6 Refreshing Indie Games New to the PlayStation Network

It's the little things in life.

by

Sony's been waving the indie flag for the last few years. From when Jonathon Blow discussed The Witness at the PlayStation 4 reveal to when scores of developers showed off their projects at last year's E3, it seems as though there's always another independent game being announced. And we couldn't be happier about that. Sony recently showed off a bunch of upcoming games--including previously covered ones such as Transistor, Galak-Z, and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number--along with a lot more that we hadn't seen before. So check out six that had us eager to finally gets our hands on the finished experience.

N++

It's those simple games that are so darn humbling. You run and jump, climb some walls, and maybe even laugh at how easy it all is. Just enter the door, right? No big deal. Well, N++ doesn't look kindly on brash punks. Make just one mistake and its the end of the road for your fleet-footed ninja. This is a platformer in which everything looks so doable at first--you see the missile launchers overhead, the alien blobs patrolling the ground--and so you plan the path through the chaos in advance. And then reality sets in. That missile? It hounds you, humming behind you like a death whistle as you race across the potholed ground. Distracted by imminent death, you lose sight of the alien bugger as it speeds toward you. In a blink, you're dead, your legacy splattered on the ground.

Alone, you grit your teeth and utter curses the likes of which have never been conceived. With friends, you sneer at their own failings. You see, cooperative in N++ doesn't just mean another ninja gets thrown into the party. The levels are constructed with tandems in mind, and one false step could derail the progress of the entire team. Just try squeezing through a narrow, bomb-lined path with three friends looking on, willing you to not mess up. But you do. Again. And you can't stop smiling. --Tom Mc Shea

Aztez

The Aztec-theme, monochromatic brawler Aztez may be friendly to button mashers, but in truth mobility is your greatest ally. I had the opportunity to try out the combat portion of this game, and was able to rack up some lengthy combos just by mashing out the light and heavy attacks. However, I also suffered several backstabs from the sidelines as my foes slowly surrounded me. After a quick death, a tried again only this time I made an effort to stay light on my toes. The game really opened for me after making this simple play style switch as I bounced off walls and sored over the heads of my foes, hopping from one target to the next while evenly spreading out the pain. And despite the game’s 2D presentation and limited color pallet, the different enemy types were easy to discern--and prioritize--thanks to some creative character designs. Aztez also has an empire for you to manage when you’re not spilling the blood of your enemies. However, I didn’t get the chance to try it out. Team Colorblind, developers on Aztez, are hoping to have their game out towards the end of this year on Steam first, and then consoles second. --Maxwell McGee

Source

You float through an alien landscape, utterly alone, and yet completely serene. It's a land of wonder and beauty, where the odd geometric shapes that enclose you seem both understandable and outlandish, floating cubes and spheres that defy their geometric simplicity. Everything is strange, slightly unnerving yet mostly harmless, so as you glide through as a bio-luminescent firefly, you explore with eager curiosity. And it's a world that begs exploration. Those rocky outcrops overhead look so inviting, veiling who knows what kind of secret, and you want nothing more than to head toward them. What awaits you? Is it a glowing ball, a key to open the next part of the world? Or a diving bug whose infinite legs make your stomach turn?

Source is incredibly early, no more than a promise of what's to come, but there's a hint at something powerful even in its early stages. The puzzles intrigued me, as did the myriad crawlies you must contend with, but it's the unexplored oasis of possibilities that kindled my excitement. I could see myself spending hours within this foreign world if only to see what's hidden there. It's rare that a quick peak could spark such eagerness in me, but Source has certainly teased my imagination. --Tom Mc Shea

Velocity 2X

Velocity began its life as a humble PlayStation Mini on the PSP, where, as GameSpot’s own Mark Walton noted in his review, the game was "a fun and inventive little shooter that offers lots of content for very little outlay." It was then upgraded to Velocity Ultra for the PlayStation 3, Vita, and PC, before finally settling on the recently announced Velocity 2X. Velocity 2X takes the series’ top-down, sci-fi shooter action and layers on new platforming segments to help break up the space faring. In the section I played, the ship portions were much more focused on shooting, while the on-foot segments were more puzzle-oriented. Both had me teleporting around the map to either avoid, or navigate through, obstacles, but when on-foot I also had to find and activate a number of switches to open a gate and allow my ship to advance. It was a fun diversion and should bring a new challenge to Velocity fans from all the way back in the PlayStation Mini days. Velocity 2X is coming PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita sometime later this year. --Maxwell McGee

To Leave

Everyone must leave at some point. Maybe you're saying goodbye to childhood. Or waving one last wave to a loved one. We've all parted ways with what we once knew--the safe, the familiar--and awaited whatever came next with eager trepidation. To Leave explores that innate change in an abstract manner, asking the question of what's to come and letting you fill in the rest with your own answers. And though its core is so grounded, its realization of this theme is anything but. Doors in To Leave, like doors in real life, lead to a new beginning, and we can only imagine what lays beyond each locked passageway. But that's where To Leave stops dealing with reality, and instead takes a dreamlike bent.

