Games people play

Back at the beginning of January we went along to ACMI to have a look at the very excellent Best of the Independent Games Festival 2009. Unfortunately this has now finished but if if it hadn’t I’d be urging you to get along. These were the sort of games that made you realise just how badly most commercial games sell consumers short. Not only were the games elegantly conceived but often breathtakingly beautiful.

I don’t get obsessive about games and quite frankly haven’t had any time in the last few years to be bothered much with them. Now that The Flipster is six I was relieved to find such fabulous alternatives to the ones that he and his friends generally want to play. Just to provide some balance, a different perspective, a glimpse of what it can be. The games at the festival, despite sometimes being quite esoteric, kept three six year old boys fascinated for two visits over a four hour period.

Once home, I hit Google and was able to find almost all of them online and available for sale at prices starting at US$5.00. This lead me to Steam and some more games that have since become family favourites. Currently these are The World of Goo and Samorost2 as well as Blueberry Garden. The Flipster, his firends and The Dutchman and I come back to these time and time again. They are fascinating and absorbing in a way that most commercial games aren’t but what amazes me over and over again is just how compellingly beautiful they are as well and the music is wonderful too.

If you are poking around on Steam and looking for games suitable for young kids, look under Family or Indie.

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