In recent years indie games have started to surpass their mainstream counterparts, in popularity. Once a niche genre only talked about among small circles on the internet, indie games are now regular features on most popular gaming outlets, with some even dedicating whole segments to spotlighting the rising stars of the indie gaming scene. And, what’s more, we’re starting to see even more indie games make the jump to consoles, which in the past were reserved for big budget releases. Indie games are becoming a much more viable avenue for gamers and a lot of that has to do with a marked improvement in the caliber of indie games being released. Gone are the days of hastily thrown together titles that barely offer an hour of solid gameplay and maybe a small reprieve from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now, games like Gris, Minecraft, and the most recent viral hit, The Untitled Goose Game are proving that even with a smaller budget, indie games can also make a splash in the gaming industry.
So, with indie games killing it in the gaming industry, here are the 5 reasons you should give indie games a try!
Indie games can be a bit of a mixed bag, some are absolute masterpieces—carefully crafted labors of love that make the most of their assets—while others could do with a bit more polishing. You could end up with a sweeping epic fantasy or a quirky RPG or even a slice-of-life simulator game, there’s no end to the types of stories you’ll uncover when you pick up an indie game. I’ve always noticed that bigger budget games tend to play it safe with their games, sticking more with what sells rather than trying anything truly revolutionary, because at the end of the day it’s about the almighty dollar. And that’s not to say that there aren’t unique mainstream games (because there totally are), I’ve just found that indie games seem to have more freedom when it comes to their stories. Their is literally something for everyone, and trust me if you’ve thought of it there is an indie game of it (though you can’t always speak for quality).
There’s a relatability to the characters and the stories that you just don’t always get in mainstream titles and that really goes a long way in making a game more enjoyable. Indie games aren’t afraid to center their stories around characters that would normally be relegated to background noise in more mainstream games. If you’re looking for a game with LGBTQ+ characters or characters of colors, indie games are definitely the place for you! Representation matters and indie games are far outpacing their bigger budget counterparts in that respect. As a woman of color I always look for games that center around characters of color or at the very least offer the option to play as a character that isn’t a white male (or in the case of otome games—a fair skinned attractive 17-23 year old woman). Indie game developers understand that their audiences are made up of so many different kinds of people and they (for the most part) strive to be as inclusive as possible.
Indie games are typically much more affordable than some of the bigger budget games on the market and usually that would mean a drastic downgrade in quality, but that isn’t always the case. There are plenty of cheaper indie games that are just as good if not better than some of the big budget games I have played. A console game will usually set you back anywhere from $35 – $60, with special editions and limited releases running even higher. But, for less than $20 you can snag a pretty solid indie title with the same basic gameplay of a bigger budget game—it might not be as flashy, but I’ve found that some of the best games don’t always come with a lot of bells and whistles.
Indie games reflect the passion of their creators and regardless of the genre always have a more human quality to them, because the development teams always seem to put a bit of themselves and their experiences into their titles.
Nowadays you can play indie games just about everywhere—on your phone, from your browser, on major gaming consoles, and of course on gaming platforms like Steam. You used to see indie releases mostly on PC with the odd one or two popping up on the Playstation Store and that would be the extent of it. But, now you’re seeing more games getting multiple platform releases simultaneously from day one. So if like me you don’t have the disposable income for the newest console or a high priced gaming computer, you can still enjoy the same game on your cellphone or tablet. You don’t have to miss out on the newest indie craze, you can play it on the platform that’s most accessible for you!
Indie games have always been a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to quality and enjoyment, but that’s always been what makes them so much fun. You never quite know what to expect when you pick up a new indie title, but you can be sure that it will be a one of a kind adventure. So, whether you’re looking for an epic artistic masterpiece or jumping on the newest internet fad, indie games are sure to offer something for everyone. And, with more games getting console releases, you’re sure to see more indie games appearing all over the place.
Thank you for reading and Supporting Blerdy Otome! If you like what you see be sure to drop a like or a comment to let me know what are some reasons you love playing indie games.