A collection of indie games that got my attention in the past months
2019 has been a fantastic year for indie devs, and 2020 looks even better.
There are so many different games to choose from, it’s tough to keep up; you will likely find a title that suits your taste.
As a gamer and indie developer myself, I like to play all sort of games. Indie games, I experience amazing stories, incredible new gameplay mechanics, and I know there are wonderful people behind the game that has put their heart and soul on it.
The past year I decided to join some Discord servers where indie devs hang out, and a new world opened for me.
I join a few servers that I think deserve a proper mention:
- Indiedev world order: There is a bit of everything, but this community are not only devs but gamers, streamers, and people who love indie devs.
- Wholesome Games: Huge community with amazing people where you get to hang out with devs working on wholesome games.
I’ve discovered amazing games, not only the indie hits that we all now but hidden gems that will be released in the next months or years.
I’ve met amazing people. I’ve learnt a lot of things about how to be a better indie developer.
Both communities are incredible as they aim to help indie devs to promote games.
Wholesome games have launched something incredible this year, the wholesome direct where we got to see cute and very impressive titles that I am sure I am going to try when they come out.
Pro tip: For any indie devs out there that are trying to build a community for your incoming game, go and check some discord server like the ones I mentioned. Not only you will meet other devs and gamers, but you can find streamers who are willing to stream your game or have the chance to promote your game.
In general, Discord is a wonderful place to meet people, thanks to those communities, I was able to grow my twitter account and my YouTube Channel.
List of the best indie’s games I’ve played this past year.
I can’t forget this short game (as the title implies), that last no more than 2 hours!
The story is about a little bird called Claire that is spending her summer holidays on a small island where she meets lots of friends.
Claire encounters her first mission as soon as she exits the cabin and talks to her relative. Claire is waiting for an important call, but! There is no reception down there! She has to climb up to Hawk Peak the highest point on the island.
And just like that, the game starts, and you are free to explore, meet other animal friends, help them with silly requests and progress on your personal journey.
The peak is challenging at first, the only way to progress is exploring the island and find the golden feather which gives you more stamina.
What it’s great about this game, is the simplicity of the story and the mission. I completed the game in less than 2 hours; it was very rewarding and comfy to get to a highest level on the mountain and glide down from there.
The developer added a few other things to enjoy on the game, fishing, a race and a volleyball mini-game! This small feature enriches the game even more.
I recently completed this new indie game in around 8 hours, but I know I could continue playing and exploring Nivalis, a sprawling cyberpunk city.
You’ve just moved to the city, you don’t know anybody, and you find a job as a courier in a not so legal company called Cloudpunk.
The company provides you with the car, a flying car to be precise (after all we are in a faraway future where flying cars are a thing finally!), and Control, the AI that gives the delivery jobs, tells you to go to the nave point to get your first package.
The game sounds very simple, right? Take your car, go to point A, get the package, deliver the package on point B…. that it?
No! Crowded city, full of tall buildings with neon lights, shady characters, androids combining with humans, hight tech everywhere….
2 rules: Don’t miss a delivery and don’t ask what’s in the package.
That sounds more interesting! You are not supposed to ask what it’s on the packages just simply do your job!
This game reminds me of a Black Mirror episode, where there is this new advance technology, but that new exciting thing comes with consequences, it can make your life horrible if you don’t use it sensitively.
Cloud Punk is similar, you have to deliver a package to a particular individual, and by chance (or not) you discovered that the content of the package is a bit shady; if you deliver that package, it might cause problems to more people.
Here is when the game becomes interesting, should you deliver the package? or discard it in a recycling point?
Rania, your character, encounters these situations over and over again.
One more thing!, you are not alone on the game, you often talk to Control an elderly man that has been working for Cloud Punk for a long time and get to know him, but as a plus you have Camus!
Camus is your AI companion that guides you on your missions and… it’s a doggy!
A Space of unbound prologue by Mojiken Studio
A space of the unbound is a 2D Scroll lateral pixel art game set in the late 90s rural Indonesia which treats mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
I played for 5 minutes, and I was sold with this prologue and looking forward to getting the full version when it’s released.
Why was I so impressed with this title? Several reasons, the game treats very complex personal issues; there is a strong bond between the boy main character and the cheerful girl, and cats, lots of cats that you can pet!
The graphics are beautiful; each scenery is full of details with vibrant colours; a wide variety of interactable NPC and cats… I know again with cats, but it’s true! You can pet the cats which are lying on the floor.
The story is heartbroken, the girl wants to be a writer, but she is scared of shared her thoughts for fear of being made fun of her.
The boy encouraged her to keep writing, she has an impressive imagination, and the world needs to see that.
At the beginning of the game, the girl asks you to get her magic wand to finish a space ship (she has a lot of imagination) and soon you are following her cat around the city until you find her home.
Things get interesting from here; there is a compelling story to be transmitted.
Another incredible thing about this game is a very special magic skill you experience through a red book. You can dive on the desires and weakness of people and help them.
This exciting game element makes the game even more unique, as you have to use that unique element to progress on the game. I was fascinated by this addition to the game, dive on the thoughts of random people and mingle with them!
Finally a few more examples of great indie:
- Inspector waffles by Goloso Games: Another excellent pixel art game starring a witty cat solving murders and mysteries. This is one of the classic points and clicks where you collect clues, talk to people and solve cases; besides, there are no humans in this world they are cats.
- Later Aligator by SmallBü, Pillow Fight: click where you are an alligator in a city full of…. well alligators. You have another mystery on y our hands, why is your whole family gathering together? Why are they waiting for you? I am scared!
Easy fun music to listen, several riddles and puzzles dispersed on the city; lots of curious alligators to talk to…
What else can you ask for?
- Gibbous — A Cthulhu Adventure by Stuck In Attic: This another fantastic point and click!
You get your hands on the Necronomicon, and by accident, you turn your lovely cat into a talking cat(that doesn’t bother me at all!)
And just like that a mystery involving cults, weird places where fish is a divinity, and a dangerous book your strange journey begins.
As a plus, this game has a magnificent and most appreciated voice acting for all the characters.
If you had reached the end of this article, you might notice something in common on all of these titles. Almost all of them are focus on the story, which is something that I love about indie games.
We have the freedom to tell our stories, experiment with the world we are creating and try new things.
Some people say that point and clicks are from the past, but in the last years, I keep seeing more and more story-driven games.
I am thrilled about this as they are my favourite genre.