To get back into the groove of things I'd like to do a Daily Indie Spotlight for the duration of the current ongoing Steam sales to help shine some needed light on underrated and underplayed indies you can grab on sale. Until the last day of Steam sales, I'll be looking back at some titles I've recently missed that I think are very under-the-radar and seriously deserve your attention for being original, creative, weird, and just plain fun. It's Holiday time and things are busy so I'll keep these nice and brief, until I get back into the motion of things!
First on the list:
Now Available on Steam ($0.49 on Sale, $0.99 normal)
Developed by Sam Atlas
Super Monkey Ball, or Marble Madness for the old fogeys, in a terrestrial setting drenched in stylish indie rock and geometric oddities to roll around in with your bubble-encased space ship. It's as weird as it sounds and I love it.
The control you have over the rolling is very fluid much like any of the top marble-rolling titles out there and I never felt like I was fighting with the controls especially with a gamepad. The strange and out-there galactic setting along with the engaging and weirdly outside-the-box level design, not-too-easy-but-not-quite-impossible stages of varying colors and shapes to navigate make this really satisfying to play and visually really fun to look at especially given the price. Many of the later levels become a bit frustrating displays of trial-and-error but the execution is almost always ingenious and original, full of excellent ideas that sometimes just take a few tries before really working and keep you retrying on even the oddest seeming solutions.
The soundtrack is a big plus just for following in the vein of the rest of the game and trying something new, will probably be grating on the ears for those not keen on 'indie rock'. Like so many of the indie garage bands remembered from my middle to high school days the music is an instant hook that's catchy, fast, and melodic yet heavy. It even gets pretty psychedelic and trippy at times fitting the surreal imagery of rolling your space ship through the galaxy a la Katamari Damacy.
Fun, addictive, just the right amount of challenge, super affordable (Seriously the game is a dollar, or 50 cents on sale!) and overall really weird in the best ways possible. Indie as it should be.