Top 5 indie games of 2023, so far…

Top 5 indie games of 2023, so far…

Top 5 indie games of 2023, so far…

Are you passionate about game design and curious to see the innovative ways indie developers are shaking up the gaming landscape in 2023? Look no further. We’ve curated a list of the top 5 indie games of 2023, showcasing the best of creativity, storytelling, and unique gameplay mechanics that are revolutionizing the industry.

From neon noir adventures to visually striking visual novels, these indie gems exemplify the exciting possibilities in game design and immersive storytelling. Join us as we delve into these games, exploring their distinctive features and what sets them apart in the world of gaming.

Whether you’re a game design enthusiast, a seasoned player, or someone new to the indie scene, these games promise a fresh perspective and engaging experiences.


Tron: Identity

Inspired by the cult sci-fi series from Disney, Tron: Identity defies the usual expectations of a major franchise game. Rather than being a middling AAA title, it is a masterful distillation of the more philosophical themes of the Tron universe. Presented as a short neon noir, Tron: Identity offers a unique gaming experience that is sure to intrigue both fans of the series and newcomers alike. 


Life After Magic

Life After Magic is a visual novel that is perfect for grown-up Sailor Moon fans. The game imagines a world where Sailor Moon and the other scouts have grown up and possibly suffered from gifted kid burnout. With a story that resonates deeply with its audience, Life After Magic uses elements of the dating sim genre to explore how relationships are built, broken, and repaired. It’s a game that is sure to stir emotions and provoke thought.


A Space for the Unbound

Set in 1990s Indonesia, A Space for the Unbound is a deeply emotional adventure game about high school kids with supernatural abilities. This indie game, inspired by the works of Your Name director Makoto Shinkai, delivers a short but impactful narrative that will likely leave players in tears. It’s a testament to the power of storytelling in games and the unforgettable experiences they can provide.



Dredge poses a fascinating question: what if cozy games were also terrifying? This fishing simulator offers a cosmic horror twist that sets it apart from the norm. The game balances mechanics like upgrading your fishing vessel and getting the best catch without succumbing to insanity. Dredge is a delightfully twisted subversion of the cozy game formula, making it a standout title in the indie scene of 2023


Misericorde: Volume One

Topping our list is Misericorde: Volume One, a standout indie game that excels in numerous aspects. Its isolated yet intriguing world, endearing and detestable characters, striking black and white art, and haunting music all contribute to its charm. But the true brilliance of Misericorde lies in its writing. The game takes full advantage of the visual novel format to weave an engrossing story about a nun who becomes a detective in a 15th-century abbey. Misericorde is a testament to the power of storytelling in games and a shining example of the indie game scene’s creativity.

One way to create a physics based music video

One way to create a physics based music video

One way to create a physics based music video


“…a toy, a vector graphics editor, an animation tool, and well, basically, an all in one application.

This amazing video was commissioned to Ben Harvey (a.k.a. Rabid Squirrel) by Super Flu to create their official music video for their single, Selee. The video contains no post-production. The three sections of pulsating background visuals (hexagons, triangles, rhombuses) were generated by David Lu (a.ka. Conundrumer) with custom build code and math. The storyboarding was done in collaboration with Sharon Pak and they only had few months to get it all done!

I’m sure you’re wondering how it was created. The answer. Line Rider!

If you’re unfamiliar, Line Rider is something of a primitive physics game. It’s also a toy, a vector graphics editor, an animation tool, and well, basically, an all in one application. Simply put, the player draws lines for Bosh’s sled to go down bring your doodles to life.

Developed in 2006 as a Flash game by Bostjan Cadez it soon grew in popularity in 2007 among public school computer labs. It grew so quickly that even McDonalds got in on it, creating a series of commercials within the game.

The Line Rider build used here is a reboot Conundrumer created using modern web technologies. Due to licensing restrictions, as Line Rider is a trademark of inXile Entertainment, Inc. you can find Conundrumer’s open-source physics engine over at Github.

You can also check out and play with the track in edit mode here at

There are is a platform for us all. Go out and find your muse! :)

“…a toy, a vector graphics editor, an animation tool, and well, basically, an all in one application.

What Video Game Questions Stumped Jeopardy Contestants

What Video Game Questions Stumped Jeopardy Contestants

What Video Game Questions Stumped Jeopardy Contestants


Alex: One category still in play. Evelyn.
Evelyn: Video games, $200.
Alex: This company’s “Infinity” allowed you play characters from “The Incredibles” & “Cars” to
name a few.
Alex: Evelyn.
Evelyn: What is Pixar?
Alex: No. Jordan.
Jordan: What is Disney?
Alex: Disney is right, yes, less than a minute.
Jordan: Video $400.
Alex: Morrowind & Skyrim are iterations of the “Venerable” set of games.
Jordan: What is Dragon Age.
Alex: No. What is the Elder Scrolls. Jordan back to you.
Jordan: $1000.
Alex: Make your future fighting Gall, leader of the Red Legion in the second iteration of this
bungee game.
Alex: Jordan.
Jordan: What is Halo.
Alex: No. Evelyn or Nancy? What is Destiny.
Jordan: $800.
Alex: In the classic video game “Joust” contestants were places upon these birds?
Alex: They were put on ostriches. Now the $600 clue. We’re doing well with video games
aren’t we?
Alex: A big gaming story of 2018 is “Fortnite” this genre of game where the winner is last
shooter or last team standing?
Alex: And that is Battle Royal. We’re going to take our second break. Come back to start
Double Jeopardy right after this..

