could very well be the only hope we have to capture the imagination desperately needed in gaming. They can also just become over saturated and bland just like our current MMORPG crisis.
A few years back I picked up a little game on XBLA called Alien Hominid. I don't know how many people remember that title today but back when it was released around other arcade classics like Pac Man and Tapper, it was kind of unique. At the time I wasn't aware that the title had already been released on PS2 and Gamecube. It was just this cool perfectly priced arcade job that had a distinct classic appeal. It was new but it wasn't...new. It was like a blast from the past and one that I was very satisfied at dropping my 800 points on. It brought me back to the days of playing Metal Slug at the local arcade at Vallco Mall, right down the road from Infinity Loop and the headquarters of Apple. At the time the indie scene was in it's infancy. This was before the indie giant Braid was released. The train took off after that and since then there has been a ton of great content under 20 bucks.
Just a few days ago I got a chance to watch Indie Game The Movie. I had been dying to see it for a while, and I have now watched it 4 times! It was love story to people like me. Watching it and seeing the pure love put into these creations was nothing short of inspiring. The Indie Standard though that games like Braid, Fez, and SMB set is not always matched by a lot of indie development.
I own an Android. My now aptly named "Play" store is filled with indie developed games. 90% of these games are horrible, 80% of them are tower defense (j/k) and there are like 238 more coming out on Monday I hear (j/k again :P). The fact is though most of the games on the store are pure filler. 5 minute uninstalls and only a few random gems. Most games don't even bother to take advantage of the touch screen properly. Instead they mount buttons on the screen and expect you to play around your own thumbs. This is poor designing and a pure lack of creativity.
This of course is supposed to be our future though...right? I mean they have been saying for years that tablets are the future. I personally don't think that is true but I do believe that the importance of these new devices need to be met with some sort of golden standard. Like Mario is the standard of platformers that companies like Team Meat need to reach. Today devs need to be inspired by the best indie games. Games like Spacechem and Frozen Synapse, and Orcs Must Die, and Superbrothers. This should be the Indie Standard.
We really need to avoid over-saturating the storefronts, even for $.99.