What’s this? A GameGrin series that hasn’t had an entry for seven years being continued by a fresh-faced writer with an entirely different perspective from the original creator? Yes folks, you’re seeing this correctly — the Indie Challenge is back, and (hopefully) better than ever!
I’ll begin with a brief introduction of myself and the changes I’m bringing to this series as I, like Doctor Frankenstein, attempt to bring the Indie Challenge back from the grave over the next few weeks, and hopefully further. My name is Tucker, and I’m brand new here at GameGrin. One of the first things I noticed as I was scrambling for articles to write that would get me established with GameGrin was the Indie Challenge; a series of 11 articles started by Kris West in 2013. It was a way to introduce himself to the wide world of indie games, since he was initially not a fan of them and preferred big-budget, AAA games. There hadn't been an article written in the series since that first year, and I wanted to continue it to get some articles out for GameGrin on a topic that I’m extremely passionate about.
I’ve been a gamer since I was six years old, when I first received my red Nintendo DS Lite and a copy of Pokémon Pearl, and I really haven’t stopped since. Most of my childhood video game experiences were overwhelmed by Minecraft, Pokémon, Super Smash Bros. and various LEGO titles, but there was one thing that really spurred me to come into my own as a fan of all sorts of games. That was the day I downloaded Steam on my crappy Dell laptop in early 2015 and purchased my very first indie games; FEZ and Shovel Knight. Ever since that day, I’ve been a champion for indies — playing probably over a hundred of them across Steam, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. Because of this, and my overall experience with so many fantastic indie games, I would like to bring back the Indie Challenge in a new light. I’ll share my history with many of the best indie games ever made, and tell you why these games are must-plays, in my opinion.
Each week, I’ll be writing a new article about an indie game that I love. I’ll give some details on the gameplay mechanics and story, my personal experience with it, and why I believe it belongs in the upper echelon of the indie game hall of greats. Unlike the previous entries in this series, I won’t necessarily be playing a game I haven’t played before for each article, though if I play a new one and love it, it can definitely be included. But rest assured, this revitalisation of the Indie Challenge will be curated to only be the best of the best. I hope that my continuation of this series will honour the legacy of what Kris started all those years ago, before I had even heard of indie games, as well as bringing it into the future.
Indie games truly are the lifeblood of the games industry. They push innovation, creativity, and new mechanics while simultaneously inspiring aspiring game devs to create something wholly unique. When a game like Minecraft, Stardew Valley, Undertale, or yes, even Five Nights at Freddy’s, can be developed by one person and take the whole gaming world by storm, what’s stopping you from becoming the next big hit?
Next week, I’ll start off the Indie Challenge: Round 2 with a bang by taking a look at a game that changed my love for indies, the 2011 meta-narrative classic, The Stanley Parable. I hope you’ll all accompany me on this wild ride into the world of games journalism as I discuss some of the best games I’ve ever played. My goal for this series is to foster a sense of wonder in the lovely folks that read these, and I hope that I’m able to turn you on to some incredible games you haven’t played before. See you all in the future!
P.S. - All that being said, GameGrin is a collaborative website and The Indie Challenge as a series is entirely open to entries from other authors. Those people have complete freedom to take the series in whatever direction they want, though my personal entries should remain consistent.