The process: Earlier in the year we asked you, our readers, to rank nine different games per category in order of preference (or how interested you are in a game, if you haven’t played it before). We have taken those rankings, averaged them up, and the resulting list below are the top four games – three runners up and the winner.
Indie games provide us with a wide range of experiences that the larger publishers would never take a risk with. And as a consequence the indie game industry provides us with some of the most creative an innovative experiences that you can find.
Papers, Please: Only an independent developer could take such a risk with a game. To take a job as pedestrian as being a customs agent and checking identity and turn it into a wonderful exploration of human morality takes some work, and in lesser hands it just wouldn’t work. Thank goodness that this idea landed in the right hands, then.
Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine: Boil it right down and Monaco is a modern-day take on the Pac-Man formula, but what Monaco does so well is creating a multiplayer experience that is nothing short of hilarious. Perfectly balanced gameplay meets a genuine sense of humour to make for one crazy party game.
Gone Home: Gone Home is a textbook example of how developers should approach narrative; in this game it’s all up to the player to figure out what’s going on. There’s no need for expensive cut scenes or linear paths to make sure players don’t miss anything, as this game proves, people are still able to think for themselves. The fact that it was a tiny indie team that made it happen is all the more impressive.
Thomas Was Alone: It’s impossible to describe just how good this game is, and it’s absolute proof that games don’t need big budgets to be successful, emotional experiences. Thomas Was Alone manages turn a simple puzzle game featuring boxes into a breathtaking and emotionally engaging story, and is the kind of game that mandates multiple replays in order to fully understand and appreciate everything it offers.