With 2014 coming to end, it’s a perfect time to reflect on which Indie games we enjoyed the most over this year at Indie Hangover. Read below for our top picks and a couple honorable Mentions!
For me, the Indie GOTY was chosen based on the things which draw me into gaming: Story, Art and Atmosphere. Art may be subjective, but few game were as undeniably breathtaking as Stoic’s The Banner Saga, which created a painterly epic centered on a bunch of Nordic refugees and giant horned Vikings. The gameplay behind The Banner Saga was engrossing and tight, seamlessly blending resource management and risk taking with strategic combat and unit management. However, I’d be remiss if I did not make special mention of Austin Winory’s phenomenal soundtrack which was the single most important part of this game drawing me in and grabbing hold of me, with its swelling trumpets and haunting melodies. With a sequel on the way, I’m eager to see what Stoic creates for us in 2015.
This year there was one game that completely threw my life out of balance, corrupted my soul and stole many hours during some crucial pre-PAX Prime prep time: Reassembly by Anisoptera Games. While the version I became addicted to was a pre-Kickstarter (a successful one I might add) early alpha build, it managed to provide an unbelievably impressive amount of immersion and rich gameplay. At its core, it’s “Legos in space” but with all those creative, child-like battles come to life. The constant world growth, diverse AI, atmospheric soundtrack, and addictive ship-building features with countless combinations provided a near endless amount of fun. I recall several instances of “I’ll just play for 30 minutes” turned 8-hour-long marathon sessions devoid of food and outside world contact. Without any doubt, Arthur Danskin and team are on to something amazing and may easily sweep Game of the Year again in 2015 if Reassembly maintains its evil grasp.