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Topic: What Are Some Noteable Indie Games that Aren't Rogue-Likes/Lites?

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CanisWolfred

As the title implies, what are some awesome indie games that spring to mind, either out now or upcoming, across all platforms, that don't utilize procedurally generated levels, instead having traditional set level designs?

I personally stopped following indie games closely back in 2015, I think? So I've been looking around for new ones to try, and old ones that maybe I've already played, or have in my backlog somewhere...and there's a lot of Rogue-likes. Like, a ton. So many, that I'm pretty sick of even seeing the tag all together. I was tired of the concept back in 2015 the way so many others were tired of pixel art and Metroidvania clones, and didn't get anymore fresh now that so many are using it for what often feels like a cheap excuse to pad out the running times of their games.

Now with so many indie 'Rogue-lites' getting attention in such a short span of time, I'm noticing I'm not the only one who's tired of them, and now seems like the perfect time to remind ourselves that good indie games with genuine level design still exist.

I'll start:

  • Super Meat Boy - one of the defacto hardcore platformers that always comes to mind whenever people bring up indie games. I wouldn't exactly call it the pinnacle of platformers anymore, but it defitiely was a shining example of how to make a platformer devilishly addicting without having to have things like perma-death or the layout constantly changing on you. Just short levels, unusual but still forgiving physics, and lots of well-placed traps for you to navigate around.
  • Axiom Verge - I'll admit, it was a lot easier to forgive how much this game aped from the original Metroid back when Nintendo had been doing practically nothing with the Metroid franchise since 2007. Not to mention I found with the story kind of pretentious, if I'm being honest. Those were the only complaints I have about this otherwise perfect homage to classic Metroid games, that took everything I loved about them, and added new twists and mechanics that helped to set it apart as its own thing. I seriously found myself playing through two separate playthroughs on the Vita and PS4 just because I was having so much fun with it, that I literally did not want to put it down. It didn't need to have the layout be completely different for me to enjoy playing through its world, it just needed to make that world as interesting and exilerating as it possibly could, with some fun power-ups thrown in for good measure.
  • Cave Story - It needs no introduction, but it really is an obligatory addition for a good reason. It's not perfect, but it had charm to spare, solid level design, and a quirky story that still impresses me to this day. Oh, and the fact that it's free helps, too.
  • Undertale - Seriously needs no introduction. The last indie darling I got around to before I lost touch with Indie games. It was so good, I will never play through it again, since I don't want to undo the best possible ending and rob the characters I came to love so much of their happiness.

Moving on from the biggest indie darlings I could think of, I'll highlight a few others I've been enjoying/am excited for:

Cuphead
Hyperlight Drifter
Freedom Planet
Owlboy
Night in the Woods
Tiny Metal

Plus Wargroove, which isn't out yet, but looks amazing.

I am the Wolf...Red
Backloggery | DeviantArt
Wolfrun

3DS Friend Code: 1418-6849-7569 | Nintendo Network ID: CanisWolfred

darkfenrir

Hmmmm. Let me list the ones that are in my favorite:

  • West of Loathing - This game is seriously a gem, both on PC and Switch alike. The looks might be stickman and black and white, but the sense of humor in the game is very, very great. I don't know how many times I end up laughing so hard because of this game.
  • Bastion / Transistor / Pyre - Literally all 3 of the works of Supergiant Games. Good to great story, awesome voice acting, the music just makes it even better... and I love the gameplay (Although Bastion is much more straight forward action game iirc, but the other 2 is quite unique).
  • OneShot - One of my personal favorite, with the main story itself tugging my heartstring and very, very Meta, and then that meta went up another notch on the Solstice update. Puzzle-Adventure game, the gameplay's not too much to talk about, but the story really works well, and it's something I don't think can work outside of games.

darkfenrir

Switch Friend Code: SW-0242-3593-1338

ReaderRagfish

For some reason, the first game that came to my mind is Spelunkey. And then I remembered that Spelunkey is a rogue like. Still one of the only indie games I've enjoyed much.

Still waiting for Atlus to make Snowboard Kids 3

Dogorilla

On the platformer front, there's Shovel Knight (of course), Splasher, Slime-san, Runbow, and many others I've heard good things about but haven't played yet, including Celeste, Hollow Knight, and Iconoclasts. If you like visual novels and point-and-click adventures I'd also recommend Subsurface Circular, and Kathy Rain (though the latter isn't on Switch).

