Top 5 Indie PC Games of 2013

Looking for the best games you may have missed in 2013?  To help you with that, here are our votes for the best PC games of the year. Each game on this list is a unique experience, well worth playing. Some take place in worlds we’ve never seen before; others bring us much closer to home.

Don't StarveDon’t Starve is a challenging survival game, which calls to mind popular games such as Minecraft and Terraria.  At the beginning, your character wakes alone in the wilderness, with no tools, no gear, and no food.

Your first tasks will be finding simple sources of food and supplies to craft what you need to survive. By nightfall, you need to be able maintain a fire through the dark hours, else your character will die.  A fire isn’t your only problem, however: you must also try not to starve and keep an eye on your character’s sanity.

Oh, but insanity, starvation, and whatever lurks in the dark are not the only cruel and hilarious ends this game offers our poor characters.  What could be a rather grim game is brightened by quirky humor throughout, from the possible deaths to the text to the art style.

The challenge is addicting.  And because the world in which you will play is randomly generated at character creation, no matter how many times you come back for more, it never feels stale.

Another cool feature is that the longer you keep your character alive, the more experience points you earn toward unlocking cool and unusual alternate characters to play.  This only adds to the replayability, as it becomes fascinating to try the different characters to hear their unique voices and see how they fare.

Download Brothers on AmazonIn Brothers, you control two characters at once, brothers, using their strengths and weaknesses to advance through the game. The goal of the game is to find Water of Life to save their sick father. The journey will take you through a fairytale – like story unforgettably delivered by the beautiful art style and unusual style of play.

Papers, PleasePapers, Please is a dystopian simulation game.  It’s easy to overlook, with its simple graphics and odd premise. Truly, I never would have imagined I wanted to play the role of a bureaucrat guarding entrance to a communist country, before I saw this game.

As the player, you are one of the lucky few to have a job at all, and your superiors care only that you make sure everyone’s papers are in order. Some of the people who appear before you will have compelling reasons you might want to let them in, but you know there are problems with their papers which will earn you a citation if you do. Others will clearly seem up to no good, but their papers are flawless. At the end of each day, your living expenses and any penalties are tallied, giving you a brutal view of whether or not you were able to afford heat and food for your family.

So do you play the part of a mindless cog in the machine, or do you risk it all to do what you feel is right? Will you accept bribes, or work with extreme efficiency, and perhaps – perhaps – earn your way into a better life?

Twenty different endings are possible, influenced by your choices in carrying out your job.

Gone HomeGone Home offers a tense, atmospheric mystery to explore as you follow the steps of a girl returned home to visit her family, only to find them gone, their house empty. Players sift through the debris of her parents’ and little sister’s lives to try to unravel what happened. It’s an emotional, powerful game with some of the best storytelling I’ve ever seen.

The Stanley ParableThe Stanley Parable presents the player, in the first person experience of an office worker named Stanley, with a surreal exploration of narrative and player choice in video games. The setting is simple: one day, at work, Stanley’s computer screen goes blank, and from there the player begins explore the office. Narration begins to guide him, even suggesting paths to take when players are presented with choice. But… what if the players want to take a different action?

This is a thought-provoking and entertaining game, particularly for any gamer who has been frustrated because they wanted to make a choice other than those they were guided toward.

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So, there you have my family’s five favorite new games of the year.  Know of an amazing game experience we missed?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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