Let’s talk about indie games that you should play

12.01.2023 0 By admin

I play a lot of video games; sometimes to have more examples for videos, sometimes to see if the hype around a title is real, and sometimes because…they’re kinda fun.

A pretty regular comment I get is people asking me for recommendations, especially for indie games because I include a lot of them in my footage.

So, let’s do it.

Let’s talk about indie games that you should
play.

I’m mostly going to talk about less popular
indie titles, so stuff like Hollow Knight,

Shovel Knight, Hades, and Celeste won’t
be on here, but ya know if you haven’t played

any of those, you probably should.

Also, I’m not gonna talk about games that
I’ve already gone in depth about in previous

videos so I can keep things fresh, which largely
just means I won’t be talking about A Short

Hike or Outer Wilds, but again you should
play those as well because they’re kinda

the best.

Anyway, enough preamble.

Let’s start with CrossCode.

($19.99)

CrossCode should be talked about in the same
breath as the most prestigious indie games

out there.

It takes ideas from classic SNES titles like
Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, even A Link

To The Past and it innovates on them to make
one of the most satisfying action RPGs I’ve

ever played.

While it hasn’t gotten the widespread acclaim
that it deserves, it is the kind of game where

if you mention it to someone who has played
it, they will go on and on about how great

it is, which ya know can be annoying, but
it is typically a sign that something is worth

playing.

The quick pitch is that the main character,
Lea has found herself inside of an MMORPG

called CrossWorlds where players take control
of physical Avatars through the use of VR

goggles, however, she has no memory whatsoever
and is unable to speak.

So, as Lea, you explore CrossWorlds doing
quests that are a part of the MMO while also

trying to unravel the mystery of what happened
to her.

It’s a neat concept that uses its setting
of an MMO to tell a really fun single-player

story, and it is one of the only games I’ve
ever played that actually makes a silent protagonist

interesting.

Beyond that, it has a solid combat system
that is easy enough to understand, but provides

a lot of depth as you come across new powers
and unlock stuff through the skill tree.

Where the game is at its best however is in
the dungeons, all of which gave me the same

feeling that I get after beating the very
best 2D Zelda dungeons.

They’re filled with puzzles that make you
feel smart and talented for solving them and

intense fights that keep you on your toes,
some of which also incorporate puzzle elements,

getting players to do more than just mash
buttons.

It does an incredible job of tying all of
its mechanics together to create an indie

masterpiece.

There is a lot to do, and the majority of
it is worth doing, so for those looking for

something you can really sink your teeth into,
this is a must-play.

Next up is a game for people who like to feel
emotions, which I hope is all of you.

It’s called Before Your Eyes.

I don’t want to say too much about it because
it is one of those “the less you know, the

better” kinds of games, but I will say that
its story is immensely relatable and moving;

it is a game I think about pretty much everyday,
which doesn’t happen that often for me,

especially with relatively short single-player
experiences.

A part of this comes from it’s well-written
story, but the bigger reason stems from it’s

primary mechanic where if you blink in real
life, time in the game will jump forward.

It might be seconds, it might be years, but
no matter what, every moment is fleeting and

this is how the story unfolds.

In order to pull this off it uses your webcam
to track when you blink, which by the way,

as a dude who somewhat famously doesn’t
show his face on the internet, I get being

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a little hesitant to play a game that needs
to use your camera, but for what it’s worth

nothing is recorded or stored; it just tracks
your blinks.

And it is very much worth playing it in this
way.

I have never felt as strong of a connection
between how a game controls and the themes

it presents.

I found myself desperately trying to stay
in certain moments but having my body betray

me with a blink, and then being somewhere
completely new, wondering what I missed out

on but also trying to focus on the new moment
so that I didn’t miss anything there.

It is a beautiful game with a unique control
scheme that leads to a truly immersive experience

because you are essentially the controller
and your natural human reactions will influence

how the game plays out.

I wish I could play it again for the first
time, so for those of you lucky enough to

not have played it yet, do yourself a favor
and buy it.

While we’re on games that feature time manipulation,
let’s talk about The Sexy Brutale.

Set in a casino mansion with the same name,
The Sexy Brutale drops the player character

in a time loop where they must relive the
same masquerade party over and over until

they’re able to save every guest.

Each loop gives the player a chance to learn
new information that can be used to solve

various obstacles and further explore the
gorgeous and complex mansion.

Along with being in a time loop, the other
major element players have to worry about

is that they have to avoid being seen by any
of the other characters because reasons.

This leads to it being one big puzzle that
has you tracking the movements of the guests

and various happenings around the casino in
order to move forward undetected.

It is a cool concept with tons of style that
also manages to tell an engaging story.

For the most part, the puzzles struck that
solid balance of being complicated enough

to get me thinking, but never so obscure that
I felt discouraged to keep going.

If you’re a fan of point and click adventures,
this shares a lot of the same DNA, so it almost

certainly would be for you.

Wildermyth is a character-driven randomly
generated tactical role-playing game—god

I hate describing video games—that has you
live out the life of an adventuring party.

At the start, you create your core group of
soon-to-be heroes and then travel the lands

in search of adventure and glory.

You have the option of choosing a premade
campaign that has some sort of overarching

threat and various set pieces specifically
designed for it or you can do an entirely

procedurally generated one, creating a story
unique to you.

Regardless of which you choose, both will
have random events occur to your characters

that you will have to navigate through, and
depending on your choices, this will have

lasting effects on them, both positive and
negative.

The game is largely split into 2 phases, those
being exploring and combat.

Exploring has you on the overworld map where
you’ll scout new areas, restore cities,

build defenses against coming hoards and complete
various personal quests that may come up for

your heroes.

Combat has you resolve various issues that
come from overworld travel.

