Occasionally, one finds oneself without anything to fill their time. When in such a predicament, where might one turn for the enrichment that one currently lacks? Books? Yes. Television? Also yes. Going outside? I mean, I suppose, but what I’m really talking about is video games! And not just any video games, but indie games! These are games made by people who didn’t have the help of a big-name gaming company such as EA or Microsoft, but are nonetheless good. Here are some recommendations for four such games.
Fan of mystery? Like interesting art? Do you like books but secretly wish you could be part of a great story?
Jenny LeClue: Detectivu is the adorable first installment of what may turn into a series of games starring the protagonist of a series of “Kid Mysteries.” Jenny is used to solving crimes like “The Case of the Missing Sunglasses,” but wishes the small, idyllic, town of Arthurton were more exciting. What happens when she gets her wish? When a body is discovered in the school library, Jenny finds herself falling deeper and deeper into intrigue and suspense. The game isn’t scary, but at times it can be stressful or suspenseful, so if that isn’t your thing, that’s fine. You can also discover Stickers and Gallery Art, the latter including actual concept art for the game, which provides really interesting insight into the process. Unravel the mystery by Mografi on Nintendo Switch, Apple Arcade, GOG, and Steam!
Are you someone who likes a neat room? Do you want to take a masterclass in environmental storytelling?
Unpack your life in Unpacking. As you grow up, you have many different rooms, you live in many different places, and each time you need to put your things up. Unpacking tells the story of your life, your roommates, your partners, and your family, all without showing a single person. I heartily recommend the game for anyone who wants to relax to some light music and excellent foley as well as an adorable story. Put everything where it belongs on Witch Beam’s fantastic game on Nintendo Switch, Steam, and Xbox.
Want to meet 8-bit people and make friends? Discover dark secrets? Or maybe just farm?
Stardew Valley chronicles your life as you leave the city to become a farmer in a small town. There is an immersive cast of characters who you can get close to by talking or giving them gifts. You can farm, you can get animals, and you can chase corporate greed away from a mostly innocent town. There’s even multiplayer play, so up to three of your friends can experience the wholesomeness of Pelican Town with you. There really is too much in this game for me to go into depth on everything, and even more incredibly, it was all made by one person! You can get the game by ConcernedApe on Steam, Nintendo Switch, XBox, PS4, IOS, and Android.
For those who appreciate a great soundtrack, compelling stories, and pretty women with swords.
Transistor is a lesser-known but still fantastic game made by Supergiant, the creators of the well-known and well-beloved Hades. You play as Red, a singer whose voice has been stolen, and fight against evil capitalists and their robot army using time-stopping to create and execute plans of attack with the giant sword you carry called the Transistor. As the game centers around a singer, its soundtrack is obviously fantastic, and even if you have no intent to purchase and play the game, I highly recommend listening to “The Spine,” “In Circles,” “We All Become,” “Signals,” and “Paper Boats,” sung by Ashley Barrett. You can fight capitalism with a sword and a motorcycle on Steam, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and IOS!