Back in the early days of my college years, flash games seemed to be a small and hidden world I never experience. I heard of the software and titles through some magazines and since they were all on PC, I didn’t get into that world of gaming. I would read about Alien Hominid and then after hearing about a game called Cave Story, I was getting interested. Even when I got a PC, I didn’t jump into this world. It wasn’t til the Legend Of Princess that I got an idea of what Flash games that later turned into indie games as a name, was all about.
Some of the flash games became titles on consoles. Alien Hominid showed up on Gamecube and later on, Cave Story on Wii. When Xbox Live Arcade came into play, the indie scene was born on the console. These small games with smaller budgets were finding a bigger audience once WiiWare and PlayStation Network, started to join in. Once Wii U came along, things in the indie scene came to fruition, and one kickstarted game made a leading character.
Shovel Knight became a success story in multiple ways. With a Game Of The Year Nominee and winners for some, Shovel Knight exploded in the market with various merchandise and being the first indie title to have an Amiibo. People love him because of his game and the free DLC that came along with the game.
Indie characters are starting to rise in popularity and that is beautiful. These original creations and odd concepts have delivered tons of characters we love to see and enjoy. From one person to a team of 5 plus people, we wouldn’t have games like Axiom Verge or Hyper Light Drifter with their amazing talent being used to bring these characters to life. Even Juan Aguacate in Guacamelee is just a memorable and awesome hero in his game. As he does the impressive wrestling moves while also running away and fitting small areas by turning into a chicken brings a delight.
There are also characters that grab your attention and make you feel for them in a relatable manner or emotional connection. Papo & Yo brings a tale the creator went through in real life and presents Papo and Yo in an adventure that makes you want them to succeed. Even in a game like Gone Home, you learn about the main character family and why no one is home. With some puzzles here and there, a story unfolds in under 3 hours. One of the most recent indie games is Rime. Following this boy on how he ended on some random island he never saw or knew. You just wonder along with him what happen and when you’re going through the journey, you feel something inside for the character and the story.
Since it’s not a big budget cinematic game, the indie characters can appear in many forms. From funny to entertaining. From complex to ordinary. Hellblade is a great example. With the protagonist dealing with mental health, we never got to have a company like Ninja Theory deliver an experience with a character dealing with schizophrenia. We did get something like Heavy Rain but it was more of a mystery thriller than what Hellblade delivered.
It’s just great to see more indie characters joining together and more new characters coming. From fighting games to music games and more, characters like Commander Video and the cast from Blade Strangers will continue to bring fun and excitement to gamers everywhere. That’s why in this era, we consume more indie games and find characters to be appealing and no matter how big or small they are, the indie characters will continue to offer more and interesting games that can match or surpass the mainstream titles we know and love.
So let’s celebrate more indie characters that are coming and are around. While you’re playing Dead Cells, Just Shapes And Beat, Yoku Island Express, Pocket Fighters, Hollow Knight, and even some past indie titles, the characters we come to know and discover is just small part of this beautiful life of video games.