previews\ Jun 25, 2012 at 11:34 am

Top five indie games at E3 2012


Titles such as Assassin's Creed III, Tomb Raider, The Last of Us, and many others were the prime focus at this year's E3. These AAA games got widespread attention from the media, and there's no denying the fact that they deserved it. But I've always been a supporter of the independent developer, and indie releases are some of my favorite games to play. During E3, I got to play a lot of major titles, but I probably spent most of my time playing indie games. Here are the top five upcoming releases I checked out at this year's E3 that are coming courtesy of indie developers.

5. Hybrid


Wait a minute... So 5th Cell, the folks who made Scribblenauts, are making a third-person shooter? That's insane! But you know what? It's so insane that 5th Cell just might be on to something. After spending some time playing Hybrid, watching Hybrid, and talking Hybrid with 5th Cell at E3, I was left with a lasting impression. While it may not be what most people would expect from the studio, this upcoming shooter still has that inventive touch that these fine folks are known for.

In Hybrid, players will jump and hover around several different maps, hide behind cover, and gun down their enemies without a second thought. Having to travel through stages mostly by jumping around them really adds a unique sense of havoc to Hybrid, and it's something we haven't seen in shooters. The game looks like it could be a real winner among fans of the genre, but it's possible that 5th Cell will draw in a new audience, as well. Set to launch later this summer on Xbox Live Arcade with a strong online component, Hybrid is definitely a game to watch out for.

Hybrid hands-on

4. Sound Shapes

Sound Shapes

When indie devs make a 2D platformer, they often rely on making it a challenging affair that pushes players to really try hard to conquer it. Sound Shapes from developer Queasy Games is definitely going to give players a rewarding level of difficulty, but it's also going to feature a music element that changes things up considerably. By collecting coins scattered throughout stages, players will methodically create the game's soundtrack as they go along. Coins are placed in different areas throughout each level, and their position (high or low) affects the next beat you'll hear.

As Sound Shapes progresses, collecting coins will get trickier, relying on players to execute some clever platforming. The game is set to feature a beautifully charming art style, and with music from Jim Guthrie, Superbrothers, deadmau5, and other talented individuals, the soundtrack alone is worth getting totally excited for. Sound Shapes will likely be a fusion of platforming and music like you've never seen before, and gamers looking for a downloadable title to enjoy should definitely watch out for this one on the PlayStation 3 and Vita.

Sound shapes hands-on

3. Snapshot


Featuring a mix of great visuals, cheery music, and solid platforming, Snapshot could have been a great 2D platformer without any unique mechanics. But it's the camera — a gameplay feature that allows you to take pictures of key items in your surroundings — that really adds an engaging puzzle element to the experience. Snapshot will require players to progress through levels utilizing their wits. By snapping pictures of keys, blocks, and other objects found in the environment, you'll be able to guide a charming little robot named Pic to higher platforms, across pitfalls, and over dangerous spikes.

Snapshot looks to be the type of experience that draws players in and gradually challenges them more and more. This is developer Retro Affect's first game, and you know the studio wants to make a good first impression when it releases Snapshot on the PlayStation 3 and Vita this fall.

Snapshot hands-on

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David Sanchez David Sanchez is the most honest man on the internet. You can trust him because he speaks in the third person.
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