PC Game Review: Make it Indie! (2015)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Tuesday, May 26, 2015 0 comments

Make it Indie is an FMV (full motion video) game that has you playing as a game developer that is trying to make the next big indie game.  You have only a week to complete your masterpiece and you can choose to spend that time any way you want as you can: Party with friends, play with your cat, go outside, or even work on the game itself (that last one is an important one).  The premise of the game sounds simple enough but will this game be a nice hidden gem?  Or will this game be some cruel twist of irony to where this game feels like it was made in a week just to snatch up your dollar?  I doubt it'll be anything that malice but we will find out after the jump.  (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

Time, time, time, keeps ticking in my head. - Anthrax
The story in this game is simple, easy to understand, and is very relatable to where it'll feel like a story taken out of your very own life.  It's not just the independent gaming developer part of the story that people can relate to as the same can be said about the parts of the story where you see the main character doing stuff like partying, hanging out with friends, and goofing off.  A very simple story worked very well with this game as it is right to the point and added anything complicated to the story would just make the story confusing.  The story also has a nice sense of satire to it, where it is also parodying on the independent gaming scene and the game did it well as it was clever and charming.  I wouldn't say that the story is everything to enjoying this game as getting what the satire is about is a huge thing to finding enjoyment in this title as otherwise you'd just think it's a game with no substance to the story.

This is a game that you will not feel anything for during the first run of the game as you'll have no idea what to make out of it and just feel like that you have played a weird game.  The second time you play it is when you'll understand what this game is all about and you'll grow fond of it.  You'll also be mesmerized by the cut-scenes as they were shot in a way to where you won't take your eyes off of them despite how uninteresting the imagery is.  The filming style can also be compared to an art-house film as it is very experimental and unorthodox.  When the main character goes to sleep, you will see a weird dream sequence full of weird and trippy imagery and that adds even more to the art-house style that this game has.  I wouldn't say that I was a fan of every single cut-scene as there were some that I did find boring.

What's new pussycat? Whoa-a-whoa-whoa-whoa. - Tom Jones
The video quality in this game is very clean as it is in HD and I did enjoy the quality and was a huge step up to the FMV games that I am normally used too.  Even though that the picture quality is clean, the production of the things that were filmed do have that warm low budget feeling and thus feels like something that you would see on the Sega CD, Panasonic 3DO, and the Atari Jaguar CD.  I also felt that some of the videos (like the good ending) enhanced the novelty and the satire of this game and I was charmed by it. 

Music in this game is quite varied as you'll hear styles such as chiptunes, hard rock, alternative, and techno and that's just to name a few.  I wouldn't say that the soundtrack was the greatest that I ever heard but the it did go along with the game well and created a very nice atmosphere.  There are some scenes that were free of music and just had sound effects instead and the way that the silence was used was pretty good as it also added some atmosphere that worked with the game.

I'm a hungry man but I don't want pizza. I'll blow down your house and them I'm gonna eat ya.- Alice Cooper
Controls are simple as you just use the mouse to click on the option that you want the main character to do.  If you want to skip a cut-scene then you can do so by hitting the number zero on your number key section of the keyboard.  There is some real gameplay in this game as if you choose the option that has the main character work on his game, you will be playing a special mini-game.  This mini-game is a puzzle game to where you are shown a few circles that are made up of four quarters that look like pizza slices (pictured above).  Not all of the circles look the same but they all have something in common with them all and that's the goal, to find the common link that all of the circles share and do it within a certain time limit.  The mini-game starts off easy but then gets harder the more you play the game.  The effect of the mini-game on the main game is that it will help you get the best ending of the game.  I wasn't a fan of the mini game as it just wasn't any fun and I know the gag is to capture the feeling of work not being very fun but this was the case where it was way too meta for me.

Once you have beaten this game enough to see all of the endings and videos as you won't find yourself going back to this game as it doesn't have any replay value once you have seen all the scenes and endings.  This is a case where you'll also not care about the lack of replay value due to the low price of the game and also for feeling very satisfied seeing everything that this game has to offer.  This game doesn't take very long to play as it will take you just over an hour to see everything and get all the endings.  You can beat this game in about five to ten seconds if you want to speedrun this game by mashing on the skip button to skip though the entire game.  I don't know why anyone would want to do that *cough* quick achievements *cough* but it does take the fun out of everything and so I do not recommend doing that.

Overall I did enjoy this game but in the end it is a very hit or miss title as you are either really going to get what this game is about and love it for that, or you'll hate this game and think that it is one of the worst games that has ever graced the PC scene...  Well maybe not "worst" but you might not like it.  This game is ultra cheap too and so if you are unsure because of this review, it won't hurt to test your luck...  Or just wait for when it hits a PC gaming bundle.  I'm going to recommend this game purely because I did enjoy this but as I said, it's a "love it or hate it" game.  Meta gaming at its finest.

Game: Make it Indie!
System: PC (Reviewing Steam version)
Developer/Publisher: Sometimes You
Genre: FMV, Puzzle, Avantgarde, Art-house, New Wave, Novelty, Satire
Price: $0.99 (Steam)
Recommended: Yes


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