In the spirit of Indie Week, we thought we'd pay tribute to our favorite indie developers. Just because they're a smaller team, doesn't mean they can't worm their way into our gaming hearts with entirely unique projects and bold risk-taking. We asked the GamesRadar staff to pick out their favorite indie team and gush over why it makes them all warm and fuzzy inside.
Do you see your favorite indie dev in our list? Do you think Henry and Cooper are totally full of it? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!
Justin Towell loves EightyEight Games
No, not 88 separate indie games. Instead, I mean the team behind iOS and Android puzzler 1,000,000. Oh, but by team, what I actually mean is man. Luca Redwood made the game in his bedroom in the truest sense of the word Indie. I was shown it at the airport coming back from Gamescom last year. The result? Immediate intrigue. Then fun. Then addiction. Eight hours of play later, I had gained the 10,000,000 points needed to escape from that accursed (read: awesome) dungeon. And now I want more. Heres hoping this studio, having finished the Android port, can follow up with another hit.
Ryan Taljonick thinks the folks at Drinkbox Studios are champions of Azeroth
Once upon a time I had to review a game called Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, a wonderfully charming Katamari-esque game in which you devour everything--the whole universe, in fact--as an alien blob. It was loaded with funny jokes and pop culture references, which went a long way toward making my first introduction to Drinkbox Studios a delightful one. Its most recent release, Guacamelee, only strengthened my love for that indie dev's work. It may be a small development house, but it has yet to produce anything less than stellar.
Henry Gilbert cant get enough of Capybara
Despite my personal ambivalence towards iOS games, my current favorite among the indies earned its good reputation with quality iOS titles. Critter Crunch was an adorably odd puzzle game, the team's reinterpretation of Might & Magic was greatly underrated, and Superbrothers is one of the best things ever crafted for iOS. And now the team is getting to get ridiculously neon with its tribute to early '90s shooters and pop culture, Super T.I.M.E. Force. And that's being followed by one of the few indie games announced for Xbox One, Below. Capy is pretty hot right now and they get more prolific by the day.
Hollander Cooper also loves Capybara
I was going to say Polytron, but then Phil Fish had an emotional breakdown and quit the internet forever, and then I was going to say Capybara, but I saw that Henry said that, but you know what? I don't care. I like Capy MUCH more than Henry does. I played the crap out of Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes and spent dozens of hours in Critter Crush--so screw you, Henry. You're a wannabe Capy fan. I also go to the zoo and look at the capybaras, you asshole. Go find your own indie dev to love.
Lucas Sullivan has mad respect for the members of Team Meat
Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes are two men after my own heart. McMillen's art style brings me back to when I was a kid, doodling weird-looking monsters all day. His designs in Super Meat Boy and Binding of Isaac in particular are somehow repulsive and adorable at the same time, a mixture I first encountered in his Flash game Spewer. And in a sea of indie sidescrollers, Refenes is one of the very few who successfully replicated the tight-yet-fluid controls of the Super Mario series with his savvy programming. I love Team Meat's games, attitudes, design philosophy, and sweaters, and you best believe I'll be all over Mew-Genics whenever it drops.
Greg Henninger thanks Subset Games for allowing him to be a space captain
I have been a Star Wars fan my entire life. I realized I was leaving out a large subset of the nerd culture but not embracing Star Trek. So I took it upon myself to sit down and watch all of the original and The Next Generation TV show, needless to say I was instantly hooked. FTL came out around that time and I was instantly hooked there too. Ordering my crew around, sending my friends to man the guns and opening airlocks to suck the raging fire out into space very crazy fun. No other game has given me the satisfaction that I can imagine Captain Picard feels leading his ship into battle. I am also pissed with Subset Games because they said they don't have plans to expand the game anymore. It's a love/hate relationship.
David Houghton is mad for Dennaton
Kind of cheating here. You see while the joys of Hotline Miami doubtless deserve to be madly screamed from the rooftops under a strobing, blood-red sky full of glitching sprite-work and static, designer Jonaton Soderstrom has made a crapload more games under the name Cactus.
Some are semi-traditional, some make little traditional sense, and some are barely games at all. But the insane, shotgun eclecticism and disorientingly lo-fi vibe of Soderstroms work is exactly why I love it. He seems to see games as a totally open medium, completely free of rules or preconceptions. Like an experimental musician twiddling about with hardware to invent new noises, or an experimental artist firing paint out of a tuba in order to see how the result affects an audience, playing his stuff is like being hosed in the face with a stream of creative punk consciousness, flowing with neon pixels and roaring with the sound of white noise.
We liked it before it was cool
Before you start drafting hand-written death threats about us for forgetting your personal indie fav, take to the comment section below and see if there are other GR fans who totally agree with you. So lets raise a glass to the non-AAA boys and girls out there who prove that you don't need millions to create amazing games.