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12 indie games worth checking out right now (pictures)

Here are the best indie games of the summer worth checking out.

Jeff Bakalar
Jeff is CNET Editor at Large and a host for CNET video. He's regularly featured on CBS and CBSN. He founded the site's longest-running podcast, The 404 Show, which ran for 10 years. He's currently featured on Giant Bomb's Giant Beastcast podcast and has an unhealthy obsession with ice hockey and pinball.
Jeff Bakalar
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1 of 12 Nicalis

1001 Spikes (Xbox One/PS4/PC/Wii U/Vita/3DS)

1001 Spikes is a throwback to 8-bit sidescrolling platforming games of the 80s and 90s, though you might not remember those classic games being this difficult. While it's not for the easily frustrated, the trial and error of it all is totally addictive and super rewarding if you've got the patience.

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2 of 12 Capybara Games

Super Time Force (Xbox One/Xbox 360)

Does a time-travel platformer sound good to you? Well, then say hello to Super Time Force. Bending physics and conventional game design altogether, Super Time Force is an entertaining story that lets you rewind and exploit time for your pleasure.

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3 of 12 Die Gute Fabrik

Sportsfriends (PC/PS4/PS3)

Sportsfriends is a collection of "couch" games that encourage local multiplayer. Simply put, Sportsfriends is the ultimate party game as long as you have enough controllers to go around.

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4 of 12 Drinkbox Studios

Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition (Xbox One/PS4/PC)

We loved the adorable and charming Guacamelee last year when it debuted on Vita and PS3, but now next-gen consoles have access to what the developer claims is the best version of the game.

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5 of 12 Ubisoft Montpellier

Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Xbox One/PS4/PC)

Valiant Hearts is a touching narrative-driven puzzle adventure game set during World War I. It's a visually striking, creative, and fresh take on such a sensitive subject that somehow manages to move along in the most painless of ways.

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6 of 12 Tom Hegarty

OlliOlli (PC/Vita)

The 2D skateboarding smash hit that debuted on Vita earlier in the year is finally available on PC. The game features an addictive play style that will force players' reaction times to pull off tricks, grinds, and other maneuvers.

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7 of 12 Cellar Door Games

Rogue Legacy (PC/PS4/Vita)

Rogue Legacy is a procedurally generated side-scrolling platform game where you will die an insane number of times. But that's kind of the point. Each time you perish you'll be able to use the gold collected to upgrade overarching attributes that will be passed down from generation to generation. Each offspring can also possess a number of genetic oddities, such as color-blindness, vertigo, and nearsightedness, among others.

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8 of 12 Q-Games

PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate (PS4/Vita)

Collecting both PixelJunk Shooter and PixelJunk Shooter 2 into one giant game, Ultimate stands as the best way to experience the unique gameplay and fluid dynamics system of the PixelJunk Shooter world.

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9 of 12 Yacht Club Games

Shovel Knight (PC/Wii U/3DS)

Cut from the cloth of classic NES side-scrollers like Mega Man and DuckTales, Shovel Knight is a platform adventure where players control a daring character wielding a shovel weapon while donning a horned helmet.

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10 of 12 Dynamighty

CounterSpy (PS4/PS3/Vita)

CounterSpy is a stealth-action 2D sidescroller with elements of 3D. It features a stylish design that is influenced from Pixar's "The Incredibles" thanks to one of the film's designers working on the game. CounterSpy's levels are procedurally generated, meaning they're different each time you play it.

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11 of 12 Facepalm Games

The Swapper (PS4/PC/Vita)

The Swapper has been available on PC for over a year but now has finally made its PS4 debut. The game features a unique take on puzzle platforming that lets you clone up to four versions of yourself.

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12 of 12 FuturLab

Velocity 2X (PS4/Vita, September 2)

Velocity 2X is a rapidly paced shoot-'em-up action-platformer hybrid that is a highly anticipated follow-up to the twitchy Velocity Ultra. Players will solve platforming puzzles and engage in top-down combat all at what feels like the speed of light.

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