Currently Playing: WarioWare Smooth Moves

CanisWolfred

Dogorilla wrote:

On the platformer front, there's Shovel Knight (of course), Splasher, Slime-san, Runbow, and many others I've heard good things about but haven't played yet, including Celeste, Hollow Knight, and Iconoclasts. If you like visual novels and point-and-click adventures I'd also recommend Subsurface Circular, and Kathy Rain (though the latter isn't on Switch).

I did say all platforms, FYI. And Kathy Rain I liked Kathy Rain a lot. Reminded me a lot of the Point-and-click games published by Wadjet Eye Games, which have all been top notch so far. Good sense of atmosphere and mystery.

@ReaderRagfish Spelunkey is pretty much my go-to example of why random level doesn't work. It's a challenging game, and while I had fun for a while, it very quickly started feeling utterly futile. It's difficult in ways that would probably feel more satisfying if there was a set level design, so I could learn from my mistakes. Instead, dying means losing all sense of progress - I'm sent back to the start every time, and if a level got hard, rather than take a step back and see how I could overcome it, the best solution was to kill myself and hope the next iteration was easier. Which it might be. Or it be harder. I had no control over it, and it was very clear that I wasn't going to be able to beat it, if it was ever meant to be beaten at all.

The fact that I played La Mulana not long after just made it all the more clear, since La Mulana was actually able to make that crushing difficulty fun, my making me focus on exploration, level layout, and enemy placement and weaknesses. Every death was a learning experience, and that's why random level design faulters, especially in a platformer. Why would I feel inclined to jump back in and try again, when it's not even the same level I just failed at?

I am the Wolf...Red
Backloggery | DeviantArt
Wolfrun

3DS Friend Code: 1418-6849-7569 | Nintendo Network ID: CanisWolfred

ReaderRagfish

@CanisWolfred After over 1000 Spelunkey runs and counting, I never really felt like I was at the mercy of the level generator. Your skill and knowledge is what ultimately determines how you perform, you can't take the easy way out and rely on trial and error. And you don't lose all sense of progress when you die, because your skills and knowledge improve. It reminds me of Monster Hunter in the way that your character doesn't level up; you level up.

Still waiting for Atlus to make Snowboard Kids 3

CanisWolfred

ReaderRagfish wrote:

@CanisWolfred After over 1000 Spelunkey runs and counting, I never really felt like I was at the mercy of the level generator. Your skill and knowledge is what ultimately determines how you perform, you can't take the easy way out and rely on trial and error. And you don't lose all sense of progress when you die, because your skills and knowledge improve. It reminds me of Monster Hunter in the way that your character doesn't level up; you level up.

I never felt like I had much incentive to improve, though. Maybe it's because I have enough platformers as it is, but I base progress over how close I am to the end, and that goal post never seemed to get any closer to me, not in anyway that was worth the effort demanded.

I am the Wolf...Red
Backloggery | DeviantArt
Wolfrun

3DS Friend Code: 1418-6849-7569 | Nintendo Network ID: CanisWolfred

ReaderRagfish

@CanisWolfred It's definitely time consuming to get anywhere close to the end, even though it takes less than 20 minutes to finish the whole thing if you don't die. If you can get past the jungle, you're good to go.

Still waiting for Atlus to make Snowboard Kids 3

Joeynator3000

Just Shapes and Beats needs more love, that game is freakin' fun.

Discord server: https://discord.gg/fGUnxcK
Keep the main channel PG-ish.

Cyborg: Why can't you call it a configuration disc?
Beast Boy: Why can't you call it an eyeball pizza thingy?

Heavyarms55

In case they haven't been mentioned: Stardew Valley, Night in the Woods and Iconoclasts.

Edited on by Heavyarms55

Nintendo Switch FC: 4867-2891-2493
Discord: Heavyarms55#1475
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Freelance

Aqua Kitty
Lots of digitized board games

Edited on by Freelance

Freelance

linq

Gunman Clive is a great platformer/shooter. Don't overlook it just because it's only $2. It looks fantastic in 3d on the 3ds.

linq

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