The Odd Gentleman
It’s not every day that a student project manages to catch the eye of a major publisher, but that’s just what happened with The Odd Gentleman’s The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. Combining a unique silent film visual style and a time-bending game mechanic, the game managed to become an XBLA hit. Though the team’s next project revolves around slapping one another in the face, we wouldn’t be shocked if it was eventually upgraded to add a pie-in-the-face mode. Or at least some form of pastry-based play.
Limbo is one of those games that people just can’t stop talking about. A breathtaking art style, minimalist but haunting production values, and the occasional anger inducing puzzle made Limbo worthy enough to gain a coveted perfect score from GR. It also marks a stunning debut for Danish studio Playdead, which despite being formed in 2006, never released a commercial game before Limbo. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take four years for the developer’s next project to arrive.
Educational games are boring - except when they’re made by Pocketwatch. The indie studio headed up by Andy Schatz is best known for its Venture series of games, which not only taught players about environmental issues in Africa and the Arctic, but were also damn fine games. The most recent Pocketwatch game, the IGF grand prize winning Monaco, goes in a distinctly different direction, - it’s a four-player, overhead, pixelated, caper game. Unfortunately, when it will actually be released is any body's guess.
Remember that one game, called Fez, that was kind of like Super Paper Mario, where you could switch your perspective from 2D to 3D in order to solve puzzles? Well luckily for you, it’s still coming out. At some point. Originally slated to hit XBLA early in 2010, Fez has clearly seen some delays, but Montreal-based Polytron insists it’s not cancelled, though no specific release date has been announced. Images like this one have us counting the days.
The cool thing about indie studios is that they’re often made up of just a handful of people. Or in the case of Queasy Games, just one: Jonathan Mak. Mak managed to create PSN’s first killer app single handedly, in the form of Everyday Shooter. The awesome, guitar-infused dual stick shooter first hit the PS3 back in 2007, and was followed by PC and PSP ports. Mak’s next project is a mystery, but whatever it is he’s working on in his Toronto lair, it can’t come soon enough.
The team at Ragtime Games hasn’t released a commercial game yet, but they did manage to score the award for best student game at last year’s IGF. That game was Continuity, one of the most addictive and creative puzzle games released in quite some time. And it’s about to become portable – at post time, the members of Ragtime are hard at work finishing Continuity 2 for the iPhone, a platform that seems like a perfect fit.
WiiWare isn’t particularly well known for its great crop of indie games. There are a few gems, however. Like Swords & Soldiers. Hilarious and charming, the game is also secretly one of the best console real time strategy games ever. And while it may be Ronimo’s only release to date, a number of the developers also worked on what would go on to become De Blob as students. Two releases, two great games. Not a bad track record. It has since migrated to PC and Mac, and the recently released PSN version even has Move and 3D support.