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Today I was fortunate enough to have a chunk of time to dedicate to gaming and I decided I needed something different. I’ve always a backlog of games I want to look at and one of the things that has sat unplayed on my hard drive is the 2012 Pirate Kart bundle. This compilation takes 300 off the wall indie games and bundles them all together into one massive compilation. Many of the games are laughably bad, some just completely bizarre and others somewhat enchanting. Out of the handful of games I’ve tried so far, I’ve been most impressed with two games by Richard Perrin. Inside Job, a simple stealth game that explores love, jealousy and death and the haunting Seasons of Change, a more abstract look at how change shapes our lives and impacts us all (including platform game heroes, apparently). Seasons of change is the first game I can remember where the ending actually gave me goosebumps, and certainly a title you could discuss in the never-ending “are games art?” debate.
Playing low-budget, short indie games is a stark contrast to wading through a game like Dark Souls, which has been taking much of my time lately, and it makes for a refreshing change of pace. Much has been said about the “bedroom coding” days being behind us, but the reality is the indie scene is thriving, and platforms like iOS, Steam or simply the web itself give bedroom coders means of reaching a bigger potential audience than ever before. So, next time before you bemoan the lack of creativity and risk taking in modern games, open your eyes to the thriving indie scene.