The rise of game download portals such as XBLA, Virtual Console and PlayStation has presented a flurry of retro games and weirdly innovative titles. PC users needn’t feel left though because there’s a thriving indie scene producing tons of games, many which are free. While these are not the 3D, high production value epics we pay for, they do provide some unique experiences. They represent great time wasters with some fiendishly hard and addictive gaming – perfect for these difficult economic times. Here are a few of my recent stand-out indie experiences:
For relaxed ambient games, give chilled out real time strategy game Dyson a spin, or the demo of the hypnotic Osmos. Both of these manage to be addictive and relatively peaceful experiences. These are great if you have a spare ten minutes, but don’t mind losing an hour or two.
Equally stylish, but more traditional, is the wonderful Multiwinia. Download the demo here to check out one of the coolest looking action/strategy games from last year.
If you need more action, there’s fast paced 8-bit zombie gore-fest 10800 Zombies, or the slightly more cerebral The Manipulator, both of which are totally free and great examples of not-quite-retro indie productions.
I also recently looked at the cute platformer The Kiwi’s Tale, which is a great throwback to early-90s gaming. For a desktop high score challenge, check out Skull Pogo. I loved the simple controls and macabre comic-style graphics, and spent far too much time trying to beat my last score. It has an online scoreboard too, so keep clear if you’re super competitive!