I love video games. Been playing them for as long as I can remember. Growing up with the newest Nintendo and SEGA consoles was a blast and it really propelled me to keeping up with video games my whole life. But this movie is a documentary about those lesser known games that have aptly been given the title of “indie games.” Indie games have been around since the early 2000s, but only recently, with the ability to put them online, have they really flourished. Indie Game: The Movie chronicles the inception, making, and even the pitfalls of three of the biggest ones released to date. James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot have made one of the best video game movies I’ve seen.
Indie Game: The Movie follows the making-of stories, development if you will, of the video games: Braid, Super Meat Boy, and Fez. It also profiles their respective makers: Johnathan Blow, Team Meat (Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes), and Phil Fish.
The game that rewinds time
I haven’t seen too many documentaries, aside from Super Size Me and Religulous, which I did enjoy. But this one really caught my interest due to my immense liking of Team Meat’s games Super Meat Boy (the one featured in this film) and his newest release to date The Binding of Isaac. I wouldn’t say I’m a casual gamer, but I’m far from a hardcore one. This being said most of the “gamer” speak or references to production of video games won’t go over anyone’s head.
To be able to have interviews and cameras following the behind the scenes of one of the best platforming games I’ve ever played, in Super Meat Boy, was one of the reasons I loved this documentary. This isn’t the only reason though. Following the thought processes and reasons why these developers made these games and how they came into the industry, as well as their life stories and current lives, is a pleasure to watch. I love behind the scenes featurettes on DVD and BluRay’s, so documentaries highly engage me and if you’re anything like me, all this information is awesome.
Fez, the game of dimensions!
This is the part of a review where I usually go over character, actors, or character development. Not much point in doing this with a documentary. I can go over the personalities of sorts with all involved. Johnathan Blow came off as a very stoic man that truly went though a lot before and in the making of Braid. I liked his ideals and reasons for wanting to make his game. Team Meat is probably the developers I know the most about of the three profiled in the movie. I’m avidly on the site Twitch.tv and I try to frequent a channel by the name of Danielleorama. This channel is owned and run by Edmund McMillen’s wife Danielle. Ed (as well as Tommy) is frequently on there and they give great insight into the games they make as well as their lives. I’ve come to agree and be fascinated by the thought processes of this awesome group of people.
Phil Fish is a guy I really had no idea about before this and sometimes I think the way he’s portrayed is more of emotional and evil, so to speak. While I don’t think he’s evil; that’s an absurd thought, but there are some thoughts and scenes where there’s a lot he says I don’t agree with. While I don’t deny he’s a great developer, sometimes Phil’s thoughts do irk me a bit.
SUUUUUUUUUUPPPPPEEEERRRRRRRR MEAT BOY!!
This documentary is more like a movie than the previous two I’ve seen. The way the three stories are told and intertwined is like watching a story you don’t know the ending of. Even knowing a lot about Team Meat going into this, their story (and the overall story) was still engaging and worth the watch. I loved watching the conception, explanation, creation and production of these three games. If you’re a video game fan like me, or you just happen to like any (or all) of these games, don’t hesitate to give this a watch. You’ll learn about great games and some great people as well.
Take a Drink: if you’ve ever played any of the three main games.
Take a Drink: when you see Souja Boy being a tool.
Take a Drink: when they show any of the four main developers as kids.
Take a Drink: when they explain how to play one of the games
Do a Shot: whenever you see a hairless cat Danielle wants or owns.