I didn’t really get Skies of Saturn. You’re controlling a sail, and you can steer it through the world, catching the wind and squeezing yourself tight to fit through narrow gaps. But I didn’t get what the point was. Normally this isn’t an issue: I quite like games without an objective, in fact. But Skies of Saturn kept hinting that there was something more: cubes to collect, but nothing obvious about what to do with them. It was mysterious, but in a bad way: when I asked the developer if there was an objective and got the reply “You tell me”, that summed up my experience with the game quite well. It’s more than a little pretentious.
Supposedly inspired by recent platformers such as Rayman Origins or Super Meat Boy, The ARC is a sphere-based puzzle game. The premise is somewhat ridiculous (you’re inserted into a virtual reality to save your boyfriend, I think?), but the gameplay …
Narcissus is an utterly genius iPad and PC platformer, where each level has two characters: one on each side of the screen. They are reflections of each other: one is facing you, and the other is walking upside down (unless you walk over to the other side of the iPad, where he’ll be facing up). The controls are beautifully simple: tap the top half of the screen to make the top character jump; and the bottom half to make the bottom character jump. Sounds straightforward? It’s anything but.
So, here we are again with another episode… chapter… instalment… or whatever you want to call it of the (not yet) critically acclaimed “Undiscovered Gems” series.
As these articles move forward, I’ll get a better feel of what works and …
What’s your perception of independently developed games? Do visions of weirdly textured first-person shooter mod maps come to mind? Do you think of flash games of dubious quality? Or do you think of games like Braid, Eets, Monday Night Combat, Super Meat Boy, and Limbo? Any of these answers are correct – there is a lot of shovelware that comes from independent studios. But dig deeply enough, and you’ll find some of the best games on any platform. And here’s the beauty part: The best of Indie Gaming is yet to come. We have never, and may never, have a year that was the “Year of the Indie”. But strap in, because we’re entering the Era of Indie.