Top 10 Indie Games That You Need To Play
With the releases of games now slowing down, we thought it would be a good time to look back on some of the best Indie games that you should play while waiting for the next big release.
Why Indie Games? Everybody knows about all the big games that you can play, but we want to cover some games that have touched us in different ways. Games that many of you may not have even heard of before.
What is an Indie Game? Indie Game is short for an independent video game. And are typically made by individual creators and small development teams without the support of a major publisher. It is impressive to see what these teams can come up with, so let’s get started with some of the best.
First up is the puzzle-platforming game Limbo. Originally developed by PlayDead, Limbo puts you into a dark and eerie world that is packed full of intense encounters and deadly hazards.
Limbo puts you into the shoes of a nameless boy on the search for his sister. On your journey through this dark world, you will encounter many foes who seek to stop you.
Though responses to this game were a bit mixed on launch, this is a game that we believe deserves a spot in our top 10. The dark themes and smart use of mechanics made this game truly memorable.
Disco Elysium is our second pick of the ten. This role-playing game, developed and published by ZA/UM, found a lot of success. Even won the game award for best narrative and best role-playing.
You play a detective suffering from slight amnesia trying to solve a winding murder mystery. You will spend the duration of the game recalling your character's past and uncovering the mystery you have delved into.
What makes Disco Elysium unique though is its lack of combat. Most role-playing games feature a form of combat, but Disco Elysium has none. Taking a focus on dialogue trees and numerous skill checks.
Disco Elysium is a terrific option and is very deserving of its high acclaim. The story is very deep and very enjoyable, and its focus on dialogue and skills makes a truly unique gameplay experience in the role-playing genre. And with Disco Elysium Final Cut now being fully available, this game is only made better.
Firewatch is a game many of you have heard of. This adventure game developed by Campo Santo was a huge success. Even winning BAFTA Games Award for debut game and award for performer.
Firewatch tells a fascinating tale that has a strong and realistic look into some very serious issues. You play as a fire lookout known as Henry one year after the Yellowstone fires of 1988. Exploring the wilderness of Shoshone National Forest, you experience a deep narrative involving Henry and his supervisor Delilah.
The narrative is the number one focus of this game, and it certainly does not disappoint. You get to uncover some very odd occurrences and see the two characters develop very strongly. Everything about the story, characters and dialogue deserves praise. A must play no matter what console you play.
Subnautica is a game that I hold very close to my heart. This open-world deep sea survival game, developed and published by Unknown Worlds Entertainment, is outstanding. And for several reasons.
As you may expect, this game is set mostly underwater. There are two islands you can visit, but it is in the depths that you will spend most of the game’s duration. The various biomes you enter all look and feel unique. You are kept constantly on your toes as you play. At all points, you need to think about your resources and staying alive.
Crafting and exploration are one thing, but this game excels in its wildlife. The sheer number of creatures you encounter is amazing, and the designs and actions are outstanding. Learning about the world, its past and wildlife are very enjoyable. But where this game truly rocks is its use of terror.
As you can expect, some of the wildlife is not friendly. And the leviathans are a true example of this. When you hear the roar of a reaper leviathan, or see the glow of a ghost leviathan, you know to head in the exact opposite direction. The use of terror is extremely effective throughout.
The story here is effective too. Learning about the events surrounding the crash of your ship, the race that inhabited the world before and the potential extinction of all life on the planet all make this game complete.
What Remains of Edith Finch
Many of you may not be aware of this game. But What Remains of Edith Finch is a great and dramatic game that is worth playing. The duration is a bit short, but that’s not a bad thing here. The story here is simply fantastic. Giant Sparrow did an incredible job of developing this game.
What Remains of Edith Finch centres around the character Edith (obviously). The Finch family is afflicted by a curse that has caused every member of the family over the years to die in strange ways.
As Edith, you return to your family home and learn about your family and their deaths through each of their unique rooms. It is in these rooms where you get to learn about the characters and see the retelling of their unusual deaths.
A worthwhile experience all around.
Inscryption is a game I am particularly fond of. And one of my favourite releases of 2021. This roguelike deck-building game, developed by Daniel Mullins Games, expands upon card game and escape room elements, and works very successfully in both.
As mentioned, this is a roguelike deck-building game. But what makes it so special is the nature of the game. The game is broken into three acts, and with each act, you will find that the nature of the game changes. Helping this game to feel constantly fresh.
There are so many aspects that play into this game, the cards, layout, types and stages all create an intense gameplay loop. What makes it all even better is your main opponent, Leshy. Leshy will use a variety of masks to set the tone and act out each encounter, and it only adds to what is already a dark atmosphere.
Inscryption is very worthy of the praise it receives. Its mechanics, unique settings and changing nature all work in unison to make a very entertaining game.
Undertale is a game that has been ingrained into game culture over several years, becoming a massive deal online. And it is fair to see why. This 2D role-playing game made by Toby Fox delivers an incredibly enjoyable experience (and intense soundtrack but that’s not why we are here).
You control a child who has accidentally fallen into a massive and isolated region under the Earth’s surface. Named the Underground. In your quest to return to the surface, you encounter countless monsters and creatures, many of who will challenge you and others who you can befriend.
The game is played from a top-down perspective, and the encounters you experience are very similar to bullet hell shooters. In these encounters, you will take control of a small heart and avoid countless attacks from the opponent.
This game proved very successful in all areas. The characters you meet, the encounters you get to experience and so much more come together to create a very entertaining, and slightly difficult, gameplay experience.
Taking the number three spot is the incredibly successful game Cuphead. With a new Netflix series based around it and a DLC set to release this year, this game has certainly become a hit. It’s clear to see why.
The gameplay delivered with Cuphead is truly unforgettable. And frustrating for many. The numerous boss fights and run and gun levels all feel unique. The bosses push you to the limits and feature some cool abilities and attacks. A lot of praise goes to the encounters here, they are just so good.
Though the bosses are the focus of the game, the story here is not to be missed out on either. Cuphead tells a fun story that will keep you entertained throughout.
Worth playing but be sure to keep your cool during the duration of the game. It does get tough.
Making it to second on our list is the 2D Metroidvania action-adventure game, Hollow Knight. And wow what a game it is. Team Cherry’s 2017 release received many praises from players. And for good reason.
You play as a knight exploring an ancient, underground world. Armed with your trusty nail, you make your way through some spectacular locations and face some truly dangerous enemies. The bosses and enemies alike are so well done that it's hard to describe how impressive it is. Every boss feels unique and serves a challenging fight.
The story too is not to be ignored. Learning about the infection that has ravaged the Hallownest, the attempts to stop it and the origin of this disease are all great. There is so much to this game that makes it brilliant. Very worthy of a spot in the top two.
Return Of The Obra Dinn
Here we are. Number one. It was certainly a tough choice picking out ten games for this list. There are so many great indie games that are just exceptional. And the Return of The Obra Dinn is well-deserving of the first spot.
Created by Lucas Pope, Return of the Obra Dinn sets you off on a thrilling adventure/puzzle experience. You play as an insurance inspector for the East India Company, investigating the mysterious events surrounding the disappearance and return of the merchant ship “The Obra Dinn.”
Onboard this now ghost ship, you reconstruct the events that occurred onboard. Determining the fates of all sixty passengers and what happened exactly.
The progress of investigating the events, and learning what happened are all truly phenomenal. The puzzles and logic that surround this game are immense and are truly worth playing.
Have we missed a game? Then why not drop a comment below on your favourite Indie game? As mentioned, there are so many games that are worth experiencing.