Minecraft is a first-person fighter/sandbox construction game created by Mojang AB.

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Indie of the Year 2010 Editors Choice - Best Singleplayer Indie

Posted by Henley on Dec 21st, 2010
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2010 the was a great year for singleplayer indie releases, its difficult to list only five. To be nominated for an award in Best Singleplayer Indie projects need to have been updated significantly during 2010 and have a Singleplayer portion. Here are the Editors of IndieDB's and our judges top selection of 2010.



MinecraftMinecraft
is a sandbox construction game. It involves players creating and destroying various types of blocks in a three dimensional environment. The player takes an avatar that can destroy or create blocks, forming fantastic structures, creations and artwork across the various multiplayer servers in creative mode, or fending off zombies, skeletons, spiders and creepers in survival, indev/infdev or Minecraft Alpha game-modes.


LimboLimbo
is a 2D sidescroller, incorporating a physics system that governs environmental objects and the player character. The player guides an unnamed boy through dangerous environments and traps while searching for the boy's sister. The developer built the game's puzzles expecting the player to fail before finding the correct solution.

Super Meat Boy
take on the role of a small animated cube of meat named Meat Boy who must save his girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from the evil Dr. Fetus. Players must use sharp reflexes to guide Meat Boy to the end of each level, using his wall clinging ability, while avoiding buzzsaws, salt, and other various death bringing obstacles. The game will contain about 350 levels, which are split across various chapters.

VVVVVVVVVVVV
is a 2D puzzle platform video game, built using Adobe Flash for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. Featuring a gravity flipping game mechanic, the game was developed by Terry Cavanagh and was released in 2010 alongside an online demo.

Amnesia: The Dark DescentAmnesia: The Dark Descent
puts you in the shoes of Daniel as he wakes up in a desolate castle, barely remembering anything about his past. Exploring the eerie pathways, you must also take part of Daniel's troubled memories. The horror does not only come from the outside, but from the inside as well. A disturbing odyssey into the dark corners of the human mind awaits. A sound of dragging feet? Or is your mind playing tricks on you?

Post comment Comments  (0 - 50 of 99)
Radu_IceMan
Radu_IceMan Dec 21 2010, 1:04pm says:

C'mon, let it be Amnesia!

+16 votes     reply to comment
SteveZombie
SteveZombie Dec 21 2010, 1:08pm says:

Gotta be Minecraft or Meat Boy.

+11 votes     reply to comment
Nawwx
Nawwx Dec 21 2010, 1:08pm says:

GOD DAMN IT REALLY SHOULD BE MINECRAFT THIS TIME!!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Theon
Theon Dec 21 2010, 6:35pm replied:

FINALLY

+1 vote     reply to comment
Greenagainn!
Greenagainn! Dec 21 2010, 1:09pm says:

Holy balls, when the screen first loaded I thought Limbo would win because it's so badass but then I scrolled down to realise it's going to be a really tight call between all five games. I don't mind which one wins because they are all easily worthy of the award.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Colossal
Colossal Dec 21 2010, 1:09pm says:

Minecraft or Meat Boy

+2 votes     reply to comment
Darthlex
Darthlex Dec 21 2010, 1:11pm says:

I always thought these categories were for games that were actually actively developed on ModDB .. And that it was a PC only thing?

+1 vote     reply to comment
TheJx4
TheJx4 Dec 21 2010, 1:16pm replied:

@darthlex, ahem, INDIE.

+3 votes     reply to comment
d2king10
d2king10 Dec 21 2010, 10:07pm replied:

I don't get how they are considering a lot of these games indie, when they clearly aren't...I have a hard time even considering Minecraft indie these days considering they have earned over 9mil on the game...he doesn't need to win. Let a game that doesn't have the popularity or money win so they can get known as well.

+4 votes     reply to comment
davecheesefish
davecheesefish Dec 22 2010, 8:04am replied:

If they made loads of money, it means lots of people bought it. If lots of people bought it, lots of people like it. If lots of people like it, it's a good game. If it's a good game, why shouldn't it win?

0 votes     reply to comment
d2king10
d2king10 Dec 22 2010, 12:44pm replied:

Lets put it this way, why would a game that has gotten 9million dollars need to win a competition for more recognition? They don't, it would be better for unknown games to get a break, but it is impossible for a smaller game to ever have a chance at winning against a game like Minecraft because of how well known it is. Minecraft (or a lot of the other finalists), are already well known enough, and a lot of them are already selling in online stores like arcade and steam. I don't consider that indie any longer.

