For many players out there, it is not so much about the content of a game as it is about its setting. Even those with little actual story can turn out to be huge sensations and a lot of fun to play. Who doesn’t appreciate atmospheric games that draw you into different worlds – they are perfect for rainy weekends or long holidays. Games with unique and daring settings are often found in the indie corner, where their creators aren’t bound by the profit-oriented expectations of major triple-A studios. Here are three indie games that will linger long after the ending credits!
Some may already be familiar with this indie survival horror created by Endnight Studios. The game recently celebrated its first full release, after four years in the early access phase. The premise of The Forest is pretty straightforward. After you have just survived an airplane crash, you are forced to watch your young son getting kidnapped and dragged away by a stranger. Being the sole survivor left, it is up to you to struggle through nature on a remote island, find food and shelter and protect yourself from the imminent danger of vicious cannibalistic tribes that inhabit the place.
What makes the setting so hauntingly unique is the enemy AI. Sometimes, the cannibals attack right away, while other times they may hesitate a few feet in front of you and wait for your reaction. Albeit being generally aggressive, their behavior can vary which makes their moves extremely unpredictable. The constant danger when treading through the deep forests and barren tundra of the island is constantly palpable and keeps you on edge. Will you be able to persevere and retrieve your son or will you succumb to the island’s frightening terrors?
The game also gives you the option to play in a multiplayer mode and venture together with your friends. If you prefer gaming with others, it is worth looking into long-term options, such as setting up your own game server with a hosting provider like Ionos.
This game offers a different yet nonetheless gripping atmosphere. To some people, Limbo is not much more than a two-dimensional, monochromatic miniature game (it only takes a few hours to play it through), however, only the untrained eye would come to such a conclusion. Limbo is much more than that. As a player, you jump into the character of a young boy who wanders through a dark, dense forest in search of his sister. Along the way, you have to evade hideous creatures and treacherous traps.
The black and white setting with its mystical scissor-cut images makes you feel as though you’re walking through an eerie and somber forest yourself. The game is almost completely devoid of music, except for the occasional sound cue as you suddenly find yourself being chased by a giant spider or other nightmarish creatures. Just a fair warning: The kills in Limbo are pretty realistic and gory, so you might want to stay ahead of the game at all times.
Here’s an interesting mystery game that should be avoided by anyone who doesn’t appreciate games with a fair amount of dialogue. It is also short and takes approximately 3-5 hours to finish, depending on the level of exploration you choose to do. The story is set in the middle of a national park in Wyoming and offers amazing visuals of the American wilderness at different times of the day.
You play Henry, a fire lookout and recent divorcée with many personal issues. The first portion of the game is spent in conversation via walkie-talkie with your colleague and supervisor, Delilah. You’ll find yourself in the midst of a dazzling mystery which forces you to leave your post and explore the wilderness in search for answers. Fans describe Firewatch as an experience more than a typical game. Indeed, there are no typical enemies and not much real action. However, the game engulfs the player in a compelling and exciting story that constantly plays with its highly atmospheric environment.