Indie Games: 2D Platformers

It’s a very broad topic this time around. 2D platforming video games, independently made. That’s all I have to go off of from my friend, so i’ll start with a general overview of “Indie Games” as they’re known to some people.

“Indie Games” are games made by non-publisher supported video game development teams. That means a team sponsored by EA or Activision, no matter how small, would not be considered an Indie Games developer. It is not a matter of size. Developing Indie Games means developing games usually without very much money backing you, but what truly makes the definition is the lack of a publisher. Lack of a publisher means, usually, the development team doesn’t have many funds, so it is often associated with that.

2D platformers are a genre of video games. 2D is much easier to program than 3D, and so the first video games were 2D games. Probably the first 2D platformer to become very popular was Mario, which to this day still stands for video games everywhere in various different ways. Platforming means jumping or movement is a key feature of the game. This is usually coupled in modern games with some type of very cool mechanic or gimmick to complement the jumping or the game’s puzzles. These types of games remain some of the easiest to code, and so even with games getting much more lifelike and complicated, it is not uncommon to find a few notable 2D platformers releasing every year.

That in mind I am going to grab a few notable 2D platformers out on the market right now. Two I’ve played, one I haven’t, but all I am fairly confident in recommending as some of the better 2D platformers on the market right now.

The first one is Braid. Braid is a time puzzle 2D platforming game with a very intriguing narrative throughout the experience. Time is worked very cleverly into the puzzles, and it does a very good job of making you utilize the various time mechanics to the fullest when working your way through the game. Braid has been made available to all major consoles, Linux, Mac, etc. Looking up gameplay on YouTube to get an idea of what the gameplay is like would probably be a good idea. The art is also gorgeous.

My second pick is the delightfully infuriating Super Meat Boy. This game is insane. This game will take your patience, drive you into the wall, and then when your character is dragged through metal spikes the pain will get across to you through the sheer frustration built up from the sheer amount of fruitless attempts to get to that point. You play as this little red creature that can bounce around off walls and do cool parkour stuff. The goal is to save your girlfriend who has been whisked away by this evil dude. To get to her every level requires increasingly ridiculous and absurd levels of parkour acumen, then you do it all over again. Could not recommend this game more for fans of platformers if you have a PC or an Xbox.

Final pick is a game called Spelunky that I have not had the pleasure of playing. (Due to it only being available on Vita, PS3, and Xbox Live) My friends and critics both think the game is pretty damn fun. Spelunky gives you randomely generated underground levels to explore as you play. The goals are clearly laid out each time, and the combat is pulpy and fun. It seems to cast a nice charm to the idea of underground exploration. Read reviews for this and watch some gameplay to develop an opinion for yourself, but I think it looks quite fun.

Hope you guys enjoyed this quick rundown of 2D platformers. Let me know what you think!

Thanks to Alex Smith!

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About Dominic Ricci

Dominic has worked in the industry as both a producer and designer, absorbing many skill sets and branching out as much as he can with his experience to be as competitive as possible. He feels video games are the premier medium for thoughts and expressions in the world, and he wants to help make those experiences as successful as possible. Outside of work, health and fitness are also passions that Dominic holds, and nothing is more fun than going to the gym and then crashing at home to play a game with some friends.
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