Beautiful. Original. Breathtaking
With undersea indie title Abzu currently making a splash, that game’s lush deep sea visuals and distinctive feel have got us thinking about other indie titles with unique visuals and tone.
Here are some of the most strikingly unique indie games you can play right now.
With a poignant saga which may take some detective work to completely grasp, Braid offers gamers a refreshing take on the traditional head-jumping platformer.
Through its employment of time-travel, suddenly you have to be more calculated in the way you tackle obstacles and enemies; each puzzle requiring prudent consideration. With its unmistakable hand drawn appearance, this vibrant time-travelling adventure managed to capture the attention of gamers worldwide on release.
At the time, Braid was a pioneer in solidifying indie games as a major force, and prompting many to ask the question: ‘Are video games art?’.
Available on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3
Hyper Light Drifter
Adapting the style of classic 8-bit and 16-bit titles, pixels really do pop in the fast-paced action of this RPG.
Players are greeted with shades of purple, pink and splashes of red, complementing each beautiful hand-crafted environment in this dark fantasy world.
Set in a peculiar land where the juxtaposition between technology and ancient ruins will compel you to explore each rich environment, Hyper Light Drifter’s neon colour palate radiates as you navigate decrepit ruins in search of forgotten technology, and seek to uncover the mysteries defining this vibrant world.
Available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Gazing into the horizon, you’re greeted with mountainous sand dunes that stretch off as far as the eye can see. Guided simply by a distant light, Journey is able to convey an objective, and information, to players without a single word being uttered.
Indeed, it’s able to express ideas and complex emotion to players with little more than intelligent camera design and wordless communication.
The dazzling world of Journey is filled with hues of orange and blue, allowing players to almost feel the scorching sun as each twinkle of light glistens off the sand dunes, or shudder with each burst of penetrating peak winds. As you traverse your wordless protagonist ever onward, attempting to reach your distant destination, Journey’s impact renders you speechless.
Available on PS3 and PS4
When PlayDead created evocative puzzle game Limbo back in 2010, it was met with widespread critical acclaim.
An area of particular praise was its artistic direction; saturating the game with grey, muted tones and a sombre atmosphere that oozes with dread. As players take eerie steps towards uncertainty, Limbo employs a minimalistic, yet distinct, approach to design – presenting players with an utterly haunting experience.
As you traverse the treacherous environment, carefully avoiding each fatal pitfall, Limbo leaves an impression you will not soon forget. PlayDead’s recent follow-up, Inside, proves this was no mere fluke.
Available on PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, PS Vita, iOs, Android and Wii U
In Bastion, players are treated an array of vibrant levels, each contorting together in a perfect patchwork of chromatic variety.
This seamlessly-woven visual tapestry of Bastion bursts at the seams with colour, featuring detailed levels of artistry. And then, as you navigate across the floating fantasy platforms, a narrator’s disembodied voice punctuates the action, painting an evocative, entertaining picture of the vibrant world you now traverse.
From auditory to visual stimulation, Bastion manages to create distinct experience which will easily draw you in to its stylishly fortified world.
Available on PC, Mac, Xbox 360, iOs, PS4 and PS Vita
The Unfinished Swan
You’ll channel your inner Van Gogh in this indie title, as you splash paint against the blank canvas of The Unfinished Swan.
Each meticulous hurl of paint against the white environment gradually reveals hidden objects. As you navigate the experience, you’ll get through buckets of ink as this abstract world begins to take form.
It leaves you reflecting on your latest masterpiece, each brush stroke a distinct mark on the environment, and your impact on the world stands out as a unique reminder of the path you’ve traversed.
Available on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita
As the light of the setting sun glints through the pine tree branches, the vast forest is plunged into deep amber; shrouding Firewatch in mystery and adventure.
Players are treated to a narrative treasure here, set in a striking wilderness environment which drips with colour. As you begin to explore your surroundings, the artistic vision of Firewatch is immediately recognisable.
There’s also compelling, believable dialogue and characterisation, propeling a story about loneliness and yearning, shaped by your input. This combination of ingredients certainly gives Firewatch a distinct feel, and one which will have you on an emotive adventure of exploration.
Available on PC, Mac and PS4