Being stylish is more than just being good-looking, it encompasses a lot of different aspects. Graphical fidelity does come into the equation, but can sometimes take a back seat to audio presentation, themes, and dialogue. Bearing that in mind, here are five indie games we consider to be the cream of the crop where style is concerned.
Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine
In case you didn’t already know,Ryan really liked Monaco, so much so that he gave it a perfect “10”, and it isn’t hard to see why. Frantic, heart-in-mouth heist gameplay is complimented with sumptuous retro-style sprites, veiled in modern shaders, with a splash of neon rainbow for good measure. The visuals may delight, but they are a mere distraction from Austin Wintory’s masterfully suspenseful ragtime score. The package is rounded-up with a twisting and turning tale of treachery and deceit. When it comes to “AAA Indie” this is still the benchmark in our eyes.
Proteus is an intriguing title, more of an interactive toy than a game in some respects. While the experience may be shallow, it is still one of the most-stylish titles we have come across. The world of Proteus is rich, alive, and positively awash in vibrant colours. As you explore the island it comes alive with every creature you encounter having their own behaviours and unique sounds; it’s a joy to explore and discover. To fully immerse yourself, try playing with a decent pair of headphones and experience the sights and sounds of this stylish but flawed indie relax ’em up.
Unless you have been living under a rock you probably know about Hotline Miami. I won’t bore you by repeating the details,however, all the uninitiated need to know is that it is a visceral, neon-soaked headfuck. Okay so the visual presentation is mostly sub-par, with awkward looking sprite characters and somewhat repetitive level-design, but it features a world-class high-octane soundtrack from a whole host of different musicians. Lightning-fast paced violence compliments the soundtrack, and while it may be unforgiving, there is nothing more rewarding that a 12 man kill-combo. For those that are able to decipher it, the story is cleverly written and wonderfully confusing.
introversion’s Defcon is getting on in years but it is every bit as stylish now as it was back on release in 2007. Visuals are clean and uncluttered, using vector art for sprites and the game map. A dash of much-needed colour is added via alliances – helping to differentiate your friends from your enemies. A haunting score turns creepiness-factor up to 11, and you are set to backstab, and be backstabbed by some of the most ruthless RTS players in the world.
Legend of Dungeon
Legend of Dungeon only recently released on Steam but already we are in love with its style. Visually the game mixes old with new by introducing modern lighting and shading techniques to low resolution sprites – Ii has to be seen in action to truly appreciate. One of the most interesting aspects of the game is its ability to dynamically create a soundtrack on-the-fly from a catalogue of more than 200 different tracks. This approach constantly surprises and delight, with a soundtrack to suit every situation.
So, there you have it, five of CriticalIndieGamer’s most-stylish indie games. Agree? Disagree? Think we are way off the mark? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!