Small… But Perfectly Formed
Mono masterpieces: the five best black-and-white indies
Adam Saltsman’s minimalist classic is not only a pixel-art recreation of the best action movie set-piece never made, but popularised a new genre: the endless runner. Yet none of the thousands of copycats has come close to matching its raw thrills, nor its pitch-perfect touchscreen controls.
Playdead’s side-scroller might have been usurped by its follow-up Inside, but it’s still an eerie platform-puzzler, blending horror and jet-black comedy to riveting effect. Its opening act has lost none of its power – that spider remains one of the most terrifying videogame enemies we’ve ever encountered.
A sympathetic depiction of the lives of three street vendors, Richard Hofmeier’s awardwinning management sim is gripping and moving. It casts a light on tough lives without coming across as preachy, and while it’s not fun in a traditional sense, there’s real satisfaction in overcoming hardships.
Shi ft 2
Antony Lavelle’s Flash favourite is a puzzler built upon the most basic ingredients, as your avatar – and each room’s surfaces – change polarity at the push of a button. The level design displays staggering ingenuity, wringing every drop of creativity from its simple conceit. A witty script is the icing on the cake.
Th e Graveyard
This short game from Tale Of Tales is a touching experience. You control a frail old woman, your goal being simply to walk towards and sit on a bench. In its ten-minute runtime, it manages to capture something of the fragility of life, and its influence is felt in Uncharted 2’s memorable village scene.