Indie games, short for independent videogames, have always held a soft spot in the gaming community. These games are developed either by a select few individuals or a small development team while lacking the finances to have a support team on par with AAA titles. While this may seem like a letdown, indie games, are small yet highly refined games that are simply the fruit of hard work and talent combined. The games maintain a consistent flow of gameplay and plot, beating many AAA titles.
The likes of Hades, Little Nightmares, GRIS, and many other games have also been occasionally nominated for the Game Of The Year Awards. And looking at the upcoming catalog of titles, we might be seeing a few more games snatching away some awards this year. That being said, here is the list of indie games we think could prove to be groundbreaking.
Know by heart
Know by heart is a game that revolves around the concept of loss, even though loss can come in different shapes and forms. One such loss is the loss of time and how time changes us and the people around us. The main protagonist, Misha, is an individual residing in a small and quiet town in Russia, where traces and echoes of the Soviets can still be felt.
However, Misha goes through a life-changing experience when his crush decides to visit the town, followed by a reunion among childhood friends that get ruined by something beyond their control.
Know by heart is currently being developed by Ice-Pick Lodge, the team behind the making of the Pathologic games. The game is scheduled to release this year, hopefully soon.
She Dreams Elsewhere
She Dreams Elsewhere has received plenty of traction ever since its trailer was released. The game features mesmerizing art with a unique theme and gameplay style. You get to play as Thalia, a young individual suffering from anxiety and depression, has recently become comatose. The game allows you to wander through several surreal locations inside her mind, hoping it would wake her up from the coma. The game is being developed by a single developer, Davionne Gooden.
The sole developer has stated on several occasions that he does not wish to create a game around a chosen hero. Thalia, instead, is just the average modern girl, suffering from depression and anxiety, trying her best to fight it back. The game’s theme is quite relevant in these times, and he wants to give hope to those affected by similar problems.
The visuals are quite reminiscent of the Final Fantasy games and the Persona series. This dreamlike hip-hop-infused roleplaying game focuses on the theme of self-identity and improving your mental health.
She Dreams Elsewhere is currently under development by Studio Zevere, with Davionne Gooden as the sole developer. The game will be released on PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Game Pass, and the Xbox One.
Dustborn was first showcased at a Future Games Show in June 2020. The game’s premise revolves around a small band of misfits responsible for delivering a mysterious package across a broken America in the year 2030. Players get to play as Pax, a con artist with superhuman abilities fueled by deception and falsehood.
Dustborn is a very story-driven game, emphasizing the importance of love, hope, friendship, and of course, robots. The visuals are outstanding, featuring a visual novel-esque art direction. The entire concept complement’s the game’s message and story by telling us how powerful words can indeed be— quite literally.
Red Thread Games is the development team behind this work of art. The team is widely known for developing the Dreamfall Chapters and Draugen. Although the official release date has yet to be announced, the game is likely coming out this year. The opted platforms are PC and other major consoles.
As the title suggests, Endling is a game about a fox looking after her cubs in a world where humanity has brought even the likes of foxes to extinction. You play as the last adult fox on planet Earth, seeking refuge at a place where humans cannot cause any harm to you or your children.
In the meantime, you are also searching for one of your lost cubs who got lured away one certain night. While this tragedy broke your heart and soul, you still have hope of reuniting with your child. As time passes, your cubs will grow up and assist you with your survival. If you still aren’t sold, you should just go and watch the gameplay trailer for Endling!
The game is being developed by Herobeat Studios and is planned to release in 2021.
A Long Journey to an Uncertain End
If you’re on the lookout for a game with narrative management sim mechanics or if you want to be a ship quite literally, then A Long Journey to an Uncertain End might just be it. Although at first glance, the game may seem like a colorful, dazzling space opera game, probably written by Obsidian or Telltale developers.
However, once you see what the game offers, you might find yourself hooked just from the trailer itself! During your playthrough, you will be tasked with assembling your very own crew while avoiding your ex-partner at any cost. Each character you come across will have its own lore, and the same goes for each planet you visit.
A Long Journey to an Uncertain End is under development by Crispy Creative. The game is confirmed to release for PC in 2021.
While realistic and semi-realistic graphics are breathtaking to experience, sometimes the average pastel-colored aesthetic with a cartoonish art style is all we need to enjoy a game. Garden Story is one such game where you play as a young grape in a place known as The Grove. Interestingly, despite your young age, you have become a guardian and are tasked with restoring the island to its former state.
The Rot affects the island, and you must fend it off to protect your home, friends, and family. As you play through the game, you will make new friends, gather all sorts of materials, and repair different structures and social ties.
All-in-all, Garden Story is one of the most wholesome games to come out, especially since its overarching theme is all about community-building. Whether you like farming simulators or cute sims, this game is definitely for you!
Garden Story is available for PC and Mac.
Sons of the Forest
Sequel to the well-acclaimed The Forest, Sons of the Forest has been announced for a while now and is making its way to its release. Taking a look at The Forest, players were left stranded on a deserted island filled with man-eating mutants following a disastrous plane crash. The game allowed players to experience the survival genre like no other game.
The freedom in The Forest’s gameplay mechanics enabled players to invest countless hours into the game. Bearing that in mind, as long as Sons of the Forest offers a similar type of gameplay, it is worth looking into.
Sons of the Forest will be coming out this year on PC, developed by Endnight Games.
Dordogne’s first trailer came out over a year ago, and like the other games on this list, we have been very excited about it. The game’s eyecatching watercolor art style and unique gameplay are remarkable. Dordogne has a story-intensive/adventure-based gameplay, having you play as a young female named Mimi.
The game starts with Mimi visiting her late grandmother’s house and coming across several puzzles left by her. Mimi then continues to solve each puzzle, reliving her past memories with her beloved grandmother. The game will be a wholesome tearjerker, with a setting revolving around the past and present.
Dordogne is under development by Un Je Ne Sais Quoi and Umanimation, and will soon be coming out to PC and Switch.
A Juggler’s Tale
The concept of Juggler’s Tale is quite fascinating. The art style, the color palette, and the music make it one of the best indie games to experience aesthetically. When playing the game, you will be starring as the narrator and the puppet master named Jack, controlling Abby to tell her story to different audiences. However, then comes the day when Abby somehow escapes the circus and gets trapped inside a fantasy world filled with puzzles and traps. Will she survive? Will she be able to free herself from Jack? The game still has to be released, yet we are already so excited about it!
A Juggler’s Tale is being developed by a team named Kaleidoscope. It will be available on consoles and PC, however, some platforms may receive the game prior to the rest. The release date is scheduled for 2021.
The last entry on this list, Lake, is a game taking place in the year 1986 where a lady named Meredith Weiss is taking a break from city life to her serene hometown of Providence Oaks, Oregon. While she stays there, Meredith tries to fill in for her mail carrier dad.
While doing this, the players will decide who she talks to, befriends, and perhaps even develops a love interest. And better yet, she will have to do this without a smartphone and internet. The game seems quite relaxing and quaint, considering how stressful the last two years have been for us all.
The Gamious Team is responsible for developing Lake, and it was released in September 2021 on Steam.
Thank you for reading, we hope you enjoyed our list of upcoming Indie Games that you can’t afford to miss. Our next gaming-related article will look into promising NFT/Blockchain-based PlayToEarn games that you don’t want to miss.
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