September 2nd, 2012 | By Charles Ferrendelli
The staff here at The Indie Game Magazine have been looking forward to Steam’s Greenlight project for quite awhile. The most exciting part for us is that it will bring many independent games to light. As a pure independent videogame-focused blog and magazine, we’ve had the opportunity to discover and interact with many amazing game designers that haven’t had a chance to be on such a high-profile service. In celebration of the launch of Greenlight, some of the writers here at The Indie Game Magazine have gotten together and picked out our favorite games that have landed on the voting service. We wish we could add more, but with 618 entries (and counting!) we would never get any other work done! So sit back, enjoy our personal picks, and tell us in the comments some of your favorite games that have landed on Greenlight!
99 Levels of Hell
The minute I saw 99 Levels of Hell I knew I had to have it, the stylization looks great with a dark sinister feel drawn in a distinctly cartoony manner. This ultra-violent 2D dungeon crawler reminds me a great deal of what spelunky would be like if he decided to drop the pretentiousness of family entertainment, man up, and followed Dante into his descent to hell.
99 Levels Of Hell seems to tick all the boxes from what you could ever want in a game by offering randomly created levels to keep your runs equally as unpredictable and interesting as the first time you died trying. Even though this game is only in its early Alpha stage, it looks very promising. With a little more development this game will indeed become something great!
I’m a sucker for MMOs. If an MMO is released, I will almost always buy it. There’s just something about being in a huge digital world with other players that no other genre offers for me. What else am I a sucker for? Making things. After all, I can’t make a fortress in real life. What really seals the deal though? Being free-to-play. 8BitMMO has everything that I’ve ever wanted in a wome–err–game.
That’s right, on top of being a free-to-play MMO in a giant sandbox world, 8BitMMO also has a 2D retro-style. The game allows you to customize your character, fight nefarious enemies, become a mayor of a town, and even turn into a zombie! PvP is also in the works! Vote or ruin a child’s dreams!
If you have not heard of Sergey Mohov’s maze-puzzle masterpiece Dédale, then you must have been trying to avoid it. Sergey has gone to inhuman lengths to make the game available through just about every digital distribution channel before taking it to Greenlight in just the last few weeks. The game brought colour and character to what may have otherwise been a fairly boring concept. While the colourful backgrounds and artsy highlights enchant the senses, the main attraction of Dédale, the puzzles, will wreak endless frustration on the mind as you try and fail time and time again to overcome the puzzles the game sets forth, especially later in the experience. You can pour endless hours into this game and its slew of challenging mazes, evident of the intense amount of game the developer has put behind it. For those who measure a game’s worth by the amount of entertainment and challenge it provides for its price — which should be everyone — it is a must-have on PC and iOS.
I’m a sucker for a good platform game, so Project Giana was an obvious choice for me. The title itself looks extremely polished visually with a neat retro/heavy metal soundtrack, but it’s PG’s premise that holds the most interest.
Giana can glide and spin her way across the rather dangerous looking world in order to collect the many gems that lay around various corners of each level. But at a flick of the button, you can switch her to her punk evil twin side, allowing for a more raw style of gameplay with the ability to crash through obstacles and dash faster across the ground, with the world changing around you almost instantly.
It’s a neat trick, one that makes you think about timing the change instead of just ploughing through. In a genre that has been slowly regaining some prominence thanks to the enthusiasm of the indie scene, let’s hope Project Giana gets the attention it certainly deserves.
Project Zomboid from The Indie Stone is what I’m most excited to see on Greenlight. Zomboid is an interesting combination of isometric roleplaying games and The Sims, with a bit of rogue-likes mixed in. You play as a survivor of the zombie apocalypse trying to stay alive for as long as possible. With a full item crafting system, and a range of “need” simulations, such as hunger, thirst, or even boredom, things stay interesting.
Like any developer, The Indie Stone has dealt with their fair share of challenges since starting on the project. Most notable was the fiasco caused by a break-in at their offices in which computers containing the source code for Project Zomboid were stolen.
Zomboid is currently in alpha release, and has changed massively over the past few months. The Indie Stone plans on adding more NPCs and a story to the sandbox apocalypse survival game.
Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves
Best described as a 19th century, open world, story based, Orcs Must Die styled tower defense game with werewolves, Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves by Artifice Studios is without a doubt my top pick on Steam greenlight at the moment. Taking a genre I love and expanding on it with an interesting mythos and style that hasn’t been done before is what sets this game apart from the rest for me. The way Sang-Froid both incorporates and expands on the standards of the genre for planning your traps and putting the player into the action is something I want to see more of. That and it’s set in Canada, how much cooler can you get than having Canada as your battleground against demons, werewolves, spirits and more, armed only with a pair of lumberjacks? The answer; not much.