0 votes     reply to comment
pinkmullet
pinkmullet Dec 22 2010, 1:55pm replied:

It doesn't matter whether or not you consider Minecraft indie, it is indie and that's all there is to it. it is a video game made by an independent video game developer, that makes it an indie game.

Besides, these games are all here for a reason, they are good. they are popular BECAUSE they are good. if you start ignoring the good indie games because they are too popular you defeat the purpose of having the contest in the first place.

+1 vote     reply to comment
d2king10
d2king10 Dec 22 2010, 6:23pm replied:

And by allowing "indie" games that have made 9 million dollars or have sold in stores, you are pretty much eliminating any chance an unknown indie game would ever have at getting seen. The point of these competitions are to help indie games get on their feet running, not boost already bloated games up higher, overshadowing great, unheard of, indie titles.

I am not saying Minecraft or Limbo, etc are bad games, but I believe what defines Indie games these days are so blurred its not even funny, and honestly, it is starting to be all about who you know than if your game is good or not. I remember when finding a good indie game was a charm, now the indie game scene is almost as bad as the AAA title game scene in regards to what/who is popular and what/who isn't.

0 votes     reply to comment
pinkmullet
pinkmullet Dec 23 2010, 11:28am replied:

you don't actually know what indie means do you? the definition isn't blurred at all, you just don't know what it is. Indie games are video games developed by an independent video game company, an independent video game company is one with no financial backing by a publisher. ANY game produced by ANYONE that was published with no help from a publisher is independent.

Also, the reason for this website is to promote unknown independent games, the point of this COMPETITION is to show off the best that the website has to offer to give an example of what an independent developer is capable of. That, in turn, raises awareness and support of independent games in general, to NOT support these games in this way would be not only unfair, because they deserve the praise, but it would be doing a disservice to all independent games and their developers.

God damn it I'm good.

+3 votes     reply to comment
d2king10
d2king10 Dec 23 2010, 2:01pm replied:

No you really aren't good. How is there any difference from a game that has 9 million dollars backing it, and a publisher? There is none. You could take that money and spend it to promote and do everything else a publisher is going to do.

You are trying too hard to make a point that isn't even valid. Just look at how much your posts have been down rated, that should tell you that the community doesn't agree with your statements. Your comments sound good on paper, but if you actually think about it, you will see that there is no difference between Minecraft and a game published by a company. The term indie has a different meaning than it used to have.

-4 votes     reply to comment
FirgofUmbra
FirgofUmbra Dec 23 2010, 2:23pm replied:

@d2king: I agree whole-heartedly.

Awarding the 'best independently-made games' is completely different from awarding the 'best indie games'. How financially successful a game is should not enter into the competition's judging if the award is unbiased. In the same vein, I would not award the Customer Service Award to Microsoft every year simply because they service the most customers among software distributors -- I would favor the company that has the, bar-none, best customer service on a per-person basis.

To the point: "to NOT support these games in this way would be not only unfair, because they deserve the praise, but it would be doing a disservice to all independent games and their developers."
Which is more of a disservice to indie games (in perspective: to developers who have no money who may be unable to make another game without commercial success): Putting a game that's already on a pedestal with a developer who is now more than capable of funding themselves on a higher pedestal or putting a polished game that's not quite so financially or commercially successful as the pedestal'd title, but just as qualified and well-put-together or more well put together on a pedestal?

The first choice puts an independent game on a pedestal. The second choice elevates indie games as a whole on a pedestal. The first choice makes 'a champion' for indie games. The second choice shows people there's more than one good indie game out there. The first choice awards a commercially successful developer, the second choice awards a developer a potential chance to financially secure themselves.

"God damn it I'm good."
:\ Well aren't you annoyingly and undeservedly smug.

0 votes     reply to comment
pinkmullet
pinkmullet Dec 24 2010, 3:49pm replied:

"Awarding the 'best independently-made games' is completely different from awarding the 'best indie games'. How financially successful a game is should not enter into the competition's judging if the award is unbiased. In the same vein, I would not award the Customer Service Award to Microsoft every year simply because they service the most customers among software distributors -- I would favor the company that has the, bar-none, best customer service on a per-person basis."

