The grand prize finalists in the IGF are not, surprisingly enough, the cream of the crop. Rather, the games which end up in the Seamus McNally finalists are a hodgepodge of fantastic games, each of which is great in its own way. Where one person sees a cluster of retro-influenced pixels, another person sees deliberate designed minimalism to focus the game's intent. In other words, the grand prize is intended for games which can't really fit in only one or two categories category. Rather, these are the games which capture that elusive thing only known as "fun."
Design is one of the most important aspect of any game. After all, you can make your game's visuals be a collection of squares as long as the gameplay is fun and accessible. Thus we kick off our breakdown of the IGF finalist list with what we think is the most important category: design. The games listed here are entertaining, compelling, and often extremely simple. The one thing they all have in common, though, is the fact that the developer focused their efforts into making games which stuck to and innovated the concepts they wanted to approach. Not a single element is out of place in any of these games.
2010 was a stellar year for indie gaming. We didn't think that 2009 could be beat, but this year really brought out all the stops. From classical platformers like Super Meat Boy to disturbing adventure games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, there was an aboslute flood of excellent indie games this year. From paid to free, players who wanted to try something a little different had a huge selection of titles to choose from in 2010. Here's our favorite picks from 2010 to roll in the new year! Click on the image to check out our gallery feature.
Gallery: Best Indie Games of 2010
Welcome to Freeware Friday, a weekly column showcasing excellent games that you can play free of charge!
Much like last week's game, Desktop Dungeons is a streamlined rogue-like. It strays a little further into rogue-like territory with level gaining and such, but like Tiny Crawl, it's a very simple game that just about anyone can understand and get into. However, underneath the layer of simple controls and basics, Desktop Dungeons has a complexity and depth that make it surprisingly engaging and addictive. In fact, we could almost compare it to the title Strange Adventures in Infinite Space. Short, simple to understand, and difficult to master are all characteristics of both games, and this makes Desktop Dungeons a great game if you want to relax for a few minutes over a coffee break with some monster slaughtering. Beware, though, as you might lose track of time and get reprimanded for spending too much time dungeon crawling!