250 Indie Games You Must Play by Mike Rose is an excellent guide to the growing world of indie gaming. This new book from indiegames.com is formatted like a directory making it quick and easy to find games by title or by category. There is also an eleven page preface which includes a brief introduction about what indie gaming is and information on several notable indie game festivals.
As video games become more mainstream and game development technology continues to advance, more and more people are looking to create their own games. You no longer have to be part of a major developer or be financially backed by a big name publisher to turn your game idea into a reality. Some indie games, such as I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1 on Xbox 360 are even created entirely by one person (in the case of that game, James Silva did all the development). As a result, indie gaming has exploded in popularity over the last few years.
That’s where 250 Indie Games You Must Play comes in. Author Mike Rose did an excellent job on making this book accessible for gamers with busy schedules. Each game detailed in the book is dedicated just a single page which includes a screenshot of the game (so you can get a feeling for the art style) and some information on what the game is and how to play. The book’s bite-sized formatting makes it very easy to pick up in your spare time. If you have a few minutes to kill, it is easy to read about one or two games and then put the book back down. On the other hand, you could always read the book straight through or simply use it as a reference to find a new game you want to play and then immediately go find it.
The book spans three categories of indie games: download games, browser-based games, and commercial games. The download games section is by far the largest. Each game in that category much be downloaded to your PC but are all free to play.
Browser-based games are games which must be played in a web browser on either a PC or a Mac. Most of these games are played right on websites such as Newgrounds, Kongregate, or Miniclip. One well-known example of this type of game listed in the book is Robot Unicorn Attack.
Xbox 360 gamers will find the commercial section particularly interesting as it includes some high-profile XBLA titles such as Braid and Super Meat Boy. Unlike games from the previous two sections, commercial games have to be purchased to play them.
In conclusion, 250 Indie Games You Must Play is a useful book for gamers looking to expand their knowledge about indie gaming culture or to gamers just looking to find some new (and often free) games to play.
Interested in picking up this book? Buy it from Amazon.com or head on over to indiegames.com to learn more about the book and indie gaming culture.
Final Score: 4 / 5 stars.
(This review was originally published on Examiner.com)