It takes a lot for an indie game to stand out from the crowd so here are 6 recent titles that are definitely worth playing.
War Tech Fighters Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆
Space combat games aren't as popular as they once were yet War Tech Fighters may be cool enough on its own to revive the genre.
War Tech Fighters has you control a custom mech as you tackle intricate missions and the core gameplay involves both long range and close quarters combat. The former is accomplished through various weapons such as guns and homing missiles while the latter has you engage in sword fights which involves timing blows and shield raises in order to eventually defeat your foe. Not only are the controls super-tight, War Tech Fighters goes above and beyond when it comes to presentation as well. Listening to your operator interact with you as you partake in large-scale battles only to unleash finishing blows on your adversaries that result in impressive death scenes will make your jaw drop. Oh, and the amount of customization and growth options is supremely satisfying. My only complaint is that I wish there was some sort of local or online multiplayer component because that would have elevated the fun to a whole new level.
Space combat games don't get much better than War Tech Fighters so if you're a genre fan then you need this in your collection.War Tech Fighters gameplay video →
My Friend Pedro Review Switch ★★★★☆
Don't let the cute talking banana fool you; My Friend Pedro is a very violent indie game but it's also extremely enjoyable.
In My Friend Pedro, you play as a killer who's brainwashed by a talking banana to murder everyone in his path. If you can get over this psychotic and downright goofy premise then you'll be in for one heck of a time. The gameplay involves shooting at hordes of enemies as you traverse intricately designed stages. What makes it stand out is the fact that you can perform flips, wall jumps, and many other acrobatic moves as you shoot and avoid bullets. Plus, you can aim at 2 foes at once, ricochet your bullets off certain objects, spin to dodge incoming projectiles, and utilize a variety of firearms. Although merely working through the campaign is great fun on its own, you can also try and aim for high scores which is rewarding in its own right. Overall, it's a stylish and slow-paced shooter that's very fun.
My Friend Pedro may not be the most unique indie game ever but its stylish gun combat will certainly make you feel like a badass.My Friend Pedro gameplay video →
Supermarket Shriek Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
If you find the idea of screaming in a shopping cart with a goat by your side appealing then here's a game for you.
When I first started playing Supermarket Shriek, I figured it was merely one of those quirky indie games made just to have a laugh but as I progressed, I realised how there's much more to it than that. You play as both a man and a goat in a shopping cart and each shoulder trigger makes one of them scream which propels and steers the cart. It's your goal to navigate through each stage within the given criteria in order to master it and these stages are impressively imaginative and challenging. One bonus stage that I encountered was basically a Superhot spoof where the stage hazards only move when you scream. How cool is that? Anyway, you can play either solo or cooperatively with a friend and this is a rare game where playing co-op actually makes it a lot more challenging.
Although it features simple gameplay at its core, Supermarket Shriek offers tons of rewarding challenges that are great fun to master.Supermarket Shriek gameplay video →
Super Tennis Blast Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆
Unfinished Pixel, the makers of last year's fantastic Super Volley Blast, try their hand at another net sport but is it as fun?
Last year, I played and reviewed the super-fun Super Volley Blast which impressed me with its tight and enjoyable gameplay. With Super Tennis Blast, I'm a little less impressed because it simply doesn't feel as unique. More specifically, it plays a lot like a simplified Mario Tennis without any fun power-ups. That's not to say that it isn't a worthwhile game. In fact, it's still a solid tennis game that can be played with up to 4 players and there's a wide variety of extra modes as well. Namely, you can challenge a handful of mini-games and there are Super Blast rules which add crazy elements to regular matches. These additions definitely make the gameplay more varied and enjoyable but the simplistic core tennis matches remain mostly uninspired. As a result, you'll likely play it in short bursts instead of lengthy sessions.
If you don't own a Nintendo console to enjoy Mario Tennis on then Super Tennis Blast makes for a fun take on the classic sport.Super Tennis Blast gameplay video → Super Volley Blast Review
Hero Express Review Switch ★★★☆☆
Heroes have to make it to their adversaries so get ready to drive a hero to his epic showdowns within a crazy new 2D indie game.
Hero Express simply has you control a variety of vehicles within distinct stages in the hopes of making it to the goal. However, it's a lot trickier than it sounds as these stages are designed to trip you up and considering your fuel can run out, you're left with one challenging physics-based driving game. After each attempt whether it's successful or not, you spend earned cash on upgrading your vehicle which can drastically improve its base stats. However, no matter how much you upgrade, the stages will still be incredibly tough to master. Maintaining your momentum as you drive up steep hills and jump long distances is tricky stuff indeed. As a result, you need to have a ton of patience because Hero Express requires a lot of trial and error to master its stages. Finally, one aspect that I found weird is how the fuel runs out with time instead of whenever you accelerate. The other way would have added a fun layer of strategy.
Although it can be frustrating and its fuel system isn't as strategic as it could have been, Hero Express is a unique and worthwhile indie.Hero Express gameplay video →
Doughlings: Invasion Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆
Hero Concept's silly Doughlings: Arcade finally has a sequel and this time, it's a cool spin on Taito's classic arcade game Space Invaders.
That's right; Doughlings: Invasion plays a lot like Space Invaders. What sets it apart is the fact that you have a unique power-up depending on which stage you're on that you can upgrade after each wave. To activate this power-up, you have to collect likes which resemble thumbs-up icons that fall from enemies. The power-ups themselves add a puzzle element to the otherwise stereotypical gameplay such as by harming all adjacent similarly coloured enemies which could potentially result in a dozen or more foes biting the dust. Starting from the beginning of the campaign and seeing how far you can make it and how high of a score you can get is enjoyable if you enjoy arcade games but aside from that, there isn't really much to do in this clever take on the iconic arcade shooter.
Update: after writing this review, a patch released and now, enemy aliens retaliate less and there's an ability to continue before boss fights. Both of these upgrades make Doughlings: Invasion a much easier game than it was before.
If you like the idea of an indie version of Space Invaders with nifty power-ups then you're sure to have fun with Doughlings: Invasion.Doughlings: Invasion gameplay video → Doughlings: Arcade Review