Indie games; a love hate relationship

Every time I try to write about an indie game, I always end up giving up in frustration. It’s ether too much like other reviews done about the same game, or I can’t make it anywhere long or interesting enough.

I love small indie games. The Humble Bundle and Indie Bundles are amazing value for money. Thanks to them, I’ve managed to amass a large steam library, and spent more time playing games then I should have (all while quietly pushing my text books off my desk). It’s enjoyable, small games that are easy to get addicted to that really get me. While I do like games that take 30+ hours, I only have one TV in my house, and thieves stole my PS3 games.

I think angry birds has moved on from the ‘indie’ title.

However, my thoughts have developed around this strange idea that indie games are not ‘all that’. Quite often they are ether too easy, and I end up defeating them in 10 hours or less, or they are frustratingly hard, and I have to look up the walk through (Braid being the main offender in my opinion).

There are many criticisms of indie games online. It’s pretty easy to view them. But I guess I’m here not so much to criticize the games, but the genre as a whole.

I dislike the idea of the eliteisim that comes about while playing obscure games that are not that well made. I guess like hipsters, they seem to think that the less well known something is, the better it is. I’m of the beleif that if many people do not know about the game after it has been around for a while, it’s because it was never good enough to become popular.

I also dislike how many people hold up indie games as a beacon of light, to give hope to everyone who wants to develop a game. But should everyone who wants to develop a game go ahead and do it? Should we continue to support shitty games in the name of ‘creative freedom’? If it’s good, it will sell (or illegally download in large numbers) because it is good. If we continue to perpetuate the idea that we should always support indie games (such as many seen on kickstarter), we will end up with watered down, under developed games that are not worth it.

Minecraft is a great example of how an indie game should take off, and why we should support SOME indie developers. Super Meat boy, Bastion, Torchlight…. they are amazing examples, but they are brought down by the idea that ANYONE can make a game.

Look at his stupid little face. LOOK AT IT.

Yes, indie games are great. Often, they’re also amazing value. However, we can’t just go around, throwing about the term as though it should apply to every idiot with a knowledge of python. I know that this may be a little negative and ranty, but I really hope to see better game development in the future.

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