Film Review: Indie Game: The Movie

I discovered this movie from a trailer on Apple earlier this year. It was intriguing and reminded me of The King of Kong one of my favorite documentaries ever. The cinematography was gorgeous which surprised me when I read it was shot on DSLRs. Another thing I read about the movie was that it was funded on Kickstarter. A true indie movie about the creation of indie games.

What makes a documentary good is its story. Here we have three different stories, one brief one about a man who had success with his indie game Braid. Another story about two indie gamermakers and the launch their game Super Meatboy and the third story about a man who has his game Fez in production for four years continuously pushing the release date back due to his perfectionism behavior. 

Unlike The King of Kong, Indie Game: The Movie is very depressing and at times heart-breaking. The characters in this documentary are truly passionate about video games, so much that they put their lives and financial stability on the line to develop a single project. I play XBOX 360, but never realized there was a whole market for games like this.

Reading some negative reviews on this film I stumbled on one that said “the film becomes its own cheerleader for the characters.” And while these are our protagonists and it would make sense story structure wise that it supports its protagonists, Indie Game develops its characters emotionally for better and worse.

Psychologically these people are damaged from their obsessive habits and depressed from their inability to communicate well with the outside world. They tell us brief stories of their fears, desires, and at times we really feel it. I want these characters to succeed, I want their games to do well.

Whenever I’ve thrown my two-cents in on why Video Games are art, I have always stated that the Video Game median is a combination of art, logistical thinking, and analytical thinking; much like movies. Indie Game: The Movie is a beautiful film about interesting real people that exist in a world that too few people understand or know about. I loved it.

Final Score: 4.5/5

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