Best of 2011 (Top 5):
The original freeware platform adventure game Cave Story was released by Daisuke Amaya (Pixel) back in 2004. An English translation from Aeon Genesis followed just two months later, opening the game up to a much wider audience and allowing to vault to the top of the indie gaming world. Featuring amazing music, a well-written story, power-ups, upgrades, and a big world to explore, saying Cave Story was a hit is a gross understatement. Several years later, the game has been ported to half a dozen other systems and re-released with remastered music and updated HD graphics. Now, Cave Story+ is here, upgrading the freeware experience to something your eyes and ears can more fully appreciate!
Several years in the making, the darkly atmospheric (and strangely realistic) platform game LIMBO has finally migrated from console download to the PC ecosphere.Crafted by Danish studio Playdead, LIMBO drops you in a shadowy world filled with dangers, immensely difficult puzzles, and more ways to die than you would really want to count. It's an incredibly stylistic and engaging game, one that just about any player can pick up and enjoy from beginning to end.
The 2D puzzle platform will never die, and Beret, despite its amateurish visual exterior, is another reason the genre should continue to thrive. Playing as a scientist who has gained telekinetic powers, you decide your employer, Evil Corporation, is too evil for your liking and decide to overthrow it and punish the wrongdoers. You do this with a smattering of telekinetic abilities that allows you to pick up and arrange blocks with the mouse, constructing platforms and re-building bridges as you move across the stage. Lots of levels to play, loads of collectible items, and a level editor you can unlock make this one well-stocked indie game!
Don't you just hate it when you do something, look back on said event, and realize you could have done it so much better? Wouldn't you hate it even more if your hindsight played tricks on you? The premise of this unique puzzle platformer is that each level is the same, only it's totally different. Looking back on your previous actions, you discover things weren't as they seem. Or was the original layout the "real" one? Either way, each time you finish the stage, your path to the end secretly changes. You never know what's different until you move up to a block or fall down a gap. Spikes become not-real, blocks vanish, platforms appear. It's a strange and almost dreamlike game that will get you with a little trial and error gameplay. But it's so very worth it!
It's no mistake this game bears resemblance to the 2009 platform puzzler Fetus. suteF could be called one part platformer, one part puzzle game, one part "experience of what it's like going insane". The game tells the story of a blue character trying to escape from the Abyss. Some crazy things happen in this place, such as characters dying, bears wearing television screens, spirits following you, gravity changing, levels re-arranging, and... well, and more. Some brilliant level design here, with stages that require thinking and experimentation as well as some trial and error.