Five Indie Games That Deserve the Big Budget Treatment
Independent game developers are like the underdogs of the video game industry. A lot of individuals work their asses off, produce quality games, and sadly go unnoticed due to their lack of funding and promotion. You may recall that Team Meat was royally screwed by Microsoft during and after the development process of Super Meat Boy. You may also recall that the game did incredibly well, all due to its amazing gameplay and retro style, both of which managed to captivate gamers. Unfortunately, that's not the case for every indie game. Oftentimes, awesome titles don't get the fan attention and appreciation they deserve due to the developer's lack of a major publisher. Here is a list of five indie games that are definitely worthy of the big budget treatment.
Derek Yu crafted something completely spectacular when he developed Spelunky. The very definition of old school bliss, this rogue-like/dungeon crawl side-scroller provides equal doses of entertainment and frustration. Play Spelunky, and you will die—a lot. However, the wonderful thing about this little indie game is that death is something to embrace. Death makes the experience, and it makes you want to get better every time you play. Spelunky could have easily claimed a higher spot on this list, but given its future Xbox Live Arcade release, it'll probably do pretty well without a big budget behind it. Still, if a major company published this game, there's no denying it would be worthy of some massive funding.
One of the earlier works by Studio Pixel, Ikachan is a quick and engaging underwater adventure that absolutely drips with style and emotion. Considered by many as the precursor to the revered Cave Story, this title manages to provide a deep sea tale that lasts about two hours at most, but it is satisfying nonetheless. We've already seen Pixel's Cave Story get plenty of exposure across the internet, WiiWare, DSiWare, and even the 3DS, and I can't help but think that Ikachan deserves its time in the spotlight, as well.
3. We Want YOU
Most people list Black Ops as their favorite military shooter. I would have to go with We Want YOU. Developed by Quicksand Games, this 2D shoot 'em up provides a satirical look at the horrors of war. It's comically dark and nothing short of gritty. It's also incredibly charming, which makes it a completely different take on the traditional war game. What drew me to We Want YOU was its intense look at war. As you fall through the level, grim headlines appear in the background announcing the latest peace protestor massacres and war-related fashion trends. A big company needs to reach out to Quicksand Games and publish We Want YOU. This military shooter deserves some major funding and a spot on the home console download market.
2. The Great Paper Adventure
Last month, The Great Paper Adventure went from being a free PC download to a relatively affordable download on Xbox Live Indie Games. First and foremost, if you haven't done so already, please download this game. The last thing we need is for such a beautiful and enjoyable side-scrolling shooter to go unnoticed and unappreciated. Now, because we know the reputation of good ol' XBLIG, it's going to be an uphill battle for The Great Paper Adventure in terms of promotion and sales. In my honest opinion, this game should have been picked up by a publisher and pushed directly onto Xbox Live Arcade.
1. Runman: Race Around the World
Like so many stellar indie games, Runman: Race Around the World is completely fan-supported. Not many websites deserve to have a "donate" button, but this indie game's page most certainly does. Do you know what it deserves even more? Huge stacks of cash from a major publisher! Runman: Race Around the World offers one hell of a ride from start to finish. It's fast, it's colorful, and it's the perfect game for 2D action gamers. Since its launch as a freeware download, gamers have argued that not even Sonic the Hedgehog can touch the speedy Runman, and it's hard to disagree. Hey, Sega, how about you drop the blue fur ball and make this star-shaped hero your new mascot? I'm just sayin'!
Indie games often provide an experience that's different from most mainstream releases. They either offer something innovative, or they provide a throwback to old school gaming. Sadly, too many indie titles don't get the proper attention. With the right budget and backing from a major publisher, many of these games could get the critical and commercial acclaim that's rightfully theirs. Spelunky, Ikachan, We Want YOU, The Great Paper Adventure, and Runman: Race Around the World are just five of the many indie games that greatly deserve the big budget treatment.