Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 3:12 AM
If the bulk of your gaming is made up of playing only the very biggest, most popular games of the year, stepping into the world of indie gaming can be both confusing and underwhelming. There's so much out there, and not all of it is worth picking up. Unlike AAA games, which have huge marketing budgets and advertising all over magazines, the web and in city centres, indie games require you to put a little more effort in. For the right person, this effort will pay off in the form of innovation and "risk-taking" unavailable from the big publishers.
The question of "what should I play?" will probably be the biggest barrier between you and the thousands of indie games on the market. When you buy Tomb Raider or Halo, you know to a certain extent what you're getting. With indie games - which have less mainstream coverage - you're perhaps left guessing what a game will contain based only on the developer's description.
First and foremost, get yourself a Steam account, if you don't have one already. These are free to set up, the deals are fantastic and opening an account will allow you to access the many game hubs offered on the service. Each game has a forum attached to it, from which you can read about any issues or problems a game might have, as well as find other like-minded gamers. Sometimes this will even allow you to speak with the developers themselves, who may be able to offer unique insight into your problem, or answer questions before you buy.
Setting up a Steam account will also allow you to take advantage of what should be your second port of call. Indie Bundles, and specially the Humble Indie Bundle, are a great source of indie games that are both fun to play and which won't break the bank. There are always bundles running, often which allow you to pick up a set of Steam keys for a collection of top games for $1. If you're unsure about a game, or if you want to have a wide variety of titles to test for not very much money, the indie bundles cannot be missed.
Those of you who love the latest graphic powerhouses might be disappointed by the majority of indie titles. Without the budget or support of large publishers, indie games are made on as little money as possible, often by a team of just one or two people. The advantages are huge, however. Knowing that they have a niche title allows developers to build for a niche market, hoping to impress a few thousand fans instead of the millions it takes to support the biggest AAA titles. This gives them the chance to innovate and work in ways that big publishers just can't imagine.
If you can appreciate the "downside" of indie gaming - the lower quality graphics, the often less complex game play and stories - there's a wealth of entertainment out there that is likely to absolutely blow you away. From Braid to Evoland, these are games that are designed to challenge you, entertain you and, more often than not, you'll be amazed by what a smaller budget can do.