As a young boy, your journey is one of danger. You grab on to a door--your one link between the past and future--and soar through the air while grasping firmly on to it. The nightmarish world reigns you in with sharp rocks and swirling paths, and you must glide unscathed through the tangled web to reach the next part of your journey. It's simple yet tense because just glancing against a wall can end your run. I'm not afraid to admit that I died, frequently, and after each death, I started once more, eager to fly through untouched. To Leave is more interesting conceptually than mechanically right now, though there is still a kinetic rush in flying through the air, hanging on to a door for dear life. --Tom Mc Shea

Chariot

Chariot sounds far more grim on paper that it actually is. An unnamed princess and her suitor are stuck dragging the casket of the deceased king through a deep, dark cave to find a final resting place suitable for their once noble lord. Both of these extremely dedicated pallbearers can send out a rope with the press of a button that will automatically attach itself to the casket. And, don’t worry, the casket is on wheels. If it wasn’t, dragging it through this 2D, puzzle-platforming adventure would be a real nightmare. Chariot is powered by a sophisticated physics engine, which means when you slip up and let the casket go careening down a steep hill and it bounces off a boulder, it likely won’t land in the same place twice. Of course, if you and your partner do your jobs right this won’t happen. Chariot is coming to the full range of next generation consoles, including Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, and PC. --Maxwell McGee

Discussion

56 comments
tendoboy1984
tendoboy1984

I didn't buy a next-gen console to play 2D indie games. I had enough of that with Cave Story, Mutant Mudds, Trine 2, and The Cave. Sony is taking too long with their game development, I've never seen a drought this bad on a non-Nintendo system. I might as well just ditch my PS4 and go back to PS3.

Vodoo
Vodoo

All of the people that bought a PS4 after launch are clueless. Because Sony has given ZERO reasons why anybody should own one yet. There's only ONE good game on the console so far, Infamous. So WHY are people buying them so much? Is it because of the supposed power? Because without any good games that power is useless. With no great exclusive even close to releasing, why would anybody buy this machine now?

Microsoft has 4 really good games, yet sales are staggering. And these are full retail games, not bullshit indie trash. They don't look or play any worse than any PS4 games. This tells me that most gamers either have their collective heads up their asses, or they wouldn't know a good game if it beat them over the head.

So why is the GAME console WITHOUT any good games selling like hot-cakes, but the GAME console WITH good games is selling poorly in comparison? Because GAMES should be the definitive reasoning behind the sales, but they're not.

Full disclosure: I own both systems but the PS4 was a Christmas gift. After playing what both systems have to offer, not only should the PS4 have lesser sales, but there's really no reason to buy one at all right now.

DeathwachMarine
DeathwachMarine

source looks really cool. wish there was video footage of it

BrahManDude
BrahManDude

is anyone tired of indie games being 2-D

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

You know what really puts me off when I give indie games a glance, it's when I see screenshots yet have no idea what is happening in the screen shot, and when I can't tell what object I actually control.  I used to try some of those games, but experience has told me that most games like that are weird crap.  Not mind-blowingly innovative, just weird crap that no one did before for good reason.


If you make a good indie game, try screenshots where people have a clue what they are looking at, rather than random shapes and colors.  Or if that's what your game consists of (such as Tetris), briefly explain what the objective of the game is.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

Hopefully the next Hotline Miami isn't stupid hard again, so most people can actually play more than a fraction of the game.  If it's dumbass hard again I'm not buying it.  Very cool concept, but just ruined by the difficulty.  I have enough stress at work, I don't need it during my free time.

prodigy_69
prodigy_69

I'm enjoying 'Stick it to the man' at the moment, the mind reading with the ps4s controller speaker is brilliant :) 

Lacerz
Lacerz

I went ahead and backed Source on Kickstarter.  For $10, you get a digital copy of the game once it releases, and you only have to pay if it reaches its Kickstarter goal by May 11.  Go to Kickstarter and help bring this game to your console or PC.

Sandpark
Sandpark

I want an indie to do 2D 90's style rpgs. With some little big planet/rpg maker features thrown in!

fgjnfgh
fgjnfgh

Inafune where is your game!

ITLM16
ITLM16

Another day and another game for playstation.


