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You wake alone and surrounded by miles of burning, sprawling desert, and soon discover the looming mountaintop which becomes your goal. Faced with rolling sand dunes, age-old ruins, caves and howling winds, your passage will not be an easy one.

Even though the goal is to reach the mountaintop, the experience is discovering who you truly are, what this place is, and what is your purpose. Travel and explore this ancient, mysterious world alone, or with a stranger you meet along the way. Soar above ruins and glide across sands as you discover the secrets of a forgotten civilization.

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IOTY Genre Award 2012

Feature 17 comments

The Genre Awards is a brand new category this year especially designed for IndieDB to celebrate the diversity that Indie games have. A staff selected category to define our editors most memorable selections from five different genres including Action, Adventure, RPG, Strategy and Puzzle.

Without further ado here are your winners!

Adventure consists of the following sub genres: adventure, platformer, point n' click and visual novel.

Runners Up: Dustforce, Under the Ocean

And the winner is: Journey!

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

Journey is as it sounds, players take on the role of a unnamed robed character who travels across a vast desert in search of a distant glowing light. You might run into another player who is temporarily connected to your world and with no spoken words or text in the game you can "attempt" to communicate by your actions and singing. It is a short but beautiful adventure and if you have access to a Playstation 3 we urge you to play this.

Action consists of the following sub genres: first person shooter, third person shooter, tactical shooter, fighting, arcade and stealth.

Runners Up: Natural Selection 2, Hotline Miami

And the winner is: Mark of the Ninja!

Observe Leap of faith Hangman

Stealth games are normally quite tedious, with players spending a considerable amount of time sneaking around unsure of when to execute their plans. Mark of the Ninja does things a little differently. Being 2D everything is extremely precise, you can move with ease and silencing your opponents is very satisfying. Not to mention the game looks amazing in motion. If you want to feel like a badass you owe it to yourself to pick this game up.

RPG consists of the following sub genres: role playing, rougelike and hack n' slash.

Runners Up: Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten, Legend of Grimrock

And the winner is: Faster than Light!

Screenshots Screenshots Screenshots

Faster than Light hits on everything that makes Indie gaming so special. Not only is it a game we would never see big developers risk working on but the controls and gameplay are designed to be stressful. All in all it was a very surprising release that had our staff playing for months after the beta. A fantastic game that deserves its place at the top.

Strategy consists of the following sub genres: real time strategy, real time strategy shooter, real time tactics, turn based strategy, turn based tactics, tower defense, grand strategy and 4x.

Runners Up: Reprisal, Xenonauts

And the winner is: Towns!

Panorama - by grmain Just a house

Every so often a game will come about that from day one captures the minds of thousands of players. Towns from the very beginning excelled in offering a deep town building experience that did not compromise on accessibility. Towns will only continue to get better over the coming year, it is a game to keep watching.

Puzzle consists of the following sub genres: cinematic, educational, family, party, rhythm and virtual life.

Runners Up: SpyLeaks, Offspring Fling!

And the winner is: Thomas was Alone!

Thomas Was Alone Thomas Was Alone Thomas Was Alone

What makes Thomas was Alone so very special is that everything in the game works surprising well together. Who would have thought a game about different sized blocks would be so entertaining, a fine mix of minimalist art, amazing narration and charm set Thomas was Alone apart from the pack.

There are so many other games that did not make this list due to time constraints. If you like what you have seen out of the genre awards for 2012 let us know in the comments below. Any feedback we get helps out!


Should be on PC.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+13 votes

This is not an indie game, published by Sony for devines sake.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+7 votes

Indie refers to development, NOT publication.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes

I am pretty sure they were FUNDED by Sony, so they're not exactly indie. They were backed by a huge publisher.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes

As far as I can find, they are still an independent development company. That has nothing to do with whether or not they work out a publication deal with a publisher like Sony. They are Indie, regardless of who they go to for publication after the fact.

Reply Good karma Bad karma0 votes

Then how would you describe a dependent developer? All publishing contracts that I'm aware of are for particular projects only. There are no studios of which I know that depend on the same publisher all of the time.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes

yeah, it means independently developed right?

Reply Good karma Bad karma0 votes
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