Monday, 6 May 2013

Indie Game Round-up - "Candy Box" and "Papers, Please"

A new feature to the blog (that appears to be less and less about engineering, but anyway) will be the heads-up to any interesting indie (or online) games.

Candy Box
First up is a game by Aniwey, which at first seemed rather pointless - there's a candy counter that slowly increases and you have a chance to eat all the candies, thus resetting it to zero, or throwing 10 candies on the floor. Give it time however and the game slowly expands into a rather in-depth experience where you can buy a sword, go on quests and run a farm.

The game harkens back to the good old days of text-based gaming, although it has a nice little twist in that it features some nicely animated ascii art. The best thing is it can run in the background of a internet page tab, so you can keep on doing other things too. There is also a save feature, all you have to do is remember a 5-digit code (just make sure you save often...any accidental click to another page can make you lose a lot of progress).

Check it out here (it's free).

Papers, Please
The other game is a completely different fish entirely, a 'Dystopian Document Thriller' by Lucus Pope, where you have to man a passport control booth in a fictional communist country. The aim of the game is to only let in the people who have the correct credentials for entry, which increases in difficulty with each passing day.

What sets this game apart from being a simple game is the underlying themes at it's core. At the end of every day you get paid based on how many people you successfully let through (letting in undesirables docks your pay). With this money you must use it to feed and nurse your family, who are always at the point of starvation and illness. This simple feature allows for the game to reach you at a much more personal level, but it also rings home that this is a situation that many people in the real world often find themselves in.

The game is currently in Beta, and can thus be downloaded for free here. Those of you with Steam can also help it by 'Greenlighting' it (it is unclear if the full game will remain free or require a small fee).

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