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Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Indie Game

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Best Indie Game 2011, Game of the Year 2011, GOTY 2011

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Indie Game

As I stated in a recent article, 2011 has been dominated - even defined - by the extraordinary quality and quantity of its Indie games. Far from being the derogatory term of yesteryear, Indie is now a byword for imaginative design, eyepopping artistic flair and a price tag that lets us scoop up brilliant titles by the bucketload. Genres and conventions mean nothing to the hard-working visionaries who are free from the grasping talons of shareholders and cliches... and thanks to the Humble Bundle schemes and ongoing prevalence of digital downloads, Indie games are fully striking a massive chord with the mainstream. Big ideas mean more than big budgets, and we've been treated to some truly wonderful experiences throughout the last twelve months regardless of whether you're a diehard PC owner or casual console player.

Choosing a winner, therefore, has never been more difficult. This is probably the most tightly-contested category of the lot.

NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.

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Description

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Indie Game

Bastion

Is Bastion technically an 'Indie' game? Has the marriage of major publishers with unfettered independent innovation resulted in an entirely new breed? Maybe. All we know is that Supergiant Games crafted a sensational experience, and one that thoroughly deserves our respect. Bastion is engaging, fun, heartbreaking and beautiful in equal measure.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Indie Game

Frozen Synapse

Frozen Synapse handily won our award for Best Strategy Game of 2011... and with good reason. It's a bona fide phenomenon; an astounding Indie achievement that completely redefines the stagnating genre into a fast-paced asynchronous action that takes place within a thriving social network. Mode 7 Games will be bringing the strategic shenanigans to iPad next year, and we frankly can't wait.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Indie Game

Serious Sam: Double D

Serious Sam: Double D combines the glorious juicy ultraviolence of the Serious Sam franchise with the reckless and unbridled creativity that you'd expect from the Indie scene. The net result is a wondrous orgy of great gameplay mechanics, hidden depth, outrageous combat and more exploding monkeys than you can handle. It's a big, dumb shooter - but a damn good one.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Indie Game

Terraria

Terraria is the best of all possible worlds. Freeform omnipotent creation goes hand in hand with deep platform exploration and RPG mechanics, providing an experience that's suitable for... well... everyone. There is more to see and accomplish in Re-Logic's surprise hit than in any most other games released this year, and it has the potential to run and run. Deeper than Minecraft, we reckon.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Indie Game

The Binding of Isaac

The Binding Of Isaac is a randomised, replayable and reprehensible roguelike from the artistic half of Team Meat. The horrific imagery and shocking themes may disgust, but the core experience works brilliantly regardless. As moreish as it is disturbing.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Indie Game

To The Moon

To The Moon sets out to tell a story... and succeeds in spinning a yarn of such compelling drama, heartbreaking woe and genuine relateable issues that it simply cannot be ignored. In fact, its narrative stands tall as one of the most impressive in videogame history. Adorable faux-retro visuals and a lovely soundtrack conspire to create an essential Indie title.

Best Indie Game 2011: Frozen Synapse

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Indie Game

The word 'revolution' is bandied about with alarming abandon in gaming circles, but it's difficult to overstate just how revolutionary Frozen Synapse turned out to be. Mode 7 Games completely redefined traditional notions of strategy games into a social wetwork that revolves around deep yet instantly accessible showdowns between randomised teams of operatives. Solo players can get stuck into the surprisingly hefty singleplayer campaign, while the astounding multiplayer suite allows you to simultaneously engage in several tense and asynchronous bite-sized battles with other players around the world. Deeply reverential yet entirely innovative, Frozen Synapse fully deserves to become a global phenomenon and a true cyber-sport in its own right.

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