What? who are you agreeing with here? I'm the one saying that financial success shouldn't come into play, he is saying that minecraft doesn't deserve to win because they already have millions of dollars. Also saying that "independently-made games" are different from "indie games" is like saying that "one plus one equals two" is different from "1+1=2" they are the exact same thing.

you seem to be suggesting that these games are not the best they are just popular, but they are popular BECAUSE they are the best. and even if that WASN'T the case, even if they were only popular because they are the most mainstream and accessible it's still better to help these people than some one else. Think of it this way, if you want to get somebody into gaming you don't put them in front of a computer and get them to play EVE online, that stuff is complicated. You give them a Wii and hope they work their way up to stuff with more depth. Or in this case you give them a accessible indie game and hope they make their way through to the more obscure stuff that they normally wouldn't be interested in.

I feel like theres a bit of indie douchebaggery going on here, the popular indie games suck now because they are popular only the games nobody knows about are worth mentioning.

Let me ask you this; if minecraft wasn't a success at all, if it made no money and just barely broke even and nobody had ever heard of it, but it's the exact same game, then would it be deserving of this prize?

+1 vote     reply to comment
FirgofUmbra
FirgofUmbra Dec 24 2010, 10:57am replied:

"I'm the one saying that financial success shouldn't come into play"
I'm saying that it should be subtly weighted; that it must be biased out of necessity. It's an awards ceremony's judge's duty to not simply hand out an award to whoever was the most successful -- it's to hand out the award to whoever deserves it the most. This should not be a popularity contest -- there already is one and it's called Player's Choice.

"they are the exact same thing."
To equate Rocksteady Games on a 1:1 basis with Taleworlds Entertainment back with M&B 1 would be unfair, wouldn't it? One is run by seasoned industry professionals with plenty of money saved up, with enough professional connections to get them the Batman license for Arkham Asylum, incredible voice actors, the writers for the comics themselves, etc. No publisher, so they're an independent studio. Should we judge both just the same?

"only the games nobody knows about are worth mentioning."
The games nobody knows about deserve to win more than the games that are already popular because: See my prior comment.

"then would it be deserving of this prize?"
I'm not the judges. If your assertion is that I'm saying all this to be 'hip' and divisive, you should re-examine my arguments.

"you seem to be suggesting that these games are not the best they are just popular, but they are popular BECAUSE they are the best."
Only popular games can be good? They're popular because they're easy to get in to. Is Bejewled 3 a top-tier title representative of the best indie gaming has to offer?

"it's still better to help these people than some one else."
In sum: Show people FarmVille and say 'this is gaming' because this gets more people into gaming. There are a number of flawed assumptions and illogical fallacies in assuming that's the "best and only way" to get people into games. Further, it's disingenuous because indie games are not 'entry level games'. That's an insult to the entire medium.

0 votes     reply to comment
pinkmullet
pinkmullet Dec 24 2010, 8:59pm replied:

After your first sentence I don't even really want to continue arguing with you. first you say "How financially successful a game is should not enter into the competition's judging if the award is unbiased" now your saying "I'm saying that it should be subtly weighted; that it must be biased out of necessity." those are two completely opposite opinions on the same subject.

I mean, if you can just start changing your opinion like that then whats the point?

listen man, I really want to copy paste parts of your argument and rebut them but I don't want to get into a ridiculous, stupid 3 page argument with you more so I'm going to stop right here. maybe we can end this on good terms by agreeing that posting 6 paragraph rebuttals for 10 pages is a universally stupid thing to do on the internet regardless of what your arguing.

+1 vote     reply to comment
FirgofUmbra
FirgofUmbra Dec 25 2010, 1:17am replied:

"How financially successful a game is should not enter into the competition's judging if the award is unbiased."
I want the award to be subtly biased; this is not contradictory, you just don't understand what I'm saying. An unbiased award is an unfair award -- you have to be biased toward not going with the mainstream opinion to offer a good critical opinion, otherwise you're just nodding your head along with everyone else -- and potentially you're also ignoring other titles that you might otherwise be less inclined to look into because you feel that 'this title is unapproachable'. The criticism and judging must be divorced from the mainstream opinion and live on its own merits.

From your statement that you think I'm being contradictory, I don't believe you really read my post. I'm of the belief that you skimmed it. Actually read it otherwise we're going to be talking past each other.

"maybe we can end this on good terms by agreeing that posting 6 paragraph rebuttals for 10 pages is a universally stupid thing to do on the internet regardless of what your arguing. "
If you don't want six paragraph rebuttals, don't type six paragraphs.

