The term 'indie' may be difficult to define now companies big and small are exploring new business models, but there's no denying that agile teams have been turning big ideas and limited budgets into incredible gaming experiences over the last twelve months. Many of which have put their stodgy AAA rivals to shame. To try and make sense of it all, we've split this category into console and PC titles since there have been so many worthwhile games that deserve their time in the spotlight. Without further ado: here the best PC indie games of 2014... and the overall winner.
What we said: Dungeon Of The Endless is the best Real-Time Turn-Based Strategic 4X Tower Defence Sci-Fi Roguelike RPG hybrid you'll play this week. And easily one of the very best games you'll play this year. Absolutely unmissable.
What we said: Endless Legend is a excellent 4X game that takes the genre in exciting new directions, expertly blending hard Sci-Fi and high fantasy in the process.
Five Nights At Freddy's
What we said: What initially appears to be a straightforward haunted house becomes more terrifying as you start to untangle its intricate lore and environmental storytelling. A surprise hit and a worthy horror game that delivers much more than jump scares.
What we said: Goat Simulator serves up a tiny, but pretty dense, sandbox stuffed with slapstick goofs and anarchic, broken comedy. It isn't much of a game, particularly for £6-8, but it's one hell of a joke.
What we said: GoD Factory: Wingmen was worth the wait: a hectic and tactical arcade space dogfighter that rewards close teamwork, clever customisation and daring zero-G manoeuvres. You can be my wingman any time.
What we said: Sir, You Are Being Hunted brings rock-hard stealth survival to our pleasant pastures and dark satanic mills. Though overly large maps and lengthy backtracking can replace tension with tedium, its unmistakeably British character and unique gameplay fusion wins out, at least for patient players. Where else can you find dunkable biscuits and tweed-wearing aristocratic murderbots?
What we said: This War of Mine is all about choices. It's what you might expect The Walking Dead to look like if they replaced the zombie apocalypse with a war-torn one, and took the shackles off the story so you could create your own survival narrative packed with questionable decision and moral crises.
Winner: Dungeon Of The Endless
Don't call it a Roguelike. Dungeon Of The Endless may feature permadeath and dungeon crawling, but one word can't do justice to this extraordinary genre-defying beast. To take a stab at pigeonholing it, I suppose that 'Real-Time Turn-Based Strategic 4X Tower Defence Roguelike RPG hybrid' is probably the closest I can get.
So the first thing you need to know is that Dungeon Of The Endless uses traditional Roguelike genre staples as a launchpad for a totally fresh and unique Sci-Fi experience that continually switches up the pace and challenge in exciting new ways.
The second and most important thing you need to know, however, is that it's absolutely bloody fantastic. Dungeon Of The Endless was already impressive when Ampltude Studios released the alpha last year, and has only grown stronger due to user feedback and honest painstaking hard work. I'm having trouble finding anything remotely wrong with it, but explaining how all of its crazy genre-blending systems interlock will take some doing.