Indie games are all the rage this year, with the sheer amount of innovation and possibilities from all the various game platforms and strong mobile devices. From action-adventure game to puzzle games, here’s a mix of top indie video games that are worth checking out now.
Top Indie Games That Can Make Your Summer More Entertaining
1. Enter the Gungeon
One of the top indie games from one of the best sources of, well, games, Steam, is Enter the Gungeon.
It plays out a variety of interesting scenarios. What if a gun shoots guns or the enemies were bullets?
It’s a bullet-hell game with a quirky, light-hearted atmosphere. You can get a laser sword that reflects all projectiles or a gun that shoots planets, but it isn’t just about silly humor.
Enter the Gungeon is a very solid game with new updates that provide more content.
On the surface, it is a generic RPG-inspired game. You run into random enemies and encounter challenging bosses as the story continues.
However, it’s also a game you can win without fighting, and the game itself remembers the decisions you’ve made not just through one play but all of them.
3. Crypt of the Necrodancer
With it, you progress through pixel dungeons to the beat of a song. Addictive, unique gameplay makes it a memorable experience, making it one of the top indie games on the list.
You can take standard actions and fight, but you have to do them precisely to the beat. Over time, you’ll find yourself bouncing to a beat even when you aren’t playing the game.
4. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is a hit game that just got multiplayer. You can create a relaxing farm with your friends, milk cows, make food, and explore the ancient mysteries surrounding the town in which you live. You can also fight through mines and marry.
Though this game has been out for a few years, it’s recently been ported to platforms like the Switch. It’s a simple, gentle game designed for those who want to escape the rigors of modern-day living.
— The A.V. Club (@TheAVClub) April 5, 2018
If you love puzzle platformers, you owe it to Braid to give it a try.
One of the top indie games, it has a unique time mechanic: you can go both forward or backward through time to solve puzzles.
It’s more than that, though, because it’s also telling a unique story. Over the course of the game, the puzzles will reveal it to you as you solve them. Ultimately, you’ll find out that not everything was as it seemed.
Journey back to the old days with Cuphead, a run-and-gun game that looks like an old cartoon.
It isn’t just distinct because of its jaunty music and atmosphere. The indie developers have also made it a genuinely challenging game.
In it, you’ll fight puzzle-like battles and go up against multi-stage bosses. The hand-drawn art style and gorgeous visuals make the game more than just the sum of its mechanics.
7. The Stanley Parable and The Beginner’s Guide
— DualShockers (@DualShockers) September 30, 2015
The Stanley Parable and the Beginner’s Guide is a walking simulator with a lot of finesse.
In the Beginner’s Guide, players go through a set of half-finished demo games, which often work in unanticipated ways. Meanwhile, the narrator talks about the developer of these games: his old friend. Ultimately, this reveals more about the narrator than anyone.
The Beginner’s Guide is a unique experience. It’s part game, part fiction – and part art. While The Stanley Parable is more popular, The Beginner’s Guide is a more complete and serious game. For those who see games as art or interested in game development, it’s worth the time.
8. Hollow Knight
You may find yourself retrying areas frequently in Hollow Knight, but the game is designed to still feel “fair.” If you enjoy the constant feeling of skill progression in games like Dark Souls, give this a try.
You’ll also get the bonus of a heavily atmospheric environment, in which the story is steadily revealed through the background.
9. Dwarf Fortress
One of the top indie games outside of Steam, it is a simulation on steroids. You are in charge of dwarves. Each of them is incredibly and intricately modeled. You need to keep them alive. They have no such requirements. Everything, including internal organs, is modeled in Dwarf Fortress.
Don’t be turned off by the fact the game looks like a DOS game or an old-school MUD. There’s a lot more depth in Dwarf Fortress than many AAA titles can realize.
10. Papers Please
It’s a game that shouldn’t work. Who wants to be a part of bureaucracy? In Papers Please, you play an immigration clerk. It’s your job to go through IDs and passports. Go too slowly, and you won’t make enough money to survive. Go too fast, and you could let in terrorists.
The game is only about this, yet it’s entrancing. You can waste hours upon hours stamping forms and looking through documents.
11. Super Meat Boy
You’ll die often in Super Meat Boy — and that’s the point.
It is one of those platformers that replicate the experience of throwing yourself in a grinder over and over, and it works because you’re meat!
Super Meat Boy is relentlessly challenging. Though it was first released way back in the old days of 2010, it’s still considered to be one of the top indie games.
Limbo is an atmospheric horror game. It puts you in the role of the Boy, a child trying to find his sister. You will die in countless gruesome ways in this dangerous world.
Traps, boulders, and other environmental elements conspire against you. You’ll find yourself flinching at the sound of metal and swatting away invisible flies.
Limbo has been called close to a “perfect” game, which is impressive for a game that can be played even on a mobile phone (like the new Sega Forever collection).
13. Thomas Was Alone
One of the platformers in the market, Thomas Was Alone is one of the simplest types of games.
It makes this pretty apparent. All the characters are simple geometric shapes! Though the game looks simple, it’s one of the brain games with a pretty challenging puzzle, endearing story, and entertaining narration.
14. TowerFall: Ascension
Have some fun killing your friends in TowerFall: Ascension.
It is a frenetic, fast-paced multiplayer game. With several game modes and weapon types, it pits everyone against each other for kills.
Players need to fight one another through a combination of archery and positioning. The game dramatically changes based on the way you set up your match customization.
As a turn-based strategy game, it allows up to four players in couch co-op. Each lasts for a few minutes, letting everyone get a chance to be the winner. There’s a significant lack of fun indie multiplayer games, so if you enjoy playing with your friends, this one should be on your roster.
15. The Witness
Like in Myst, the player wakes up alone on an island filled with puzzles, which it also uses to tell a story.
According to the developer, which also made Braid, there are over 600 puzzles in the game. If you enjoy seeing games used for storytelling, The Witness, one of the top indie games, is an interesting, high-concept choice.
Firewatch is a first-person, single-player adventure game with a mystery story told in multiple parts.
On the one hand, you have short vignettes about the character themselves. On the other, you have interactive, puzzle-based segments where you’re in the woods, keeping watch for fire and communicating with another person at the end of your walkie-talkie. If you enjoy mysteries, this one is worth checking out.
17. No Man’s Sky
Now bear with me. When No Man’s Sky was released a couple of years ago, it was a huge disappointment – perhaps one of the largest in video game history.
However, No Man’s Sky, a procedurally generated space exploration, has received an update. No Man’s Sky NEXT is getting rave reviews as being the game that should have been originally made. It’s been dubbed “Minecraft in Space” by some for its open-world crafting and building.
Who says you need a PS Vita or other consoles to have fun playing? Whatoplay recommends the top PC indie games you can try today:
Whew! That’s a lot of top indie games, and there isn’t a lot of the summer season left. It’s time to get started with having fun while even learning something. Many of these have been on sale on Steam or the Humble Bundle. You might have some lurking in your “To Play” queue even now.
What are your top indie games so far? Share your list in the comments section below.
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