Essential indie games

A short list of games that are part of my canon (this is a nice way of saying that if you haven’t played these, you can’t be my friend).

1. Passage

It’s a game about life. Further description, if you haven’t played it, will spoil this 20 minute game. So, after playing it (and only after!), you can go read the creator’s statement. You really ought to play this, if you haven’t, this one made me cry.*

The game is free for all Mac and PC.

2. Canabalt

A one button platformer with a premise as simple as the controls: run for your life. This game shows sophistication is often just that.

You can play the game on the web for free.

3. Minecraft

If you are a gamer and haven’t heard of Minecraft, then you are hiding under a rock. For the unenlightened, however, it could be called a sandbox survival game. There is no narrative or defined goal, however, you just mine, build structures, craft items, and hide from monsters at night. Think digital Legos which, as we all know, is analog crack.

Buying the Alpha pre-release is about fifteen bucks (€9.95), but you can play it in browser for free.

4. ASCIIpOrtal

An absurdly delicious modern ASCII game based on Valve’s Portal mechanics. It’s worth an hour or so of your time if you crave the retro aesthetics of Nethack.

It’s free, but only available for Linux or Windows.

*Bonus Game by the same author, same rules for his statement apply.

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  1. […] Essential Indie Games Posted: December 2nd, 2010 Categories: Games var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www."); document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E")); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-586193-3"); pageTracker._initData(); pageTracker._trackPageview(); […]

  2. […] My latest piece at the Idler is up. It’s a list of games you need to play in order to be my friend. posted by Andrew Simone in games | * | comment  […]

  3. […] in Chinese history), and myself to sit in a cramped room in front on one computer. This game, which I have mentioned before, is Minecraft. A game that is essentially about using the randomly generated world to craft tools […]

  4. […] While Bissell’s piece focuses on iPad games, including a number that tell stories surprisingly well, I’d like to try to shift the terms of the conversation a bit. (An ambitious goal, I know, but I’m going to take for granted that Idler readers will know from Andrew Simone’s writing that indie/web browser games can tell outstanding and challenging stories with incredibly limited resourc….) […]

  5. […] had the most impact on my own, then I really need to give credit to Andrew Simone, whose list of “Essential indie games” and link to Brandon Boyer’s GDC microtalk have had a huge impact on my thinking about what […]



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