Best Indie Games of 2011
Drawing obvious inspiration from Minecraft, Terraria takes its spiritual ancestor’s concept into a 2D realm and adds emphasis on the action-RPG elements. With dozens of different weapons and armor to either craft from rare ingredients or loot from dangerous foes and dungeons, Terraria’s addictive gameplay elements hook players into pushing for one more boss fight, one more dungeon chest, or one more upgrade before calling it a night.
Given its low price and download size, Terraria boasts an incredible amount of content that can keep players engaged for longer than many AAA titles. The game’s dynamic world is rich in diversity and rewards exploration through hidden treasures, location-tied events, and the risk-versus-reward system that spelt the doom of Tolkien’s dwarves of Moria: delve too greedily and too deep in search of better ores, and you may bite off more than you can chew — or something may bite off a piece of you.
The Cinderella story of the current gaming generation, Minecraft evolved from indie obscurity to become more than just a game — it’s a cultural phenomenon. A true sandbox experience with complete freedom of choice, Minecraft modernizes the concept that made Lego blocks a household staple. Superficially simple, the games hides layers of depth below its surface, allowing it to appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers by offering gameplay that is as complex as the player wishes it to be.
With an infinite number of worlds to explore and the freedom to build just about anything you can imagine, Minecraft blurs the line between a game and a creation kit. Add to that a multiplayer component that permits unprecedented levels of collaboration, and the architectural wonders and feats of engineering that can be created are astounding. As a lightweight Java app, Minecraft ensures it’s accessible to anyone with a computer, passing on the steep system requirements that force many PC owners to skip on AAA titles.
So, those are our picks. Now it’s time to see what the readers chose!
Readers were invited to vote in a Facebook poll for their favorites. They also had the option of adding a favorite game to the list if their choice wasn’t there. Here’s how that vote turned out:
2011 Reader’s Choice Indie Game
4 (tie). The Binding of Isaac
4 (tie). DragonNestHK
So, how would you rate the best indie games of 2011? Drop your lists in the comments below to let us know what you think!