The last Indie round up of 2023. I won’t pretend I didn’t start this very recently, but I am enjoying doing these. Just being able to give quick opinions on some great games, without needing to waffle on to fill a word count. So we finish the year with just two titles, but two that are absolutely brilliant!
(the) Gnorp Apologue
Sometimes a game comes along that you just simply want to say ‘Don’t read on, just get it and play’ and (the) Gnorp Apologue is just one of those games. Sp… Don’t read on, just get it and play!
Still here? Fine! (the) Gnorp Apologue is a incremental builder, clicker. roguelike where your one and only task is to collect shards. Collect as many shards as possible. You start by clicking a giant shard rock and then on the individual shards to collect them. But if you’ve ever played a clicker before, you know it willl very soon grow from that.
Through clever use of upgrade mechanics, you will set your Gnorps to work, finding ways for them to work together in the most optimised way possible. Co6llecting more and more shards, faster and faster. Before getting to a point where you can prestige, start again but earn upgrade perks to make the next run easier and better.
What starts of as something slow and cumbersome, eventually becomes a well oiled machine with pixels flying all over the screen and your little Gnorps working in unison! (the) Gnorp Apologue isn’t a full on idle game, but neither is it completely hands on, but it is so very engaging and simply a huge surprise at the end of 2023. Get it, play it, spread the word!
Return of the Obra Dinn
I’m sorry Lucas Pope, I think Paper’s Please! was one of the best video games ever released and showed how you can tell an emotional story in such a minamilist way. A game often copied, but never equalled. So my apology is because it has taken me 5 years to get around to your next game, Return of the Obra Dinn.
I have no idea why either, it ticks nearly every box. It is a game that allows me to play at my own pace, make my own discoveries and investigate. The mystery is so well told without any traditional narrative and it is Lucas Pope it it’s purest.
I ever played the recent The Case of the Golden Idol which for me is clearly inspired by Obra Dinn, but already I can tell, whilst great, will not hold a candle to this. Everything works wonderfully and the sense of achievement when you work something out correctly is so bloody awesome.
The visual style if so unique too, but somehow doesn’t become something that stands out as a selling point, it just feels in perfect sync with everything else within the experience.
I am not anywhere near finished yet, but I have fallen hard for this game in my short time with it and can’t believe it has taken me this long to play, which is the biggest mystery of all.