In a gaming world lined with formulaic genre loops of gameplay, generic orchestral soundtracks and board-approved Disney-quip writing, the place to look for titles with real heart and soul has always been the world of independent games.
Defined by small teams, unique styles and new takes on the mechanics of games, for many years (perhaps as early as 2004's Cave Story) the gaming world has been getting rocked by iconic titles like Minecraft, Darkest Dungeon, Hotline Miami, The Binding Of Isaac, Cuphead, LIMBO, and Undertale. They are remembered not for massive marketing efforts or overwhelming amounts of content, but by their true virtues.
I contend that the next true classic to emerge from independent gaming is bound to be Star Fetchers.
A stark, psychedelic and grungy-punk infused experience currently in development with a free pilot available on Steam, it stands out from the crowd with it's lovably crude and characteristic writing and art, sheer style and inspiration oozing from every facet.
Set in a world not unlike ours, with added touches of insanity, you take the point of view of young adult Sanyati, depressive, meek and working a dead-end job. Suddenly approached by the enigmatic and ambitious (if not respected) Zambezi who is all-too-eager to pull an average Joe into a brutal world of gang warfare like a hyperactive Tyler Durden.
The gameplay recalls shades of Hotline Miami and Katana Zero, but with a much looser feel provided by the click-and-drag sword combat. You're sent into the fray to slaughter hordes of gangsters, but you're as squishy and vulnerable as them and liable to get cut down like a hog to the slaughter - then with a press of a button you're instantly back into action, refining your strategy until you clear the room, slicing through goons like a Kurosawa samurai. All this is propelled by a gorgeous, hip-hop-infused soundtrack by Constrobuz, bringing to mind J Dilla's twisted manipulation of samples into ear-catching grooves.
Available to try for free on Steam, with a crowdfunding effort about to launch for future development, I strongly recommend getting in on the ground floor of what I confidently believe is to become a beloved standout title in the world of independent gaming.