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Best Indie Games So Far This Year 30

cyrus_zuo writes "Game Tunnel has just finished and published its yearly mid-year article 2005 Independent Game Mid-Term Grades. This article, the mid-year equivalent of Game Tunnel's year-end Game of the Year awards, captures the best indie games so far in 2005 while also grading each game genre. The article is set-up just like a school report card, grading genres, such as action, adventure and strategy, with a letter grade from 'A' to 'D' while also spotlighting two of the best games that have been released so far this year in each of the genres and listing what game GT is looking forward to most in the genre."
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Best Indie Games So Far This Year

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04, 2005 @01:20PM (#12980357)
    Your really missing something if you haven't played this one; i'm glad its been recognized by this contest. [] . They didn't forget the linux users, either.
  • Slashvertisement (Score:4, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Monday July 04, 2005 @01:25PM (#12980390) Homepage Journal
    Note that most of the links are referrals, so the site is getting paid for people clicking on them.

    Anyone care to link to some quality free games? My current favorites:

    Warning forever: []
    Truck Dismount: []

  • Warped experiences? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) * on Monday July 04, 2005 @01:27PM (#12980397)
    Am I the only one who finds independant games often difficult to get "comfortable" with? I mean, I've been so warped by non-stop playing of games like Quake and Counterstrike or Civilization and Baldur's Gate that anything that doesn't involve running around in a multi-player environment blowing people up, running missions in an MMORPG with other players, building terran forces to avoid another player's zerg attack or building up my party in a single player RPG feels... akward.

    And don't get me wrong - there are some wonderful independant games out there. As a recent convert to Mac, I'm almost forced to hunt such games down, because there either aren't a lot of choices of modern games (say, Rome Total War) for the Mac, they won't run well on the Mac or I simply dont' want to buy them all over again just to play them on my mac instead of the PC. Fortunately, lots of neat little independant games are made for (or ported to) the Mac.

    It's just that having spent so much time in the last decade on the games I mentioned in the first paragraph, playing anything else feels a lot like playing Mine-Sweeper. Or more - it feels like going without an internet connection for a long time. Disconnected. Seperated. A backup alternative for when you can't play the other games.

    Maybe this sounds insane and nobody knows what I'm talking about. It's just been so long since I've played at an arcade and I dont' play console games, so my main experience has been very much as described previously.

    I think it also speaks to the lack of unique popular and mainstream publisher games out there, that some of us have become so molded to a single type of gameplay.
    • Your last comment is the most important. Mainstream/Popular games are getting very old and stale as far as gameplay goes these days. Small/Independent developers are the only place that real innovation still occurs (much like the music and film industries). Sure there are alot of bad games in the indy scene, but that's just a statistical probability there.

      Trying to decifer your opinion though...Are you complaining that indy games tend to have more bugs? If so, it's pretty obvious why. Game testers cost m
      • by Seumas ( 6865 ) *
        I'm not necessarily complaining about anything involved in indy games. It's just that I'm so used to playing the "norm" that anything else feels... secondary. Perhaps a way to explain it is - if you have a decent computer and a fast connection, you're going to play Counterstrike and WarCraft - but if all you have is a half-assed laptop with no net connection and you're stuck in the waiting room at a doctor's office for two hours, maybe you'll pop out the single player side-scroller or something.

        I think a l
      • DirectX is free (as in beer! as in beer! don't yell at me richard stallman!), because it increases the value of the Windows platform. DX's network API, DirectPlay, is depreciated anyway.
        • If you program your game with DirectX you're excluding a large portion of the indy market. Linux and Mac users are much more willing to play indy games because of the lack of support from mainstream developers.
    • Ironically, there was a time when Counter-Strike and Quake were considered independent games. CS started as a free mod to a different game, and Quake was shareware, for pete's sake!

      What you're really pointing out is that games are a social construct. Without an opponent, games are closer to a puzzle. It's only after the advent of the computer and video game that the idea of a single player game really took off. PC games that reintroduce this concept quite often last a long time. There's still plenty of peo
    • So basically what you tell me is that you can't enjoy anything that isn't multiplayer. Almost everything you mention there revolves around having a human opponent. You explicitly state that going to other games is like basically losing your internet connection.

      Which, of course, is as good a criterion as any, and a very valid market segment. It's not just you, and you're not alone. There are lots of people who indeed are multiplayer-only.

      You have to realize, though, that it's just one segment. Arguably, no
  • Darwinia! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Monday July 04, 2005 @01:50PM (#12980504) Homepage
    I was pleased to see Darwinia [] in the list - it's easily the best game I've played this year. And I'm not usually that keyed in to the world of independent games, so I'm definitely looking through the list for other things I might like...

    • Re:Darwinia! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lisandro ( 799651 )
      Thanks for the advice! Amazing game, i love the looks of it - feels like a mixture of Tron (the movie) and Rez. It was about time someone did something new in the PC world. And it's available for Linux!
  • Bontago (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AceJohnny ( 253840 )
    Through a penny-arcade post, I discovered Bontago []. I'm a complete gamer, and I haven't been this hooked on a new game in a long while.

    The game is physics-based: you drop blocks on the field, and the higher your pile, the larger its control area. You can only drop blocks in your control area. Your goal is to have a majority of flags in your control area. Thus you have to balance making a high, but fragile, tower, or make lots of small stacks.

    To make it a little more complicated, you can find special blocks
  • The best: (Score:2, Informative)

    The best three indy games so far (just look on google for URLs, I haven't them on me at the moment):

    Zombie Smashers X2
    Jets n' Guns
    Mount & Blade
  • Doukutsu Monogatari (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DarkZero ( 516460 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @11:48PM (#12991190)
    How can any list of the best independant games of the year not include Doukutsu Monogatari []? It's not only one of the well-written and emotional games I've ever played, it's also one of the best side-scrollers, period.

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