In my younger years I would play a vast array of games residing from differing genres with the artwork on the box as the only alluring factor. I was open to playing indie games because the media wasn’t my go-to means to justify a video game purchase and as a result I tried more games regardless of who was shouting the loudest. After buying my first Xbox 360 I instead dedicated hours to AAA titles such as Call Of Duty, FIFA, Battlefield and many more and ultimately ignored many indie game titles in preference of the games which other people were ‘telling’ me to get. This has all changed in the past few months as I have started to play and enjoy far more indie games than I have ever played in my gaming lifetime! This is not just because I have grown tired of some of the repetitive nature of some AAA titles but also because these indie games are proving to deliver a more entertaining experience on a more regular basis.
Indie Games Are Still Top Quality
For me, there was a strong belief that AAA titles equalled greater quality than most indie titles, especially since the price point was so much higher. If I shell out £40 on a game is it right to assume that this is twice as good as an indie game that costs £20? Sadly, I only realised the answer to this question very recently and in fact, the entertainment value in some indie games can greatly differ when compared to the big boys.
Take FIFA 16, for example. As a long time player of the series, I bought this game with high expectations which ultimately were never met after only 15 hours of game play maximum. When compared to a more recent indie game purchase in the form of Overcooked, I had so much fun that I completed the game within 2 days of purchase. I would describe Overcooked as incredible, addictive and incredible value for money. FIFA 16 on the other hand was slow, imbalanced and more infuriating than fun.
My experience with Overcooked encouraged me to try other indie games and my most recent purchase, Stikbold, is another story of success. Bought for £4 I have already got significant hours out of this game. Many AAA games will cost over 10 times the price of Stikbold but will they deliver the same enjoyable experience? There’s a good chance they will disappoint you in some way.
My Mind’s Telling Me No!
There is too much of a psychological factor involved when purchasing AAA titles and indie games that the lines between good and bad become blurred. Perceived quality and value are often preconceived for all games. Paying £50 for a AAA title means the player is far more judgemental of the final product that a £12 indie game, for example. It would appear that price is an indie games best friend but can also be their worst enemy. You may not be judged as harshly for a lower priced game but the problem for consoles is that the cheaper games don’t get as much of a look in than their more expensive counterparts.
Well I want that to change. Yes, there is some risk with indie games that they may not be the polished final product we all hope for. ReCore is an example of an indie game that wasn’t quite ready as many gamers were left disappointed but this response is not confined to indie games and as gamers, we should be supporting all games regardless of the marketing machine. If you need a list to start with then try Overcooked, Stikbold, We Happy Few and What the Box? I’m almost certain you will join my way of thinking after trying these games.
A Gaming Harmony
Indie games have made a resurgence in my life but this does not mean they are the only games I play these days. There will always be a place for AAA titles like Forza, GTA, Halo and many more but I strongly believe indie games should be viewed as equals. The rewarding feeling I got from breaking the routine of playing FIFA or COD everyday to play a dodgeball based game was refreshing and it is part of the reason I can enjoy playing games for long periods of time. Perhaps this is a gaming maturity that comes with time but we should be helping to make the promising titles in the indie category the next AAA titles, if only so more creativity and innovation is injected into the current AAA games that release every year. The end result of this is only good for gamers so let’s make it happen!