For every innovative idea that's conceived, there's an indie video game waiting to host it. That's the beauty of small-time games, as well as the clients that are used to build them: they're relatively easy to navigate, and offer the most creative folk the opportunity to port originality into virtual reality. They're pockets of freedom for every thought; a blank canvas for every technicolor dream.
Anyway, the fact is, summer is here, and the market is absolutely booming with fantastic indie titles at the moment. So, if you, like us, enjoying sampling the underdogs' waters and only wish to traverse new tides, then be sure to check in with these five games. These are, in our opinion, the best indie flicks on the current market.
5. Road 96
Road 96 is a lot like Telltale's extensive library of award-winning titles, in the fact that player choice directly influences the overall narrative, and every action you take causes the butterfly effect to take flight. Think of it as a hybrid of Life is Strange's indie-folk soundboard, and perhaps Firewatch's deep and meaningful comradery. Strapped together, the indie flick molds into a breathtakingly elegant original work of art.
Road 96 puts you in the shoes of a randomly generated teen in a politically divided state. With a better life looming on the other side of the border, you must do all in your power to travel the thousands of miles to salvation. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to influence the ballot and ignite a revolution from the remnants of yesterday's youth. With six unique episodes to tailor, you must hitchhike, build insightful relationships, and survive the long and perilous road for the sake of redeeming a better tomorrow.
4. As Dusk Falls
As Dusk Falls is an interactive thriller that sees you shaping a world that revolves around two unlikely families. By making a series of decisions and influencing those around you, a future can be carved in stone, leaving you to claim the gifts or curses that tie in with your actions. That's As Dusk Falls, in a nutshell, and it's highly reminiscent of the studios' past works, Heavy Rain, and Beyond: Two Souls.
As the curator of two interweaving timelines, you must forage and stitch a future for your subjects. For every decision you make, a butterfly effect unravels a thread of critical events, some of which can leave unimaginable consequences. It is your responsibility and yours alone to write an anthology of tales worth hearing out. So, better make it a best-seller.
For those who love delving into fantastical realities smothered in colorful wisps and wonders, Omno is an absolute essential indie that'll surely reignite the fires in your heart. It was also created by a single pair of hands, which, in all honesty, makes it that much more appealing than the vast majority of gaming giants' two hundred-plus teams' inventions.
Omno whisks you away to a world void of civilization. Upon arrival, you must cross magical realms laced with intricate puzzles and enchanting vistas. Although left without an understanding of what occured in the barren land prior to your entrance, the world around you remains buried in mysteries and lore. With only one way forward, you must tread the unknown and make sense of the history that was left behind.
2. The Forgotten City
The Forgotten City is a criminally underated mystery adventure game that released under Modern Storyteller's wing just last year. And as far as Game Pass essentials go, it definitely stacks somewhere near the apex of the list, right alongside a few of its Romanesque cousins.
The Forgotten City revolves around a lost Italian utopia on the Tiber River. After being thrown back in time to the Roman Empire era, players must unravel a mystery that shackles the city. According to legend, a single sin has the power to plunge the people into a fate far worse than death. Unfortunately, it's a fate you know for a fact is already on the horizon. As time whittles down to its last few grains, you will need to search for the shadow-dwelling sinner and, in turn, reverse the imminent curse. No pressure.
1. Lost in Random
If Tim Burton's vivid imagination was a video game, then it would look a whole lot like Lost in Random. That really is the only way we can describe the bizarre yet hearty indie chapter. Though, if you're wanting to compare it to other video games of its kind, then we can only say it's the patchwork relative of American McGee's Alice, and Psychonauts. Realistically speaking, though, it's an original experience that'll knock you for six. And that's just putting it lightly.
Lost in Random throws you into the world of Random, a place where everything goes by the dice. On the night of her twelfth birthday, your older sister, Odd, is presented with the chance to roll the dice that'll decide her future. After throwing a bad hand, Even, the youngest of the two, is lumbered with the task of getting her back. To reach such realms, however, one must first cross the five unique districts of Random. And believe us when we say — not one of them are, as you'd say, ordinary. Therein lies a whole world of adventure, one that you'll be glad you took come morning, for sure.
So, what's your take? Will you be playing any of the above five this summer? Are there any indie games we should know about? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.