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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 55: Great Indie Games, E3 2011 Predictions

Tim Spaeth's picture

This week, we honor the little guy. (Not Herve Villechaize; for that, check out my Fantasy Island podcast.) No, it's all about great Indie Games we think you should play. Plus: Highly improbable E3 predictions which, knowing us, will probably wind up coming true. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad "The Diamond" Gallaway, Richard Naik, and Tim Spaeth. Happy birthday Ryan!

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hardware warz

SO agree with Brad about the business of overdeveloping hardware as a gimmick to seemingly avoid releasing anything other than first gen games. First gen games forever. Wheee.

Looks like Chi may be

Looks like Chi may be dangerously close to getting his prediction right with regard to Project Cafe. I recently read that the controllers are in fact touch-screen devices that can be used separately to the console itself. I tried to find the link but couldn't remember it (was maybe some crap like CVG) but it's looking like a good bet at this stage.

As for small indie games, I'm not really into them personally, and prefer more traditional games so unfortunately I'm unlikely to try any of the games recommended. Obviously I support the developers of these games and appreciate that they keep gaming from going stale.

That said, and to echo some of my thoughts on the last podcast, you guys didn't really highlight any picks for PSN or, and perhaps more understandably, WiiWare. To have picks for a handheld -- essentially a smart-phone -- device, and not for actual gaming consoles, is a bit disappointing, since I'd like to see what's recommended on all systems from a multi-format site.

Of course, you do have limited time and not all of you play every console so I can understand it, but it does tie in with the vibe that thoughts and opinions offered in the podcast are almost exclusively of the 360, PC and -- now -- smartphone variation. I find it hard to believe the PS3 and Wii lack any sort of stand-out indie games, so maybe its worth looking into should you guys visit this topic again.

Regardless of that, it was another sweet podcast.

Hey Crofto, Thanks for the

Hey Crofto,

Thanks for the comments.

I don't want to speak for the other guys, but part of the issue was that PSN was down for so long. I had intended to go back and check out a few games, but that possibility just wasn't there until recently.

In terms of WiiWare, to be perfectly honest I don't turn my Wii on very often and I don't hear much chatter about anything happening there. I used to regularly check all three services (PSN/XBLA&I/WiiWare) but my time is so limited that I just don't have the capacity to keep up with as much as I used to. If I don't hear about anything exciting, the odds are that the Wii will remain powered down.

Long story short, I think we all just dipped into whatever was the most accessible and easiest for us.

For me, that was XBLA/I, for Chi and Tim that was mobile, and for Richard, that was PC. If we were going to do greater coverage of Indies on a more regular basis, I would certainly insist on the team checking out other options, but this was sort of a one-off experiment.

If we do Indies again, we'll be sure to broaden the search.

Enjoyable Podcast

Excellent podcast once again, and the focus on indie games is much appreciated! I'd like to hear more of the same, but I wonder whether when a podcast (or an article) is flagged as having an Indie focus, fewer listeners tune in?

I'd even like to see the idea extended slightly to have a look at some of the free flash games that are available on Newgrounds and on indie developer websites - for example

http://www.onemorelevel.com/game/there_is_only_one_level

http://cardboardcomputer.com/games/balloon-diaspora/

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/539211

http://www.agdinteractive.com/games/kq3/

- you could list them in the shownotes and people could play along. But I guess it's probably a bridge too far!

What are the feelings of the readers of this site - do you play indie games or not?

Crofto wrote: Of course,

Crofto wrote:

Of course, you do have limited time and not all of you play every console so I can understand it, but it does tie in with the vibe that thoughts and opinions offered in the podcast are almost exclusively of the 360, PC and -- now -- smartphone variation. I find it hard to believe the PS3 and Wii lack any sort of stand-out indie games, so maybe its worth looking into should you guys visit this topic again.

the 3DS eShop just launched so that should help with expanding coverage.

wiiware's not dead

a wiiware recommendation!
Hydroventure/Fluidity
You are playing water and no powerful PhysX HW necessary for that. Physics usually is just a gimmick in games, i'd even say it was in Half Life 2, and here it's really alongside the puzzle gameplay all the time.
It has a Metroid vibe by exploring the world and upgrading/transforming the powers of your H2O existence.
Gameplay is fun and it's also a really long game with a lot's of clever puzzles.
Almost every wiiware game is overpriced, my brother buys quite a lot of them nevertheless, but here i'd state it's worth its price.
It might be even better on a handheld though.

Recommending those Steam indies:
Everyday Genius: Squarelogic
for the sudoku lovers
PB Winterbottom
for the black and white style, puzzle jump and run lovers
Beat Hazard
for the frantic style & dual stick shooter lovers
Puzzle Dimension
for the ilomilo lovers which don't need their game to be cute and rather get some really challenging puzzles

Infra Man

Brad, here's the requested wikipedia link to Infra Man. Turns out it was a tokusatsu/sentai inspired HK movie starring a young Danny Lee (from John Woo's Killer). Something I just learned also is that Roger Ebert says that rarely a month goes by where he doesn't think about the movie and actually upgraded his rating to 3 stars in 1999.

Crofto wrote: Looks like

Crofto wrote:

Looks like Chi may be dangerously close to getting his prediction right with regard to Project Cafe. I recently read that the controllers are in fact touch-screen devices that can be used separately to the console itself. I tried to find the link but couldn't remember it (was maybe some crap like CVG) but it's looking like a good bet at this stage.

Considering that they announced it now and said that it is not possible to play with the controller alone as a handheld (because of the streaming-technology that has to come from the main console) makes me think that Chi thought this through much better than Nintendo did... ;)

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