Meanwhile xboners have only announce soda pro simulation to look forward to

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

Out of those listed, Chariot has my interest.  When it comes to other independent titles due for the PS4/Vita, I'm mainly keeping an eye on CounterSpy, Hohokum, Oddworld: New & Tasty, Pavilion, Starbound, The Witness and Transistor.

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

I am liking these indie titles. I will pick up Source, Velocity and maybe N++. I already have Don't Starve, resogun and child of light and I have to say I really enjoy them. Its nice to be able to just boot them up and play a level. I have a little bit of a AAA backlog since my PS4 got fried but I think I can beat them before the next round comes out: (Wolfenstien)


Backlog:

Assassins Creed

COD

BF4

Outlast

Dont Starve

ank000
ank000

Velocity 2X and Source looks awesome to me. But I'd also like to see some good AAA titles which are not run of the mill games.. Waiting for June 10 now.

blackace
blackace

IndieStation does it again. Only games I might be interest in are Chariot & Velocity 2x. I'm still waiting patiently for No Man's Sky, Rime & HellDivers. What's taking so long for these games to be released? Both No Man's Sky & Rime doesn't have release dates yet. HellDivers only says 2014.

nayce54
nayce54

I like Aztez, especially since I am learning the history of the Aztec Civilization - one of the first civilizations of The Americas!

Razor10000
Razor10000

this is why i like the ps4. sony exclusives games+multiplatform game+free to play games like project cars and planetside 2+indie games = amazing console


look at what racing fans will play on ps4, project cars, driveclub, next gran turismo. and if you also have a xboxone you have forza 5 and probably forza horizon 2. i thing that is a very nice combo.


haters saying indiestation like it is a bad thing. indie games are awesome, stop being so buthurt

tommynj
tommynj

Welcome to the Indestation 4... Sounds a lot like the Wii U with all these little platform games no one really cares about.

DrKill09
DrKill09

N is old as hell.


There are good ones out there but most "indie" games are pretentious garbage.


And I hate that term "indie"  smacks of hipster dipshits.

playstationzone
playstationzone

they all seem crap indie this games and there was better 2D games back in 80s and early 90s than today indie games. and if they want to bring great old stuff back pl ake it happen than this mobile indie crap.

voljin1987
voljin1987

rime and hyper light drifter are two other games i am very excited about

eBentl
eBentl

@Vodoo  

Your opinion is valid, but guess what - apart from Titanfall (which is also available on PC) I really don't care for any of Microsoft's exclusives. Also, like many people I think, I was highly put off by Microsoft's attitude pre-launch and would be highly hesitant to buy a system from them any time soon.


I dunno, I bought the PS4 recently and realistically I probably should have waited, I don't feel as though EITHER console is really justifiable right now, but my choice would always be the PS4, influence largely by the fact I have the PS3 & Vita, and with all three consoles ps+ is amazing value.

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@BrahManDude  Keeps illustrators in work and they look beautiful. . . Mostly.


Also 2D gaming mechanics tend to be more refined than 3D games.

mimsoo
mimsoo

@spacecadet25

Just try not to worry
You'll see them some day
Take what you need
And be on your way
And stop crying your heart out

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

@blackace  you know it defeats the point in trolling by calling it an indistation when there games you actually want -_-. 

oflow
oflow

@blackace  the developers' studio for No Man Sky got wrecked in a flood. Pretty sure thats caused them a major set back.

dani3po
dani3po

@Razor10000  Project Cars is not free to play. World of Speed, from the same developer, is. But is only released on PC.

Lacerz
Lacerz

@tommynj The indiestation has over 30 games with a Metacritic score of 75 or higher.  The xbone has 17.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Can you really say you don't care for any of Microsofts' exclusives? Have you ever played them, or is that the inner fanboy saying that? Because if you like God of War, you'll like Ryse. If you like racing games, you'll love Forza. If you like Killzone, Titanfall is better. Dead Rising 3 is like no zombie game I've ever played on a console before. I HATED the other DR games. This DR game is almost like a reboot.

While it makes sense for someone in your position to go with the PS4 because you have the whole ecosystem, most people don't. Games were the defining factor in which console people buy, at least that's how it is with me. But that doesn't exist on the PS4, not yet anyway. It almost seems like Microsoft could have a 10 to 1 game ratio over Sony, but ignorance will go with Sony STILL.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@mimsoo @spacecadet25  Seriously guy, you disagree with what I'm saying obviously, but you never give any kind of logical retort in your comments, actually you don't give any counter argument at all, just BS.  And I bet your little poem had nothing to do with the post you put it under, it probably was meant for the one where you called me an idiot b/c I disliked Hotline Miami being too hard..  