0 votes     reply to comment
pinkmullet
pinkmullet Dec 24 2010, 3:16pm replied:

ugh, you don't get it man, publishers give game companies millions of dollars to MAKE a game so that they can make millions of dollars in profit, minecraft had no financial backing, it didn't ALWAYS have nine million dollars. They started with nothing and worked their way up to huge success, most non-independent games start with millions. There is a huge difference between what minecraft did and what people with publisher backing does.

+2 votes     reply to comment
d2king10
d2king10 Dec 25 2010, 6:20am replied:

Even if Minecraft earned 9 million dollars, that is equivalent to the amount of money a publisher would give to a game studio to work on a game. Once he reached that amount of funding for a project, how is it fair to pair it against nonfunded games? Imagine what any nonfunded game could be like with 9million dollars, it no longer becomes indy.

You can argue it all you want, no one is denying that minecraft is fun, the question is whether it should still be considered indie.

0 votes     reply to comment
isaktamin
isaktamin Dec 29 2010, 7:31pm replied:

Christ, guys.

Indie games are games made by independent studios. Budget isn't taken into account. Popularity isn't. Profit isn't. These competitions are all about how GOOD the game is.

Minecraft is a completely unique game. Amnesia is the best horror game in years. Super Meat Boy is a fantastic platformer. All of them are excellent - it doesn't matter how much money they made.

En.wikipedia.org
It clearly says it's any game made without financial support of a publisher. Minecraft and all the games in these competitions fit this definition.

0 votes     reply to comment
FirgofUmbra
FirgofUmbra Dec 31 2010, 12:06am replied:

I don't think it's fair to 'brush over' studios whose one chance to survive may be this very award getting them and their title noticed.

It isn't as simple as 'the best' title. It's the best indie title -- but even then, it's the best indie title *listed on IndieDB* -- further, that it's the best indie title listed on IndieDB that was greatly voted for. That means you could have the best game in the world but if nobody votes for it you're not going to be selected.

("But surely since it's so good it'll have great marketing!") That's not necessarily true. Some titles are truly niche and even then might have horrendous graphics or unappealing first-impressions despite being able to provide an incredible experience once you get into them. Even then, you're actively competing against other teams and projects who may have astronomically larger fanbases than yours. Finally members may vote up to three times -- not on unlimited numbers of projects. This means they're less likely to vote on obscure titles that they're not sure about -- a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Just because a game doesn't have awesome marketing doesn't mean it isn't awesome -- the Editors should be able to nominate and elect outside of the popular vote, as that's their perogative and makes the competition fair to games that have an incredible framework and style but weak to no advertisment or comparable fanbase. The rules framework doesn't allow them to do that and encourages popular vote -- the whole contest is slanted toward popularity and games that are on IndieDB.

It's my opinion that these restrictions greatly reduce the meaning of the award itself and threaten to undermine the basic principles of the phrase '[...] of the Year' if casually abused or strictly enforced.

0 votes     reply to comment
taurous
taurous Jan 13 2011, 1:03pm replied:

"That means you could have the best game in the world but if nobody votes for it you're not going to be selected. "

Are you kidding? If you had the best game in the world, then everyone would vote for you. That's why Minecraft won. They were the best, and the fit the criteria. This is a contest to see what the best Indie game is. This is not a fake contest to promote unpopular games.

+1 vote     reply to comment
FirgofUmbra
FirgofUmbra Jan 15 2011, 1:49am replied:

I'm not kidding and I already addressed that. See: ("But surely since it's so good it'll have great marketing!")

To paraphrase your rebuttal: "Good games always have good marketing from their playerbase and that good marketing is always enough to gather more players or convince more people to play the game."

This is a false assumption and I can provide historical evidence to demonstrate its logical error. Point in case: Wing Commander caused Star Crusader to 'die' despite Wing Commander being, in many myriad ways, inferior in control scheme, game design, plot, depth-of-play, graphics, and replayability because players "knew" what Wing Commander was and didn't know what Star Crusader was. Wing Commander outsold Star Crusader because it had superior marketing, had "household name" actors, and was a series that was 'trusted'. As a pre-emptive: Yes, this is relevant to indie gaming. You can have AAA indie games that would qualify to enter under the rules of the contest (see: Half-life 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, etc.)

