“…a true testament to the closeness and comradeship of the indie gaming scene”
Team Indie is an ambitious new platforming adventure game from indie developers Brightside Games. Building on some of their previous work and taking full advantage of the popularity of the ever-expanding indie gaming community, this upcoming title brings together iconic characters from some of the most popular indie releases of recent years. In a true testament to the closeness and comradeship of the indie gaming scene, Team Indie sees these protagonists combine their unique skills in order to help the game’s central character, a cute cat named Marvin, escape the video game world which it has been mysteriously transported to. The adventure is much more than just this however, and at its very core is a rather special way to play; through time travel…
If that introduction has not already peaked your interest, allow me to explain that last part a little further. Team Indie essentially allows you to play cooperatively with yourself in order to complete missions. You must send forward one unique indie game hero with their unique talent, complete a part of the mission at hand, and then go back in time to allow the others to play through the level with the help of what their friend has just completed for them. It’s a much more complex idea than what it plays out as, but crucially it is one which works. More importantly, it makes this game something much more interesting and in some ways challenging than a traditional A to B platformer. It takes some getting used to, and a lot of critical thinking, but Team Indie employs the idea well, and certainly tests your ability to think ahead, perfect your timing and remember what you have already done in order to finish each level.
Outside of just the time-travelling aspect of gameplay, things work pretty smoothly, but there are one or two small issues. Most notably, some of the actions you need to perform are very fine, which can mean you have to repeat some things several times before you get them right. There are few on-screen instructions, so there is some level of trial and error involved as new features enter the game whilst you progress. There are also so minor glitches in play which can be put down to the game’s unfinished form, but naturally these will not be present in the final release version. Otherwise, the game has very simple and easy controls to follow, whether you are using a controller or the keyboard, and things run very smoothly, so it is comfortable to play. As a whole, there is little to turn your nose up at in terms of gameplay; only the fact that rage can easily ensue as you attempt to figure out the game’s levels and puzzles or get stuck on some of the finer feats you must perform.
The game’s story is perhaps not the most in depth and engaging out there, with a greater focus seemingly having been placed on character and world designs. It is a pretty simple situation which you see playing out before you; our feline protagonist is trapped in this video game world having come into contact with a less-friendly furry friend. The cats owner then is forced to try and play his new pet out of the game, and employs the help of some of his favourite indie game characters to help him out. Every character in the game has been recreated fantastically for Team Indie, and fans of some of the game’s which have come together to form the title will be thrilled with the representations which have been adopted for it. The unique abilities of each character create a good level of variety, and equally add to the puzzles which lie ahead. The world however only becomes harder to navigate the deeper in you get…
There are a number of ways in which tackling the game world becomes more difficult as you play; from more tricky platforming, to traps, to puzzles, to controlling more characters at once, but most importantly to boss levels! Of course, no platformer such as this would be complete without them, and Team Indie does not disappoint the player by forgetting this all important feature. The jealous, evil kitty who traps our protagonist in the game world at the start of the story it seems wishes to keep us there too, and will challenge you in a number of ways to make sure that this happens. Perhaps not as daunting as some boss levels gamers will have seen in the past, but still challenging and testing none the less, Team Indie gives the player what they want when it comes down to this feature.
Finally, a mention to the sights and sounds of the game. Team Indie is a beautifully drawn title which, as well as bringing a variety of well known characters back to life for the player, creates a beautiful world for its unique game idea to play out in. The sounds of the game match the world like pieces of a puzzle, with nothing seeming out of place or unfitting in either camp. The game comes together nicely in this way then, to provide a very professional looking overall package to the player and allowing them to enjoy their adventure in a world which is very fitting to the project which the developers have set out to complete.
Whilst the game’s development is not yet 100% complete, it is clear that Marvin and his digital companions have quite the adventure and challenge ahead of them. This is a friendly looking and feeling game with a wealth of variety, which also poses a strong challenge element which tests your abilities in increasingly interesting and more tricky ways. Team Indie certainly shows signs of offering gamers a strong all-round package to enjoy once it is completed. To summarise; so far, so good is the message I would send to Brightside Games, and we can all look forward to the finished product’s release in the near future!