The Nintendo Switch introduced me to indie games, period. In my mind, AAA releases were for consoles and everything else found its home on the Steam platform. I have never really played PC games simply because spending a ton of money on a computer for video games never appealed to me. I began to notice a shift when Shovel Knight received a physical release on the Wii U but it didn’t really scream indie game to me. My view used to be that indie games are typically well under 40 hours to beat, low budget and possibly lower quality. My new definition is completely different since I’ve acquired a Switch: inspired, memorable, and worth it.
As mentioned before, I thought indie games were all posted to Steam. In the beginning, I compared them to Newgrounds games (a website that hosted many small games) and I still think the comparison holds up. Having never read the process of how indie games made their way to consoles I just figured that’s the way this industry worked now. Initially, I thought bringing over a ton of previously released games to the Nintendo Switch was a terrible idea. I wanted to see entirely new games so with the influx of ports it may as well have been a Steam machine. Through writing for Two Beard Gaming I’ve had the chance to play some great games. Although most are not brand new to the world they are to me and now I’m alright with that because I would have never thought to try, let alone enjoy them.
Lower cost games doesn’t mean lower budget or quality. The joy of being wrong. One thing I had to learn or get over, was the fact that every game I play won’t last for forty hours. It may sound ludicrous to some, but that’s the theory of new generation games to me. We’ve been conditioned to link quality with time, it’s a more simple concept than you think. Spending more time with the characters and environments you love, while experiencing new content through DLC builds up a mental bond. Titles such as Steamworld Dig, Xeodrifter, and Full Blast are games that can be beaten in ten hours or less. They are all great games and worth their weight in gold but the point I still argue is that I want more. That’s not to say they lack in quality no, in fact, I implore you to look into these three games immediately. Low cost, high-quality games that will bring you joy. Once I played a handful of indie titles on Switch I was convinced that it’s okay to sacrifice hours or gameplay for higher quality and lower price. The only thing we can do is support and urge the developers to create more!
One of the greatest traits of indie titles is their nod to retro gaming. You can thank the developer’s age or influencers for that. I appreciate a game more when I see references to old video games because it brings me back to great times from my childhood. Rise and Shine is a game that’s full of content from Super Mario, so much in fact that I’m not sure how they got away with it. Nefarious had plenty of retro nods that made the game memorable. I think indie games can please older players with their references, but also influence younger kids to buy and play older games. This is both pleasing to fans that grew up playing NES, and builds a bigger fan base to keep those games in mind of up-and-coming developers. Keep making those retro references, we love them.
All in all Nintendo Switch brought me back to gaming and opened my eyes to a new world of Indie games. Sure, there are still some crap titles on the eShop but new titles are added all the time. You’re bound to find some amazing games to play from Indie developers. Browse the Two Beard Gaming site and read a few reviews we have posted, I’ve already mentioned three games that kept my attention. Thanks for reading.
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