@gbrading Probably my most edit heavy thing I've done, also a reminder at how awful I am at it. It took me an embarrassingly long time to get done.
I'm pretty much going to let the linked video above stand alone as it is but as I also said there are some honourable mentions that did not make it to my top 5 but definitely worth mention. In fairness I probably could've got them all into a top 10 but that would've made the job of picking through them a bit too easy so I decided to make it that much harder for myself.
The psychedelic frantic paced action of Hotline Miami makes for some great gameplay. Moving through the levels in a haze of blood and when you kill the last person in an area the music cuts out. And you then have to move through just the destruction and death that you've just brought about just because someone on the end of a phone asked you to. That message is there and while you may not pick up on what exactly it is at first you definitely feel it. It would matter a whole lot less if the game wasn't any good but the moment to moment action has that precise frantic pace that makes that part of the game so compelling.
Orcs Must Die 2
An improvement on the original in pretty much every way, it also includes the levels from the original game so there is just a whole lot of content here. If you're totally uninterested in tower defence games then this probably isn't for you but it does a good job of blending third person action, co-op and that classic tower defence gameplay fantastically well. There are definitely some levels that seem like they were built a bit too much around co-op such that it's a pain to do them alone but all in all it is a fantastically made tower defence game.
Mark of the Ninja
Stealth games, I kind of have a weird thing about them where a forced stealth game I really hate. But if you give me the choice to go stealth in a game like with Deus Ex that will totally be the option I choose. Mark of the Ninja does a really good job with marking out everything in the environment you're in so that you can really clearly see how much noise you're making and also if you're visible or not. The scoring system also reinforces what you should be doing in a level and penalises you smartly for just fumbling around the place. I still think the dragging of the mouse to do kills is a bit awkward but the game has lots of great tools to use and smart level design that it's just a small problem in the grand scheme of things.
I might also do another blog roundup of other games I've loved this year that happen to not be indie games, but it's been a good year for indies so I thought that it was worth having something dedicated just to them. And hopefully we'll get more awesome games of all shapes and sizes coming next year.
@pokecharm Me starting a Youtube channel really helps with that. I probably wouldn't have played Mark of the Ninja or Legend of Grimrock had I not which would have been a real shame because both of those are excellent. I also just own far too many games, at some point it's just really silly..ooh Steam Sale..mmmm
Dustforce and Legend of Grimrock are the only ones I've played; the former being absolutely sublime, the latter interesting based on what little I've played so far. Hoping to dig into it more soon.
@c_rake The lower levels of Grimrock are pretty brutal, I'm hoping to get round to some of the community maps at some point, but I do also have this other stack of games I want to play.
I've got a few of these games in the video but I've barely played them I really need more time :P One I have undoubtedly played a lot off the blog is Hotline Miami, it's a phenomenal game! I loved it.
Also nice channel I just subscribed :D
@minimme Thanks for the sub!
Hotline Miami was really great, I'm glad to see that it's getting a whole bunch of praise from so many different sites.
Interesting video. I've only played your #1 game, FTL. Legend of Grimrock, Dustforce, Awesomenauts and that Thomas game all passed over my radar (I knew about Grimrock, Dustforce and Awesomenauts, just not in the mood to play them, really). But FTL is a fantastic game. It's one of my favorites of this year. Very addicting and very difficult. I haven't beaten FTL yet, but it's damn good. Easy is my calling. Normal is insanely difficult haha.
I also played Hotline Miami and it's spectacular. I love it. I just bought Torchlight II and it's everything Diablo III should have been. Signiicantly better game.
As for my favorite, it's probably The Walking Dead.
I'm also looking at playing Mark of the NInja. I'm similar to you in that if I'm forced to play stealth I don't enjoy it, but when it's an option I pursue it. I played Deus Ex, Dishonored and Crysis as stealth games.
I'm also interested in trying out Lone Survivor.
@NeonNinja I am terrified of Lone Survivor, I own it and I respect that the game exists, I am not touching it even with a 10 foot pole. Easy mode FTL I can get through pretty consistently now with a couple of the ships, I've definitely found that it's easier to get through the beginning of the game with the Zoltan ship but that slug crew in the video. Blown up and stabbed by mantis folk.
I actually just bought it off of the Steam sale. It was 67% off. I couldn't resist. It does look frightening though.
As for FTL, the farthest I've made it on Easy is a bit more than halfway through Sector 7. But it's really good. I actually prefer the Kestrel if you can believe it.
FTL is amazing definitly the best indie game this year. I'm surprised that endless space didn't get a mention but then again it is a rediculously hard/confusing game.
@Tazzman1000 I love Endless Space and this is the part where what counts as indie debate comes in because Endless Space sort of skirts that line a little bit. It's in this sort of grey area that something like Telltale and Double Fine sort of sit in as well. I've come across a bunch of definitions, even from different indies I've spoken to. In short it was actually on my list that I later cut because it was more ambiguous.
Hotline Miami (GOG) was among my favs for 2012 --indie or otherwise. I've got Mark of the Ninja wishlisted on Steam. I've been interested in Legend of Grimrock and FTL (both GOG).
Where's Retro City Rampage? THAT game is pretty freakin' sweet too.
@nate1222 Retro City Rampage was pretty cool, I tried to be pretty selective and unfortunately for RCR it just didn't make the cut for me.
Terraria is like a 2D Minecraft, best indie game I've ever played. That's saying a lot because I don't even like Minecraft.
@Nophoria88 Terraria is one of those that has sort of past me by and I think it is in no small part to me playing so much Minecraft.
@SaltyMeatballs Loved the game but at the same time I get that it might not be everyone's cup of tea.