Looking forward to a gaming-heavy Easter but fed up of all the mainstream malarky? Don’t worry – we have a few indie suggestions to tide you over…
5) Thomas Was Alone
Mike Bithell’s charming game about a little cube that achieves consciousness and realises that he is a little part of a big puzzle in the hazardous world of the internet is one everyone should be playing if they want to get into the videogames-as-art scene. A platformer where every character has a different personality and different powers is doubly brilliant when they can tug at your heartstrings while being nothing more than four sides of emotion that you’ve bonded with. Danny Wallace’s narration is also like audible butter.
4) The Stanley Parable
Speaking of games that realise they are games, The Stanley Parable will be on many people’s “Game of the Year” lists for being the Pulp Fiction of the video game world. A simple office building becomes the arena where the player must fight against the narrator and the rules of the video game themselves in order to get to one of a possible 13 endings – never before have I played a game where the narrator can cut off your gameplay mid action if he doesn’t like what you’re about to do or sa-
3) Don’t Starve
If Edgar Allen Poe had created Minecraft, this game would be it. A 2D gothic horror landscape where all you have initially are grass and berries to eat, sticks and flint to create an axe, a world of monsters to explore and escape from and only one instruction: Don’t Starve. Every time you play, you see something new. It’s the game that keeps on giving…until you run out of food or the monsters attack.
2) Papers, Please
Who would have thought bureaucracy would make for such an engaging game. You run the border patrol of a dictatorial state and only those that have the right paperwork can enter. For every person you let through, you get paid money to feed your starving family. But what happens when someone comes through with the wrong paperwork? Send them on their way? But what if the rest of their family has gone through? Do you reunite them with their husband, brother, children? And is that worth the risk at not being able to feed your own family? These are the questions you must ask yourself when getting ready to play Papers, Please. With the click-and-drag gamestyle, my fingers are crossed for a portable release.
I’ll just leave you with what I wrote after the first day of playing Antichamber:
It’s 01:56. I’m halfway through, I think, and I feel like MC Escher is giving my brain a massage. It’s like walking through the album artwork of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ – the whiteness being pushed aside for streams of colour. Every ‘level’, I’m loath to call them levels because I don’t know when one ends and the other begin, has a little picture on the side that tells you the solution, in a very philosophical manner. The hint given to you after you fall down a particularly ironic section of the game – just past what you think is the end of it – is ‘Failing to succeed does not mean failing to progress’. How true, I think, cursing the game.
They say your brain can do something like a million calculations in half a second, because that’s the number of sums needed to coordinate fingers and such. I think I can feel my brain doing that now. It’s difficult to type. I don’t know if I’m just going to have my hands fall through the desk. I’m not quite sure what’s real.
Guys, it’s the new Portal.
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