Goomba Stomp spent much of 2017 exploring newer indies, popular indies, and hidden gems. Our talented writers delved into the indie market; playing hours of Stardew Valley, getting nostalgia for Maniac Mansion, and speaking to creators about what they love doing. This is a collection of the best indie articles, chosen by our staff, to send the year off. Enjoy!

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‘Life Is Strange: Before the Storm’, Episode One — ‘Awake’ is a Deep, Deep Literary Well

Life is Strange: Before the Storm is Shakespearean. It bears an uncanny likeness to The Tempest and with solid purpose too; a tempestuous storm crests ahead on what feels like a coastal isle full of sweet music and sexually frustrated teenagers. “What’s past is prologue” is the motif going for Before the Storm. Experiencing this story after the original Life is Strange makes time feel all the more obscure, irrelevant, and like an illusion. The deep well of allusions that Deck Nine was able to pull from for this game is incredible, making a story that may not be wholly original, but is hella powerful…(read the full article)

‘Oxenfree’ – A Stunning Technical Accomplishment That Is Haunting and Altogether Exquisite

Like most walking simulators, Oxenfree’s story also branches depending on the choices you make, and it’s possible to get one of a few different endings but no matter what ending you get, sacrifices must be made. And that’s the beauty of Oxenfree, by giving players the agency to tell the story they want and creating emotional connections to the characters, every ending comes with a heavy price to pay. While the horror elements are what grant Oxenfree its narrative urgency, the character interactions are the best part of the journey, and like most games that offer players a choice, the results of your decisions – much like life itself – aren’t always satisfying…. (read the full review)

30 Years Since Maniac Mansion: How Adventure Games Have Changed

On this day in 1987 Maniac Mansion was released for the Commodore 64, to be later ported to the up and coming Nintendo Entertainment System for gamers on the cutting edge of 8-bit technology. Yet from the classic point-and-clicks and graphical adventures that delighted fans throughout their heyday in the mid-90s, to the modern adventures returning today, adventure games have come a long way in those thirty years… (read the full article)

Paradise Found: Welcome to ‘Stardew Valley’

If you’re anything like this writer then you’re still getting caught up on the growing pile of games you didn’t have time for last year. Fair enough, 2016 was a brutal year for must-play games, maybe even worse (or better) than the notoriously stacked 2015. In any case, chances are you might have missed out on a lot of great games from last year, and it would be no surprise if one of those forgotten gems turned out to be Stardew Valley… (read the full review)

How to turn ‘Animal Farm’ into a Video Game of Politics and Fairy-tales

Given the current political climate, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to hear that George Orwell’s Animal Farm is being adapted into a video game. Imre Jele, founder of Bossa Studios, announced last month that he would be adapting the political fable into an adventure-tycoon game, working alongside an award-winning team who have worked on games from Alien: Isolation to Dear Esther… (read the full article)

An In-Depth Interview with Jonas Kaerlev, Creator and Lead Developer of ‘A Hat in Time’

A Hat in Time is the first game released by indie studio, Gears for Breakfast, but the collective background of the development team is impressive. Comprised of talented artists, programmers, ex-modders, and the like, the team represents a globe-spanning endeavor more than five years in the making… (read the full interview)

The Untapped Potential of Roguelikes – An Interview with Josh Ge

Earlier this week we reviewed the excellent Cogmind, a one-man production by developer Josh Ge. A four-year labor of love, Cogmind really caught our attention as a special, immersive and unique roguelike that seems to clash with current trends towards roguelikes. We spoke to Josh Ge to get his thoughts on current Roguelite trends, what he loves about traditional Roguelikes, and where he sees the genre going from here… (read the interview)

‘Super Hydorah’: One of the Greatest Shoot-Em-Ups Ever Made

DariusR-TypeGradiusTurrican. These are widely regarded as the classics that have defined the shoot-em-ep genre (often referred to as shmup) for years. They prioritize tight gameplay, massive bosses, and nonstop action over all else, becoming some of the most enjoyable titles during their heyday. Locomalito’s latest creation, Super Hydorah, was inspired in some way by each of these titles with the hopes of bringing the feel of classic shmups to the modern era. Super Hydorah not only succeeds in its creator’s main goal, it exceeds the classics it was based on in every conceivable way… (read the full review)

Picking The Brains of Brain&Brain, The Indie Devs Behind ‘Burly Men at Sea’

A little over a year ago, the quiet adventurers over at Brain&Brain released an interactive choose-your-adventure type story, Burly Men at Sea. The game is their second release since the well-received mobile platform title, Doggins, and thus Burly Men at Sea was met with a wave of praise and appreciation of the simpler, minimal things that make up the core of the game… (read the full article)

Introducing ‘Savior’, Cuba’s First Indie Game

Savior might seem like one of many 2-D sidescrollers at first glance, but this game is actually the first of its kind. The game’s developers, duo Johann Armenteros and Josuhe Pagliery, are working alone from their headquarters in Havana. Games have been made in Cuba before, but only with the power and permission of the government. It’s an oddly specific claim to fame, but worth celebrating nonetheless… (read the full article)

‘Tacoma’ Creates Comfort in A Deep, Dark, Lonely Space

The first sights you gaze upon when starting Tacoma are the vast emptiness of space, a tiny earth in the distance, and a massive space station. Everything is quiet, peaceful, and beautiful as your AI instructs you on docking your ship into the space station Tacoma. Everything about this experience feels like every space odyssey slash sci-fi media mixed together in harmony. It’s like 2001, Battlestar Galactica, and Alien combined. Everything looks so new and hardly touched while ghostly… (read the full article)