Ok ... so, I don't want to start any crap here, but I feel obligated to defend the image on the left. It's a shot from a game called Gravitation that was part of a DSiWare compilation called Alt-Play. Alt-Play was an anthology of the collected works of Jason Roher, a critically acclaimed indie game developer, best known for his (very short) life simulator, Passage (if you havent played it, take 10 min and go do so now here: http://hcsoftware.sourceforge.net/passage/
- it's free, short, and pound for pound one of the most meaningful games you'll ever play). So, Roher's "thing" is basically that he makes creative games with subject matter and themes that haven't really been addressed before, and typically doesn't make much money off of them. He is (usually) a one man team, where he does almost all of the development work, at all levels on his own, which means he doesn't really have the bandwidth to make these really elaborate, beautiful games, and typically resorts to a very simplistic style, just enough to convey the purpose behind the game.
If you aren't familiar with his work, again Passage is the best place to start, but I would also recommend trying to track down the very unique Diamond Trust of London for the DS (I think it is technically the last game released for the system, and one of the early Kickstarter successes), or his evil gambling game Cordial Minuet, which I hear is very good, but I can't bring myself to try because my family has a little bit of a problem with the whole gambling thing. Some of the other things that he has done that he is known for are releasing a single copy of a game on a USB that could only be played once by a single player and then passed on to another... releasing The Castle Doctrine (a burglary MMO) on on Steam at it's lowest price and promising to never sell the game for less than that, to buck the trend of delaying purchases for Steam sales .... and lives a life with his family with almost 0 ecological footprint... so overall, just being a solid human being. One thing I want to make clear though
- I am only defending this specific image, from this specific game, because of this specific developer. I generally give a solid thumbs down to most other retro-styled games (with some obvious exceptions, like Cave Story, which, in reality, could likely be the patient zero in this whole epidemic, since Pixel was really the one that brought back the whole aesthetic when that game was released.... oh and Jamestown also comes to mind because that's a solid shmup). At this point things have just gotten gimmicky, and speak to an eroding level of creativity in certain facets of the indie games scene.