Indie Games to Check Out During the Spring Release Drought

It’s Springtime, kids, and that means a few things. Where I’m from, it points to rain, mud, cold-ass mornings, the opening of high school track (significant to me only because it was marked by many a cold-ass morning) and a protracted drought of big game releases.

But while there might seem like there’s comparatively not anything much to do now that you’ve finished Mass Effect 3 until Diablo III comes over the horizon (check out our revised 2012 calendar to see just what you can expect), there are plenty of games out there that you should be playing, but might not even know about yet. So we’ve drudged up a few quality indie offerings that are just floating around, waiting for you to devour them as your hunger for new gaming fare grows ravenous. Check them out below.

Journey

Okay, chances are good you’ve heard of this one, as it’s been the game everyone’s talking about lately that’s not called Mass Effect. That said, the reason so many people are talking about Journey means it’s certainly worth a look, especially if you go out for the whole “Are games art?” debate. Journey will make you seriously evaluate that idea.

The game, from developer thatgamecompany, is only available on Playstation 3 (a pity), and is best enjoyed online. As you venture through the game, which lasts only a couple of hours, you’ll randomly encounter other players, with whom you can’t speak but on whom you must depend in order to advance. It’s one of those surreal and potentially beautiful experiences that gets everyone talking, and since we already established that everyone is, in fact, talking about it, it’s time you check it out.

Price: $14.99
Place: Playstation Network

Stacking

Although it was released on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 some time ago, Double Fine’s inventive puzzler Stacking is a game you should definitely play, especially now that it’s available on PC. It takes place in a world populated by Russian nesting dolls, and in order to progress through its puzzles and drive on its story, you’ll need to jump into various dolls in order to use their special abilities. But the trick is, you’ll need the proper sizes of dolls in order to use each kind — so while you can take over a small doll immediately, to get a big one, you’ll need to jump inside each of the smaller sizes first.

Stacking uses an art style reminiscent of an old silent film and is packed with interesting characters to round out its lighthearted story. The puzzles are nothing to sneeze at, either, with more than 100 dolls available throughout the game; you’ll need to bring your puzzle-solving A-game to find everything Stacking has to offer.

Price: $14.99
Place: Steam

Lone Survivor

Spend just a few minutes with Lone Survivor‘s demo over at Kongregate and you’ll understand why it’s worth checking out. As the lone survivor of some kind of disease outbreak that has rendered some people monsters, you’ll have to venture out into a deserted city to find supplies and other people.

Trouble is, as you start wandering around, you’ll not only encounter monsters, you’ll also encounter a whole lot of other weirdness. Your character begins to lose his grip on reality as the game progresses, and that makes things altogether creepy. Mix in elements of the adventure genre and cover the whole thing an old-school 8-bit coat of paint. There’s already a lot of critical buzz around this one, as well.

Price: $10
Place: lonesurvivor.co.uk

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