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    Final Weapon Awards 2023 – Best Indie Game

    With 2023 coming to an end, it’s time for the 2023 Final Weapon Awards! There are a total of eight awards we will be giving out this year, which are the following: 

    This article will showcase each Final Weapon staff member’s pick for Best Indie Game, which recognizes the best game from an independent studio. With that, here are our picks for the Best Indie Game Award.

    Staff Best Indie Game Picks

    Itch – Gravity Circuit

    I’m going to give the spotlight to an indie title that I believe is somewhat underappreciated. Gravity Circuit is a wonderful side-scrolling action platformer that takes inspiration from titles such as Mega Man X. While it doesn’t try to hide its source of inspiration, the game still oozes an awesome sense of style throughout its short but sweet campaign. 

    It’s a joy to blast through stages at blistering speeds, unlocking new abilities along the way. The game is tough but rarely ever frustrating to play, thanks to a healthy number of checkpoints throughout. Each level presents a unique but fun platforming challenge. Additionally, the game’s bosses can push your skills to the limit but never feel unfair. 

    Gravity Circuit may not be an official Mega Man game, but its quality matches that of one. Thanks to its lack of filler content, it’s an easily replayable game that can offer a lot of fun for a great price. It’s a game you will want to experience again as soon as you complete one playthrough. In conclusion, Gravity Circuit is an incredible indie game. I can easily recommend it to anyone who has yet to play it. 

    Noah – Sea of Stars

    Sea of Stars screenshot for all consoles

    I have plenty of issues with the story and characters of Sea of Stars, but there really is something to be said about what Sabotage Studio was able to accomplish. The combat system was inspired by classics like Super Mario RPG and proved to be fun with its unique abilities and mechanics for extra damage or shield.

    The soundtrack was by far the highlight for me, with Yasonuri Mitusda participating in the project as a guest composer. Combined with the gorgeous sprite artwork, this made the experience a memorable indie title for me this year.

    Saras – Bomb Rush Cyberfunk

    Bomb Rush Cyberfunk for PlayStation and Xbox

    Bomb Rush Cyberfunk was a surprise. I never played the original Jet Set Radio games, but the style and music of the series always fascinated me. The way the characters moved and the homage to history’s graffiti movements was mesmerizing to behold. Over the years, a few games were inspired by Jet Set Radio‘s style, such as Hover, Lethal League, and Sunset Overdrive. But Team Reptile’s recent game, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, takes that to a whole new level.

    The game’s art style is gorgeous and utilizes a more sketchbook style compared to JSR’s cel-shaded art direction. Bomb Rush also allows you to traverse the city with roller skates, a skateboard, and a bicycle. Each mode of transportation has a unique set of animations. The game also has a great story, cast of characters, and plenty of post-game options. Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is a love letter to the Jet Set Radio franchise that’ll appeal to long-time series fans and newcomers alike.

    Soul – Affogato

    Affogato is a clear indie highlight for me in 2023. I was pleasantly surprised by the story of Affogato and its characters, which are voiced by a stellar voice cast of Japanese voice actors that are prominent in anime today. The game’s unique combat system combines deck-building with tower defense, which kept me coming back for more since it was very addictive. Also, I’m a coffee aficionado, so this game was clearly for me from the start! Brewing all of the blends, conversating with patrons, and making money in Affogato’s shop was really fun.

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