I-War Vs. Descent: FreeSpace; Shattered Steel Vs. MechWarrior 3. I could go on but I'll refrain to save time. A game can have extraordinary popularity over other rival games despite being an inferior title; this greatly debases the credibility of public opinion on 'what is good'.

Would it be fair to pit Limbo against Batman: Arkham Asylum in a popularity contest? Who do you think would win? Minecraft has sold roughly a million copies so far. Arkham Asylum sold over two million copies on consoles (not counting PC/Steam sales) in its *first month*. Rocksteady Games is an indie studio that put out an indie game. There are games from 2009 in the listings for the Top 100. Where is Batman: Arkham Asylum if your belief that 'popularity begets the winner's circle'? It didn't even make Top 100. Why not?

0 votes     reply to comment
SPYFF
SPYFF Dec 21 2010, 1:20pm says:

Amnesia for GOTY!

+4 votes     reply to comment
Hitelf
Hitelf Dec 21 2010, 1:29pm says:

Minecraft or amnesia >:3

+1 vote     reply to comment
█Black/Brunez█
█Black/Brunez█ Dec 21 2010, 1:31pm says:

Super Meat boy

(wasn´t Minecraft multiplayer?)

-2 votes     reply to comment
cW#Ravenblood
cW#Ravenblood Dec 21 2010, 1:39pm replied:

mainly Singleplayer, but can also be played in MP.

+1 vote     reply to comment
█Black/Brunez█
█Black/Brunez█ Dec 21 2010, 3:56pm replied:

ok then

+1 vote     reply to comment
lukutizzz
lukutizzz Dec 21 2010, 1:35pm says:

MINECRAFT!!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
ReLiFeD
ReLiFeD Dec 21 2010, 1:51pm says:

totaly minecraft :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kizzycocoa
Kizzycocoa Dec 21 2010, 1:52pm says:

minecraft will win this section of the awards. I'm 90% sure of it :P

+3 votes     reply to comment
geokes
geokes Dec 21 2010, 1:57pm says:

Super Meat Boy, if minecraft wins i'll cut off my left ball. (I dont dislike minecraft, its just not reaaallly singleplayer)

-2 votes     reply to comment
dragonyox
dragonyox Dec 21 2010, 2:02pm replied:

Minecraft MP sucks right now, It lags and theres alot of bugs. Its mainly singleplayer.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Spycon_Fighter
Spycon_Fighter Dec 21 2010, 3:03pm replied:

So when will you do it?

+3 votes     reply to comment
ReLiFeD
ReLiFeD Dec 21 2010, 3:49pm replied:

okay cut of his left ball :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
keiya
keiya Dec 22 2010, 3:51pm replied:

Will you post a video of you cutting your ball off on Youtube?

+1 vote     reply to comment
d3monslay3r4
d3monslay3r4 Dec 22 2010, 6:24pm replied:

cut of your left ball NOW

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dr.Worm
Dr.Worm Dec 21 2010, 2:08pm says:

Amnesia should get it, and maybe Minecraft. But I hope Amnesia gets it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mkilbride
Mkilbride Dec 21 2010, 2:11pm says:

Amnesia needs to win or the Editor is quite stupid.

-4 votes     reply to comment
bita
bita Dec 21 2010, 2:15pm says:

Hope Minecraft wins.

+1 vote     reply to comment
X4VI3R
X4VI3R Dec 21 2010, 2:22pm says:

Amnesia, by light-years far.

0 votes     reply to comment
Dr.Goupyl
Dr.Goupyl Dec 21 2010, 2:31pm says:

Amnesia or Minecraft !

+2 votes     reply to comment
DuckAtArms
DuckAtArms Dec 21 2010, 2:35pm says:

I hope it's Amnesia, it's a hell of a game experience.

+1 vote     reply to comment
MatthewD
MatthewD Dec 21 2010, 2:37pm says:

Amnesia 100%.

-1 votes     reply to comment
HellEntertainment
HellEntertainment Dec 21 2010, 2:57pm says:

Amnesia all the way

0 votes     reply to comment
X4VI3R
X4VI3R Dec 21 2010, 3:05pm buried:

(buried)

MINECRAFT?!
WHAT THE **** IS WRONG WITH THIS!?

-5 votes     reply to comment
Spycon_Fighter
Spycon_Fighter Dec 21 2010, 3:08pm replied:

Out of all these games.. which have you heard/seen the most.

-1 votes     reply to comment
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Minecraft
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Mojang AB
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Released Nov 6, 2011
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