I see this untalented poem above as just pouting about my comments, used only b/c you lack the ability to actually debate with people.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@mimsoo @spacecadet25 You sound like one of the owners of that company... oh, no wait, you don't, because you think alienating customers needlessly is a good idea.  

Watch Hotline Miami 2 sell like dogshit, now that people learned their lesson on Hotline Miami 1.  If they just had different difficulty levels, normal humans with lives and non-video game interests and people such as yourself can both buy and enjoy the game.


And when I put up this post, I knew somebody would get nasty for voicing my anti-hardcore opinion, which is why you see a lot more pro-hardcore than anti-hardcore posts.  I think the super hardcore fanboys are the worst kind of fanboy.

youre_a_sheep
youre_a_sheep

@mimsoo @spacecadet25 HOW DARE ANYONE'S OPINION DIFFER FROM YOURS!!!!!!

tendoboy1984
tendoboy1984

@Vodoo  Titanfall is a third-party game, and the sequel is coming to PlayStation, so it doesn't count. Dead Rising is a Capcom game, not Microsoft.

eBentl
eBentl

@Vodoo  

Not really one for fanboyism, I play games on PC, 3DS, Playstation and for a while I owned a 360. Obviously I can't say for certain that I wouldn't their exclusives because I'm not playing them, however I can say that I'm pretty over God of War, Forza is undeniably a good racing games and probably the only 'serious' racing game I've ever really gotten in to and I would make no attempt to deny that Titanfall is ridiculously fun.


My point is really that neither system is objectively better, or better value, than the other. It's all a matter of personal preference and for (clearly) a lot of people the PS4 has a lot going for it

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

@spacecadet25 @mimsoo  well put it this way you can't all yourself a gamer if you haven't played games as simple but amazing as limbo or bastion, yea having high rank on a game can be impressive or getting max trophies or achievements, but there's a certain standard to this and no person can truly call themselves a gamer when you haven't played the basics of games. 

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

@spacecadet25  you can't bitch about a game being "to hard" no game is "to hard" there people who clam up and get better or poeple who such and carnt face the ability of losing. 

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@ExtremePhobia @spacecadet25@mimsoo  Pro-hardcare people don't have very many games???  Most games since the beginning have a hard difficulty setting, or if that's not enough you can play them your own way and make them as artificially hard as you want.  Which means most games were available to everybody to play their way.  But these new super-hardcore games are only for a niche group of gamers when they could easily have different difficulty settings and be good for everyone, that's why it's dumb.

And besides, I didn't make up terms such as "stupid-hard," I used to see those in reviews all the time, when reviewers said the difficulty in a game went beyond super challenging, and moved into the realm of just "stupid-hard", which is just amazingly frustrating just to be amazingly frustrating.  I believe Hotline Miami crossed that threshold by being so hard early in the game, I felt I got ripped off, but there was no reason for them to do that, it had so much potential.

An example of a game that is really tough but does it so most everyone can get their money's worth is the Trials series.  Why?  Because you don't have to be a master of the game to experience most of it, you only need to be a master in order to master it, it's brilliant.  If Trials only had extreme tracks it would make some people happy, but put off most people, and there's no need for only extreme tracks to get a challenge out of Trials. And I say that as someone who has Gold medals on all the extreme tracks in Trials Evolution.



youre_a_sheep
youre_a_sheep

@ExtremePhobia @spacecadet25@mimsoo It's kind of odd to like a game BECAUSE it's hard.  I liked the first Ninja Gaiden Sigma because it was a great game that forced me to use strategy even against standard enemies.  I liked Einhander because its bosses were ingenious and you needed skill to beat them.  Hell I even loved Battletoads for the NES despite its difficulty.  I can't say I ever liked a game just because it was hard though.  

Most games have difficulty settings that include those for the hardcore.  The issue isn't whether a game can be hard, it's bragging rights.  I beat Ninja Gaiden and if someone says the same I can easily ask if they did it on ninja dog or for real, that option doesn't need to be absent to them for the game to be enjoyable to me.  Those who think it's important to be among a mere 1% who beat a certain game are likely the same ones in online lobbies calling everyone f*ggots.

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

@spacecadet25 @mimsoo  You call the game "stupid hard" and "dumbass hard". That's why you don't like it. That's fine but don't expect people to give you a hug when you insult something they like - especially when that's the main reason that they like it.


The "Pro-hardcore" people don't have very many games to play so you shouldn't be surprised that they get defensive. You can easily get your "easy/moderate" difficulty fix from 95% of the games that are made, you don't need to complain because they aren't ALL like that.