Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Indie Games on the PC that you need to play

Since the development of the internet, the amount of indie developers have increased exponentially. For those who do not know what an indie game or developer refers to, indie means independent video game, because indie is the short sound of independent. The vast majority of indie developers produce their video games on the internet, in hopes of them becoming viral, or absurdly popular. Within the past two years a few indie games have become very viral to the point of being part of what PC gaming is. This article is going to cover a few games that you absolutely must play if you like PC games, or indie games, or PC indie games!

Steve the Minecraft mascot looking out at the sunset
Minecraft, who hasn't heard of it? It is one of the internet's most popular video games, and considered crucial for any self-rightous PC gamer. Minecraft is a block graphic game that has two game modes: survival and creative. In survival mode the player is thrown into an unknown world with nearly no guidance at all. The only objective is to survive. To do this the player needs food and shelter.  The player needs food because there is a hunger meter, and when the hunger meter is drained all the way, the player shall begin to die. Another key point to eating is that a player's life only regenerates when the hunger meter is nearly full, allowing them sustain many more hits from the ensemble of enemies that appear at nightfall.  This is when shelter becomes a necessity.  

After a while the player will learn how to mine and craft in order to create tools and supplies that make living easier. Over time you will be able to cook better food, farm various plants, mine for resources, and essentially turn those resources into better tools, armor and weapons for fighting the mobs.  As time goes by one may also find a need to expand upon their house, turning it into a giant castle, fortress, or whatever.  Imagine is the name of this game.  Because there is absolutely no guidance or help, the player will need to look up an abundance of tutorials, which I suggest to look for on Youtube.

Eventually the player will find out that it is not just about survival, and that I lied. There is actually a quest that the player must do to beat the game, which requires the search and use of rare resources, traveling across lands and even through dimensions to destroy great enemies. This mode is very fun, and it will consume hours and hours of your time.

Hogwarts as conveyed in Minecraft
To continue, the other mode is called creative mode. Creative mode has no real objective, other than to create whatever you want.  The player spawns in a completely flat world with the ability to place any block with infinite capacity, spawn any creature, create anything, and has the ability to fly. The point of this is to create anything that comes to mind to an almost literal degree, which is an amazing power for those who have a large imagination. People have made amazing creations, such as references to movies or games, mansions, cities, and much, much more. On Youtube one can find amazing creations that have so much detail and time put into them that one cannot even describe it using words. A website called Hyrulecraft is focused on recreating Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and it looks almost identical to the game. If one gets bored of these game modes, which might not even be possible, they can always play some multiplayer.   Multiplayer can be over LAn or over internet, and is where one can join another's map to either help them survive the odds or help them make a creation. There is also a trend known as "griefing" which refers to going on maps uninvited then destroying everything while listening to the reaction and filming it. It is quite cruel, and I do not approve of these actions, but if that is your kind of comedy then you may as well watch it, that is why it is there.  If you still find yourself bored, you can always download modifications to the game.  Some of these mods are amazingly in-depth, allowing you to use alchemy, build machines, nuclear bombs, or even go to heaven itself.  And that is only the tip of the iceberg as far as mods go.  You can download these using a search engine like Google, or heading over to minecraft-mods.org and taking a look around there.

Minecraft is a great time, and a lot of fun on many different levels. The land is literally never ending and never repeating itself, with different regions such as sea, forest, showy forest, desert, jungle, and mountains. I still cannot believe that only a few people in a two digit amount made this game. It can be found at Minecraft.net for a price, also it can be downloaded for free (and legally) at MineshafterProxy.net. There is also a version that is selling on the Xbox 360 if you prefer console games.

Slenderman being Slenderman
The next subject of topic is Slender. This is a game based from a very old myth that originated in sixteenth century Germany. The Slender Man is a tall thin figure in a suit with a pale white head and no facial features at all, just a bald white head. It is said that the Slender Man can use shift transportation to stalk his victims. It can attack anyone at any time of day, and there are never any recorded remnants of the victims. There are pictures and paintings of him everywhere and through any time within the last six hundred years. It has a attractive control on children, and in some photographs in history Slenderman is found surrounded by children. Slender Man can also have the form of a tree or a giant spider. It has a wide popularity on the internet since the video game came out, especially on a website called 4Chan.

The game is simple; the player is a adolescent girl who is, for some reason, in a fenced off area in a forest at night and is equipped with a flashlight. The objective is to find all eight pages without the Slender Man getting you. The more pages the player gets the faster and more determined the Slender Man is, and the game is actually pretty difficult and hard to beat. I have not won yet myself, and I have played it quite a few times. The game uses the aspects of suspense and paranoia to create fear in the player.  At any moment it could be right behind you, but one cannot stop, and every time a corner must be turned or a dead end is reached the player gets a mini heart attack. If one wants to continue playing but is bored of the old map, there are many customized derivative versions out there for purchase. Pandorium takes place in an asylum, claustrophobia takes place in a hedge maze, and Elementary takes place in a school.

There is also an app for Slender just in case anyone would like to play on the go. The game is up for download all across the internet for free. Parsec productions, the indie company that produced Slender is also in the work of a second one. In the second game it takes place in more than one map, or level and the game has an actual story. The only downside is that this new release costs money, but hey, they deserve compensation for their work and, as seen through the screenshots, the graphics are much better and the texture really gives off a frightening environment and a new and improved Slender Man.

Another popular indie game of discussion is Amnesia: The Dark Descent. This is another horror game that is far more complex than Slender. In this game the protagonist is a man trapped in a horrendous mansion and is suffering from amnesia: the loss of memory. He left himself a note from when he could remember what was going on and gave himself specific instructions. He eventually travels deeper and deeper into this mansion until he finds the truth about himself, what is going on, and what he must do which is larger than he could have ever imagined.

This game is also very scary, and like Slender, I suggest that you play it at night with high volume to get the full effect. This game also uses suspension and paranoia to insight fear into the player.  This works because if one sees something very scary long enough, then it will eventually no longer be scary.  I feel that this is why many people were not afraid of Deadspace 2.  The scary things would be so visible and zoomed in for so long that it seemed as if they were trying to be scary far harder than they should have had been. A wise mechanism in Amnesia is if you look at the horridly morbid enemies for too long your character begins to go insane. He sees hallucinations, gets dizzy, and will eventually go completely mad, in which case, the player then loses. When I say that the enemies are horridly morbid I mean they are horridly morbid disfigured bodies that are just freaky. This game also includes a lot of exploration, because at parts you shall need to sneak across the map to find a key or parts of a machine. There is no fighting in this game, only stealth and running away which makes the player feel even more helpless. This game can be downloaded at amnesiagame.com for a price, and can also be found on Steam.

In many ways this game competes with Slender. In my opinion this game has far more work put into and will entertain for longer because it is a full campaign, however I do find Slender to be more frightening in the end.

I know that there are a ton of indie games out there that are great and many other games that I could be writing, however, today I tried to focus on some of the more popular indie games available. If you would like to suggest a topic to write about let me know in the comments!

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