Want Games? An In-Depth Indie Game Guide

IndieGames.com is delighted to be partnering with indie game news site TIG Source, which recently posted a detailed guide to '50 Really Good Indie Games', edited by Derek Yu. The list is as close to a canonical countdown of the best independent games that we've seen, so we're pleased that they have allowed us to reprint it here.

The introduction to the list, as it originally appeared on TIGSource.com, follows:

"This is in no way meant to be a "best of" list or any kind of indie gaming canon, although every game in this list is recommended highly. The purpose of this list is to aggregate a diverse collection of high quality independent games, and say a little about the significance of each one... The hope is that both newcomers and those familiar with independent gaming will find something new and interesting to play or think about! The list was pared down from a bigger list of over a hundred favorite independent titles from the TIGForums community."

The Indie Game Guide: (31-40)

Clean Asia (FREE)

Another innovative shoot 'em up, Clean Asia puts you in control of either Mickey R. Dole in the Attractor ship or Mackey I. Dole in the Reflector ship. Your goal? To destroy the malevolent eyeballs which have turned on people in the Asian continent (hence the title). But really, the bizarre story is put in place to serve the Clean Asia's nifty game mechanics, which force you to break off chunks from your enemies and then turn those chunks into bullets.
Also by this developer: Burn the Trash

Battle for Wesnoth (FREE)

Based on the SEGA Genesis game Warsong (known as Langrisser in Japan), The Battle for Wesnoth is a turn-based strategy game that proves that dedicated communities with a strong focus can produce great games. Wesnoth is open-source and cross-platform, and anybody can contribute new artwork, units, or campaigns. Much of the work that is bundled with the official releases of the game are user-created. Developers of the game include the co-founder of the Open Source Initiative, Eric S. Raymond, and other well-known open source pioneers.

Galatea (FREE)

Emily Short's Galatea puts Pygmalion's legendary statue front and center as the primary (indeed, the entire) focus of this non-traditional Interactive Fiction game. Galatea is an extremely interesting and complex character, and her responses change depending on her mood (which, in turn, change based on the questions you ask her). There is no real goal other than to explore the mind of a living statue, but it is a fascinating journey replete with human pathos, existentialism, and mythology.
Also try: Rameses

Nikujin (FREE)

Ikiki is a relatively anonymous Japanese game designer that can be likened to director Takashi Miike in terms of the prolificacy and grit of his titles. Like Miike, Ikiki's games are often hit or miss. Nikujin is definitely a hit, however - a brutally hard game that does a great job of capturing the spirit of being a badass naked ninja.
Also by this developer: Hakaiman
Also try: AKuji the Demon

Oasis ($20)

Winner of the 2004 IGF Grand Prize and nominated for Best Downloadable Game of 2005 by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, Oasis is a puzzle / strategy game set in a mythical Egypt. As the Scarab King, you must uncover cities and gain followers, putting them to work to defend again the barbarian hordes. The game is simple enough to get into, but surviving the later stages requires good planning and knowledge of the game's mechanics, plus a little luck. It's a clever idea that's well-executed and intuitive.

De Blob (FREE)

The creation of nine Dutch art students, De Blob is a whimsical action/puzzle game that has been likened to Katamari Damacy for its style of play and light-hearted aesthetics. The goal of the game is simple: as a giant blob of paint, you must paint 17 landmark buildings in the city of Utrecht, rolling over NPC's to change your color and grow in size. The idea has recently caught the attention of mainstream publisher THQ, who is bringing it to the Wii, but the original game is still freely available online.

The Endless Forest (FREE)

The Endless Forest is a massively multiplayer online game where each player controls a stag with a human face. There are no quests or goals in the game, only the endless, idyllic environments and the company of your fellow stags. Nor is there any way to communicate other than with body language and animal sounds. The graphics are lush, inspired in part by Hayao Miyazaki, and the peaceful nature of the game, devoid of violence or human communication, make this an unprecedented experience in gaming.

Echoes (FREE)

The big pitfall that a lot of developers make when working on a classic property with modern technology and know-how is to add things without any sense for whether they enhance what made the original game good. And then some of them get it right, as is the case with Echoes, a modern take on Asteroids that increases the intensity and pace of that game while remaining true to the basic concept behind it.
Also try: Mutant Storm, Veck

Aveyond ($20)

Aveyond is a solid fantasy RPG that harkens back to classic games like like Final Fantasy VI. What is most striking about the game, however, is the passion of creator Amanda Fitch for her game and how easily it effuses from the characters, dialogue, and gameplay. Frustrated with the dearth of games she liked, Amanda got her start by teaching herself programming and releasing freeware RPGs and adventure games, the unexpected success of which inspired her to develop games full time.
Also try: A Blurred Line

Eets ($10)

Penny Arcade's Tycho Brahe describes Eets as "a succulent combination of Lemmings and The Incredible Machine, [with] crisp art and whimsical play," which is a pretty good description of this action/puzzle game, in which you manipulate the emotions of the titular character by throwing food at him. Eets also boasts a large, active community that has helped to contribute over 200 levels to the game's original 100.
The Indie Game Guide: 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50

IndieGames.com was created by the CMP Game Group.
Thanks to TIGSource and Vincent Diamante for important source material.
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About The IGF

Think Services (producer of Game Developer magazine, Gamasutra.com, and the Game Developers Conference) established the Independent Games Festival in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers.

The competition, now in its 10th year, awarded a total of nearly $50,000 in prizes to deserving indie creators in Main Competition and Student Competition categories at the IGF Awards Ceremony, held in February 2008 at the Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA, as one of the highlights of the Game Developers Conference.

The Independent Games Festival will return in March 2009 at GDC in San Francisco - look for more information soon. [More information...]

About The IGS

Featuring lectures, postmortems and roundtables from some of the most notable independent game creators around, the Independent Games Summit is a yearly event, with iterations thus far taking place in March 2007 and February 2008 at Game Developers Conference.

Think Services (which curates the IGF and runs GDC) plans to continue and grow the Independent Games Summit in subsequent years. [More information...]