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2011 Video Game Leftovers: Indies

by Jeff Mattas, Nov 25, 2011 3:00pm PST

In part two of our Holiday Video Game Leftovers features, Indie Jeff serves up four great indie games that may have made it past your table. And though Black Friday they might not be the subject of Black Friday sales, indie games almost always offer a great gaming value. If none of these tickles your fancy, remember, we keep up with the latest and greatest on our Indie Games Channel blog. Lest it get left out, don't forget the current Humble Introversion Bundle, available now with Uplink, Darwinia, DEFCON, and Multiwinia.

Stealth Bastard

Good stealth-based games can be hard to come by, which is why the free, 2D action platformer Stealth Bastard: Tactical Espionage Arsehole by Curve Studios is such a great surprise. With sensibilities that are part Solid Snake and part Super Meat Boy, Stealth Bastard challenges players with hacking computer terminals as quickly as possible and getting to the exit of each level. It would be easy, were it not for the multitude of traps meant solely to turn sneak-thiefs into bloody paste.

Plus, as an added bonus, it works great with a gamepad. Oh, and remember, it's FREE.

Nitronic Rush

There have been quite a few mainstream racing titles released this year, but Nitronic Rush--created by Team Nitronic at the DigiPen Institute of Technology--breathes more life into the genre than most of the big-budget racers, combined. The game's neon, Tron-like presentation and thumping soundtrack are great, but the real joy of the game is the new mechanics it introduces. Players can make their vehicles turbo, jump, flip, roll, and even fly. The game's progressively crazier tracks often require the player to drive on the walls, or fly through floating minefields. If you have the slightest interest in arcade racers, or are just looking for a different sort of action game, plug in a gamepad and download Nitronic Rush. It's rad.

To the Moon

One of my favorite narrative experiences in video games this is found in Freebird Games' adventure about memory manipulation and regret, called To the Moon. The exploration and interaction-based gameplay is used simply and efficiently to help tell the game's story, which is thought provoking and emotional, while managing to avoid feeling melodramatic or heavy-handed. To the Moon is intended as the first part of a series, in which two scientists manipulate the memories of their clients to help them realize unfulfilled dreams before they die. The story is fantastic, and I highly recommend it to adventure game enthusiasts or anyone looking for a fantastic and touching story that might even make you appreciate the ones you love a bit more.

Binding of Isaac

If you're in need of something else to be thankful for, count your lucky stars that you're not the titular character in Edmund McMillen's adorably gross roguelike action game, The Binding of Isaac. In a world where so many games hold players hands right through to the end, TBoI is a refreshingly difficult experience that plays like a punishing version of The Legend of Zelda. Tons of unlockables and random dungeon layouts (and permanent death) make it a game that you can sink countless hours into, and though it might be a while before you see it's multiple possible endings, the game rewards the player enough that it's easy to dive in for another go.

Not seeing anything that tickles your fancy? Well, it being Black Friday, plenty of stores are hosting huge sales. Check out our Black Friday retail sales round-up to find a little undiscovered treasure to suit your gaming whims.





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