Through the advent of the Internet, the ability to create games and distribute them has been at an all time high in comparison to prior generations. While the most profitable games are still those released by the major game companies, by digging slightly under the scenes, you can easily find a treasure trove of remarkably fun and challenging games in genres that are not available to the mainstream market.
BIT.TRIP BEAT, while not exactly a small unknown game, still falls very much in the realms of so called “Indie games.” The premise for BTB is simple. It exists as an intensely addicting rhythm game that will have you hooked even before you can figure out the plot. Along with the addicting rhythm feel, it has the capability of becoming very challenging and frustrating. It offers a new and creative way to have fun in a game. It comes highly recommended and should be a part of every gamers collection, whether you spend most of your time fighting the Covenant or tending your online farm.
SpaceChem is significantly different, but is just as addicting. In SpaceChem, your goal is to set up processing facilities to sort, combine, and deconstruct hypothetical molecules. While that does not sound in any way appealing, when you play it you will understand. On the other hand, the frustration is much different in this game. Hours can be spent figuring out one solution and to be honest, it can feel a little bit to reminiscent of homework. While it is a fun game and can be extremely satisfying if you can think the way the game wants you to, for someone not adept at puzzle games, it will not make nearly as big of an impact.
For someone looking for a simpler more casual puzzle game, you need not look further than Osmos. This incredibly soothing Newtonian motion based game has just the perfect soundtrack for hours of inquisitive puzzle solving. Still, this game will likely not make nearly as big of an impression on those used to the heavy intensive gameplay offered by many big name titles.
If you are looking for a more action-oriented Indie game, Shattered Horizon may be one of your best bets. Shattered Horizon introduces three dimensions and a space theme to the conventional idea of a first person shooter. Using a few more controls than most games, players are able to manipulate their astronaut in a gravity-less environment and use the different orientations to their strategic advantage. Though it takes some time to master the feel of the game and the fighting is fairly standard, Shattered Horizon is always a blast.
Finally, for those interested in strategy-based games, Gratuitous Space Battles is intensely gratifying. Though it has recently succumbed to the current trend of overpriced downloadable content, without the add-ons, the game is still just as strategic if not more. Unlike some strategy games where you control individual units throughout the entire course of the battle, GSB has you select the basic orders of the ships and then sends them out into combat on their own. The ships themselves are extremely customisable, and it is a delight to see your brand new creation storm out of their ranks and take on a ship twice its size.
There is a very rich universe of indie games just under the skin of the modern video game market. If you have not given at least one a chance maybe it is time to put down this years leading sports game and find something on the smaller side of gaming.
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