Top 5 Indie Games of 2013

Top 5 Indie Games of 2013

Another category, another list. This one is all about my favorite indie titles that I had the honor of playing this year. These games had to have been released in 2013. I’ll also take suggestions for indie titles to keep my eyes peeled for, or that I should check out. Again, keep in mind these are from a list that I have played, and are purely opinion.

#5 – Papers, Please

Publisher: Lucas Pope/Steam

Developer: Lucas Pope

Released: August 2013

This game was an interesting idea and was executed perfectly. Everything from the art-style, setting, and over-all feel of the experience worked wonders. You play as an immigration officer and you’re in charge of letting or denying people into a fictional communist country called Arstotzka. The game is very much a puzzle game as you have to look for clues while people attempt to get through into the country. This is determined by examining their credentials, and paperwork to see if they can be allowed entry into the country. However, the player always has the final say on who gets let in, and who doesn’t. Let too many “wrong” people in and you fail the game, and vice-versa. This game is a very unique experience, and I highly recommend everyone check it out. Such a neat, and addictive game. I’d often find myself letting the person in even though their credentials were wrong due to some emotional moments that would happen every so often while playing.

#4 – Don’t Starve

Publisher: Klei Entertainment

Developer: Klei Entertainment

Released: April 2013

Don’t Starve takes the whole ‘survival-game’ concept and kicks it up a notch, while throwing in some very Tim Burton-esque feelings to the game. The game feels incredibly creepy, and tense at times and once night falls it’s a very good idea to make sure you have a light-source as some unknown monster will tear you apart. That, and without any light your screen is essentially a black mass at night time. The game has a lot of content to offer up, and each play-through can be a guaranteed different experience each romp. The sounds, and art design really are the selling point for me in this game and couple that with the unique survival elements, and other-wordly creatures and you have a solid game. The game has a “permadeath” system where you see how many days you can survive in a row, but upon death everything gets reset. The game is encouraging in the way that when you die, you’ll learn and try things differently. The game works well, and it’s a blast. For people who are iffy, it will be coming out on PS4 in January and will be free to PlayStation Plus members.

#3 – The Stanley Parable

Publisher: Steam/Galactic Cafe

Developer: Galactic Cafe

Released: October 2013

Back in 2011 we were graced with an acclaimed mod for Half-Life 2 called “The Stanley Parable”. Fast forward to 2013 and we receive a remake of the mod as a brand-new, and standalone game following the adventures of Stanley and that hilariously awesome Narrator. The game is crazy, and whimsical and that’s what makes it such an amazing experience. Of course it plays out a lot like a “cinematic” adventure but it’s open up to the player changing things, and making it a more interactive type of deal. The Narrator is by the far the best part of the game as he’s witty, obnoxious, snarky and just very well written overall. i remember an instance while playing through the demo and the Narrator called me a sex offender for pressing a certain button, and then mocking me for walking back into the room and trying to change my outcome, with the hilarious dialogue making me chuckle. “No matter what, you’re still a pedophile”. This game deserves to be experienced, and I can safely say one of the best experiences in 2013 as a whole.


#2 – Surgeon Simulator 2013

Publisher: Bossa Studios

Developer: Bossa Studios

Released: April 2013

Those horrifying controls, and just over-the-top style of gameplay really make this a beauty, and laugh to play. The player is tasked with performing operations on a variety of patients ranging from heart surgery, brain surgery, all the way to operating on an alien in space. The game is known for it’s ridiculous, and hard to use controls that just end up causing chaos on the operating table. Tools go flying about, blood squirts everywhere, and nine times out of ten I’d accidentally kill the patient. The game is just a great experience to have a laugh, and watch others play. There’s nothing quite like playing this game with your buddies, gathered around watching, and smashing someone’s ribs apart by accident, or losing a heart on the floor. Laughter erupts, and this game is perfect for that. It’s also really fun, and addictive. I can safely say I feel right putting it up this high on the list.

#1 – Eldritch

Publisher: Minor Key Games

Developer: Minor Key Games

Released: October 2013

Oh, this game. I really enjoyed it. It’s got the whole Lovecraftian thing going on, as well as being a fairly unique and visually impressive roguelike. There’s a variety of fun monsters, loot, and weapons to come across as well as some interesting traps and fun puzzles to solve. I can’t even begin to express the amount of time, and joy I sunk into this game. Definitely one of my favorite titles released this year, and quite possibly one of my favorite roguelikes ever made. There’s lots of things to do, and there’s always the New Game+ to play once you’ve polished up your playthrough. The game may not be for everyone, but I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re into HP Lovecraft, creepy games, and roguelikes than you’ll love playing Eldritch. You owe it to yourself. Go buy it on Steam, it’s pretty cheap!



Justin Ross

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