This week, I wanted to feature a couple of games that actually introduced me to the indie gaming community in the first place. One of them came from a bizarre set of TVTropes searches, and the other came from... actually, I don't remember where I found it. Rebuild introduced me to Kongregate and got me signed up for it in the first place, and Knytt showed me just how beautiful gaming simplicity can be.
If you've read my blog before, you'll know that Journey was the game that really pushed me into the indie game circle, but these two both paved the way. Before these games, I didn't really understand what browser-based games, or games created by small studios, were capable of producing.
Rebuild I got very into. I actually played it through, straight from start until finish without moving from my seat. This took about four hours, but I didn't really care. The game is a turn-based strategy that follows an "after the end" premise; the world has been overrun by zombies, and you are among the last survivors. Your goal is to dig your heels in and rebuild what's left of your city.
I'm a big fan of zombie culture, from video games to books (I've even written one myself, but that's a story for another blog). Being a fan, I know that a lot of works in the genre can blend into obscurity, since there's so much content, and some times works can rely too much on the zombie content to be really very good. Rebuild doesn't suffer from this. It's a solid strategy game, and it's very addicting.
Knytt is a beautiful little nonviolent platformer. It may have minimalist graphics and gameplay, but it's very atmospheric, relaxing and all-around lovely. Apparently Nifflas, the game's creator, has cited Fumito Ueda, the creator of ICO, as an inspiration. Because all you can do in the game is navigate the beautiful landscapes, climb, jump and locate missing UFO parts, it's easy to see why. The music is also simple and mostly atmospheric.
As this isn't the same as my typical reviews, I want to give you the opportunity to play these games for yourself without any sort of bias on my part. You'll see, I'm sure, why I love them so much.
I do have another couple of reviews lined up for this week, hopefully. I played some really neat ones over the weekend.