“…Because this just had to be shared.”

Why Spiderman Fights like that

Why Spiderman Fights like that

Why Spiderman Fights like that


Everybody knows the story of Spiderman. Nerdy orphan from Queens, radioactive spider, superpowers. But, here’s the question most of us overlook. Why is it that when Peter Parker, a scrawny nerd becomes Spiderman, a buff superhero, he fights like this? In the case of the new game from Insomniac, Spiderman’s fighting style appears to be a hybrid of three influences.

The first influence gives us acrobatic dodges like this, and dramatic strikes like this. These techniques are borrowed from Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian form of martial arts that’s part dance, part game, and part legit head-rocking fighting style. Capoeira’s all about narrowly avoiding enemy attacks and seamlessly transitioning into your own. And contemporary styles are especially acrobatic. The flashy fluid movements have made Capoeira fighters an exciting addition to action films and games. The Protector featured a very dramatic Capoeira infused showdown between Tony Jaa and Lateef Crowder. And Eddie Gordo has been repping Capoeira in Tekken since 1997.

But Capoeira’s not all flash. These unpredictable kicks can come from unexpected angles at frightening speed, and have given us a few brutal MMA knock outs like this one. Spiderman borrows a number of techniques from Capoeira. He moves backwards, away from danger with the Macaco Em Pe, and lashes out with a martelo de Negativa kick.

While he borrows a handful of specific techniques from Capoeira, the influence on his movement style runs deeper. Like a master Capoeira practitioner, his stance is low and mobile, and he rarely plants his feet to execute straightforward, thrusting strikes. Instead, he is constantly spinning, using centrifugal force to turn his feet and fist into high speed bludgeons.

“…Instead, he is constantly spinning, using centrifugal force to turn his feet and fist into high speed bludgeons.”

Borrowing from Capoeira, it makes sense for an agile, graceful hero like Spiderman. But it’s not the only fighting style he borrows from, and I’ll tell you about the other one if you’re ready. That’s right. We are talking about Pro wrestling. Spidey’s very first comic book appearance features and match-up in the squared circle against one Crusher Hogan renamed Bone Samudra when famously portrayed by Randy Savage in the 2002 film directed by Sam Raimi, starting Toby Maguire, Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility.

Insomniacs Spiderman hints at his days moonlighting in the wrestling ring with this flyer in his apartment. But the wrestling moves Spiderman rocks in this game, come from a very specific discipline of wrestling, Lucha Libre. Ophidian has been performing and teaching Lucha Libre for 10 years. Lucha Libre is a variant of professional wrestling and is a very acrobatic, stylistic, high flying version of what we consider a Pro Wrestling in America, but based out of Mexico. It’s full of colorful characters and masks like you see on myself, and is a very superhero aesthetic.

Lucha Libre was popularized in the U.S. largely by WCW Luchadors like Psychosis, La Parka, and most of all, Rey Mysterio, Jr. Much like Spiderman, Ray was a slender little dude in a world of giants. He’s in ring style leveraged momentum, speed and high flying Lucha techniques to tell the story of an undersized hero using skill to overcome his stature.

Spidey busts out a handful of Lucha techniques including drop salts, head scissor take downs and perhaps the nastiest looking one, the poisoned hurricanrana. The Poison rana is a variant of a very popular Lucha Libre move known as a Hurricanrana. When sitting on your opponent’s shoulders, you have to be able to swing your body underneath of them, and land in a position where you yourself don’t get knocked out. So it would mean being able to bridge near the air to land in between your opponent’s legs, so that they can travel backwards over top of you. And how that kind of aim and precision takes years to teach.

While Spiderman is definitely strong for his size, his character’s never been about raw power. He’s quick, and he’s nimble and he’s live, which is qualities you need to do what he’s doing. I don’t think it would make sense for Spiderman given his size and weight to do anything but Lucha Libre. So drawing from Lucha Libre makes sense. It’s a style of Pro Wrestling that makes you believe or want to believe that a five six, 130 pound guy like Rey Mysterio could take down The Big Show. Spiderman doesn’t always have the strength to overcome his enemies, but he’ll always have the agility of a Lucha Libre superstar.

Hell, he’s even got the mask. He’s also got half a century of comic books to his name, which is more than enough time to have established a distinct style and persona that’s clear in his fighting style. Spidey is synonymous with dramatic, acrobatic and extremely bendy poses. The influence on Insomniac Spiderman is clear.

Spidey will rush through the motion of a move, and then linger in a trademark pose at the end. Other times, the game will actually slow down to catch him in a comic book panel come to life, showing the in addition to smartly borrowing from other fighting styles, Insomniac has a lot of reverence for Spidey’s source material.

