It’s been three years since Ubisoft announced Child of Light, a JRPG and “interactive poem” built by a tiny team embedded in the ginormous city studio that is Ubisoft Montreal. It was notable not only for its small scale and quiet ambition but also for the fact that it was just a little bit pretentious.
Read more: the best PC indie games.
Child of Light director Patrick Plourde, who had done time on Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Far Cry 3, swiftly became an advocate for the pet projects that gestate deep inside every triple-A lead. And Ubisoft - perhaps recognising the creative itch that was seeing some of their best minds skidaddle to form Indie outfits, and detecting an opportunity to earn some cred with critics - have since codified that role. They’ve made Plourde VP of Montreal division Fun House, and given him a mandate to incubate the personal games sprouting up across Ubi’s cross-continental gaggle of studios.
So how’s it going? Let’s take a look back at the indie-ish games to emerge from Ubi thus far, like babies born with hipster beards.
Child of Light
What is it?
Little bit Limbo, a lot Final Fantasy - in that you’ll spend some of your time pushing boxes around in a painterly, sidelong perspective, and the rest battling sentient trees and jumped-up spiders in timer-based combat.
Sounds sort of indie. Care to elaborate?