I’ve heard a few people complaining about complaints about the quality or length of indie titles lately, using the metric It’s only ten bucks. The argument, it seems to be, is that when you spend only a small amount of money on a thing, you don’t have the right to complain about the things it chooses to do. Personally I find that argument to be a load of crap. Thanks to the churn of games lately and the relative stagnation of game technology, ten bucks can pick you up Portal, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, System Shock 2, Beyond Good And Evil, Baldur’s Gate 2 – I could go on.
Fact is, these games were triple-A platinum titles when they came out, in development and quality if not in price, and now they’re cheap enough that anyone can pick them up for cheap. An indie game being cheap is not enough reason to justify it. An indie game needs to bring an idea to the table, it needs to bring some charm, some personality, some character, rather than just rely on the aspirational comparison to whatever brand! new! game it’s much cheaper than. I just wish the people who said ‘what do you expect for ten bucks’ weren’t game reviewers.