Tuesday, December 04, 2007
What Were the Best Indie CRPGs of 2007?
It's about that time of year again, when most of the magazines and websites begin tallying up what they think were the
I wanna play, too!
Now, I'm a game developer who only tinkers with doing reviews or "First Impressions" or whatnot. This isn't a gaming review site, so I tend to avoid doing full reviews of games here. In fact, I actually haven't PLAYED all the indie games that came out this year labeled "RPGs." In fact, I'm pretty certain that I don't even know about all of them. But I'm trying, striving to keep abreast of all of them as best as I can because I do enjoy them, and I like to stay informed.
And that has been quite a challenge this year. It's not like indie games deliberately hide themselves from detection, so much as getting lost in all the noise.
2007 has been - in my mind, at least - a great year for indie RPGs. We had a slew of outstanding releases, as compared to previous years where we had little besides the perennial Jeff Vogel release and a couple of abandoned-half-finished RPG Maker projects to talk about.
But this year, we've had a ton. And several of them would make good candidates for "Indie RPG of the Year." To start with, we received:
Geneforge 4, the fourth of a turn-based science-fantasy series by Spiderweb Software.
Depths of Peril, a merging of Diablo-style gameplay with a dynamic world, decisions that "really matter," and a strategic component against both gathering enemy forces (which really do gather) and rival factions.
Eschalon: Book 1, a return to "old school" RPG values from the early 90's, done up with more modern graphics and interface.
Aveyond 2: Ean's Quest, the sequel to last year's hit "casual RPG."
Nethergate: Resurrection, the modern remake of Spiderweb's sleeper RPG based (very loosely) on the historical conflict between the Celts and the Romans (with plenty of fantasy and myth, lest you think it is the RPG equivalent of a documentary).
Loonyland 2: Winter Woods (was that a 2007 release?), a silly and cute action-RPG in a world of killer teddy bears and toy soldiers,
Avernum V, only a Mac release for now, but count it - that's THREE releases from Spiderweb!
Cute Knight Deluxe, a new and improved version of 2005's award-winner and another great "casual RPG" sim-hybrid.
And those are just the "bigger," more publicized indie RPG releases.
We've also had some lesser-known titles arrive like The Last Scenario (a very high-quality free RPG Maker title), Parhedros: The Tunnels of Sethir (warning: NSFW), Final Vision, Knight Man 3: The Demon Within, and probably a half-dozen others that have actual made a 1.0 release that I don't know about or can't remember. And at least one more (Birth of Shadows) that might squeak in before January.
UPDATE: Mr. Robot, by Moonpod Games, was released on January 10th of this year, and is described as in the press release as an "action-puzzle-adventure-rpg." There's RPG in there somewhere. I haven't played it.
UPDATE #2: Shady O'Grady's Rising Star was released in February. I'd never heard of it. It's a ... rock band RPG, from the sounds of it. With roguelike elements. This is one I'll have to try! Thanks to Atlas on the Iron Tower forums for pointing this one out to me.
If you were counting, that was
In fact, some were pretty dang awesome. But which were the best? I have my own feelings on that. But I'd rather hear yours. So what is your top pick (or picks) for the indie RPG of the year?
Did any of then outshine the others? WHY? What made them stand out?
And what other releases have I missed?
What are your thoughts on the state of indie CRPGs in 2007?
Let me know in the forum thread! Or here in the comments, if you prefer to remain anonymous and unregistered while you are plugging your own game and tearing down your competitors or something... :)
(Vaguely) related tales of rampant somethingoranotherings:
* Aveyond 2 First Look
* Initial Scouting Report: Eschalon, Book 1
* Let's Talk About Depths of Peril
* Indie RPG News Roundup, December 5th
* Indie RPG News Roundup, November 28th
* Indie RPG News Roundup, November 15th
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Not sure if a vote means much if you've only played two out of the group, but Depths of Peril has managed to drag me away from both Neverwinter Nights (yes, the original) and Civilization 4 for considerable amounts of time. Well worth the purchase, and worth an anonymous vote. :)
LOL - yeah, the week Depths of Peril released, I lost about six hours of work on Frayed Knights. I guess that's how Steven deals with the competition.Post a Comment
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