If you were trying to pick the single best attribute from the many benefits that digital distribution has brought to the game market, you would be hard pressed to choose a better option than the inclusion of indie games. Indie games are developed by small production houses or even single man outfits who normally lack the backing of publishers and investors. These developers have total over their games allowing for control over expectations and release dates resulting in, for the most part, a more polished and complete gaming experience on release.
While most indie games record modest sales figures, hits such as Minecraft (10million unit sales on PC alone) and Super Meat Boy (1 million unit sales in the Xbox market place) show that a well-designed game can be a significant financial success. With this in mind, here are three new independently developed games that are worth picking up for your home system.
1. Game Dev Tycoon
Game Dev Tycoon, by Green Heart Games, is a business simulation game that focuses on the game development industry. Players start out in the 1980s in a garage and proceed to build a business from the ground up while unlocking more and more options as they progress. One interesting feature to the game is that if the game is not purchased legally (pirated): players can continue to still play the game but the gaming companies that these players create never make money because all of the in-game game sales are pirated.
2. Don't Starve
Don’t Starve, by Klie entertainment, is a wilderness survival game that follows the adventures of Wilson and he attempts to survive in a dark magical forest. This game ins uncompromising, in that there are no instructions on how to survive. Players start with nothing and then must hunt, craft, and fight to survive the forest. One of the best aspects of this game is the replay value, every map is randomly generated when Wilson is forced into the forest. Think of this game as darker, more fantasy minded older brother to Minecraft.
3. Kerbal Space Program
Kerbal Space Program, by the developers at Squad, is a space program simulator that follows the creation of a space program from the very first rocket all the way to planet system exploration. Players are given pieces of rocket and space parts which must be pieced together to create a working and flightworthy ship to house the small team of Kerbals who fly along. This game is still in production and the team at Squad is continuing to expand the game form its paid beta state, but just consider this one on par with Minecraft, in that the beta version of the game is fun and worth playing while you wait for the full version to be released.