While there’s no logical reason for Spiderman to have this mishmash of powers, the thing that they all have in common is a sense of fun, and a pleasure of movement that is quintessentially Spiderman.

Head on over the Polygon’s youtube channel for more awesome videos like this!

How Shigeru Miyamoto Designs A Video Game

How Shigeru Miyamoto Designs A Video Game

How Shigeru Miyamoto Designs A Video Game

This is Shigeru Miyamoto. If you’ve played video games any time in the past 30 years, you’re probably familiar with his work, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Star Fox, and then, of course, this guy. When Miyamoto makes games, he always tries to do things differently than other designers. Here he is back in 1998 explaining why he wasn’t focused on online gaming.
Shigeru: It’s a trend. And I try to avoid all trends.
And why he wasn’t adding small in-game purchases to Mario for iPhone in 2016.
Shigeru: Everyone was saying I had to do it, but I’m the kind of person that doesn’t want to be told to do something because “that’s the way you do it.”
Miyamoto has helped define a lot of what makes a video game great. How does he do it?
Shigeru: I think that first is that a game needs a sense of accomplishment. And you have to have a sense that you have done something so that you get that sense of satisfaction of completing something.
In 1981, one of Miyamoto’s first assignments at Nintendo was to design a replacement for a game called Radar Scope. It had performed really poorly in the US, leaving the company with 2,000 unsold arcade units. This is what he came up with. Miyamoto based the story on the love triangle in Popeye, between a bad guy, a hero, and a damsel in distress, but since Nintendo couldn’t secure the rights to use those characters, Miyamoto replaced them with a gorilla, a carpenter, and his girlfriend. In later games, that carpenter became a plumber, and his name changed from Mr. Video to Jumpman and then to Mario after this guy, the landlord of a Nintendo warehouse near Seattle. This is one of the first times that a video game’s plot and characters were designed before the programming.
Shigeru: Well early on, the people who made video games, they were technologists, they were programmers, they were hardware designers. But I wasn’t. I was a designer, I studied industrial design, I was an artist, I drew pictures. And so I think that it was in my generation that people who made video games really became designers rather than technologists.
That change and approach came at a key time for video games. When Donkey Kong was first released in 1981, the video game market in North America was on the verge of collapse. It was saturated with a lot of different consoles, and the boom in home computers made a lot of people question why they would want a separate device just to play games. The storytelling in games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, which you could only play on Nintendos on hardware helped set them apart as bestsellers.

“…being able to feel like it’s a game you’re immersed in, that you’ve become a hero. That you’ve become brave. Even if you’re actually crying.”

Shigeru: When I approach the design of my games, what I have to think about is how I’m showing a situation to a player, conveying to them what they’re supposed to do. In Mario you keep moving to the right to reach the end goal. In Donkey Kong you keep climbing up to rescue the captured princess.
A lot of Miyamoto’s genius can be seen in the first level of Super Mario Bros. This is probably the most iconic level in video game history. It’s designed to naturally teach you the game mechanics while you play. If you look at a breakdown, there’s a lot of really subtle design work going on here. Though Mario is usually at the center of the screen, in this first scene, he starts at the far left. All the empty space to the right of him gives you a sense of where to go. Now this character’s look and movement suggests it’s harmful, but don’t worry. If you run into it, you’ll just start the game over without much of a penalty.

Next you see gold blocks with question marks. These are meant to look intriguing. Once you hit one, you’re rewarded. That then encourages you to hit the second block, which releases a mushroom. Even if you’re scared now of what this might be, the positioning of the first obstacle makes it just about guaranteed that you’re going to run into this thing. Once you do, Mario gets bigger and stronger. Just like that, you’ve learned all the basic rules of the game without having to read a single word.
Shigeru: What else is there? The last is the immersive quality of the game, being able to feel like it’s a game you’re immersed in, that you’ve become a hero. That you’ve become brave. Even if you’re actually crying.

Immersiveness in a video game has a lot to do with the controls. The more precisely you can move your character, the more you feel like you’re part of the story. Nintendo has always been a pioneer with controllers. It was the first to have the classic setup of the directional pad on the left and the buttons on the right, the first to have left and right shoulder buttons, the first to have a 360 degree thumb stick, and the first to bring motion control to the mass market. With 2016’s Super Mario Run, Nintendo for the first time made a game for a controller it didn’t design, the iPhone.
Shigeru: Over time, not as many people have been playing Mario games. And we ask ourselves: Why have people stopped playing Mario? And for people who played early on and then stopped playing, oftentimes it’s because the controls got too difficult.
The Wii U flopped when it came out in 2012, and Nintendo 3DS sales are far below those of its predecessor, but the number of American gamers playing on mobile phones has doubled to more than a 164 million between 2011 and 2015. You can kind of think of Super Mario Run as a shift from immersiveness to accessibility.
Shigeru: I think the end result is a game anyone can play, from first-time players to the most experienced ones.
That’s kind of been Miyamoto’s design philosophy from the very start. Make fun games that everybody can play. The rest is in our hands.
These controls direct the characters. The better your eye-hand coordination, the better you do.