Each week our resident Indie Gamer Nicholas takes a look at a different Indie Game that you may or may not have heard about. Join him on his adventures as he sifts through the rubbish to find The Indie Game of the Week.
Today, I'd like to bring your attention to another indie game that's been around for a while - one which might well be one of the most beautiful metroidvania-style games I've ever played. It's called Aquaria, and it puts you in the shoes of a young mermaid-like creature by the name of Naija. Naija is the last of her kind, adrift in a vast underwater world filled with the ruins of long-forgotten civilizations. For much of her life, she's wandered the depths completely ignorant of what she is, completely unaware of her intellect.
Then, one day...her life changes. She ends up encountering a strange, cloaked figure which opens up her mind to the world. From there, she sets out on a grand journey to explore the ruins of ages long past in hopes of eventually finding out who - or what - she is, and perhaps discovering what happened to her people to destroy them. The waters aren't necessarily safe, however: she'll encounter a vast array of frightening, dangerous, and downright horrific creatures drifting through the deeps. In order to protect herself against these creatures, Naija is equipped with a very powerful weapon: her voice.
Naija's power is in the songs she sings - using either the mouse or the keyboard, the player can bring up a whole array of musical 'notes' which can be sung in sequence. Depending on the sequence Naija sings, a number of different effects may occur. She can shield herself from harm, move large objects, and even polymorph her body into new and powerful variants. Of course, these sequences need to be unlocked through exploration of the vast underwater kingdom, which is more or less entirely free-roaming: though there are bosses and an overarching plot, there's actually very little to keep players from exploring the world and doing things exactly as they want. As much as it's possible for a game of this kind to be open, Aquaria is.
There's also a crafting system which allows you to create food to give yourself various bonuses or heal the damage Naija takes.
That's not what defines the title, though. As I've said, virtually everything about Aquaria is positively beautiful. The music is incredible, the graphics, though simple, are incredibly well-designed and quite easy on the eyes. Even if you don't play this one for the gameplay, at least try it for the experience: it's stunning, and I guarantee you won't find yourself disappointed.
Five Reasons To Love (And Hate) Free To Play
"Free To Play" is the phrase that's been on everyone's lips lately, particularly in the world of MMOs. It's the new business model that every production executive is cooing over; the model that many have come to hate with a burning, fiery passion. But is it really so bad?
Ten Things Rockstar Did Right With GTA Online
So...by now, most of you are probably aware that Rockstar kind of botched the launch of GTA Online. I mean, they seriously botched it. To the point that it was completely unplayable. At the same time, though...they handled the situation masterfully - there's a lot of stuff they actually did right.
Five Reasons To Look Forward To League's Fourth Season
With this year's LCS drawn to a close, a new season of League of Legends is just about upon us. It's bringing with it some very, very big changes. Trust me when I say they're something to be very, very excited for.
Indie Game Of The Week: Magicka
This week, I'm revisiting an old favorite of mine - and one that I desperately hope you've heard of. Magicka tells the tale of one to four homicidal, sociopathic wizards, their not-vampire instructor, and an eldritch abomination that threatens to destroy the whole world. Did I mention you can blow up pretty near anything you've a mind to?
Indie Game of The Week: Huntsman: The Orphanage
This week, I'll be taking a look at Huntsman: The Orphanage; a rather fresh take on the horror genre that manages to convey fear and anxiety without any violence or gore whatsoever. It's actually pretty impressive.
Ten Ways Social Media Has Changed The MMO
Social networks have effectively changed the way we...well, do pretty much everything. We interact differently, work differently, and even view the world differently since the birth of Facebook - there's even talk that it's bringing about a fundamental change in the way we think. It should thus come as no surprise that they've also had a considerable impact on the world of MMOs.
Indie Game of The Week: Outlast
This week, we'll be taking a look at Outlast, a horror game that tosses you into the shoes of independent journalist Miles Upshur as he explores the sinister Mount Massive Asylum. Spoiler alert: it doesn't go so well for dear Miles.
Indie Game Of The Week: The Bridge
This week, we're going to take a look at puzzle platformer "The Bridge," a rather esoteric game about a mad scientist, impossible geometry, and a reckless disregard for the laws of time, space, physics, and gravity. Shall we get started?
League: Ten Tips To Help You Be A Better Support
Historically, support has kind of been the butt-monkey role of League of Legends. In spite of being one of the most valuable and vital roles in the game, few people ever seem to want to play it. As a result...there aren't all that many people who can actually play it well. We need to change that.
Indie Game Of The Week: Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs
For those of you who've been living under a rock, I've some news: Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs has finally released. It's about as terrifying as everyone expected it to be, but for entirely different reasons.