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The 2013 "indie" videogame revolution | reviews, news & interviews

The 2013 "indie" videogame revolution

The 2013 "indie" videogame revolution

If you play only one game this year, make it one from this list...

'Antichamber': a mind-mangling non-Euclidean geometry puzzler

Art? Emotion? Intelligence? If you want proof that videogames can provide all three and far more, the burgeoning "indie" scene provided plenty of evidence this year. While mainstream games-makers continue to choose to drive towards photorealistic graphics at the expense of all other elements, independent games makers built on the success and critical acclaim of titles in the last few years, such as Minecraft, Fez and Braid, to innovate in narrative form, emotional response and interactive play.

If you want to experience gaming as an artform, if you want to interact in new ways with media, these are 2013's finest...

Kentucky Route Zero - indie game storytellingKentucky Route Zero Act II – Carboard Computer continued to blur the line between games and art with the second part of their magical realist road trip. Stuart Houghton

Device 6/Year Walk Simogo have created two utterly bewitching iPad/iPhone interactive puzzles that effortlessly outclassed anything else this year. Simon Munk

Blackbar – The first epistolary game? A contender, surely. Blackbar told an intriuing and affecting story in a way that perfectly suited the mobile platform. Stuart Houghton

Gunpoint

Gunpoint – A deceptively clever action puzzler that is a strong argument for a gaming auteur theory. Stuart Houghton & Simon Munk

Gone Home – The video game as short story and a pixel-perfect conjuring of the 1990s. Gone Home isn't for everyone, but it will stay with you if you give it a chance. Stuart Houghton

Papers, Please – The Arts Desk shamefully missed this uncomfortable simulation of being a border guard in a dodgy regime. Simon Munk

Rymdkapsel – An exercise in minimalism that pares the "realtime strategy" to its base notes to briliant effect. Stuart Houghton

Antichamber – mind-mangling non-Euclidean geometry puzzler that took one man years to build. Simon Munk

If you want to experience gaming as an artform, if you want to interact in new ways with media, these are 2013's finest...

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