If there's one thing Xbox Game Pass is known for, it's the abundance of awesome indies that flesh out its borders. Similar to other subscription-based platforms that utilize the cloud, Microsoft's jam-packed vessel boasts a wide variety of games to both stream and download. And indies, like we said, are but one of the many categories that make up the bulked-out library.
Now that we've broken into the fourth quarter of the year, Game Pass can once again roll out the green carpet for a fresh batch of titles. As for the here and now, though, there are really only five games that you should seriously consider picking up. Or at least, five indies that you should consider picking up. Game Pass subscribers, this one's for you.
5. You Suck at Parking
If the idea of being openly criticized for your poor parking sounds like a jolly ol' time to you, then you're in luck, because there is actually a game that lets you be just that: a virtual punching bag who gets mocked for parking without any sense of hand-eye coordination whatsoever. And who would of thought that such a game would even exist, let alone be a genuinely likable albeit incredibly finger-achingly, rage-inducing indie game? Turns out, though, that You Suck at Parking is actually a pretty fun time, and also perhaps one of the cleanest arcade games on the current market.
But what exactly is it, you ask? Well, like it says on the tin — parking is, if you can believe, the aim of the game. It goes like this: you take a matchbox car around a world chock-full of bite-sized levels and enrol in a bunch of chaotic platform-based challenges, in which your primary objective is to park cars as best you can. But with each level being a springy mountainside with countless in-your-face obstacles, executing such a simple maneuver can lead to some pretty disastrous results. Question is, can you pull off the seemingly impossible, or do you—like the name suggests—really suck at parking?
4. Road 96
If the open road has been calling to you for quite some time, and you're suddenly looking for a life-changing adventure that bleeds hearty connections and riveting revelations, then perhaps it's time to brave the battered borders of Road 96, a security-riddled stretch of road that, once crossed, offers its traveler a new life, away from the hustle and bustle of a nation driven by political madness.
Road 96 tells the tale of a nation engulfed in greed and power, and a younger generation who, collectively, only wish to escape through its faraway borders. As a number of characters, you will travel the country in an episodic format and learn to survive by any means necessary. Hitchhike, scrounge for food, get a job, meet everlasting friends, find love, join an armed robbery — do whatever it takes to reach the wonders that await on the other end of Road 96. Will you survive the open road, or will you become just another statistic who risked it all to no avail? Road 96 calls to you, weary traveler. It's time to buckle up and hit the ground running.
3. DEEEER Simulator
First, there was a goat. Then, there was a lawnmower. And now, there's a deer. Notice a pattern emerging here? Yeah, neither do we, which is precisely why simulation games are some of the best in the business. The fact that there is no consistency here whatsoever is the reason why we're always so compelled by them. And DEEER Simulator, being one of the latest entries to boost the category, bears the seal of approval for being one of the most ridiculously entertaining, albeit ludicrously chaotic games on the block.
As an “everyday” deer, you must go to war with a bog-standard city, using every tool in your arsenal to wreak havoc down on its people and its surrounding wildlife. What does that entail, you ask? Well, that's where your imagination comes into play. With an entire city to destroy and a population to antagonize, the world truly is your oyster. And if you're able to build up enough naughtiness, then you'll eventually find yourself going toe-to-toe with the notorious animal police. Weird? 100%. But then, we expect nothing less from indies at this point. In fact, we'd be disappointed if it wasn't weird.
2. Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
Ever wondered what it'd be like to pit a cowboy against a mammoth? No? What about an army of skeletons against the Roman Empire? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you'll be beside yourself to know that such feuds can be brought to life, thanks to Totally Accurate Battle Simulator.
The idea is simple: fend off an opposing army with whatever troops you can conjure. With a myriad of time periods and themes to spool through, TABS gives you the keys to unlock your inner commander as you wage war across battlefield after battlefield. And if sludging through the strategy-based campaign doesn't do it for you, then the sandbox mode—which removes all rules and restrictions from the table—most definitely will. Let it be said that this is one of those indies you just have to experience for yourself. It's time to get creative!
Hungering for some flesh and bone? Don't be a zombie — be a shark. How, you wonder? Well, thanks to Maneater, an oddly satisfying sandbox RPG, you can assume the role of a baby shark and become the conqueror of the seven seas. That said, before plunging into the deep end, you'll have to learn how to swim, which is a monumentally tough task in itself.
Maneater is an open world RPG that gives you the freedom to terrorize the ocean and its shores as an overly ambitious shark. From humble beginnings to deadly endings, you must develop a toothy beast that bears the power to infuse fear into its victims, be they rival sharks, turtles, of holidaymakers. Level up, evolve, and aspire to be the King or Queen of the underwater nexus. As one of the deadliest animals on the planet — the world is yours for the taking.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up any of the above five indies? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comment below.