It uses a grid based system that has a fair
bit of depth to it.

My favorite part of the combat system is that
characters can interact with objects and structures

in the environment; there is even a whole
class built around manipulating things like

boulders and torches to attack or protect
the party from enemies.

It is pretty amazing the types of stories
that Wildermyth is able to weave together

through its procedural generation; I’ve
played through a few campaigns, and each time

felt incredibly connected to my heroes, which
I didn’t expect to happen when I was first

pitched the game.

It’s really well done and especially, if
you like Fire Emblem or Darkest Dungeon or

games like either of those, you should give
Wildermyth a shot.

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If you watch a lot of my videos, you’ve
probably seen footage of this next one, but

I’ve never had the chance to talk about
it properly: this is Yoku’s Island Express.

I am fascinated by the way some titles experiment
with combining genres, and Yoku’s Island

Express pulls off one of the unlikeliest combinations
I could ever think of: a pinball metroidvania.

And I know; to a lot of you that sounds terrible,
but let me tell you…it isn’t.

The gameplay centers around the main character
Yoku, who is traveling around an island as

the new postmaster, delivering packages and
solving problems for the various inhabitants

on the island.

Traversal is done largely through interconnected
pinball screens and as Yoku gains more abilities,

you can access parts of the island that were
previously unreachable.

The best thing I can say about Yoku’s Island
Express is that I don’t even like pinball,

and this is still one of my favorite games
of the past 10 years.

There is a lot of charm to its writing and
visuals; and, it’s structure made the pinball

elements far more intersting to me as I had
something to work towards other than just

breaking a high score and there aren’t costly
fail states.

It delivers the spectacle of the greatest
pinball machines out there without any of

the frustration.

Yoku is one of those games that you can’t
help but smile while playing, which I have

to imagine is good for your brain, and the
way it melds two very different genres together

is worth checking out for the ingenuity alone.

Honestly, whether or not you are a fan of
pinball or metroidvanias, Yoku’s Island

Express is a fun and intriguing game that
also manages to be accessible for players

of all skill levels.

It’s a good time.

Next up is Ape Out.

True to its name, Ape Out is about an Ape
that is trying to get out.

It is filled with bombastic action from a
top down perspective where you run through

tight corridors, grabbing guards and tossing
them unceremoniously against walls and eachother.

It’s fast, it’s tense and it is a hard
game to put down.

A big part of what drew me in is it’s adaptive
soundtrack that responds to the Ape’s actions;

every attack on an enemy is met with a cymbal
crash and as you cause more and more havoc,

the drums beat faster and louder, creating
a sense of immersion and importance in every

little thing you do.

The way you tackle any given level feels like
an act of expression unique to you.

It is challenging, but not frustratingling
so; if you like Hotline Miami, Ape Out hits

a lot of the same notes in terms of gameplay
but more focused on the melee side of things.

All in all, it is a simple concept with a
killer aesthetic and crunchy gameplay that

is just really fun to play.

Also, I won’t spoil it, but it has one of
my favorite endings to any game ever, so I

would argue that it is easily worth checking
it out for that alone.

Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight is the
perfect game to play while you continue to

wait for any scrap of information to come
out about Silksong.

It’s a metroidvania with challenging combat
and intriguing platforming set in a cursed

kingdom that you must traverse through and
attempt to cleanse.

There’s a bunch of interesting boss fights,
obscure lore to try to make meaning out of,

charms that provide passive power ups to support
your preferred playstyle, and a killer soundtrack

that almost certainly doesn’t get the love
it deserves.

It also has lots of cats.

If that matters to you.

While you shouldn’t go in expecting it to
be just like Hollow Knight as both the combat

and platforming feel a fair bit different
from it, it does share a lot of similar traits,

so I think fans of Hollow Knight will find
a lot to love about Momodora.

I’ve talked in the past about how I don’t
100% most games I play because I end up getting

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annoyed with having to do a lot of shit I
don’t care about, but Momodora is one of

the few titles that I not only 100%ed but
that I also still wanted to play after doing

so, which I think says a fair bit.

Just play it, thank you.

Lastly, let’s talk about The Return of the
Obra Dinn.

At least in my circles, this is a somewhat
popular game, but after looking up some data

on sales, I realized that not nearly enough
people have played it.

Return of the Obra Dinn takes what sounds
like one of the lamest jobs ever, an insurance

investigator, and uses it as a base to have
the player solve what is essentially one massive

murder mystery.

By using a watch that allows you to see a
snapshot of the last moment of a character’s

life, you must connect various bits of information
to identify every person on the ship and what

ultimately happened to them.

It causes you to feel really stupid for awhile,
but then you start connecting the dots and

start to feel like the smartest person to
have ever lived, and I think everyone can

benefit from feeling that way once and awhile.

I love this game a lot because it is the kind
of title that I never knew needed until it

came out.

Anyway, It is a one-of-a-kind experience that
you’ll wish you could play again for the

first time, so do it.

Okay.

That’s it.

Not only are each of these titles fun to play,
but they also all include a ton of creative

design that is worth seeing.

Games like these have helped inform many of
my opinions on what goes into good game design,

so I think there’s plenty of value in playing
these just to have a wider understanding of

the subject.

So go enjoy some games to see what you’ve
been missing.

And for those of you especially interested
in the puzzle game recommendations, let me

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Anyway, thanks to Brilliant for sponsoring
this video.

For all of you still here, thank you so much
for watching.

This channel would not be possible without
viewers like you, and viewers like my patrons

who give generously and I just appreciate
you all so much.

Also, special shout out to Elfinrez for being
an honorary bagbuten.

I appreciate ya.

Again, thank you and I hope you have a great
day and/or night, and I’ll see you in the

next one.

Bye.