Waiting for NIDHOGG? Here are 4 Great Indie Arena Fighters

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With the weather outside being decidedly frightful, there's really no better way to hang out with friends, significant others, and random strangers than attempting to kill each other in arena fighting games. 

Fighters are expensive though, even if you hit up the bargain bin at Gamestop. But you can save money and help feed a starving indie game maker by trying out these fantastic independent games. 

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1. Towerfall 

Stripped of unnecessarily flashy graphics, Towerfall is a bare, bones kind of arena fighter available now in the Ouya marketplace. Pre-Matt Thorson, the world didn't know it needed this archery based combat game, or even that it would be the defining game of Ouya's launch. 

Currently, you can only buy the game in the Ouya app store, but the game is coming to PC and PS4 sometime in the Spring

2. Foiled 

A fighting game surrounding the mechanics of fencing doesn't initially sound as fascinating as Foiled ends up being. The game can alternatively be fast-raced and nail-biting, or slow and determined, and that all depends on the way you play. 

Once you beat an opponent (by running them through with your foil) you must then drop off their soul into the corresponding box at the top of the screen. With clear mechanics and basic graphics, foiled allows the gameplay itself to shine. 

The game is free on the Foiled website

3. Samurai Gunn 

Samurai Gunn is a "lightning fast, bushido brawler," where 2-4 players battle out their differences with a sword and a gun with three bullets. The quick gameplay lends itself to relatively quick matches. 

The game also has serious points in the "style" category with it's Asian flair and the visual effects of watching a head fly off. 

You can buy the Samurai Gunn on Steam

4. Spelunky 

While the game is probably best known for its roguelike caving, Spelunky also has one of the best indie deathmatch modes ever. Rounds rarely last longer than 30 seconds, and death comes swiftly and frustratingly. 

In regular gameplay, everything in the Spelunky universe is trying to kill you, so its no surprise that the same is true in deathmatch -- except now you also have other players actively seeking your head. One place where Spelunky deathmatch truly shines is what happens after your character is brutally murdered. Your ghostly presence can still affect the battle, and can sometimes turn the tide in one direction or the other. 

Spelunky is available on PC and Xbox 360, and you can check out more info on the Mossmouth website.

Published Jan. 8th 2014

Former Staff Editor

Former rugby player, social media person, and occasional writer.

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