2020 is looking to be a fantastic year for Indie games. The love and effort put by the developers continue to raise the bar for games as an art form. Each game shows unlimited potential (power) and we hope this list will help you find that special indie darling you are looking for.
Developed by Thunder Lotus Games, the creators of Jotun, Spirit Farer’s game promise is heartfelt – a cozy management game about dying. It’s a relaxing atmospheric tale where you will, cook recipes for your friends, craft items to sustain yourself and others, build a boat and nurture relationships with animal spirit companions that you will finally need to learn to let go. I believe this game will provide players with a different perspective on death.
2. SONGS OF CONQUEST
Not too many details were provided at last year’s E3, but Songs of Conquest is shaping up to be one of my most anticipated indie games for 2020. It not only follows the highly successful Heroes of Might and Magic formula ( looking at you HOMM 3), but the team from Lava Potion seeks to improve it. Judging from the art direction, character design approach and base building systems they are putting in place, it’s going to be the HOMM-esque turn-based game fans will enjoy. Single player, online or hot-seat, I can’t wait to see what top Tier unit each faction will provide and if I can get a magically immune dragon to synergize with “Armagedonian” tactics.
3. 12 MINUTES
What can happen when you are locked in a time loop inside a small room alongside your spouse? At first glance it’s just an ordinary day with routine tasks and coziness. Things spiral out of control tho. 12 minutes is the kind of adventure thriller where you’ll get to decide and question unfolding events while trying to keep it together. One can imagine events will get darker and more mysterious as the game progresses. Judging from the amount of details the team are putting into animations alone makes this a narrative gem to look forward to.
4. BEFORE WE LEAVE
Violence was never the sole way to victory in Civilization games, but even Gandhi had the occasional spurs of it. Before we leave takes city-building mechanics and simply makes violence nonexistent. The plot has a dwelling people recently emerged from the underground due to an unknown cataclysmic event and get to experience a “second chance”. It’s up to you to re-build and to explore a world in search of answers. The ancestors of the planet may provide the answers you need, but at what cost? I’m hooked and I recommend anyone that feels at home with Civ-esque games to check it out.
Carrion is a reverse horror game, you heard it right. You are the creature of unknown origin praying on the flesh of your human “jailers”. It’s not all-out destruction and you will need to learn to adapt in order to survive the increasingly challenging stages. Choose how to evolve to counter all the weapons and traps laid out against you. A demo of the game came out in 2019 showcasing great, grotesque potential. Phobia games studio put special emphasis on sound in order to punctuate the feeling of unease and terror while controlling this amorphous being and it is shaping to become another Devolver Digital hit in 2020.
6. MINUTE OF ISLANDS
Minute of Islands really got me thinking of Adventure Time the moment I saw the trailer. Its comic book art style radiates personality and the premise is that you’ll be traveling about a world filled with uncertainty. It’s a story-driven puzzle adventure, whereas Studio Fizbin suggests you won’t be able to fix everything, leaving me to wonder what sorts of sacrifices are players going to have to make as the story unfolds.
7. STONE SHARD
I have got to see some gameplay of Stone Shards’s early access on Twitch. It looks like its mix of Diablo meets Darkest Dungeon may play out well. In this turn-based roguelike your psyche will falter and your limbs will break, diseases will try to put you down… but master its systems and you’ll end up with a character unrestricted to any particular class, adaptable on the go. Experiment to your heart’s desire.
The Game Breakers studio delivered nicely on their boss-focused action game Furry. In its upcoming installment called Heaven the team shifts the focus from action towards love, relationships and rebellion against rules. The two protagonists Yu and Kay explore a forgotten world cleansing the lands and its inhabitants from rust by using flow, a blue like energy that grants them different abilities. Battles are tactical and centered around timed attacks, that seem to complement the exploring elements of the game quite nicely. I believe that by the end of the journey players will leave a better world behind. Looking forward to seeing how this relationship will flourish.
Dreamscaper is a blend of quite a few styles: a Binding of Isaac-style hack and slash brawler, dungeon crawler that looks fantastic. What really made this stand out for me tho is how all its gameplay elements fuse to tackle a very difficult topic – depression. Entering a young woman subconsciously through dreams, fighting nightmarish monsters, the faceless portrayal of its characters is I believe Afterburner Studios representation of this condition. It’s a story of how depression can be overcome, how each battle won or lost is the journey towards the light. Against all odds, in a mind filled with nightmarish monsters and fears, believe and keep going.
Rap artists have a saying “My words are weapons”, well in Bloodroots, the game created by the Canadian developer Paper Cult you will go beyond – “ the world becomes your weapon “. How awesome is that? This relentless action game will have you improvising on the go in order to get revenge by any means necessary. Given the tools at your disposal like cartwheels, barrels, logs, ledges, axes (you get the idea), it only is a matter of time. So get a handle of its controls and mechanics to enter that continuous revenge-fueled state of flow.
If you are looking for great multiplayer fun, don’t forget to check our best multiplayer games list