26 indie game developers you need to follow

The best and brightest independent game studios from around the world

Dejobaan Games

If nothing else, you probably know of Dejobaan thanks to the title of its most recent game: AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Gravity. But in addition to having a crazy and unpronounceable name, did you know that the game was actually awesome? So are some of the studio’s previous games, like The Wonderful End of the World. And it looks like the follow-up to Aaaaa! will be just as crazy. Titled ooo! ooO! oOO! OOO!, the game has you falling through procedurally generated tunnels shooting at and collecting things, just in case you didn’t get enough of falling from Aaaaa!


Hello Games

Remember when videogames were fun? The quartet at Hello Games does, which is why they madeJoe Danger. The game brings back an arcade sensibility with a focus on high-scores, crazy stunts, and collecting stuff. It’s also just plain fun, playing like a cross between Tony Hawk, ExciteBike, and Super Mario. While we’re eager to play what the team is working on next, in the meantime, we’re seeing some awesome updates to Joe Danger. We hear they’readding monkeys.


Hemisphere Games

Osmoson the PC was amazing, there’s no denying that. But somehow, Hemisphere Games managed to make the surreal, relaxing bubble merging game even better with ports to the iPad and iPhone. Not bad for a first release. And given the quality and originality of Osmos, we can’t wait to see just what the studio has planned next.


Jason Rohrer

Jason Rohrer is looking to change the way people think about games. And with titles like the touching Passage and the innovativeSleep is Death, he’s doing a pretty good job. Heck, the guy was even profiled by Esquire magazine. Not bad for an indie dev. While his games may never be blockbusters, they instead push the envelope of what the medium has to offer. His next project is a DS title about the blood diamond trade in Angola.


Klei Entertainment

If you like awesome 2D animation, there’s a lot to like about Klei. After getting started with titles like Eets and Sugar Rush (as well as lending a hand on the XBLA version of N+) the Vancouver studio is finally making a name for itself with Shank: a ridiculously violent Western ninja action/adventure. It’s a game where you can use grenades, knives, and chainsaws all in one single combo. And then you can shoot the guy in the face. All the while enjoying the game’s gorgeous, cartoon-style visuals. We’ve hassled the game for its crassness, but we’ll admit it’s still a looker.


Kloonigames

Petri Purho, who creates games under the Kloonigames label, makes a lot of games. Like really a lot. He creates new prototypes on a nearly monthly basis, and the breadth and variety of his creations is pretty astounding. How many other developers can boast a library featuring titles like Choke of my Groundhog, YOU ROBOT BASTARDS or Cancer Wars. One of his prototypes eventually turned into the excellent PC titleCrayon Physics Deluxe. Here’s hoping Choke on my Groundhog gets similar treatment.


Metanet Software

This two person studio from Toronto is best known for creating the brilliantly addictive free game N, which would eventually go on to becomeN+. Though the much anticipated and long in development Robotology has been put on hold, the duo is currently working on yet another project, the bizarre Office Yeti. Described as “a single-player action/puzzle/simulation game in which players assume control of a yeti who works in an office,” the game will most assuredly be out when it’s ready, and not a day before.


Mommy%26rsquo;s Best Games

If you gave a seventh grader with ADD a bunch of heavy metal album covers, gallons of neon paint, stacks of anime and a couple pounds of Psilocybin, they’d likely try in vain to create something like the games this husband-and-wife company churn out. It started with Weapon of Choice, a take-no-prisoners acid trip of a run-and-gun shooter with branching paths, spider-leg backpacks and colossal boss monsters. Then came Shoot 1up, a chaotic homage to Japanese scrolling space shooters. Soon, we’ll see Grapple Buggy, which may actually graduate from the Xbox 360’s community games store to XBLA proper.

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