Ryan Wilson

Indie Games to Look Forward to in 2012

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Forget about Halo 4, Mass Effect 3, and Unnecessary Sequel 37, these are the games you SHOULD be watching!


Who says Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden has to be the only basketball game in the indie circuit that appeals to the non-sports crowd? BasketBelle, the newest game from [Together] developer Michael Molinari, has you determining the fate of your kidnapped sister Space Jam style: by playing some very odd aliens in a game of B-ball.



I’ll admit, I was very hesitant to put Fez on this list. Polytron Corporation has already delayed the release of this IGF Excellence in Visual Art winner three times already, a game that they reportedly started back in 1996. If that is true, that gives the game a longer development time than Duke Nukem Forever. Yet its loose release date of 1st Quarter 2012 is enough to keep this writer hopeful.



What happens when Bonanza Bros., Home Alone, and Mission Impossible have a beautiful superbaby? Gunpoint, that’s what. March cannot come sooner!



Mech-combat fans, commence drooling. Hawken is not only quite the looker, but built from the ground up with white-knuckle, post-apocalyptic online multiplayer in mind. While it doesn’t have a release date just yet, the videos we’ve seen so far show just enough polish to keep us hyped in the new year.



Wait a minute, wouldn’t the fact that Journey is being published by Sony Computer Entertainment make it the polar opposite of indie gaming? Not so, I’ll argue, as fl0w and Flower developers Thatgamecompany still carry that indie spirit, making the games they want to make rather than the ones guaranteed to sell millions upon millions of copies.



Be prepared to be incredibly uncomfortable as Shiver Games will put you in the small shoes of the Devil’s offspring. Tasked by your father to rid a mansion of all its inhabitants, Lucius must make sure everything looks like an accident. Currently slated for a Spring 2012 release.


Lone Survivor

6 weeks. That’s the timeframe that creator Jasper Byrne has given himself to complete development on Lone Survivor, the first true survival horror game I’ve seen in a very long time. Bullets, batteries, and food must all be maintained if you plan on surviving this pixelated hell.


Papo y Yo

Vander Caballero needs a good hug for what he’s doing in creating Papo y Yo, a parallel universe to his troubled childhood growing up with an alcoholic father. The game puts you in control of Quico, a young boy escaping his own troubled life through imagination, as he seeks to cure his monster friend, appropriated named Monster, of his addiction to poisonous frogs, an addiction that causes fits of rage when fed. Keep a hanky on hand for this one.



Well, you can’t go through a list of anticipated indie titles without mentioning the current reigning king, Mojang. While Scrolls may be drastically different from their blockbuster, Minecraft, looks to combine the niche appeal of collectable card games and board games with tactical RPGs and a splash of random encounters. Confusing? Yes. Potential for infinite replay value? Come on, this is Mojang we’re talking about!



2009 IGF Excellence in Design nominee Snapshot combines puzzles, photography, and physics to make a very unique twist to the aging Platformer genre. A falling object can be photographed, moved, and rotated, and the falling force can now be used to launch the object into the air. Now you’re thinking with photos!



Spelunky combines the dangerous pastime of spelunking with the unpredictability and difficulty of a Roguelike in this upcoming Xbox Live Arcade release. Those wishing to have an early taste of what to expect can download the “non-HD” version for free on the Spelunky website.



Daniel Benmergui has a real knack for storytelling, which is why when he announced the development of Storyteller, I instantly got excited. Storyteller is a puzzle game where you use comic book techniques like scene framing, captioning, and closure, to piece together each story.

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