With the recent PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus merger finally set in stone, Sony has found itself onboarding more players than ever before. Just as well the newly established PlayStation Now platform hosts a wide variety of downloadable games and demos, many of which even rival Xbox Game Pass’ day-one triple-A releases. And if you want to talk about quality indie games, then you needn’t scrub any further than the surface of the platform’s deck.
As we cross over into August, Sony will once again look to boost the platform with a fresh selection of titles. But as for the here and now, there are plenty to wrap your head around while the night is still somewhat young. So, if you’re an indie-loving super fan, and you’ve punched your ticket to PlayStation Plus Extra (or Premium) for the month, then be sure to check out these five hits.
Celeste is a fully-fledged recreation of 2016’s Celeste, a 2D platformer that was built in just four days during a game jam. But don’t let that put you off, as the reimagined version actually went on to win an award for Best Independent Game of 2018, as well as one for The Game Awards’ Game for Impact Award. So, not exactly your bog-standard in-and-out indie by any means.
The world of Celeste follows Madeline, a young woman whose purpose is to ascend a fictional Mount Celeste in a bid to reach the summit. Along the way, the tenacious traveler must learn to belittle the trials and tribulations that plague her inner demons. With that, players can expect a whole lot of puzzle solving, platforming, and even a hearty tale that’ll keep you from slipping into a state of hypnosis.
4. Hotline Miami
If you’re the type of gamer that enjoys getting brutally manhandled by thugs in chicken masks, then boy, you’re going to love Hotline Miami. Furthermore, if you’re heavily into your techno beats and anarchic beat ’em up gameplay, then it’s a near-perfect choice for anyone with a few hours to spare, as well as a whole lot of patience to see it through to the bitter end.
Hotline Miami puts you in the boots of an unnamed protagonist known only to fans as “Jacket,” a deadly vigilante who must embark on a series of killing sprees after receiving an answer phone message claiming he is under surveillance. As failure is not an option, the mask-wearing madman must go through hell and back to live another day. Bind all of this together with an eighties-themed Miami setting, and you’ve got yourself one monster of an indie game.
Blasphemous takes the Soulslike blueprint for a spin in a ludicrously tough Metroidvania, a world that bleeds complexity and oddly rewarding difficulty spikes. Like games of its kind, players are pushed to the point of exhaustion, lumbered with the bare minimum and asked to overcome more mountains than molehills. Climb high enough, though, and the world opens up to a treasure trove of gloomy vistas and powerful revelations.
In Blasphemous, players take on the role of The Penitent One, the sole survivor of the Brotherhood of the Silent Sorrow massacre. Based in the gothic Catholic realm of Cvstodia, the lone wolf must embark on an epic pilgrimage during the height of the Age of Corruption. With that, players can expect a number of high-octane environments and horrifying creature encounters. And that’s just the icing on one incredibly rich and blood-soaked multi-tiered cake.
2. The Artful Escape
If power metal and face-melting guitar solos course through your veins, then you’ll pleased to know that The Artful Escape encapsulates the whole of the genre plus extras in one psychedelic indie adventure game. And let us just say this: it’s weird, to the point of convincing you that you’re entwined with a four-hour long fever dream with a groovy neon input.
The Artful Escape follows up-and-coming musician Francis Vendetti, nephew of the late folk legend Johnson Vendetti. After living in his uncle’s shadow for years, the rebellious teen finally looks to open his eyes to a whole new world of music. With a portal to another psychedelic realm of rock and roll on the horizon, Francis takes his first steps towards unlocking his inner creative.
1. My Friend Pedro
Bullets and bananas in a beat ’em up broth? Sounds like a recipe for disaster, no? Well, as it happens, it’s actually a pretty solid mix of ingredients, and it’s twice as tasty if you’re hungry for a good ol’ helping of high-octane bullet storms and otherworldly acrobatics. It may not look it, but that’s My Friend Pedro, in a nutshell, and it is absolutely bonkers, to say the least.
This crazy bullet-hell shoot ’em up takes players on a journey through a variety of suburban worlds. With your best friend Pedro, a banana with a somewhat sadistic mindset, coercing you to mindlessly slaughter your way through waves of rebels, mercenaries, and underground gamers, you must learn to play ball and become an army of one. With that, you can expect a whole lot of addictive combat mechanics, as well as a slight pinch of humor and off-the-cuff one-liners that, on occasion, bring out the brightest smiles. If only once or twice.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there any indie games on PlayStation Plus you’d recommend? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.