to create some startlingly original games that simply wouldn’t be made if they had a deadline to hit and had to justify every decision.
These games only exist because someone passionately wanted to bring them into the world, and it really, really shows.
Graham, Tom, Craig and Rich convene to discuss the future of indie. We've played a bunch of interesting games coming out in the next year that may not be on your radar yet, and should be. Under discussion: repulsive goo-splasher Confetti Carnival, bumbling clone orgy The Swapper, slapstick swordfighting deathmatcher Nidhogg, nerve-fraying mind war Spy Party, four-dimensional puzzle garden Miegakure, and rope-carrying-parrot simulator Rope Racket.
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To help explain what we're talking about a bit, Nidhogg creator Messhof was kind enough to let us post a video of Graham and I playing it. It's embedded below.