Why Are Indie Games Mostly Platformers, Puzzle Games, and Metroidvanias?

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Why Are Indie Games Mostly Platformers, Puzzle Games, and Metroidvanias?

The world of gaming is opening up more and more to the indie market. In recent years, there have been many small development teams who have managed to have great success thanks to their work, even if they do not benefit from the means that the large software houses have at their disposal. But you know, great means is not necessarily synonymous with quality, and indie developers know this well. Anyway, have you ever wondered why indie games are mostly platformers, puzzle games, and metroidvanias? We have tried to give an answer in this article.

What are the main reasons?

As mentioned in the introduction of this article, indie games often belong to the genre of platformers, puzzle games, or metroidvanias, or in some cases, a mix of all three of these genres. But what are the reasons that drive developers to focus on these genres? Let's find out some of the main ones together.

  • Accessibility: platformers, puzzle games, and metroidvania games often boast simple game mechanics that can be assimilated by anyone. The developers, therefore, aim to create games that do not need hours and hours of tutorials to be understood but focus more on speed and effectiveness.
  • Development costs: small development teams cannot count on large sums of money to allocate to all stages of development and/or many developers, so focusing on these genres rather than others that require more resources is certainly one of the main reasons why these genres are so popular among indie games.
  • Nostalgia effect: getting straight to the hearts of gamers is certainly the goal of any software house. By focusing on platformers, puzzle games, and metroidvania, the developers ensure a nostalgia effect that is created in the players, especially the older ones. In fact, most of these games are created in pixel art, just like the games of the old days were.
  • Creativity and innovation: the fact that they are games that have their roots in the past does not mean that they lack creativity or innovation, on the contrary. In fact, many of these games can boast enormous creativity that can be expressed in the form of many things, as well as important ideas for innovation.
  • Gameplay: Platformers, puzzle games, and metroidvanias are known for having game mechanics that allow for high replay value. Although the gameplay is simple and intuitive, it is actually quite difficult to master, with the replayability factor certainly playing in favor of all this.
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What about the market?

Platformers, puzzle games, and metroidvanias have managed to maintain their popularity over time. If some genres have experienced ups and downs in the history of gaming, the same thing certainly cannot be said for these genres which, on the other hand, continue to be the cornerstones of video games with many examples being launched on the market every year. One of the reasons is certainly the fact that they are fairly short games that manage to keep the player's attention high for their entire duration. In such a game, you will hardly be called upon to carry out filler actions and this is certainly an important aspect to consider.

Therefore, although the players are demanding and always ask for new things, they still have more than one eye for these evergreen genres that still have a lot to tell. In fact, not only do indie developers still focus on these types of games, but also the big software houses continue to invest in them.

Obviously, although platformers, puzzle games, and metroidvanias dominate the indie game market, we must not forget that there are development teams who decide to invest in other genres. Since this is an ever-expanding industry, we have to expect more and more creative and innovative ideas to hit the market.


Why Are Indie Games Mostly Platformers, Puzzle Games, and Metroidvanias?
Diana D'Estefano
Diana has been a huge fan of video games since she was a child. She started her "career" with Nintendo and then moved on to other platforms as well. She is a computer engineering student. She is passionate about everything related to the gaming industry and writes for various websites in the sector. Although she is a big fan of horror games, she plays almost all genres fearlessly.