As part of my Revisited Indies series that I write for IGN Greece, I decided to prepare a few top 10 lists in the various genres of Indie games. This week, we’ll take a look at the top 10 Indie platformer games. As always, make note that this is based on my own experience with various titles that are available out there as well as a lot of the public consensus. Other than that, don’t be surprised if you don’t see games like Shovel Knight, Rogue Legacy and Awesomenauts make it in the top 10, since this is a top 10 list for games that have a clear focus on the platformer element when it comes to gameplay.
Let’s get started then!
10# – Brothers: A tale of two sons
The game was shown for the first time during the E3 expo of 2013 and since then has kept company to many platformer game fans. The game makes use of the dual sticks on the PS3 and allows the player to have control of each brother with each corresponding thumbstick. The environment and the story is really interactive thus allowing the player to dwelve deep into the atmospheric landscapes and all the platforming puzzles he has to solve.
The game takes the spot above many other great titles because of the really interesting control aspect it allows the player to have and because of the rich environments it shows.
You can find the game on steam too but it requires a controller in order to be played.
9# – Gunpoint
Thou noir art shall not be judged. Well this game has everything you would ask from a stealth platformer game. It has the puzzles, it has the cool jazz music, it has the cool old-noir movie atmosphere and above all, the 8bit pixel art to make it all complete. Gunpoint is a game that stands outside of the norms with a unique feel to the sceneries and the way the player handles each scenario.
The game places 9th on this list because of its pretty looks and amazing feel of control during any scenario.
8# – Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers
“Little pretty thing living in a hole, I got love for you.” Man, that soundtrack. This game is so simple and yet so artistic in many of its aspects that manages to place it high on just any indie top list I’d say. Despite its amazing soundtrack, the game delivers a simple yet interesting gameplay experience giving the player control of Tiny who is on a journey to find his grandpa’s lucky pants that were stolen by his nemesis, Big. Using a laser gun that cuts down anything you can find in the world and equipped with a rocket launcher that can propel anything with a lot of force, the player journeys through the desert world of the game in search of the stolen underwear.
You can find the game on Steam. (currently on discount at 2.99 E)
7# – Ori and the Blind Forest
The game got revealed to the public during the E3 conference of 2014 and it. Blew. Our. Minds. The game is as beautiful looking at it as it is playing it. ” deeply emotional story about love and sacrifice, and the hope that exists in us all” as the synopsis of the game describes quite accurately. The player takes control of Ori, an orphan running through a dying forest doing whatever possible in order to save it. Moon Studios really did it with this title and everyone is eager to see what the studio will come out with next.
6# – SpeedRunners
DoubleDutch Games brought this masterpiece back in the summer of 2013 bringing a fresh breath of competition to the competitive scene of Indie games (if there was ever any.) The game is all about the multiplayer experience in a mayhem of 4 players running to pass all others in order to win the race. It’s not really a race though, as with the old masterpiece “Codemasters: MicroMachines V3,” you basically have to leave your opponents far behind in order to score a point. As soon as they are out of the screen, then you score a point. Once you have 3 points, you win. Simple enough right? Well not really, there are obstacles, weird landscapes and the fact that user generated content is supported, makes the game so crazy, you will want to play it until you’ve played every single person’s weird map creation out there.
The game is available through Steam. It’s quite fun with a controller, as all of these platformer games are of course.
5# – VVVVV
Wait what? This game is placed higher than Ori and the Blind Forest? Why? Well because it’s effin amazing. That’s why. The game’s simplicity makes it get no.5 on this list. The player assumes control of the captain of a ship that is lost in a warp-kind-of-thingy-magick, trying to find his crew that got lost in the messed up spaceship. The game is simple with no fancy animations and you control the hero by moving him left, right and upside down by pressing a button that activates anti-gravity. Simple you would say, well no, no it’s not simple. Not at all. Terry Cavanagh, the mastermind behind this creation, put so much effort into making every single screen of this little world you see more interesting than the last one.
The game is available on Steam, but beware, the game requires effort to be finished. Especially if you want the secrets too (ha…good try, good try…)
4# – BattleBlock Theater
The game has by far THE MOST amazing trailer I’ve ever watched. The game is basically a customizable platformer game full of funny moments and lil’ gags here and there. The multiplayer experience is something like no other and that’s the reason why this game takes spot no.4 in this list. Its gameplay mechanics are nothing too interesting but the multiplayer replayability value it provides makes it a title that should be in every Steam user’s library.
The game is available on Steam. YOU MUST HAVE IT. Or not, suit yourself, just don’t come crying to me when all of your friends are playing it and you can’t because you didn’t buy it when it was on offer. Just like I did.
3# – Trine Series
Quite possibly one of the best co-op games out there. The Trine series has repeatedly left fans of the genre satisfied with 3 titles thus far in the series. The player can group up with up to 2 more friends to get past difficult trials and a bit of combat. The combat is quite easy though, the puzzle platforming element is what makes the game super interesting and an amazing co-op experience. Being able to select amongst a wizard, an archer and a warrior, you can tell that there are a lot of special abilities to combine to reach certain points in the game.
The three titles become available through various bundles quite often so I’d keep my eye out for them if I were you. You can find them also on Steam.
2# – Ibb & Obb
This is by far my personal favourite co-op game of all time. So simple, which makes it perfect for a platformer title, yet so mind-bending while all at the same time highly dependent on how you cooperate with your partner. In the game, the players each assume either the control of Ibb or Obb and together try to solve all kinds of puzzles by going up and under the world of the game. Simple yet beautiful animations and graphics showcase the amazing world of Ibb & Obb without too much effort. Sparpweed and Codeglue made sure of attending to every little detail of this game.
If you are really looking for a good co-op game for you and your friend, or spouse even, this is your go-to title for sure. You can find the game on Steam.
1# – Super Meat Boy
If you don’t know this title, then you are probably way out of sync with what’s happening in the world of Indie games. This game has been described by many as THE single best indie and platformer game of all time. There are many reasons to explain that and they can all become quite apparent if you spend at least 5 minutes playing the game yourself. Prepare your butt for a thousand deaths by falling into the void or into some spinning spiked wheel while you try to finish each annoyingly difficult level of the game.
The controls are smooth and super-responsive making the game a somewhat surgery-like experience in some of its hardest levels.
This diamond of a game by Team Meat is available on Steam and is frequently part of various bundles too.
No Time To Explain ~ A simple yet really entertaining piece of platformer indie.
DLC Quest ~ A super simplistic platformer game that makes fun of all the DLC that come out for famous titles in an effort to milk the customers’ money.
Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures ~ Check it out for yourself, there’s little to say with a game with such a title.
Braid ~ Pretty good game, overhyped in my opinion for what it is, but definitely interesting and worth checking out.
So that was it! Feel free to comment below and tell me if you think I’m completely wrong on one of the titles I mentioned. Although I’ll read your opinion, I might not take it that seriously, because…you know…what do you know man?
-Christakis “Kelfecil” Konstantinos