[New feature] The IndieBox Round Up

Evening Techniquenchers! I’m Rob, a new contributor to this blog bringing you some of the best indie games I come across from the World Wide Web.
Generally, the games I cover will be by small developers, students and institutions. Some new, some old, some bad, some good and best of all many will be free to play!

So without further ado… I present to you The Week #1 Roundup!

Indie game #1 – Douse – 2012

Douse is a somewhat simple and short (<10 minutes) narrative platformer about the journey of a rain sprite called Douse, trying to find his way back home in the clouds by using his ability to create rain to allow flowers to grow. The game itself is beautifully crafted carrying with it a simple yet stylized, hand painted feel, this style somewhat echoes that of much bigger indie games such as Bastion and Trine.

The sound track is another stand out feature of this game, it is the very essence and feel of rain, carrying with it images of lush forestry and landscapes. The immersive sound track really sets this game a part, from the faint echo of rain to the gentle twinkling of a piano.

Overall an enjoyable, almost storybook adventure experience which really makes you think about the little wonders of life like the journey of a raindrop from sky to land and back again.

If you have 5 minutes to spare this game is worth a go. Best of all it can be had for free from: http://douse.nfshost.com/play.html

Indiebox Rating 3

Indie Game #2 – Solace – 2011

On the surface the ideas and concepts behind this top down shooter are sublime. The main premise of the game is to progress through the five stages of grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance with a heavy emphasis on generating an “interactive aesthetic” experience – which I can happily say it easily achieves.

Let’s start with the sound track. The sound track is dynamically generated on screen in a way that begs to be experienced. Take the Anger stage for example, a much faster paced level in comparison to depression, where firing your weapon generates a heavy, relentless guitar riff while drums rhythmically pound in the background. Enemies fly in from all angles and rain hell and fire upon you while still managing to create a very effective audio coherence perfectly representing Anger. After this chaos, you reach the one and only boss battle in the game that comes to you in the form of bargaining. According to the Kübler-Ross Model, Bargaining involves negotiating “for an extended life with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle.” And what better way can you represent doing a deal with the devil then to fight a boss.

However, following bargaining Depression sets in and the game represents this by effectively rendering you’re weapons and skills ineffective, I tried 2 or 3 times during this level to at least kill 1 or 2 enemies but found myself constantly failing until I completely gave up which, in a way, mirrors the idea of the emotion perfectly.

Moving away from the audio elements, the visuals of this game are stunning, they may not be as refined as games such as Beat Hazard but each level carries a unique visual style reminiscent of the emotion. For example depression uses very dark, Limbo-esque colours whereas acceptance is almost heavenly in its presentation, after all once you have been through these stages, accepting your loss is one of the most powerful feelings one can experience.

Download Solace for free here: http://solacegame.com/?page_id=7

Indiebox Rating 4

Indie Game #3 – Dreamside Maroon – 2009

Dreamside Maroon is an exploration game… of sorts. It’s a journey ‘inspired by the moons reflection’. An artistic, atmospheric experience with various poems scattered throughout. The ‘goal’ of the game is to grow a vine up towards the moon, on your way you encounter lights and fireflies while your vine tangles and twirls with you.

With a beautiful atmospheric sound track and gorgeous visuals, Dreamside Maroon presents an unforgettably original experience. The only downsides are the slightly fiddly camera movements and playing with a keyboard & mouse is not the smoothest experience, although the controls do work somewhat better with an Xbox controller, but don’t expect AAA smoothness.

Download for free here: https://sites.google.com/site/dreamsidemaroongame/

Indiebox Rating 4

If you have any sugggestions or ideas please feel free to comment below or use the contact form and ask for Rob!

Thanks for reading the first and hopefully not the last Indiebox Round Up!

See you soon!


About Rob Fletcher

A student of the University of Worcester studying Creative Digital Media and specialising in film. Rob is an avid gamer who revels in the arty, experimental form of indie games.

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