While many opt to play glitzy and heavily budgeted Triple-A games, it is within indie games that you can quite often find some of the most well-crafted and stunning masterpieces in gaming.
We at TROP have a vast variety of tastes, and when it comes to indies, we know our stuff. With hours upon hours of gaming under our belts, here are a handful of our recommendations from our vaults that you should check out next time you’re looking for something to play.
Frustration and Gratification!
Written by Pat Kerley
An indie game I felt that has slipped under the radar would be The Sojourn, an incredible puzzle game that will leave you scratching your head and sometimes wishing to impact your fist into the screen.
The Sojourn is an interesting experience overall, its story is easy to understand, yet I feel like it could be interpreted differently by anyone who plays it. It’s told through cubistic styled statues that create a thought-provoking situation as you piece together what is happening on screen.
The major talking point in this game is the impeccably made puzzles that you must wrap your head around vigorously to finish them but thankfully, the game does an excellent job of easing people into them. Its starting puzzles are simple in design and show how to execute the mechanics of the game rather well thus making it less frustrating.
You traverse through both the normal and dark world in this game to move statues and activate their powers to progress. The game’s incredibly crafted puzzles are a marvel to work through, the first-person perspective works well and the slow walking pace and a wee jump add to the atmosphere. There aren’t many ways you can exploit the game to pass any puzzle (trust me, I checked).
Though it was so refreshing compared to most puzzle games I have played recently it succeeded in gratifying me when I managed to finally overcome one of them dastardly puzzles. In all honesty, its puzzles are fair, sometimes it’s something simple your missing that will get you to the end! Except for the last two optional ones, they are just mean.
Splendour for the eyes!
Visually speaking this game is just easy on the eyes and springs forth with a lovely splash of soft colours. It has this incredible animation when you step into a world and watching it form into existence before your very eyes is delightful.
I’m surprised that I don’t hear more people chatting about this game. It was easily one of the best gaming experiences I had the pleasure of playing through and I’m not even much of a puzzle guy. But this was phenomenal.
If you’re looking to try out something like this it’s currently €21.99 in PlayStation Store, XBOX Live and Epic Games Store. It might seem a bit expensive but it is worth it in spades. The game left me scratching my head constantly and eventually figuring it out was satisfying beyond words. The Sojourn is an indie game that deserves more love.
SCP CONTAINMENT BREACH
Written by Ryan Forde
As far as horror games go, none have piqued my interest more than SCP – Containment Breach (2012). This game quickly became a mainstay between my friends and me, often sparking competition between us to see who could finish the game first.
When I first saw Markiplier playing this game, it did two things; it gave me a good scare and made me want to play it for myself. From the music in the menu and the sounds in-game, the experience of this game was like no other. The danger that lurked around every corner was enough to keep you hooked for hours, slowly and methodically trying to find your way through the impossibly big Containment Facility in which the main entities, dubbed ‘SCPs’, were contained.
The game is based on the fictitious paranormal stories of the SCP Foundation website, in which the documentation of over 5000 SCPs is located. The most famous of these is the entity classified as SCP-173, a concrete statue that moves when the player breaks their line of sight with it, similar to the Weeping Angels in Doctor Who. The game is randomly generated as the player proceeds further into the unknown, adding a true sense of unease as you take each step, hoping you aren’t about to die.
The player takes up the role of a human test subject labelled ‘D-9341’ inside the cavernous SCP Facility and must escape the facility before being killed by any of the SCPs that are on the loose. From the very beginning, the most obvious feature is the blinking mechanic which can happen automatically or can be manually performed. Doing so causes the screen to go black for a fraction of a second and this is the primary mechanic when dealing with SCP-173 because if you blink at the wrong time, SCP-173 will kill you if it can move within range, or it will move closer, playing a very loud sound and placing you in considerable danger.
Some SCP entities are harmless, such as SCP-372, which likes to hide in your blind-spots and startle you when you turn your head periodically. Others are a benefit to you, such as SCP-914, which can upgrade certain items like gas masks and key cards, or be dangerous if you place a battery inside it, which will cause a large explosion and kill you.
SCP-173 is by far the greatest threat, as it can sneak up on you from behind and instantly kill you. SCP-096 will leave you alone as long as you don’t see its face. If you do, it will chase you until eventually catching you and killing you. SCP-106 will transport you to his ‘Pocket Dimension’ and you have a chance to escape, albeit badly injured. However, if you reach the end of the game and get the ‘Good Ending’, you will survive and be classed as an SCP yourself, but what happens after that, we do not know.
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Written by Pat Kerley
You know there’s just something so satisfying about tearing through multiple enemies in a hack and slash manner, it makes me simply feel happy. Dust: An Elysian Tail isn’t something I would say is a hack and slash game but it holds elements as you try to build up that combo meter and unleash waves of moves on your poor unfortunate foes.
The Power of One!
I think one of the most impressive facts about this game is that it was developed by one man. And that man is Dean Dodrill. The whole game is created in a beautifully hand-drawn 2D art style and watching the movement of all the games characters is just something to behold and gives the game a fantastic appeal through its visuals alone. There are not many games out there that capture the same sort of aesthetic. It even has some pleasing 2D animated sequences that give weight to the respective moments the cover in the story.
In the gameplay department, the game is a true blast to play through. The way you can link combos together and push the combo meter to the limit is honestly one of the games strongest points. Juggling enemies in the air, or using magic in the form of lightning and fire with your companion Fidget gives this game a refreshing touch. Linking both your physical attacks with your magical attacks are such a spectacle to behold.
The game has some rather fun and rather challenging platforming segments. The game is a Metroidvania in design and you will unlock a multitude of new skills as you progress through the game which will enable you to reach new areas that were previously unavailable to you. It creates a rewarding system as you travel back to areas to see the full scope of them.
The game has many more features, from RPG elements with upgrading Dust to higher levels, to being able to walk around villages and talk with people and respond to them to discover new quests or story missions.
Onto the Tale!
Dust: An Elysian Tail has a fine story, its nothing truly incredible but it serves the game well. Dust who is the main character has no memory before he awakens at the beginning of the game where he is met by the sentient blade by the name of Ahrah as well as the swords guardian Fidget. From there you journey out to find out who you once were while also intervening and helping out people you meet.
This game has always stuck in the back of my mind and I hope to see some sort of sequel to it, especially with the sequel like bait it left at the end!