The result is a one-of-a-kind farming sim that's as much a love letter to the SNES games of yesteryear as it is an expression of modern design and a collective yearning for a simple life in a small town.
Stardew Valley is so charming, so sprawling, so full of interesting and fun things to do and secrets to find that it's easily claimed hundreds of hours from members of the Games Radar staff alone.
Cave Story was one of the few big pre-indie boom success stories, made during a time before Steam completely dominated the PC marketplace and before companies like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo welcomed independent developers with open arms.
Created by Daisuke 'Pixel' Amaya over the course of five years in his spare time, this labor of love spread via message boards and word of mouth, becoming a massive cult hit within months.
As an American living in Japan, Lucas Pope was subjected to immigration checks a couple of times each year.
Pope's interest in dystopian themes originally led him to create The Republia Times, a flash-based propaganda simulator where you play as Editor-In-Chief of a slanted newspaper.He worked on it for five years, crafting its rooms, enemies, and thumping tunes all by his lonesome.Axiom Verge has all the trappings you'd expect from a "metroidvania" - winding, non-linear maps and a variety of power-ups and weapons that'll help you overcome enemies and the various doors and obstacles blocking your path - but Axiom Verge carves out its own path by making all the gadgets you collect totally change how you play.There are remote drones to help you explore inaccessible areas, a trenchcoat that lets you phase through walls, a grappling hook that helps you maneuver across large gaps, and many other cool twists to find during your surprisingly lengthy journey through a mysterious alien world.Nintendo may be resting on Metroid for now, but Axiom Verge is good enough to make you forget all about our interminable wait for another proper entry in the series.