Hello friends! Welcome back to my free indie game series!
I've decided to spread out my posts for this series a bit more, since I'm beginning to run out of suggestions before I get a chance to play more indie games. I definitely don't plan on ending the series just yet, since there are still plenty of excellent games out there and surely there are more to come in the future. I just won't be posting every weekend like I initially planned. In somewhat unrelated news, I finally finished Portal 2 so I've had some more time to play indie games. However, I just bought Demon's Souls the other day, so that game will probably end up consuming a lot of my gaming time in the next few weeks, haha.
Now for some free indie games! GO!
flOw by Jenova Chen
I figure most of you have probably already played flOw, since it's one of the more well-known freeware games out there, but I'm guessing there might still be a few who have not. Regardless, it's a great game which deserves to be mentioned. flOw is a simulation game developed by the same guy who brought you Flower for the PS3 (I actually thought Jenova Chen was a woman until just now... huh). In flOw, you control a segmented worm-like creature through an underwater environment, eating smaller organisms and fighting larger organisms as you go along. Consuming organisms will make your body longer and more powerful. There are green and red organisms on each level; eating the green ones will take you back a level and eating red ones will take you to the next level. You can see what awaits you in the next level as the organisms can be seen below you in the blurry distance. As you progress through the game, the water will become darker and the enemies will become more difficult. The controls are simple, and only involve clicking with the mouse to move and holding down the mouse to move faster; organisms are eaten automatically when you approach them. The game is particularly relaxing to play, much like Flower, with ambient music and clear, pleasant graphics. You can download it to your desktop or play it in a browser. You don't really have an excuse not to have played this one yet, so get to it if you still haven't tried it!
Action Fist! by Beau Blyth
Action Fist is a super fun action shooter, although despite its name there are actually no fists involved. The game follows the story of a guy named Domingus, whose girlfriend, dog and favorite scarf have been stolen by a madman (Oh no, not the scarf!). You can choose to play as Domingus or his friend Ina (as well as two other unlockable characters) and shoot your way through all of the enemies and bosses on your quest to track down the madman. The boss fights are all really quite epic! My favorite boss fight is the one pictured above, with a giant robotic spider-like thing. The weapon design in this game is pretty nifty. There are three different colored bullets you can get, and colored enemies are weak to bullets of the same color, so it's a good idea to have two different colored guns on hand. There are also weapon upgrades to make your guns fire faster or fire in multiple directions and such. The game features very nice retro graphics, a badass soundtrack, several unlockable features such as new characters, difficulty levels and costumes, and a 2-player co-op mode. The thing I like most about this game, however, is the character designs. For an action game, you would expect to see a muscled, badass, possibly shirtless Rambo-type character, but in Action Fist you get to choose between a rather fashionable blonde guy with curly hair and a scarf or a woman with a long skirt and a Rambo-style bandanna who looks like she could kick your ass. It's very refreshing to see characters who defy the stereotypes of the genre.
Escape from the Underworld by Banov
Escape from the Underworld is an exploration platformer where you play as a fallen angel attempting find a way out of the Underworld. At the start of the game, you will be able to roam around the upper world with all of your powers intact, but once you are banished to the Underworld you will be left with absolutely no powers and only one hit point. You must then explore the complicated caverns of the Underworld to recover all of your lost abilities and hit points before finding a way out of the Underworld to reclaim your position as an angel. The game contains rather simple graphics; I'm honestly not too fond of the character designs, they're a little too simplistic for my liking (also, what's with the bunny ears?). I suppose the simple character designs could just be symbolic of light and dark, good and evil, but it still seems like it's lacking something. One of the high points of the game, however, is the absolutely stunning soundtrack! It kind of contrasts with the simple graphics, but it's wonderful to listen to and definitely gives the game some added depth. The story can be rather chilling at times, and the concept is very interesting and wonderfully executed. I can look past the unsatisfying character designs in this case, since the game as a whole is really quite amazing.
Titanion by Kenta Cho
Titanion is a shoot-em-up with some very interesting game mechanics. The majority of Kenta Cho's games feature innovative game mechanics, and this one is no different. Your job in Titanion is to shoot down as many enemy insects as you can to earn a high score. Waves of insects will swoop down around you and try to collide with you or shoot at you. You are supplied with two abilities to retaliate: you can shoot them down yourself or you can use a wave attack which will allow you to take control of some of the insects, and they will begin shooting down their own kin. Doing so will greatly increase the amount of damage you shell out and will also protect you from attacks; if you are attacked while controlling insects, you will lose control of those insects but won't be hurt. The game features colorful, geometric graphics and an intense techno soundtrack. There are also three different modes of play: Basic, Classic and Modern. In Basic, you can use your control attack whenever you want; in Classic you can only use your control attack when you have no other insects in your control; and in Modern, you can't actually take control of insects but you have a super powerful attack to begin with. Classic is probably for more advanced players, but Basic is my favorite mode to play.
Tottenham by Theta Games
Tottenham is a game that's all about simplicity, and in this case I think it really works. It's a puzzle game where you play as a demolitions expert in charge of clearing a path from one subway station to the next, so that a subway line can be built between them. You can throw explosives towards the debris to clear it away, but be warned: the resulting shrapnel caused by the explosions can kill you! There are several strategies that you can use to avoid flying shrapnel, such as trying to dodge it or running and hiding behind something. Later levels also contain pests than can kill you which must be exterminated before the subway lines can be built. It's a relatively short game with a final boss battle, and your progress is saved once you complete a level. The graphics are extremely simplistic, consisting primarily of colored squares, and were apparently influenced by some mosaic art at the Tottenham Court Road station in London. The theme song played during the game is also really excellent and catchy. Don't be turned away by the simple graphics; Tottenham is a fun and challenging little puzzle game.
That's all for this week. I'll see you guys next time for some more awesome free games!