The Rise Of Indie Games – A Quick Look Into The Genre And History



No indie list would be complete with this powerhouse of a game. Minecraft, as briefly described above, is a voxel (cube) based game where the main objective is pretty much do whatever you want. The game lets players choose whether they want to play in “Creative” mode, which allows for free build with unlimited resources; or survival mode, which has players struggling against the elements (and monsters) in order to survive.

Minecraft skyrocketed to popularity, even when it was in beta, simply because it’s fun. The ability to modify the terrain, make your own home (or base, castle, city, bunker, whatever!) is a liberating and enticing one. Now, various other developers have taken ideas from Minecraft and made their own games. Just taking a look at Apple’s App Store, you’ll find a multitude of games resembling or mimicking Minecraft.

Minecraft FTB Screenshot Example

The fun doesn’t even stop there! Minecraft’s also incredibly modifiable, with a large selection of constantly expanding modifications (or mods) available for free download. With a bunch of these mods in hand, you can end up with a game that barely even resembles what it used to be.


A more recent game, Nether is a survival simulator that drops players in an apocalypse stricken world, where a huge solar flare has mutated most of the population into nightmarish creatures known as “Nether.” Players have to survive in an open world city, scavenging for food, selling supplies for money, and arm themselves to combat both Nethers and other players. It’s a dog eat dog world, and no one is safe.

Nether Screenshot Example

Nether is an ambitious title; it already boasts impressive graphics, promises a huge game world, and delivers captivating gameplay. This is just an example of a game that doesn’t sell itself short and how indie titles can easily rival large company titles in many ways (even though not many games like this have been attempted by big name developers).


This is by far the most dated game here, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad game whatsoever! Rogue, is a top down, dungeon crawler that uses ASCII graphics to render the game world, characters, items, players. This, in addition to the huge difficulty level, the complex strategies, and leopards heavy controls make it a tough game to pick up.

Rogue, however difficult and dated it may be, has inspired an entire genre of games which are commonly called “Rouge-likes.” Normally, these games have at least a few commonalities such as perma-death, high level of difficulty, RPG elements, and randomization of progressively harder levels (or floors).

Nethack is in many ways a spiritual successor to Hack, which was a descendant of Rogue. Nethack features the ability to add a GUI, as well as more mouse input than the previous games, and as such is a lot more approachable than it’s predecessors (though still frustratingly hard!)

Nethack Screenshot Example


And here is an example of a rogue-like, and one that I highly enjoy! Binding of Isaac has great replay ability, it’s tough yet enjoyable, strange in a unique and slightly disturbing way (which makes me love it even more) and features all the traits that you’d expect in a rogue-like.

Binding of Isaac Example

However, unlike many of the traditional rogue-likes, Binding of Isaac is a real time, top down shooter. This change in the formula for what defines rogue-likes, while done few times before, hasn’t worked out nearly as well a Binding of Isaac, and has probably inspired many of the current and newer rogue-like games being released as of late.

QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS? View This Thread In Our Forums!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *