Rule #32 – Enjoy the Little Things: A Selection Of Smaller Titles To Consider

IndieMain

I recently picked up Forgotton Anne, a game I’d been meaning to play for a while. It was on sale on the PSN so I finally caved and bought it. What followed was a whimsical 5 or 6 hours of gameplay that I thoroughly enjoyed. Was it the best game I’ve ever played? No. Did it have something interesting to say? Yes. Was it worth checking out? Most definitely.

That got me thinking about smaller, shorter game experiences from the last few years that people might’ve missed. So here are some games I’d recommend that are not as time intensive as some of the bigger titles on the market.

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FORGOTTON ANNE

ForgottonAnne

I had to start with this one! Forgotton Anne is a puzzle/platformer in which you play as the aforementioned Anne. She is an enforcer in the game’s world, which is a place when forgotten items (odd socks, old light bulbs etc.) end up. Everyone in the city is working together to build a bridge back to the human world, until a group of rebel ‘forgotlings’ try to sabotage it. Cue lots of jumping, climbing and pulling levers. The big selling point of this game is the animation, which is glorious.

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THE SEXY BRUTALE

sexybrutale

This hidden gem was one of my favourite games of last year. You play as Lafcadio Boone, who awakes during a friend’s annual party to find himself stuck in a time loop. The aim of the game is to save all the other party guests, who meet grizzly fates otherwise. You play through the day and then the clock resets, letting you explore further or use the knowledge you now have to influence events. It’s a game with a fantastic sense of style and is great fun. I was pretty sad when I finished this but it was a game I’d recommend to anyone.

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PYRE

Pyre

I wasn’t sure about Pyre when I first heard about it. A game that had created it’s own fictional sport? Sounded like more hassle than it was worth. However, once I started it up I got sucked into the world and its wonderful cast of characters. You play as The Reader, a type of coach if you will. Your team, The Nightwings, need to win matches to earn their freedom from the land they dwell in, a kind of purgatory. The sport itself, while fun and well designed, plays second fiddle to the character development and story here. I haven’t quite finished the game yet but I am thoroughly enjoying my time with it.

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THIS WAR OF MINE

ThisWarOfMine

This War Of Mine is a really bleak game. You take control of several characters that share a house in a war torn area. You have to defend your house from looters, while also going out and scavenging yourself. Everyone’s game will be different, with various characters and events, on each playthrough. This is a very serious title that treats issues like violence and desperation with the respect they deserve. At one point a character had to kill someone while scavenging, it was him or them and so I had him kill the other guy. My character then went home and basically sat on the floor, crying and wouldn’t move. He was broken by that experience, nothing I could ‘press’ or do would get him out of it. Shortly afterwards it was ‘game over’, when another gang broke in and killed everyone in my house. A brutal but essential game.

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ICONOCLASTS

Iconoclasts

When I think of the title screen and music for Iconoclasts a big smile spreads across my face. A 2D title in the same vein as Sonic or Castlevania, Iconoclasts see you play a mechanic called Robin in a world in which access to machinery is strictly limited by the government. This is a platformer very much inspired by older games. You will be backtracking a lot, finding keys and unlocking new routes to different areas. All in glorious, bright colours accompanied by some excellent music. The writing is pretty good too and does a nice job of bringing the characters to life.

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FIREWATCH

Firewatch

Speaking of characters, a game in which the majority takes place with only two people talking doesn’t necessarily sound like it would be a gripping title but Firewatch manages to keep things interesting until the very end. You play as a man called Henry, who has taken a job as a fire lookout at a national park in the US. I don’t want to spoil anything but what unravels from there is a tense and, at times, sinister story which focuses on grief, isolation and paranoia. It’s also lovely to look at, with a very nice art style.

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So there you have it, a few titles you might not have heard of to check out. Hopefully if you give any of these a try you won’t be disappointed!

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