Hey you! Yeah, you. Lean in close, I need to tell you a secret.
I don’t play indie games.
Don’t give me that look; I know I’m supposed to feel bad. Don’t you think I already feel shame when I visit my favorite video game blogs and all they can talk about is how scary Amnesia: The Dark Descent was, or how tough Super Meat Boy still is?
Look, I get it; as the line between casual and hardcore gaming blurs, the “real” gamers are finding a safe haven in the world of indie games. No Draw Something or FarmVille here, thanks! Indie games have become a beacon of what we believe creating a game once was; a couple of guys spending 23.5 hours a day in a dark room, pouring their souls into a game that ultimately transcends the genre, adding something completely unseen and unbelievable to a world gone cold and gray in the shadow of Angry Birds.
Alright alright, so maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. But to a guy who considers himself solidly in the hardcore gamer camp, it is my burning shame not to be a part of this new and independent world. But don’t worry, I have a plan.
Like all good gamers I took full advantage of Steam’s Summer Sale, and with Indie Bundle after Indie Bundle marked down to crazy good prices, how could I not buy some of the games I’d heard so much about?
Bastion? Why not! Braid? Sure, don’t mind if I do. Limbo? Just a bit please, I’m stuffed.
And so it was that this weekend I strapped myself down at my desk, fired up my computer, and installed Trine. Gleeful, hesitant, and a bit suspicious, I settled in to begin my first indie gaming experience.
14 hours later, I awoke. Stood up, stretched, scratched various parts of my body. I was starving, exhausted, but above all, happy. Trine was everything I had wanted and more.
The music was soft and moody at all the right times, uplifting at all the others. The gameplay was fantastic: who knew playing as a wizard could be so much fun! And the graphics- oh the graphics! Every now and then I’d stop and just examine the backgrounds, noticing all the intricate details and moving parts. There was more than one point when my girlfriend passed by, looked at the screen, and commented, “Huh, pretty.” That’s how I know it was a beautiful game.
So maybe indie games do live up to the hype. Maybe it’s time to stop shunning the posts crowing about the latest Kickstarter-fueled project and start adding to the conversation. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll keep playing the latest EA (Boo! Hiss!) games that come out every few weeks. But that won’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying my newfound love of all things independent.
Turns out I’m an indie gamer after all.