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TSA Game Of The Year 2013 - Indie

Arcade perfection.

If there’s one sector of the games industry that consistently tries to do something different, it’s the Indie gaming scene. As 2013 draws to a close, it’s an area which is seeing greater and greater coverage, recognition and support, with all of the major manufacturers looking to get more of these games onto their newest platforms.

With that in mind, the top results of the staff vote might be a little surprising. Rather than pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a game, the top three have gone in the opposite direction, distilling, refining and perfecting their gameplay. Each delivers a quintessential example of their given genre.

Velocity Ultra wins the category, as Futurlab returned to their excellent PS Mini, Velocity, and gave it a graphical retrofit for the PS Vita release earlier this year. Since then, Curve Studios have since helped them bring the game to PS3 and PCs, leaving you with fewer and fewer excuses not to play it, while Futurlab themselves focus on the rather good looking Velocity 2X for next year.

In a close second place comes the exceedingly well polished Resogun, from Housemarque with all its voxel-based graphics and dazzling physics effect tied to an easy to play but brutally difficult to master arcade shooter. If you have a PS4, then you quite likely have this game already, bundled in as part of every PS+ subscription.

However, there’s a fairly big gap back to third placed Guacamelee!, also on PS+ right now, which saw Drinkbox Studios take our hero in a luchador  mask on a Dia de Los Mueros-infused, Metroidvania-style adventure.

It’s only after this that we see some of the more odd-ball games, with fireplace simulator Little Inferno tied for fourth spot with border control simulator Papers, Please. The latter, of course, deserving recognition as possibly the only game that Channel 4’s Jon Snow thinks sounds interesting, though he’d still probably claim it’s too violent.

Gunpoint then heads up SteamWorld Dig, Surgeon Simulator 2013, Slender: The Arrival, Proteus and Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine. All of which are fantastically diverse games, and worth taking a look at.

Velocity Ultra is TheSixthAxis’ Indie game of the year.


  1. nofi
    One for all.
    Since: Forever

    Shame The Stanley Parable didn’t make it – probably the most inventive game this year by a long mile. Velocity’s great, of course (and Resogun too) but there’s something about Stanley that keeps me dipping back in.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 09:20.
    • Blair Inglis
      Since: May 2009

      I need to play that.

      Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 10:06.
      • Gareth Chadwick
        Since: Forever

        I still haven’t played it either.

        Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 10:49.
    • Severn2j
      Since: Aug 2008

      The problem I found with the Stanley Parable is that the playability drops off sharply after about an hour. Also, if you played the original half-life mod, then there’s even less mileage in it.

      It was a great idea, but I dont know if I would go as far as to call it a game.. More a psychological experiment, imo.

      Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 13:48.
      • nofi
        One for all.
        Since: Forever

        Don’t agree. I’ve probably put 3 or 4 hours into it, and whilst it’s well beyond your typical game, it’s definitely a game. That plays with being a game. =)

        Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 16:56.
  2. tonycawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    Only played velocity and resogun out of those. Of those 2,resogun takes it for me by a long distance. Excellent game, really well designed and looks beautiful. Velocity on the other hand just wasn’t for me though I can’t quite put my finger on why.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 09:29.
  3. Vallon
    Since: Sep 2013

    Resogun is such a good title, and the fact its free on PS Plus is a massive bonus, though i’d quite happily have paid for it. Not tried velocity, maybe it’ll come to PS Plus one month – was tempted when it was on offer, but i’ve got a few games to play through atm so seemed a bit pointless.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 10:23.
    • McProley
      Since: Aug 2011

      Velocity has already been on Plus I beleive. I may be wrong but I have it on my memory card and have no recollection of buying it.

      Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 11:03.
    • Stefan L
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      Velocity Ultra was on PS+ when it launched for PS Vita, not to mention the PS mini original was too!

      Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 11:03.
  4. Avenger
    Since: Oct 2012

    I haven’t played Resogun, but I think Velocity Ultra is good, just not good enough for first. For me Guacamelee stood out from all other indie games with its open interactive world, gameplay, and cross save initiative. Velocity ultra would be my second choice; brilliant game.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 10:31.
    • Youles
      Since: Feb 2011

      Totally agree with you – Guacamelee was one of my favourite games last year, only second to The Last of Us.

      Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 11:07.
    • KeRaSh
      Since: Nov 2009

      Guacamelee also got my vote. I loved everything about this game. It’s probably my favorite Vita game so far.

      Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 13:17.
  5. TSBonyman
    Since: Dec 2009

    Resogun wins it for me easily but Velocity was good too.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2013 at 11:39.