With the Holidays fast approaching and the season of giving knocking at our door, maybe you haven't finished your shopping for your friends or family. Everyone loves a good game, and they don't get much better (or cheaper) than the unique variety and style you get in video games. I'm going to share my top 10 Indie games from my collection on Steam, Valve's game distribution system. (Many of these games are also available from other places, but I like to use Steam.) It's even likely that most of these games will be on sale closer to the holiday season; a true bargain for your buck!10. Inside a Star-Filled Sky - This little game is simultaneously one of my favorite and least-favorite games; it is so rare in games now-a-days where you can literally get lost in the game, having no idea where you are, or how you actually got there and have it still be fun. The game works on a simple and tried-and-true premise: a side-scrolling, abstract, twin-stick shooter. The game adds a great deal of innovation it it's unique power-up system; every characteristic of a thing is changeable. You can go inside power-ups, enemies, and even yourself to increase or decrease potency, or even change attributes all together. Eventually you will get lost as you travel in and out of enemies, power-ups, and yourself, but you'll have fun doing it.9. Vessel - One part liquid physics engine, one part puzzle game, Vessel is thoroughly interesting and challenging all through. Set in a steam-punk world, you use a multitude of various liquids, each with various properties, to solve puzzles and progress through level after level. Each level features a variety of levels which progressively ramp up in complexity, eventually teaching you the core mechanics of the games and expanding upon them brilliantly. Set pieces and puzzles fit the setting perfectly as you make your way through industrial factories, automated orchards, and other settings, blending scenery and puzzles masterfully. Vessel is unlike anything I've ever played before, and easily one of my favorite games.8. Home - A short and narrative driven horror/adventure game. As the main character of Home, you wake up in an odd, abandoned house and must retrace your steps home. Everything you do (and don't do) changes how the story is told and gives you bits of information to piece it together yourself. The atmosphere if amazing, one of the best of any horror game, and I began to start fearing for my character's digital life as the game began to progress. Since my play through, the developers have even gone back and tweaked some things, promising their changes would add more variation to the game with each play-through. Home is definitely a game that plays on one's fears.7. AaAaAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Gravity - I bet you've never played a base-jumping game before (unless you've played this.) As odd as it sounds, AaAaAA!!! is a unique game where the object is to fall as fast and as far as possible without shattering every bone in your entire body. It sounds simple enough, and at the very beginning it is. Simple routes, easy walls to sail past, and easy to land targets. But as the game progresses, it becomes nearly sadistic as, if you want to get 5 stars on a level, you have scream through a gap no larger than a set of double-doors while avoid grinding your face into any of the four walls surrounding you. If you have a friend looking for a unique challenge, this is definitely something they could be interested in.6. World of Goo - World of Goo was one of the first Indie games I ever played, and it still hold so much charm, I can hardly believe it. The game revolves around getting little living goo balls to the end of a level and helping them escape through a pipe. This sounds simple until you realize they will only travel on structures made out of those Goo balls. The game becomes almost a race as you try to stretch your resources to get as many of the little guys free as possible. Once you acquire the skills to breeze through to story, there's also the option to go back and ace each level by completing it in so many moves, in so little time, or by placing only so many goo balls. A great game that'll make you think, World of Goo is a steal if you can pick it up during the inevitable Holiday Sale.5. Cogs - Cogs is what would happen if you took spare clockwork parts from an old clock factory and glued them onto a Rubix cube. It sounds odd at first, and at second glance, it's just as odd. Cogs is a "simple" puzzle game in which you must find the right combination to get all the gears to turn all the right way, get the proper timing, and get all the steam-filled pipes to line up. In 3D space. The game starts out well enough, starting you with baby steps as you learn what needs to be done and how to do it. The hair-pulling starts when the pieces you move about have other pieces connected to the back, and planning ahead becomes a must; there's nothing like solving the front of the puzzle to turn it around and realize you made the back unsolvable. Simple but deep, Cogs is a great game that forces you to think in a way that most puzzle games don't.4. Don't Starve - Don't Starve is a game currently in the works in which you fight for survival in a wilderness world filled to the brim with things that want to eat, smack, crush, or generally harm you. The game is dark and gritty in a Brothers Grimm sort of fashion. The art style seems to fit in with the kind of art you might find in old fairy tale books, and the land you explore does just the same. Avoiding starvation and being mauled to death in the pitch-black nights are just the two most prevalent problems you'll face, and the game doesn't teach you anything to boot. Part of the game's charm is the complete lack of a tutorial and figuring out the "rules" of the fantasy world as you try to survive. Though still in development, I would highly recommend this game to nearly everyone who has the patience to learn a game by playing it.3. They Bleed Pixels - Think of the hardest game you've played. Now make it harder. Harder still and make it a platformer (if it already wasn't). Now, add beat-em-up fighting elements to it and add a heaping amount of Lovecraft-ian inspired mythos. This is They Bleed Pixels; a game so difficult at times, I would quit the game five minutes after launching it. And yet, I keep going back. Something about the difficulty of it enamors me. Sure the HOURS you can spend trying to get over the hilariously precise jumps and brutal enemy placement may infuriate you, but when you finally get it right... And if the game isn't hard enough for you yet, there's leader boards and collectibles for every level. Infuriating, but I can't help but love this game.2. Space Chem - Space Chem brings together puzzles, chemistry, and clock-work together in one insanely brilliant game. The game revolves around creating machines which use chemical reactions take input chemicals to build and tear apart different molecules and out-put them. Take two Oxygen atoms and combine them into a single molecule and finally put it in the right spot? Easy. Make a system using limited parts that is infinitely repeatable? Harder. Do this with two highly different and complex molecules and recombine the atoms into different formations? Prepare to think! Space Chem stretches one's ability to think about a system and can actually teach you quite a great deal about modular programming, chemicals, and just general science-y stuff. And all from a game that I would argue is the most fun I've had in ages! (But I like to think, hard!)1. Dungeons of Dreadmor - Dreadmor is an olden styled Roleplaying game and dungeon crawler. The game is simple in concept, being nearly identical in formula to any other dungeon crawler: find a monster weaker than you, beat it up, loot it, level up, grow stronger, wash-rinse-repeat. While it may not sound like fun, there's something glorious about beating up that large fantasy-mole so I can steal it's egg, and make an omelet so I can get looking for more loot. The game has a huge amount of customization to appeal to nearly any RPG play-style. This combined with randomly generated levels, loot, monsters, and events makes the game fun. Stack on top of this numerous in-jokes, pop-culture references, and just plain zaniness, and you get a game that's easy to lose a whole day into. With the fairly addition of Steam Workshop support, Dungeons of Dreadmor is a great gift for any RPG nut, and easily one of my favorite indie games.
It is with great pleasure that Vanguard announce that Mech Warrior Online and Smite are the latest teams to join the Vanguard ranks under our newly formed Horizon division.
Fides has agreed to step up and lead the MWO team while TheFett has agreed to lead the Smite team. As both teams have not yet been released and are within the horizon division they will initially only open for external recruiting although a few members will be brought in to help as DIs.
For those interested spin up meeting times are below:-
MWO Saturday 08th at 20:30 GMT / 15:30 CST
Smite Saturday 08th at 21:00 GMT / 15:30 CST
Any questions or queries please contact the relevant SUL or the VG staff.